DH and I just had a huge fight over SD! Here is the background: SD is in junior high and lives the majority of the time with BM. We get her one weekend a month, holidays, and summer. She is a very sweet kid, that I have seen grow up since she was 4. Still, I have expressed to my husband that he really needs to step up and work with her when she is with us. She has extremely poor hygiene habits and is, in my opinion, very immature for her age. Instead of correcting her and being stern, my husband tells me that I am a bad SM and sulks with her when she gets in trouble. Here are some of the issues that I see (keep in mind, she is in middle school):
I still have to tell her to shower, brush her hair, put on deodorant, and brush her teeth every time she is with us. If I do not make her, she will not. She complains everytime I tell her. Last time she was with us - she actually stomped off when and pouted when I told her that she needed to brush her hair. She has had lice in the past, and has come to our home with ringworm multiple times from her mother not making her bathe. She is dirty every time we pick her up.
She does not flush the toilet - does not matter what is in it... To top it off, she does not find the need for toilet paper. Couple months ago, she ran out of toilet paper in her bathroom. She decided to use a sanitary napkin to wipe with (she went #2) and then left the smeared napkin exposed and in the trash. When I spoke to her about it, I informed her that it was very unsanitary and yes, gross to leave things out like that. Also told her that the method was not very clean, as it does not wipe as well. My husband informed me that I was over-reacting and that it was actually very resourceful of her. He also claims that it was his fault for not making sure the bathroom was properly stocked. My response was that she is old enough to stock the bathroom herself if she is running low, and if she did happen to run out, she should have waited for someone to bring her more. After the family discussion, I walked upstairs to find SD in bathroom , going #2, with no toilet paper AGAIN!
She also scribbled on our shower curtain this year with marker. I informed her that she would need to pay for the curtain from her allowance, and that she should not draw on anything but paper. Husband actually went as far to make up an excuse for her when I questioned why she drew on the shower curtain. Found last night that she decided to write (not in big letters-husband made sure to point out that it wasn't a big deal because they are smaller) on her closet door in permanent marker. Husband says...not a big deal. I am mean.
So here is the question - am I over-reacting and expecting too much? Is it normal for a middle school student not to know these things? I am just so frustrated and tired of having to defend myself to DH! I am also seriously worried for SD and how she is going to be perceived and treated if she does not learn these things!