My husband and I are grieving (FIL passed away) and it doesn’t help that we both have a horrible case of the flu that involves stuffy/runny noses, constant nausea and diarrhea so you can assume correctly that we are not our usual happy selves. And I hate to whine…no actually I HAVE to whine. I’m tired of living in a house where an eleven year old brat rules the roost. I spend every waking moment trying to avoid, stay away from or not be near my niece. She is determined to make everyone bend to her will and be her personal slave/entertainment. I love her so much but her parents have turned her into a monster. I can’t stand one more minute with her. I live for 7:30am when she goes to school but when 3:30pm rolls around I feel dread wash over me because I know any minute she will walk through the front door. Disciplining her is out of the question because when I try she just laughs. Her own mother has no control over her and she just simply does what she wants when she wants. A while back I VERY nicely and with a loving heart talked to my sister about my niece’s behavior and this is what she said to me, “I know she’s a tad bit spoiled and undisciplined but anyone who doesn’t like my daughter is someone I don’t like”. In other words, shut my mouth.
Here is an example of life with Lowella (name changed, of course). School mornings, my sister has to practically dress and feed Lowella to get her out the door and on the bus for school. My sister lays out clothes for my niece the night before and after she feeds her breakfast Lowella sits on the couch as my sister literally puts the clothes on Lowella’s body. Even breakfast is prolonged because Lowella will eat a bite of cereal and then won’t eat another bite until my sister tells her repeatedly to hurry and finish her breakfast. After Lowella is fed and dressed my sister fixes my nieces hair. During the morning routine my niece is surly, whiney and demanding. One morning Lowella was upset because her new pants needed a belt. As my sister rushes to her room and back Lowella is spouting orders on what type of belt she wants. My sister aka Stacy, hands my niece the belt and immediately Lowella pitches a fit. Stacy frustrated and wanting her daughter out of the house so she can have a few hours of peace tells Lowella that if she doesn’t like the belt go to her room and find one she does. This is Lowella’s response, “You got the belt YOU go get me another one”. My sister’s lame attempt at discipline was to tell her that they will BOTH go to Lowella’s room and find a belt.
If you tell Lowella that you dislike a certain behavior she will intensify her efforts to make you feel uncomfortable. For instance, Lowella needs or wants constant attention, I mean literally constant attention. Her bedroom is decked out with everything an eleven year old could want or desire. Big TV, DVD, CD player, stereo system, VCR, telephone, TiVo, Directv, and so much more yet she never spends any time in her room. Every waking moment, if not in school, she is in the living room in your face. She talks about how beautiful she is, how smart she is, how talented she is, her favorite teen celebrities and kids from school. Not only what she talks about is incredibly boring but how she talks drives you crazy. She inserts “um” and “you know” or “like” in between every word and even pauses for what feels like minutes before finishing certain sentences. She is not stupid, nor does she have any learning disabilities she just simply wants to keep your attention for as long as she can.
There is so much more I could write about but hopefully you get my drift. You might question why I don’t just tell her to go away or leave and stay in my room, but I’ve tried and it doesn’t work. First, if you tell Lowella very nicely that you aren’t interested or that you need time alone, or that you are in the middle of something she will stand or kneel by your chair and stick her face so close to yours until you stop what you are doing. Or she will bug you every two minutes with, “Are you done yet, are you done yet, are you done yet”, that you stop what you are doing just to shut her up. She has an endless amount of tactics to bother a person until she gets her way. The guest room that my husband and I sleep in has no Directv, so I only get two channels on the TV that come in clear. Plus, for some reason the wireless internet range doesn’t extend into the guest room. Not much to do in my room except read. And even when I do go into the guest room either my niece or my sister will bang on the door and ask when I’m coming out to keep them company. My sister uses me as a buffer for when she can’t stand being with her daughter, which is almost all the time. Lowella will follow Stacy or me around the house so close that she bumps into us at times. She even tries to come into the bathroom with me. She has no close friends and uses us as playmates. Most friends tolerate her for brief periods but she rarely gets invited to sleep-overs or parties. Nobody likes to be around her.
I feel badly that I can’t stand to be around my niece but it’s the way it is. I pray that my sister gets a backbone and starts to enforce the rules and helps Lowella become a loving, caring, disciplined child but I’m not holding my breath.