Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Box of Flakes

What do you do when your son's best friend's parents are flakes?
The best friend is a gentleman, very polite, better behaved than your own kids.
But the parents act like two-year-olds.

Best example:
Mom Flake called to ask if BFF could come over on Saturday so she and Dad Flake can spend some quality time together at Local Tourist Town.
Sure, I say.  No problem.  What time?
She then gives me a long explanation of when they'd be leaving in relation to the weather and which vehicle they'd be driving in each variety of weather, and as an aside mentions if bad weather completely eliminates their ability to make the trip at all, their hotel reservations are transferrable.
Hotel?  So... this is a sleepover?
Well, yeah.
Nice you mentioned it.

Bad enough, right?
Two days later Mom Flake asks if we could make it a two-night sleepover.
I... guess... so... (Because the kid is nice, you see.  We enjoy his company.)

And then...
The evening BFF is supposed to be delivered, Dad Flake has a bad day at work, throws a hissy fit, and declares that the weekend is ruined and no one is going anywhere.

What do you do with these people?
My first impulse is to cut them off.  Never accept an offer to take their kid.
But, he's a nice kid!  He's good for my son.  We want him here.
Is there anyway I can separate him from the yo-yo parents he has?


Shanna said...

Take the boy for the weekend anyway, unless it is too late. I don't think there is much you can do other then show him that there are parents out there who are stable. ;)

Roses said...

Shanna: We would have taken the boy anyway, but Dad Flake declared no one was going anywhere.
Nevermind that our child might have been looking forward to the sleepover, too.
That's what makes Dad extra flaky.

nnmlknw said...

Offer to pick the boy up at what ever time because "Son will be so disappointed. He was really looking forward to it." Or whatever reason Ultra Flakey would listen too. People who change their minds that much are easier to help change again, generally. Sometimes they even need an excuse to make the right decision because they know they change their minds a lot.

--Child of a flake.

Christie Critters said...

A family like that once lived in our neighborhood. What a challenge! We liked the kid, but the parents - not so much. We just let the kid hang out at our place, invited him to dinner often (and he LOVED to stay) and while we were polite to the parents, never tried to move the relationship with them to another level. I just hope that experiencing our family proved to the kid that there was another way to live...

The Gray Monk said...

Give the kid a break - have him over for the weekend and let him have a "time out" from his parents.

Priscilla said...

No. No way to separate kid from said parents. Growing up my BFF's parents were not only flakey but mean. My parents handled it graciously by not getting involved in their drama and always being there for my BFF and sometimes giving in to their lunatic demands.

I am thankful that they did. Though we live in different states we still are very best friends.

And her parents? Now I know the whole story there. They've actually grown into very decent people and I love them very much.

Andy said...

Roses, I read this right after you posted it, but did not comment. I was waiting to read the thoughts of others first.

The kid needs you. We have raised 3 sons to adulthood, and still have one 14 year-old son at home. Our last son is autistic, and really does not have any friends, but the older 3 sons did. I have seen just such situations many times.

That kid needs YOU, your husband, your sons, etc. And obviously you like him a lot. There will never be a way to divorce his parents from him. But, I can almost guarantee you that the times he spends in your world are a cool drink of water in his life.

I can't go in to the long stories here, but I know for certain that you and your family will have a powerful impact on his life.

My brothers and I had friends with the very same home situation you are describing when we were kids. Mom & Dad overlooked all the weirdo-ness of the parents, and showed our friends the same love, acceptance & access regardless.

I learned a thing or two from Mom & Dad. It has been repeated WAY often around here just because of that example.

Boy, that comment really ran off the road, and cleaned out both the ditches, huh?

If I know anything. I know you'll figure it out, and do what's right.

Teresa said...

A rather sad, but good lesson for your son. People are flaky and it impacts everyone around them. People are mean and the same thing happens. *sigh*

Being around if the boy needs you... priceless. I'm sure the kid knows his parents are flakes and it's good he can see that others don't judge him by the actions of his parents.