DEAR ABBY: I am 7 1/2 months pregnant, living with my fiance, his cousin, his cousin's girlfriend and her little brother, who she has custody of. (He will be 18 in a few months.) I do all the house cleaning and have for the last year and a half. I constantly pick up after them after work.
The cousin's girlfriend ("Queen Slob") is the worst of the bunch. She doesn't clean up after herself at all. She leaves a trail — drops her purse on the table, doesn't throw away her trash and leaves dirty dishes everywhere. I have tried not picking up after Queen Slob and everyone else, but they are either so dumb or inconsiderate that they don't put two and two together and realize it's not magic and someone is cleaning up after them.
How do I nicely express that I'm fed up with being the only one who keeps the house clean without coming off like a crazy pregnant lady? I'm running out of energy. I have been trying to clean for my baby shower, but I'm getting nowhere because every time I clean something, I have to do it again the next day. I also can't get the house ready for the arrival of the baby. It's not going to be fair to my baby if Mommy has to clean up someone's mess before I feed him. Help, Abby! — MAID IN NEVADA
DEAR MAID: You are right that once the baby arrives you won't be able to keep up what you have been doing. If you haven't expressed to your fiance what you have shared with me, it is long overdue. The two of you should convene a meeting of everyone who lives under that roof and set some house rules. If the cousin and his girlfriend won't cooperate, they should move.
As to your baby shower, if you have a close friend or relative nearby, it might be more practical to hold it in one of their homes.
DEAR ABBY: My 10-year-old son is behaviorally challenged and receives special education services at school. He is in the fourth grade.
Since the beginning of the school year he has been bullied by a girl in his class. She intentionally embarrasses him and makes fun of him in front of his classmates or when the teacher isn't looking. His reaction to her bullying gets him in trouble. Unfortunately, they don't see what she's doing that causes it. My son gets put into isolation at school, but seldom does she have any consequences for the bullying because she's discreet.
I have talked with his teacher, his counselor, special education coordinator, vice principal and the principal. Their only focus is my son's behavior/reaction. They don't address the issue of the girl bullying him. I tell him to ignore her, tell his teacher, tell the vice principal, but my advice has changed nothing. I don't know what to do. Please help me. — STOP THE BULLYING
DEAR STOP THE BULLYING: If I were in your situation, first, I'd keep a record of these instances. Then I would try to talk to the girl's parents. If they were uncooperative, I'd then address my concerns to the school board in my community. And, if nothing changed, I would contact an attorney who specializes in cases of discrimination.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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