This is my dad’s dog – a 2-year old Red Lab. He’s a bit of a nut who wanted my camera, so he kept jumping at me as I was trying to take a picture. I got to wipe a nose print off the lens after this shot. Notice he’s smiling.
Now for the rant:
I am glad the dog was happy because this trip with a couple of exceptions sucked in terms of family. Tonight capped off the trip by me flipping out at my brother. My niece is definitely the princess of the family. That was clear every time we got together. The world stopped revolving around the sun and started revolving around her.
Yes, she’s almost 18months old and cute and all, but when your 7-year-old asks why no one likes her anymore, you know they have taken it too far. And, she was so fucking right. As much as I tried to shield her from it, she and my other daughter got royally fucked with this trip. They were here to admire their cousin – no playing because it could be the “wrong kind”. No playing with each other because that might either make too much noise, scare their cousin, or result in an accident where she gets scared.
Like tonight. My dad had found a ball we had left at their house years ago. It was one of the dodge ball-type balls. And the girls were sent outside to play with it. My brother, SIL, and their daughter came by for dinner. My brother immediately grabs the ball and starts rough housing with both of the girls in a game of keep away. Can you guess where this is going?
He decides the game is going to end abruptly, but instead of making it crystal clear the game was ending and not taking a turn, he sets the ball down. He kept saying in a sing-song type voice “don’t kick it” to the girls. You could see DJ the 9yrs old is unsure. Is he joking? Indigo is totally going to get that ball from him. He sets it down, she kicks it, and guess who it hits? Yep.
He flips out at Indigo. We send her out of the room. Once I hear the door slam, I turn to him and ask why the hell he started a game where this could happen? “Where I want my kid to get hit by the ball? So I’m not supposed to play with my nieces?” I ask him how many time he heard me say not to play with the fucking ball in the house. No answer. I said this happened because the ball was being played with inside where his kid and everyone else is at danger of getting hit. I don’t care how many times he said “don’t kick it” – the game should not have happened. Then, he starts ranting about how if my kid was listening…blah, blah, blah. “Yeah, cause her uncle is a great demonstrator of listening skills.” He stormed off as did I. I was not in the fucking mood.
Did Indigo get in trouble? Yeah, it was a joke gone too far. But, I think there is an adult who needed to take some responsibility himself. Did he? Fuck no. He was the adult, he was right, his kid got scared. She ended up basically hiding out the rest of the night. She was afraid to even go into the same room. Later when she did, she asked my brother for something to which he said “did you ask your parents?” as he looks at us. Garbanzo is sitting their nodding in an exaggerated fashion “yes” – and my brother is giving Indigo shit for not asking. So, Garbanzo pipes up “my enthusiastic head shaking would be a ‘yes’ from Dad.”
What pissed me off more than anything was the fact that this is how it was going to go down. I knew it. We make the trip, my kids get no attention from anyone except their parents, and they are told to basically shut up and not be kids. WTF is up with that?!
I have spent most of the time here asking myself “were we like this when we had DJ and she was this age?” And the answer was no. We accepted that there were situations beyond our total control. If we felt like we needed total control, we left and went back home. I could never ask a house full of people to not be a house full of people. That’s not fair to them – and it’s my problem not theirs. As I’ve said before, I look at this and see where this is headed. I will have two kids who don’t have any real connection with my parents as well as at least one brother. My other brother is fantastic when he is around and has the time. He loves his nieces. He has gotten to know them. He loves DJ’s wicked sense of humor. He loves how loving Indigo is to his step-daughter. He gets it. Just totally sad that he is the only one.
All I can say, this will not be repeated. I know that my parents want to get everyone together for a holiday gift exchange. I think I’m going to give whoever comes up to stay with us the presents to take back. I’m not apt to come back down here again for a repeat of this visit. There are other things/person I will miss by skipping it, but I can’t do that to my kids again. Getting together with the family should be fun – not a stressful boring affair where you are constantly getting into trouble for stupid shit.
I’m done. Thank you for listening.