Monday, April 03, 2006

What do you do?

We only have 2 rules at our house. The same 2 rules that have been in effect for the entire time that Mom's been coming down and staying with us. I think that they are reasonable rules, and they are rules that I follow myself.

1. The theromstat can't go below 72 degrees
2. No smoking in the bedrooms

Rule number 1 came into effect because we have birds, and if it gets too cold in the house, the birds can get sick or even die. This has been an issue because Mom has hot flashes, and has been known to set the t-stat at 60 degrees (just aske Sandie). The second rule came into effect because the carpet, bed, and all of the bedcovers have burn holes in them. So, we feel that if you want to be able to smoke, you should be awake enough to not burn the house down around you. The idea being that if you have to walk 15 feet into the living room, hopefully you will be awake enough to not burn anything. This has not always been effective, but we have much fewer burns on the couch than we do in the bedroom.

So, what do you do when someone just flat out refuses to follow the rules?

We got Mom moved on Saturday, by the time we got everything unloaded and got back to the house, it was around 9:30, and everyone was worn out. We all headed straight to bed. Sunday was pretty lazy, I had a whole lot of studying to do - I have a test today (Monday) and I hadn't finished reading one of the chapters yet, much less even started the homework, so I had a lot of catchup to do. At one point, I went into Mom's room to see how she was doing, and while I sat there she lit up a cigarette. I reminded her that there was no smoking in the bedrooms, and her response was that I was sitting right there so could watch her. So I explained (again) to her that we only have the 2 rules and that we expected her to respect us enough to follow them.

So we agreed that she would not smoke in her room. At least I thought we did. When I got up this morning, I had to go in her room, cuz we haven't moved all of our clothes out of there yet. Guess what I smelled as soon as I opened the door? Just guess. Yep, cigarettes.

So, what do I do? I don't want a big on-going battle about rules, but I refuse to allow her to smoke in the bedroom. How do I stop her though? Chris and I are both at work all day, and so have no control over her actions. Obviously, she's not going to control herself (I don't think either her or Dad have any concept of the meaning of the words Respect, Control, Responsibility - I think they did at one time, but they sure as hell don't now.)

Dennis suggested that I tell her that if she won't follow the rules, we tell her she has to move back to the Tulsa house. Unfortunately, I can see her doing just that, and I'm not moving her again.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with a parent who acts like a child? I don't have kids, so I just don't know what to do.

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