Sunday, September 26, 2010

I had a run-in with a shrew.

Image obtained through Google Images.
I can't sleep. I had a run-in with a shrew yesterday. Let me tell you the situation. And then you tell me what is right. Okay?
Situation: My husband is working temporarily out of town for 2 weeks (maybe more). I have 3 children ages 11, 8 and 3. All female. 2 out of my 3 daughters attend school. I am home all day without any "adult" interaction. (Except for my blogging. I always have YOU. ;) Thanks for that.) I have a neighbor. Imagine that, there are people that live next to me. ;) Anyway, there used to be a nice older woman who lived there with her son. (Actually they are still nice.) This woman's shrew of a daughter moved in WITH her four children. (Her children: Also pretty good kids. I enjoy hanging out with them too.) Also, her longtime friend, Let's call him Steve* (to protect the innocent), has moved in with her to help watch the kids. He cooks, cleans and takes after these boys and one girl. He disciplines these children when they act up. He loves these kids even though they are NOT his children. Steve is 47 years old and he is very much a people person just like me. The shrew also has a brother (36 years) that lives there. He has had numerous heart surgeries and strokes, and he has severe acne--He actually is a pretty nice guy, up until a couple of weeks ago.

  Here is what happen that really got me angry yesterday. The shrew mother came home from the grocery store yesterday. She headed over to the pool where Steve and her youngest daughter was. I was there with Steve and Julia* (another woman that lives in the complex) and we were talking. This is what MOST adults do. Make friendly conversation with each other. However Julia had left about 5 minutes before the shrew actually arrived. The shrew comes in, and asks me, "Where are YOUR children?" I tell her, at home.
She says, "Your children are at home alone?" (The pool in my complex is located about half a second's walk from my home AND I had only been talking for about 30 minutes or so. AND my oldest knew exactly where I was. She  is 11 by the way.)
I said "Yes."
She laid into me like there was no tomorrow. First she said, "How would your husband feel if he knew you, a married woman, were talking to Steve out here?" She continues to run her mouth at 80 miles per hour and make me think I am the worst mother in the world for leaving my precious children who are about half a second's walk from me, for leaving them a home ALONE.
I don't have a pool key. (They changed the locks and it costs about $25 for a replacement key.)
I walked to the gate, along with the shrew. and told her, "Do me a favor, don't ever write a book--'how to win friends and influence people, because quite frankly it would NEVER sell.'"
She just shook her head and said, "Listen lady, I'm not your friend and never will be." She opened the gate and let me out, still running her mouth. I normally don't cuss at all, but I had some adrenalin in me and I told her, "Shut up Bit*#!" She told me NOT to call her that again or she would call social services on me and HAVE my kids taken away from me for leaving my kids home alone for such a long time. *sigh*
So there you have it folks. I am a bad mother because I left my very capable daughter who is 11, in charge for a half hour or so, while I ran over to the pool and chatted with some friends. Yup, that's it. Married people can have friends OF THE OPPOSITE SEX AND not be attracted to them. Yup. It's true. And I did tell my husband about this run-in with the shrew. I even told him about the nice neighbor Steve, who I talk with on a daily basis, and wants to meet my husband when he comes home. (By the way, Steve used to be homeless. He has no where to stay, and the shrew's mother, knowing this, invited Steve to stay with her because her grandchildren just love him.)
What do you think? Am I a bad momma for leaving my 11 year daughter who is very capable of staying at my house while I talk to some friends IN our apartment complex, OR am I a good mama for telling shrew lady where to shove it? 
By the way, this shrew always finds something to complain about. She is NOT happy unless she is complaining about something. I know, Steve has to live with her and he has told me. The shrew does NOT discipline her children much, Steve does, she rarely spends any time with them outside, and she yells at them practically all the time. I know, I can hear her from my house screaming her head off at her children.
Thanks for listening. Sorry I ranted, but I had to get this ugliness OUT of my system. Next time I see her, I am going to politely suggest smiling a little more instead of scowling, she might gain a friend or two IF she smiles.
Additional Note: The shrew is a divorced woman of 4 children trying to make ends meet. That must be hard. I feel for her. Especially in this economy. Everyone has it rough these days. But sometimes, when you face what life has given you, with a smile instead of a scowl, you pick up some support (friends) along the way. I am grateful that I am a people person and that I talk to people so that I can gain more friends. Life is hard. Who wants to be stuck up on the inside with no friends? Certainly not me. And I am NOT having a hot, torrid love affair with the neighbor next door. He's just a friend. Do YOU married people have male friends aside from your spouses? If my husband was home, this neighbor would be my husband's friend too. I'm not hiding him from anyone. I'm just shooting the breeze with some friends because I need to get out of the house to for adult stimulation.

