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The baby cries all the time. Her oldest sister, who’s 13, is constantly holding her, consoling her, mothering her. I had thought I would be taking care of the 5 month old—you know, late night bottle feedings, diaper changes and the like, and in a way I am, but not like I had figured.
Pray-To-Go-She-Won’t-Be-Hopeless is her mother. I mean, she has been mothering this child since day one. She says she sleeps with the baby when they’re at home because the child doesn’t like Fool and would cry anytime she was near him. So she sleeps with the baby every night, even on school nights. I even caught Pray-To-Go-She-Won’t-Be-Hopeless sending the 5 year old up stairs, carrying the baby—hell, the baby was as big as she was. I asked the girl what she was doing with the baby. She looked at me with these eyes that were older than her years and said, “Pray-To-Go-She-Won’t-Be-Hopeless told me to put her to sleep.”
Huh? What in the hell does a 5 year old know about putting a baby to sleep. Hell, a 5 year old IS a baby. I took her from the girl and did it myself.
I tried to take over responsibility of the baby but Pray-To-Go-She-Won’t-Be-Hopeless would not hear of it. When I had fed the child, changed her, and make sure she was ok, I put her down in the kitchen while I cooked. As soon as I sat her down, she started crying. This was nothing new for her, this child cries anytime she’s not being held.
Well, I wasn’t gonna pick her back up. Things had to be done, the other children had to be fed, and the house had to be cleaned. All sorts of things needed to be finished, not to mention I hadn’t written a single word in over a week. So I gave her a toy, and let her cry.
This happens. Sometimes children cry; they need it. And we, as the adults, need the break. Sure it’s annoying sometimes, but you can’t drop everything, including feeding other children, because they’re having a moment.
Well before long Pray-To-Go-She-Won’t-Be-Hopeless rushed to pick up the baby. I tell her not to, that she shouldn’t pick her up every time she makes a noise. She tells my daughter that I’m mean and that I didn’t know how to take care of a baby.
At least her mother’s teaching her something.
I was with Mrs. Debra the other day, taking her to pay some bills and we were talking. Of course the subject turned to Hopeless, as it always does of late, and her children. It seems that a couple of years back Hopeless and a few of her children were in a car accident. She was paid monies, and they put the rest in an account for the children’s college funds. It was somewhere around five thousand dollars per child—I’m not sure which of the children it was, but I know it was the oldest who was about sixteen at the time, and a few of the others.
Hopeless was not happy with this. I asked my mother in law why she wouldn’t be happy. I mean, I would kill to have money put away for college for my girls. Hell, I’m looking forward to when they are all out of the house and on their own.
Hopeless had said simply, “Those kids ain’t goin’ to college.”
This, I think scares me the most. I’m worried because I think she may be right. But I’m more worried because I think she may be raising another baby making machine in Pray-To-Go-She-Won’t-Be-Hopeless.
I have been told that I am not the only person with family drama. Of course I know this, but it's hard to imagine that while I sit here in this house full of children trying to write something that doesn't resemble child abuse. So, help me out here.
Send me your tales of woe. I'll even keep them confidential, if you like. Or you can just post them in the response area of this blog.
Tell me, just how screwed up is YOUR family?