Monday, June 1, 2009

A Lack of Faith

Last night was my father's last night on the job. He is now officially retired. He is glad to be done as working graveyard for 30+ years has taken its toll. He is ready to garden, whatever the fuck he wants to do in his own sweet time. Ideally, that would involve spending more time with the grandchildren. Except for this little nugget.

This morning, after admonishing the children to keep it down because Grampa was sleeping, I was in the kitchen gulping my last few sips of caffeinated bliss before heading upstairs for storytime. My blood turned to ice when I heard LittleMan start screaming his head off. Not the usual my-sister-kicked-me-in-the-knee yelling but screaming and crying in fear and pain.

I threw my mug down and ran to the staircase. There was my son, face-down. He was about halfway down the stairs, and it is a total miracle he did not tumble head first down to the bottom. LittleBird was at the top of the stairs, looking down in fear. I saw her look over her left shoulder into the doorway, my parents' bedroom. The door? Shut in her face. My dad had woken up from all the crying, gotten up and shut the door in my daughter's face. Without asking her what was the matter. Without looking into the hallway to see why my son was screaming bloody murder. I dashed up the stairs, lifted my son up from his awkward upside-down position and felt his tears rolling down the length of my arm.

How in the hell am I to trust my father to watch my children when this kind of thing happens? His hearing has never been the greatest, and his total lack of cause and effect when it comes to the children has me worried. Kids cry for a reason. Especially that kind of crying. Shutting the door and pretending you don't hear the ruckus is not an acceptable solution. It is hard to acknowledge that one lacks faith in even the most beloved of family members to take proper care of your children. I suppose it is another phase of life, when children surpass their parents' ability and willingness to take care of themselves and those around them.

Sometimes, it sucks to be a grown-up.


Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Wow. Just, wow.

The only thing I can figure is that he's thinking, "I need sleep after that last night of work and NATUI is downstairs. She'll get to him."

But still. That's just, wow.

Joe said...

That was my thought as well. That he wasn't the caretaker that day, so he shut the door so he could sleep. Don't give up on him just yet. Have a heart to heart with him about it.

We refuse to leave Tyler in my mother-in-law's care. It's a long story that I probably shouldn't get into, but suffice to say that it's very difficult for all parties (not me though, because I don't particularly care for her mom) to have that "thing" in the air. Good luck.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

@cmgd: I do agree that may have been his thought process, but it still sucked.

@Joe: I'm looking forward hearing your MIL story.

Gypsy said...

That's concerning, but maybe he knew you were taking care of it? Still...