Again, Thanks for listening people. Leave the discussion below in the comments. Please! ;)


singedwingangel said...

You already know how I feel. I am ready to roll the woman. Her threats to call CPS woudl be short lived. YOu were close enough to the house, your daughter is an age where she can be trusted for that amount of time safely. So her concerns would prove to be unvalidated. HOWEVER her language and behavior with her children could be up for inspection.
Yeah I need to come whoop this hags ass.

Vodka Logic said...

Oh my, she is one bitter woman. I think I would have said more than calling her a good restraint.

I lost count how many people in that house...seems a bit overwhelming.

Brittney said...

I dont think you did anything wrong at all that biznatch is obviously threatened by you. Some people are just so unhappy with their lives they want to make it hell for everyone else!

Sandra said...

Clearly the shrew is jealous of you, and has serious issues, of which you play no part. Good for you for standing up for yourself, for realizing that she's troubled, and for blogging about it...because we are your friends and we love to hear about this kind of shit! :)

Jamie said...

Wow.. I mean Wow! How dare she.. I mean where exactly does she get off calling someone else a bad mom! WAY OUTA LINE! In fact I think you were TOO nice I woulda let her have it.. no one calls someone they know nothing about a bad mom! You just don't do that. I woulda asked her "well where are your kids? because they're not with you! So obviously, you're a bad mom too!" I cannot believe the nerve of some people. don't listen to her! you're not a bad mom.. nothing wrong with leaving an 11 yo in charge... and after all that stuff she said to you, you're still trying to see things from her point of view.. you, you're a good person!

pr0udmom0f3 said...

Looks like if anything, YOU can call CPS on her! lol...What irony. She is neglectful AND (verbally) abusive. If she tries her shit again, I would smack it back to her with that information. Jealous bitch, is all she is.

I too was 11 when I was left ALONE (no sisters or brothers, just me) while my mom and dad got lost..I mean went to the store for 3 HOURS.

As for married people having friends, I have MALE friends. I like them, I am not IN love with them. And I sure as hell don't want to hit the hay with them. And like you said, you let YOUR husband know of this guy you befriended and talk to. So, you not only drummed up a friendship between you and *Steve*, but made it possible for the hubby to bond with this guy too, once he is back from his trip for his job.

Kristina P. said...

Listen, I used to work for DCFS, and I in my current job, I probably call CPS once a week to report allegations. This wouldn't even be on the radar.

Utah doesn't have specific laws on the book regarding how old your kids have to be to be left alone. It's a case by case basis, but 11, for 1/2 hour wouldn't open a case.

I will say, and I've been in situations where I've had a confrontation like that, I think the best way to handle it is to not engage her. It's hard when you're being attacked, but if you don't give her any additional ammo, she looks like an idiot, plain and simple.

Donda said...

I don't think it would matter if you smiled all day until your face froze it is most likely not going to change how the shrew treats you. She has already found you talking to her man, no matter what it was like she is going to perceive it as she wants. She probably feels threatened and attacked the one thing women can always attack to hit the biggest nerve they can in another woman....their ability to parent. I think CPS would laugh in her face if you were a stone's throw from your apartment as long as you don't have unlocked guns laying around on the coffee table. It would be no different than me walking over to my neighbors house next door and chatting with her while my kids are inside watching Spongebob. It is ridiculous to be expected to be tied to your child 24/7, how will they ever learn independence? I wouldn't engage in conversation with Steve about the Shrew though. Without knowing, I am guessing he has probably bashed her to you and other friends. Nothing good could come of that.

From Tracie said...

So I came by earlier and wrote a big crazy long comment and then hit publish, and then blogger had a brain annurism and didn't register it, and then my mom called to talk about plans (plans with bells and flowers and white dresses-hint hint) and I am just now back on the computer to retype my it goes!

Clearly, clearly this woman and her family have issues. The deep seated kind that go way beyond single overwhelmed mom trying to make it.

You were standing outside in a public place having a conversation with Steve. You weren't in a bedroom with the door closed, sneaking around in dark corners, snuggled up in the back seat of a were standing in the bright sunlight talking. There is nothing wrong with that. And if your husband doesn't care that y'all are friends, then it certainly isn't any of her business. (maybe she is jealous! ha!) You weren't doing anything wrong.

