Author Topic: Dirty diapers, WWYD?  (Read 4406 times)

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Night_owl

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Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« on: July 14, 2011, 03:20:55 PM »
Background: recently I went to visit my sister Glenda.  Glenda is a bit of a hoarder and her house is always messy and cluttered.  My step niece, Ellen, and her two young children were visiting Home State and were with Glenda.

I arrive at Glenda's and the house is messy as usual, dirty dishes on the table and computer desk, papers and clothes on the floor, overflowing garbage.  I sit down on the couch and there is a dirty diaper (not a wet diaper, a dirty diaper) on the floor next to me.  It smells, the house is hot, not air conditioned, and only a few windows are open.  Glenda (the step grandmother) mentions the diaper to Ellen (the mother), but no one picks it up.  They are chatting with me about the kids and my pregnancy and the diaper is still on the floor.  I bring up the diaper since I have morning sickness and Glenda  kind of waves off my concerns.

I try to convince them to take the kids to the park (too hot), I offer to take them out to lunch as my treat (too much work to dress the kids).  I don't want to leave because I drove three hours to get here and I may not see step niece or the kids for a year or two.  Finally I get up, pick up the diaper and carry it into the kitchen.  Since the garbage is full, I bag up the garbage and carry the bag to the dumpster.  I put a new bag in the garbage can, wash my hands and got back to my visit.  The rest of the visit was better, I finally convinced them to take the kids park to splash in the kiddy pool.

Was I rude?  My sister made several comments about me overstepping myself to other relatives.  She was upset because I used the wrong bag for the garbage can, the clear ones instead of the white ones.  I know she is easily upset with me because several years ago her kids, including Ellen lived with DH and I while she was in rehab.  She has said on occasion that I take over when it comes to her kids, even now.  I am emotionally invested in her kids, they lived with me for a few years.  One of her stepdaughters estranged from her, but maintains close contact with us.   

What else could I have done?

MrTango

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 03:33:27 PM »
That's absolutely disgusting.  I probably would have found an excuse to leave.

Corbin

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 03:37:22 PM »
You were fine. You brought it to her attention, she did nothing, so you took care of it. I am afraid I would have been tempted to throw up on the floor, and then leave... :-X
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Otterpop

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 03:46:47 PM »
You took action where it was needed, and that was gag-worthy.  Most animals do not leave p**p in their houses, dens, etc.  Your sister needs some therapy.

Shoo

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 03:52:09 PM »
You were more gracious than I would have been.  I think I would have left.

Gumbysqueak

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 03:57:19 PM »
Helping pick up your sister's home is polite, or any family's member home.  However, if a family member objects you have to respect their wishes.  If the home is a risk to the children you must report.  To grandma, police etc.

bonyk

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 03:58:20 PM »
How old are the kids?  I'm thinking you might have under-reacted.

wyozozo

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2011, 03:59:33 PM »
Helping pick up your sister's home is polite, or any family's member home.  However, if a family member objects you have to respect their wishes.  If the home is a risk to the children you must report.  To grandma, police etc.
Well that might be awkward as it was grandma's house!

I think overstepping is hiring a cleaning crew or nominating them for a reality TV show. You merely did what you had to do to enjoy your visit.



Betelnut

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2011, 04:00:15 PM »
I would have done the same thing so, of course, I don't think you were rude!
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ilrag

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2011, 04:00:54 PM »
I would have left way before you did.

 :-X

When your sister complained that you used the wrong garbage bag in the kitchen how did you not say "I would not have had the chance to put the wrong bag in if you hadn't left a dirty diaper on the floor next to me."

I'mnotinsane

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2011, 04:01:22 PM »
So she didn't address this issue with you but is talking about you behind your back with others.  Is this correct?

I would bring the subject up, tell her you are upset, and ask what you should have done? 

Leave it there?  This is unacceptable
Let her take care of it?  You gave her ample opportunity
Leave?  If your visit was not appreciated she should have let you know before you made the effort.

Reuth

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2011, 04:02:28 PM »
What else could you have done? You could have cut the visit short, or you could have ignored it. Neither of those is a good option. I think you did the right thing.

I'm not sure about reporting the situation to the authorities, because this was a case where the children were visiting; they don't live there.

MrsJWine

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 04:20:00 PM »
Oh, ew. I have a super nose to begin with. During pregnancy, I can smell a squirrel belch in Japan. I wouldn't even have taken care of it. I think I would have said, "I'm sorry, but I can't handle the smell from the diaper. I need to go now." Because that's the sort of smell that lingers. Just taking care of it isn't going to fix the problem. And I think picking up the mess yourself just tells her that if she leaves dirty diapers lying around, other people will take care of them for her. Especially if they're family.


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princessleia

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2011, 04:28:52 PM »
Do you visit her often?  If this happens again this is what I would do:

Me: "You must have accidentally left this dirty diaper out"
Sister: "Oh yeah, well anyways [bean dip]"
Me: "I can't stay here because the diaper is making me sick"
Sister: "Oh yeah, well anyways [bean dip]"
Me: gets up and leaves

I know it is frustrating to drive three hours only to turn around and drive home, but I would think that if you did that once it might get your point across.  Obviously she doesn't appreciate you cleaning up her house so that is no longer an option.  In the future, maybe they could drive to visit you, or you could drive closer to them but meet them at a coffee shop, because "I can't go to your house; it makes me sick."

Petticoats

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Re: Dirty diapers, WWYD?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2011, 04:38:42 PM »
I'm having a hard time understanding how cleaning up an unacceptable mess is somehow overstepping with regard to sister's kids.

But then, I don't understand the thought processes of someone who would leave a dirty diaper on the floor... and still not do anything when it's pointed out... and not be ashamed of someone else taking out my trash because I was too lazy to do it.

No way were you rude. Your sister, on the other hand, sounds like a nut.