Other than my niece, I don’t like kids. I’m genuinely mystified when I hear someone say “I love kids!” I just don’t get it. Kids scream. They want to touch your stuff. They have cooler toys today than I ever did and yet they still want to play with an iPhone. Wait until it turns into the thing they need for work, THEN let’s hear how much they love it. Unless their job is to hawk things on TikTok – another reason to hate kids.
They’re just not my cup of tea. And don’t try the “they’re worth it” argument with me. Every time someone says that to me their facial expressions never match up with their words. Either that’s a frown or you’ve been cursed with a face that melts when you lie.
I’ve never been a fan of kids; I hardly liked them when I was one. So it would only be fitting that a couple of years ago I inherited one. He doesn’t help around the house. I pay his bills. He doesn’t clean up after himself. He bad mouths me to anyone who will listen. He throws tantrums about his girlfriend not being a part of the family. I’ve never had to potty train a kid but I would imagine it’s equivalent to trying to get this one to do any type of work. I’m not sure if this experience is what parents think of when they say “it’s worth it” but whatever – I’m still not sold.
But that doesn’t matter. Because I have a child on my hands and for the time being there’s not a lot I can do about it.
Oh yeah, one more thing.
He’s 65 years old.
My mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly so the natural reaction of everyone was to worry about my father-in-law. No one was more concerned than my husband, which is why he decided his dad should move in with us. Unfortunately, his dad agreed.
I was not OK with this. Call me selfish but I knew my FIL before I even met my husband and if there’s one thing he’s good at it’s figuring out how to manage. He’s a talker, that one. And you know kids: they be talking their way in and out of bullshit.
So, we bought a house big enough for the 3 of us and our combined total of 5 dogs. A couple of weeks after we moved in, my FIL announced he had a girlfriend and would not be moving out of his old house. Did I mention this was just 2 months after my mother-in-law had passed away?
You see? He was managing just fine.
So here we were, in this big house that we could not afford on our own. Meanwhile, my FIL was living it up like he’d just gone off to college. Other than he and my husband working together, we never saw him. I do remember hearing from him one time: he asked me if I could watch his dogs while he and his girlfriend went out of town.
Then, at the end of the year, a shift happened. He was ready to move in. He even seemed excited about it. Which of course he was because he’d gotten evicted from his previous residence and he had no other place to go.
With him came the girlfriend. Her name is Janie but I call her Janie Dumb Fuck (JDF, for short). My FIL moving on so quickly was obviously a problem for my husband so JDF’s welcome into our home wasn’t an easy one. However, we managed. She was welcomed at our holiday parties. She was welcomed to spend time with us on our patio. One time she hung out with us and told me a story about seeing a UFO but made sure to emphasize that it didn’t beam her up to which I replied, “that sounds like something an alien would say.” Even though she’d just outed herself as extraterrestrial, she was still welcome.
We were not.
For her daughter’s 21st birthday, my FIL took JDF, her daughter, and a daughter’s friend to Vegas. For my birthday, he got me a gift card to a local restaurant. Also, we were not invited to Vegas, or anywhere else they went for that matter. No dinners at her house. No holiday parties. Nothing.
Things were going great for my FIL. He had not a care in the world. That was until JDF told him it was time for them to move in together. Well, like the sentiment of every child, nobody tells my FIL what to do. So they broke up.
Side note: the day before they broke up she celebrated her 60th birthday. For her birthday he gave her 2 stone tablets with the 10 commandments etched on them. She’s not a religious person by any means. I even suggested that they might burst into flames in her mere presence. But he gave them to her anyway. The day they broke up she dropped them off on the porch and when he called her to ask why she did that, she replied “who gives someone the 10 commandments as a 60th birthday present?” As much as I hate to admit, she was not wrong. Also, the answer to that question is ‘kids’. Kids are fucking horrible gift-givers.
Anyway, they stayed broken up for a month and during that time, he entertained himself by going on dates. I entertained myself by constantly recalling the episode of Parks and Rec where the towns’ old people kept getting STDs.
Eventually, though, they got back together. Except this time, like any sane parent, I told him she was not welcome at our house (our side of the house – he has his own side). Well, that didn’t sit well with him, so he rebelled. Not for long though, because he started getting sick with kidney infections about once a month and needed our help to take care of him. For a while, I kept telling him he should go get his shit checked because who knows where JDF has been.
It’s called parenting, look it up.
But after a couple of surgeries and a recovery, he’s better and picked up where his rebellion left off. Now we really never see him. My FIL and my husband fight CONSTANTLY at work. And just yesterday, in one of his rare outings from his side of the house (or bedroom, for all you parents dealing with this kind of shit) he said “I’m going to do even less around here”, which I found funny because the only way that would be possible is if he were dead. He followed that up with “I’m moving out!” (or “running away” in parent lingo).
JDF appears to be the cool parent so I’m sure that’s where he’ll end up. Although, I’m not sure how long she’ll enjoy it considering he has not saved nor is he in a position to retire. But maybe it’ll work out. She was sad that her daughter moved out; maybe this new child will fill the void.
So, here we are, facing the possibility of having to sell our home that I love. The business that my FIL and my husband share is facing the possibility of going under. Yesterday, I was mad. This morning, I was depressed. Right now, I do not care, because it felt really good to let it out. Is this what moms do at their book club meetings or when they’re at “pilates”? I don’t blame them, it feels great.
I don’t know what’s going to happen. What I do know is I’ve put myself in charge of decision-making from now until eternity. So I really hope this kid likes his new parent because, should he want to reenter my queendom, my first decision as Empress will be to put him in a home – the Dateline kind.
You know what? Being a parent isn’t so bad after all.