Sunday, October 26, 2008

The visit from hell

I said “I have also been shut out by my aparents (again - more on that another time, maybe) ”.

I’ve decided to share – I’m sure you’ve just been sitting on the edge of your seat for the last month or so, right?

My parents came all the way from Vermont to Colorado two weeks after the baby was born. It was supposed to be three weeks after he was born, but he was a week late. I couldn’t believe that they had actually made it, considering that not two days before they were supposed to leave they called to tell me that they weren’t going to make the trip. Something about The Witch's health … yada yada. As soon as I saw on the caller ID who it was I knew exactly what the phone call was going to be about so I kind of tuned out since I was expecting it anyway.

Even though I knew what the phone call was going to be about, I was still pretty upset that they were flaking on me, again! This would have been the third time that they said (and had actually made flight arrangements) that they were going to visit and then not actually show up. So, imagine my surprise when they called the next day to say that they were going to come. I had actually gotten used to the idea of them not coming (and was somewhat relieved) that I was now upset that they were coming – give me a break, my son wasn’t even two weeks old yet, you try dealing with that type of roller coaster in those conditions.

They were supposed to be here for 6 days. It was like walking on eggshells the moment they arrived (two hours late – The Witch's response to that was “see, I knew the trip was going to be a disaster”. There’s no pleasing her). I tried really hard not to let her picking about this, that, and the other thing get to me. I thought things were going ok. That is, until the afternoon before they were supposed to leave.

As with my first child, nursing with my second child did not go as planned. In fact, it was completely frustrating me. The Witch thought that the best way to support this frustration was to immediately say “why don’t you just forget about it. You weren’t breastfed, and you turned out fine.” Yes, I wasn’t breastfed and I managed to survive. But, I would hardly say that I turned out fine. Hubby is always saying that I’m one of the sickliest (is that even a word?) people he knows. Before I had my tonsils out last year I was always coming down with one thing or another.

After this wonderful support she provided, she then went on to advise me how to use the check that she had given to me as a gift. She wanted me to use the money to take some more time off from work. Yes Mom, that sounds great! Let’s forget about the fact that I’m only allowed to take so much time off from work without losing my job altogether, but the amount she gave would hardly cover a few days off and I was already taking almost three weeks off unpaid. Also, I thought the money was a gift! My response to this “suggestion” was to tell her that I was planning on using it to pay for formula since it wasn’t looking like nursing was going to work out. She took this to mean that if she hadn’t given me the money I was going to let him starve. Come on! Give me a little credit will you. This money just meant that I could use it instead of getting into more debt just to feed our child.

Anyway, as wonderful as this exchange sounds, it isn’t even close to what made it the visit from hell, leading to me never wanting to speak to them again.

The afternoon before they were supposed to leave they went out for a drive to view the beautiful scenery we have here. I told them if they got lost to give me a call and I’d try to help, but could they please please please be home by 4:30? You see, we were supposed to go out to dinner – all of us, including the kids. If my 5 year old does not eat by 5 o’clock he starts to lose his shit and can’t be controlled no matter what we do.

At 4 o’clock they called and asked if they could be a little late – they wanted to drive through one of the gorgeous city parks. I held my tongue and said sure! Even though I had already woken the baby up to feed him before we went out to make sure he was able to sleep through our meal. Also, I knew that the drive to, through, and back from this park was going to take way more than 30 minutes and I would have to feed my 5 year old before we left for the restaurant.

At 5 o’clock they still weren’t back.

They called at 5:30 because they were lost and needed directions.

I was trying to give directions to The Witch and asked her a question about whether she just wanted to us to come and meet them. She didn’t answer. So, I assumed that she wasn’t able to hear me and started yelling into the phone (granted, I probably should not have started yelling, but I was getting annoyed).

She heard the yelling and took this as the biggest insult of all time. How dare I yell at her for no reason (!!!). She started yelling back, in her god awful shrill voice. So, I then started really yelling at her because I couldn’t take it anymore. I was still trying to give directions, but they weren’t following them or paying attention to what direction they had just followed.

Somehow they made it back to the house and I apologized for yelling. The Witch said that she was not going to accept my apology, which made me even angrier. To avoid yelling even more I went upstairs to cool down.

Apparently, while I was up there, my 5 year old told my amother not to yell at me (go, Monkey!). That sent The Witch right over the edge and she snapped at him to not talk to her like that. My husband got involved. One thing led to another, which ended with them storming out of the house with their suitcases.

They left without saying goodbye to either me or their two grandsons.

Hubby sent them a rather polite email essentially asking what the hell happened. A somewhat rude email was returned by The Doormat. After this was received, Hubby fired off another email that ripped them to shreds. After it was received by The Witch she called and left a message saying that if I agree with anything that was written in that letter I could assume that I was no longer part of their family and to not bother contacting them again. Since I approved the content of the letter before it was sent, I haven’t called them. I’m guessing they think I know nothing of the letter because since then I have been receiving copies of it in mine and my husbands joint email account (the only one they know how to reach me at).

The next post shows the progression of the letters.

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