When I was 11 I started spending the afternoons alone until my mom got home from work (about 2 hours) and then that summer I was home alone for most of the day. I think it is perfectly fine for your 11 year old daughter to watch the younger kids in the middle of the afternoon, with the doors locked, while you are outside (still in the complex!) having a conversation. CPS wouldn't say anything about that...and neither would I.

I'm Team Cluttered in this one all the way. You did nothing wrong....and this woman is a nut case!!

Love ya!!

Lisa said...

You didn't mention whether or not you were in a see-through neglige. NOW, if that WAS the case, it changes everything. IF, however, you were in NON TRANSPARENT CLOTHING, I do believe you were in the right place, right time and right circumstances to be chatting with friends while your capable daughter babysat. Unless you were reading a Playgirl magazine. And smoking doobies. And all liquored up. But if not, all is well, you were fine and that poor, poor woman has lost an opportunity to be friended by a wonderful young woman~namely the darling girl named Alexes with a very cluttered brain. :)

Garden of Egan said...

Wow! Sounds like the shrew needs some Midol.

11 year olds hang out at the mall forever. Is she going to call CPS on eveyone?
Love ya. Hope your week is better. You are a wonderful friend and it's too bad she's lost out on such a fabulous person.

Wendy said...

Wow... you really know how to set people off. My goodness, that lady is a bit messed in the head if you ask me.

I leave my kids home all the time, so Chris and I can do a date night. I don't have any issues with what you did.

This women was probably really jealous seeing you in your "swim" attire, if in fact you had something of that sorts on, and just couldn't think past her jealous rage she was on.

She apparently doesn't know what a privilege (sp?) it is to live right next door to you.

As for the exchange in words... I probably wouldn't have done that myself... but hey, you do what you have to. I think using such exchanges only escalate situations like this. But that's just my opinion. Hope you can have a better week this week.

T said...

deep breaths.

more deep breaths.

glad you got it out... sorry you had cause to NEED to vent though. Obviously the neighbor has issues... among them her own feelings of inadequacy, a little jealousy, and some history of her own divorce must be coming into play...

your kids were fine, you were within hollering distance and you were in a public place with friends... give one big mental PBBBBBLLLLLLTTTTTHHH!!! and write her off.

Don't let the shrews get you down :(

Mormon Surrogate said...

Some people! Oh the nerve of that lady. You know your kids more than anyone else and if you feel they can be left alone, than so be it. 11 sounds old enough to me. My 10 year old is more like a 13 year old, and I'd feel comfortable letting her stay home for a bit.. Did you really say all that to her?

*high 5

Mormon Surrogate said...

Oh and yes honey, there are adults who can handle having friends of the opposite sex and I believe you are one of them!

alexis said...

i started babysitting when i was 11, and my sister was very young, like three months old. i was definitely responsible enough, and i'm sure other children are, too.

as for that woman, i would have gone off on her. i know it would have been immature and rude, but i would have made her cry.

Debbie said...

oooh I would be MAD too! Crap, I was babysitting for like 5 hours at a time when I was TEN!!!!! TEN for Pete's sake...who does this dork think she is? It does sound like she's really insecure though, SAD.

Don said...

I like to think I would have said, "They're home with a sitter." That's what the oldest is, so there you go.

I probably wouldn't have thought of that in time, though.

Erin said...

Holy crap! I can't believe she had the balls to call you out like that---NONE of her business. And 11 is plenty capable of being left at home to watch 2 younger siblings. I was babysitting all over town when I was 12, and babysat my 2 younger brothers long before that. omg. I'm glad you cussed at her, she deserved it!!

So sorry this happened, Alexes, but don't think for a second that you were wrong in any way, shape or form. This woman is a nutjob!

So now you have to tell me all about the torrid love affair you're having !

Matty said...

She needs to mind her own business. Period.

As a parent, you know your children better than anyone else. If you trust your 11 year old daughter for a half hour, then that's good enough. And you don't have to explain it to anyone else. Period.

Cate said...

Wow she would hate my mum then... when I was 11-12 I was catching the bus home from school with my 6 yr old sister and 9 yr old brother, letting us in, making afternoon tea, etc etc and watching them till mum or dad got home from work. its called responsibility. Your were hardly far from your kids and Im sure if something happened your 11 yr old would have yelled for you anyway! And lets face it, its not like the kids were inside playing with matches, juggling knives or learning to cook by themselves was it? Dont feel bad about it, youre not a bad mum.
But im so glad you do feel compassion for this woman. Sounds like she is ready to snap....

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