The good, the bad, the family drama
Oh vacation. First, let me clarify what this really is: A trip to see our families. If you have not yet read this, do: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/m-blazoned/vacation-or-trip-a-helpful-guide-for-parents_b_7789310.html
-I am sure some of it just happens to be his age but we have seen some big developments in Gus this past week. In the past few days he has pointed and waved. Both of these are pretty weak but for sure noticeable. And he is not walking but he is taking some independent steps. They are mostly falling into things but they are one or two at a time and that’s big!
-Gus got to meet his three living great grandparents.
-We decided not to adjust Gus to the time change. Because Michigan is three hours ahead of Oregon he has been going to bed around 9 (His normal bedtime is 6:30ish) and waking up around 8 or 9, which is normal with the change. While it is really the same time for us there’s something to be said for waking up to an 8 instead of a 5.
-So far we have gotten to see both of our dads (and stay with them a few days) and tons of extended family.
-I had a giant waffle cone of great ice cream yesterday.
-Gus’ night time sleep has been terrible for the last few days reaching a point in the night where he nurses until I cry. Today we thought he was taking a late nap and when he woke up he was basically in and out of hysterics for an hour/hour and a half until we realized that he just wanted to go back to sleep. In that time I had pumped (we’re trying to give him at least one bottle a day while gone to keep him in the habit) a bottle for tomorrow which he then immediately needed and then nursed for a half hour and is now back to sleep. Whoops. Bad nights come and go and we really thought we were working on tooth four but it has yet to show up so maybe we were wrong.
-Going to see our two sets of divorced parents involves a lot of traveling. We got in on Friday morning, drove an hour from the airport to my dad’s, had Lesley’s mom pick us up on Saturday morning and drive us an hour and a half each way to see her family for the day, and then the hour trip to her dad’s from my dad’s on Monday. Tomorrow is the biggest trek – 2.5 hours to my mom’s. We plan to go to a little beach and play in the water before heading up there and I am hoping that makes him sleep in the car. I was hoping to have a four ounce bottle for the car but he just drank it so who knows. After this drive we should be set on big drives for a bit though so that will be good. We didn’t travel with a car seat but borrowed the one our nephew just grew out of. It is TERRIBLE and uncomfortable and I feel bad putting Gus in it. But it works so oh well.
-Lesley’s dad does not believe in lunch and has no snacks. I’ve been SO HUNGRY.
The family drama.
The reason we came home when we did was at the request of my mom. I have three siblings (and a step sibling) and we are rarely together- I really can’t remember the last time but I would guess it has been 4-5 years. At Christmas time my mom asked that instead of trying to get together around the holidays we all come together sometime during a week in July (next week). We planned to come home anyway this summer so jumped at this, as did my sister who lives in California. My brothers have been harder to pin down. Brother 1 lives in Ohio and has 50/50 custody of his boys. We knew he’d come but didn’t know when. Brother 2 lives in Michigan, about 4 hours from my mom.
Brother 2 has been a bit of a problem for events for a while. His wife has some social anxiety and rarely comes to functions with our family. They have two daughters and spend most holidays and what not with my SIL’s family. My parents have both expressed (not to them) that they do not feel welcome at their house. My brother has no idea. Last time we were home we wanted to see them. We stopped by our niece’s baseball game with my mom and then met my aunt and uncle for dinner. We planned to stay in the area to have breakfast with them the next day and get a little more time and my brother never invited us to stay with them. Me, Lesley, and my mom stayed at a hotel about 2 miles from their house.
Brother 2 had planned to come to this family gathering with his wife and girls Sunday-Thursday. Despite my mom having enough room and ordering new, custom made beds in order to best fit everyone they rented a place to stay. In the past few week, circumstances beyond their control have made it so they are without a dog sitter. Their solution for this is to have my SIL stay home and my brother and the girls come Tuesday-Thursday. My brother had not told my mom this and called my dad on Sunday to say they were going to stop by and stay with him Monday and leave sometime Tuesday (Dad lives about halfway between him and mom). Upset, I called my mom. Shit hit the fan.
I was upset because when we were coming home I tried to coordinate whatever I could with my brothers to see their kids. Brother 1 straight up never replied. Brother 2 could not schedule anything. We had to pick when we would be where as we have four parents looking for answers. Brother 1 will be at my dad’s this coming weekend (It’s my dad’s cottage that he joint owns with Brother 1), as will my sister. Now brother 2 is stopping by. I asked if we could coordinate going to dad’s MONTHS ago. No one could. Brother 1 won’t come to my mom’s until late Tuesday night because he has issues with my step dad that he has, of course, never mentioned to my mom or step dad. Brother 1 apparently has some extra time but is choosing not to spend it with all of us.
I’ve been upset about my brothers’ lack of response and eagerness to see us. We really want to have a good relationship with our nieces and nephews and I feel like we try and my brothers don’t care. My mom has been the voice of reason about this. Unfortunately, when I told her that brother 2 was stopping at my dad’s she had lost all reason. She had just come back from a friend’s house where her friend’s kids and grandkids were visiting for a week like they do every summer. It is everything my mom dreams of. All she wants is her kids and grandkids all together and my brothers barely make an effort. My mom is a really great person, really fun, and lives in a beautiful resort town. If we lived in Michigan we would do everything in our power to live close to her. If that didn’t work, we would visit monthly.
When I told my mom she got really upset which is turn upset my step dad. My step dad called my brother at 11 pm and yelled at him which prompted to my brother leaving me a voicemail full of screaming. I talked to my mom yesterday, two days after this incident. She has been having conversations with my brother and SIL and seems in general pretty annoyed by them.
I can’t tell if my brother is mean or stupid. How could he not understand that this is all mom wants? Why does he thinking stopping at dad’s during the time that mom specifically asked for us all to be there was a great idea? His argument is that mom has an open invitation. Yeah, remember the hotel? That’s just the start. One year they couldn’t commit to a time to let her she their daughter for her birthday so she drove an hour and a half to their house and left her presents on their front porch WHILE THEY WERE HOME because they were getting the girls ready for bed and it wasn’t a good time. Often when she is there my brother’s MIL is there and since the girls see her more they just ignore my mom. It is not surprising my step dad snapped.
So come next week this is what we are walking into. My brother says that he didn’t understand that seeing his girls was a priority of ours in coming home. He didn’t know mom wanted us there the WHOLE week. He thinks we have communication issues. He wants to talk all this out while everyone is together. We are all together for about 36 hours because that’s all my brothers can commit to. 36 hours every four years is how much my mom gets her kids together – yeah, brother 2, that’s totally all the time she wants.