The Dementia Diary

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The Brats

on June 15, 2012

On Monday morning No. 3 Son went to visit F i L with his 2 youngest sons in tow.

This is the son that F i L refers to as ‘Poor [No. 3 Son]’ because his life is (in F i L’s slightly deluded opinion) so hard.  This is the son who was so hard up, F i L kept telling us, recently had to sell his second car (we had to sell ours a year ago) but has managed two holidays so far this year.

Husband received a text during the visit, from No. 3 Son.  F i L was asking No.3 Son why he was going to the doctor that evening.   F i L couldn’t remember.  As husband and I had arranged the appointment (because we’re the only ones that do these things) No. 3 Son didn’t have a clue.  I don’t know what husband’s response was but I hope it was either rude or completely unbelievable e.g. for a hysterectomy.

For a few months F i L has been complaining that one of the fence panels in his garden is damaged and needs to be replaced.  Of course we were asked to do the job.  Over the past 13 years Husband has helped No.3 Son, on at least 3 occasions repair and replace his fences.  No. 3 Son is perfectly able and experienced to replace the panel.  It’s a simple job.  Swap one panel.  We suggested that F i L ask No. 3 Son to do it.

No. 3 Son agreed to do the job, but has been putting it off.  The replacement fence panel won’t fit in his car.  He’s got to look after the kids.  He’s going away.  A list of excuses.  Now he’s back there should be no reason not to do it and F i L has been asking us when it is going to be done, at least 4 times a week, since the beginning.  After receiving No. 3 Son’s text husband asked again if he was was going to replace the fence panel.  The response was

“Stuff that!”

I  guess it’s not going to get done.

When Husband visited F i L on Wednesday evening the conversation came round to No. 3 Son’s visit, in particular his children.

“They’re terrible!” said F i L.

Husband said “I know”.

F:  “Poor [No. 3 Son]!”

H:  “What do you mean ‘Poor No. 3 Son’?  They’re his children!”

F:  “Well, they’re awful!”

H:  “Because he doesn’t discipline them!”

When the brats do something wrong usually something very destructive like throwing heavy objects at the TV screen, they are asked very gently to not do it, usually accompanied by a ‘please’.  It’s never an instruction – always a polite request.  When they inevitably start to cry, because they enjoy destroying property, they are scooped up, cuddled, and told that they are ‘Mummy’s Best Boy!’   What they are learning looks a little like this when you break it down:

  1. Vandalise property
  2. Get attention from parent
  3. Receive praise
Any wonder why they misbehave? (Incidentally I have, very politely, pointed this out to No. 3 Son and wife but they want their children to ‘express themselves’)

F:  “Isn’t his wife a teacher?”

H:  “Yes”

F:  “You’d think they’d behave better then”

H:  “Exactly!”

F:  “Your children are marvellous!”

H:  “Yes because we discipline them.  They know that that they can’t get away with behaving like animals”

F:  “Of course, you have [me].  She doesn’t stand for any nonsense.”

H:  “No, neither of us will.”

F:  “Poor No. 3 Son”

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