Monday, December 10, 2007

Other Peoples Children

#1 was has a friend that lives down the street named "Kate".

Friday night #1 slept over at Kate's house. It's always nice when she sleeps over at a friends house. Things are so much quieter.

Saturday morning at around 10:00am they both showed up at our house. Kate stayed for lunch and at around 3:00 #1 started acting like an idiot so I told Kate it was time for her to go home.

About an hour later she showed up wanting to use our phone because her friend was supposed to pick her up and hadn't showed up. Her Mom doesn't have a land line phone and her cell phone NEVER has any minutes on it. So she came in and called her friend, got no answer and went back home.

She showed up yet again just before 5:00 when Jules got home from work. As soon as Jules walked in the door she was asked, "Can Kate sleep over?"

I answered immediately from the living room "NO!"

Having a sleepover is a pain in the ass and I don't want to get into the habit of having her sleep over at our house every weekend. She just spent the night with us last Saturday and #1 just slept at Kate's the previous night. One sleep over per weekend is enough. The answer was No!

Kate then told us that her Mom was going to the bar and if she couldn't sleep over at our house she was going to be left alone at home until 3am when her Mom came home.

I wasn't having any of that!!

What kind of Mom goes the bar all night and leaves her 9 year old kid home alone? Either this was just some kind of trick to get us to change our mind or her mother has some serious problems! Either way I was not going for it. I basically said straight up that if that was the case then it was a problem between her and her mother. It is her mother's responsibility to make sure that her daughter is looked after, not ours. Jules then told her that her Mom was not allowed to do that and that if she did then someone should call the police and report it.

So she did not sleep over.

After she'd left I told #1 that if that was the way Kate's Mom is, she won't be sleeping over at her house any more. #1 said she didn't want to sleep over at Kate's house anymore anyway. The previous night they were up very late (around 3am) because Kate's Mom had a few friends over and they were drinking and smoking all night. (Did I mention that Kate's bed is situated in the living room?) The other time #1 slept over she said they were up late because Kate's Mom was listening to loud music. I wonder if she was drinking that night as well?

Anyway this is NOT an environment I feel comfortable having #1 spending her nights. So from now on Kate can sleep over at our house but #1 will not be spending the night at Kate's house anymore.

Sunday morning at 10:00am Kate showed up at our house again. I guess her Mom didn't leave her alone while she went out swilling. Kate stayed all morning. She stayed for lunch. She stayed all afternoon.

At 5:00 I was getting ready to make supper so Jules told #1 that it was time for Kate to go home. Right away #1 asked why she had to go. Jules said it was because we were going to have supper. I said it was because she'd at our house for over 7 hours already.

As she was putting on her boots I heard her ask #1, "What time should I come back?"

I answered for #1, "Tomorrow."

Friends are great and I have no problem with having friends over, however we already have 3 kids and aren't in the market for a fourth. I have a sneaking suspicion that Kate's Mom is starting to taking advantage of Kate's friendship with #1.

Last week Kate showed up on our doorstep to see if she could get a ride to school. It was extremely cold last week. Although Kate goes to a different school than our kids, Jules told her that she would give her a ride to school. It's not too far out of the way. The next day she showed up again looking for a ride. Again Jules said that it was OK. On the way Kate asked if she could pick her up too. Jules said that that would be fine. Jules is much nicer than me.

Ideally, in a situation like this, Kate's Mom would feel obligated to pay some token amount for gas. That would be ideal but we kind of knew that it was nothing more than a pipe dream. She didn't even bother to say thanks.

I haven't even met Kate's Mom. I think Jules has met her because I heard that she had come to our house trying to bum cigarettes, or maybe she just sent Kate to bum them for her. I have a pretty good idea that her Mom is more of a "Taker" than a "Giver".

Not only do we drive her kid to and from school on the weekdays. We also get to have her on the weekends. If we hadn't said no to the sleep over Saturday night we would have had Kate at our house from 10am Saturday until 5pm Sunday. As it was she got 2 meals out of us. There was a snow day last week. Guess where Kate spent the day that day? You know it. She was chillin' at the CanadaDad house from 8:30 until 5:30.

Like I said at the beginning, Kate is a good kid and I feel sorry for her. Her Mom doesn't seem like much of a mother.

There was something that Kate said on Saturday that really stands out. Her and #1 were playing a game and #1 said something like, "I'd rather be here than outside skating".

Then Kate said, "I'd rather be here than at my house."

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