Saturday, July 14, 2007

Road Trip

The Wife took our Little Darlings on a bit of a road trip yesterday and are scheduled to return later today. I'm home alone and loving it, taking care of our menagerie and not doing much of anything.

There is a dog at the local Humane Society (where we sometimes volunteer, as I think I've mentioned before) that has been there for TWO YEARS. He's always been a bit of a problem child...sort of like a foster dog, I guess. Longtime readers may recall that we took in Mitch (some sort of a German Shepherd/Pit Bull cross or something) and worked with him a bit to make him more adoptable...Hunter (a dog who reminds me of nothing so much as Old Yeller) never had that same advantage, and he's been languishing in a kennel this whole time.

Well, The Wife's sister, who lives down near Minneapolis/St. Paul, has a friend who wanted a dog and heard about Hunter. They thought they could handle him and help him become a real dog. He IS a "real" dog, of course, but he has some behavioral issues. The worst one is that while he doesn't really bite per se, he does tend to gnaw on your hand if you let him. He's also difficult to walk and various other issues that make him not a suitable choice for a family with small children, for instance. These and other issues may just be due to his long confinement and lack of attention, of course.

And early reports indicate that that is the case, too. Last night The Wife called, just thrilled with how he was behaving with his new family. She couldn't believe it was the same dog. Just goes to show you what a little love and attention can do.

And apparently we have not yet given enough love and attention to "Jill" and "Celeste" yet to make their nasty behaviors go away. They are with her on this trip, and from what I've heard from The Wife, they need to be either loved more or smacked upside the head, and almost definitely a little of each.

The Wife's sister and her friends are big drinkers, especially by our standards since we don't keep alcohol in the house and I'm a teetotaler while The Wife has a drink maybe a few times a year. So when Hunter was coming, it was a time for socializing and drinking. "Jill" didn't like this, and said so. Loudly. Accusingly. In front of the sister and her friends.

NOW...I'm all for the idea of "Jill" not drinking and letting her friends know that she doesn't like it. That's commendable in a teen and I'm very glad for it. However...she really needs to learn to shut up in certain situations. One such situation is when people far older than her--and strangers to boot--decide that they want to legally partake in an activity. That is their right. She should have nothing to say about it whatsoever. And yet it sounds like she had plenty to say. Well, I'm going to have a few things to say to her when she gets home, I think.

When The Wife appropriately stepped in and told her to back off and go for a walk to "cool down", she did. But "Celeste" followed her. The Wife called after her that she didn't need to go with "Jill" and that she should come back. She ignored The Wife and went with "Jill" anyway. I will have words for "Celeste" about that, too.

Aside from blatantly ignoring a direct request by The Wife, this is part of an ongoing problem, particularly with Celeste but I've seen it with "Jill" on occasion too. When one of them gets sent to their room because we're angry, the other one (particularly "Celeste") seems to think it's completely fine to go with them to their room. Usually shutting the door (against house rules) so they can complain and cuss about us to each other.

I'm soliciting suggestions on how to handle this, as it's really annoying and not appropriate. When we make one of them go to cool off, it's not so that they can get together and work each other up. Quite the opposite. The whole point is for them to be alone with themselves and see if we can't get them to reflect on their behavior a little bit. We've told them this, and it's not sinking in.

In the absence of any better ideas, the next time this sort of thing happens it will begin cutting into their internet time, and particularly their phone time. We've been way too lenient with their phone time anyway, and it's officially out of hand.

Man, but these two are great manipulators. We'll be experts at counter-manipulation by the time we see the backside of these two.


At 9:13 PM , Anonymous netqueen07 said...

Love the story! I can idenitify with the wat certain privileges can get out of hand. We tore the desktop out before the foster kids came, and bought a wireless router so only we have access to the internet (we have laptops). TV time is one hour a day, purchased with an hour of homework or reading. Extra time can be earned. Of course, our kids are not teens yet. I don't know how you can change your current situation, but I know that cutting out the internet entirely was the smartest thing we've done yet.

At 9:35 PM , Anonymous Netqueen07 said...

Hey, it's me again.
I didn't really give comment to the real question.
Depending on where you are, there is a rule that all kids must have a door, but in some cases you are allowed to bolt it open.

As long as they have a bathroom to change in, they have the privacy they need.

At 5:50 PM , Blogger Dan said...


We allow kids to have their doors closed if they are alone or with a roommate in their room. We don't allow doors to be shut in other situations.


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