Aside from the fact that my step-dad pissed me off for infinity around 11 pm the night before Christmas Eve, dinner at Mom’s went well. With that side of the family, it’s the usual suspects at every dinner, so it wasn’t a real surprise to see anyone. But it’s always a treat! All I really had to do was ignore everything SD said, which is hard, but it can be done – and graciously!
The kids were very rude when they got back from their bio-mom’s house. They came in and ripped open their presents, with no regard for the tags – or the person on it. There was one point where Ninja Boy half ripped the package open and, upon discovering cotton, THREW the package toward me – as if to say “It’s clothes – you deal with it.” I was ready to grab everything he’d just opened and fiercely take it away. I come from a family where everyone takes turns opening gifts, thanks the person who gave it to them (genuinely) and patiently waits their turn. Even my 4-year-old nephew understood this concept and followed through rather well with it. This was my “jackass” moment for Christmas 2006. The moment where I realize the $300 I’d spent on the kids is going to be torn through and complained about before I even get the wrapping paper cleaned up. I felt like going home and pulling half the gifts out from under the tree just so I didn’t feed this greedy, thankless attitude. I understand how they get this way – they are not expected to wait their turn OR give thanks when they are at BM’s. I also know that after opening so many presents, it gets to be kind of a mundane task. (Especially when people in BM’s family give him cash or toys that he isn’t into – it’s hard to fake happiness, although graciousness shouldn’t be faked.) I won’t stand for it. I am going to devise a plan next year that will kill the present overload. I don’t know what – or how – but I do know that getting 50 toys in one day is ridiculously excessive. No wonder they are so damn spoiled.
Christmas morning, when the kids opened presents at home – they were much more gracious. Even though Sunshine got a TV and Ninja Boy didn’t (he has an older one already), they held off on the arguing and finger pointing. We told the kids that they needed to send emails to everyone, thanking them for their gifts. I think this should really be done for every gift received (until I’m standing behind Sunshine, telling her how to spell every. single. word. waiting for her to type them out), but especially when they didn’t take the time to personally thank them when they had a perfect opportunity.
"It's a TV!"
We got a call Christmas morning from the in-laws, “Are you guys planning on coming out today?” Hmm, is that why we REPEATEDLY ASKED his siblings EVERY DAY last week when they were doing dinner? They never gave us an answer, so ‘NO,’ we didn’t PLAN on doing anything with them.
Man, do I need a new camera!
We were both apprehensive, but decided we’d just go out for a couple hours so the kids could see their cousins. HHH was there and hasn’t changed too much. I guess I can’t say she hasn’t changed – she went through a lot with the drugs and prison, and I wasn’t there to see what she was really like during that time. BUT, personality wise – she’s same woman she was when we were friends. She still picked on her kids, showed everyone her blown-up picture of Britney’s Oopsie, and is still louder than a Harley. But she was courteous and almost pleasant. She is going to church now and listens to Christian music – that’s pretty much all she talked about. I have seen this a hundred times where someone goes to prison, finds Jesus and comes out talking about how much their life has changed…until they can hook up with the ‘old crowd.’ In fact, several of those times, it was HHH cleaning up her life only to destroy it just months later. I’m holding out hope, though, because if everyone expects you to fail, wouldn’t you? So, I’ll offer my congratulations on things coming to order for her and hope that she’s serious and planning on being a real mom to her kids.
Things ended up going so well over there that we stayed much longer than we’d planned – 6 hours! Six. Freaking. Hours. Then The Man invited his little sister and nephew over. They didn’t leave until 10 pm. I think The Man and I ended up getting to bed about midnight. I do not question at all why I don’t remember shutting my alarm OFF Tuesday morning.
That said – I was L-A-T-E on Tuesday. Not my normal late, where I’m not really late, because my boss doesn’t really EXPECT me until 8 – but I’m supposed to be here at 7:30. No, I was LATE – where I had to skip lunch and stay an extra 45 minutes to make it up. Oh, I also forgot my badge, so I had to get escorted into the building and write out a timesheet STATING that I was late getting in, skipped lunch and stayed late.
Yes, I was one of the unlucky bastards who got stuck working yesterday. The Man had the day off (as he does AGAIN on Friday!).
Not only did The Man stay home with the kids on his day off (daycare was still an option), he CLEANED. He did laundry, he did the dishes, he got rid of all the garbage left over from Christmas. He cleaned off the refridgerator and the microwave. He made the kids clean their rooms.
However, this miraculous deed was overshadowed by the fact that he nearly gave me a heart attack.
I tried calling the house about 2:30, then again about twenty minutes later. A little after three, I started getting obsessive and calling the house, then his cell, about every ten minutes. By the time I left work at 4:45 I was getting really concerned. Halfway home, I was crying. The entire hour ride home, I called non-stop. Thousands of situations ran through my head, sometimes scaring myself, sometimes trying to convince myself it was okay. But where the hell could he and the two kids be that they weren’t answering the phones? I sped down all the roads in my neighborhood – something I NEVER do. I pulled up to the house, thankful that at least it hadn’t burned down, and the Christmas lights were all on, but the upstairs was dark. The Man’s car was in the garage. I dialed the house again, just to see…walked in and saw Boy sitting downstairs, playing with his toys. I could faintly hear the telephone ringing upstairs. Ninja Boy said, “Hi Amy!” and seeing the look on my face said, “Dad, Amy’s upset.” The Man jumped up and prodded, “What??? What’s wrong??” “Why the hell weren’t you answering the phone?” I sobbed. “What phone?” “ANY PHONE!!!” He could not understand why I was so upset – not for the life of him. The prick even got mad at me for being so upset with him. All THREE of my cordless phones were in my bedroom (one on the bed, under the blanket), along with his cell. The door was closed. “You should put the damn phones away when you use them!”
I know he didn’t mean to upset me, and he was probably hurt that I didn’t mention how spectacular the house looked, but I was so upset that I HURT. My chest hurt, my eyes were swollen - I was still shaking after I’d found everything to be okay.
And I thought I had no imagination!
Anywho…The Man also surprised me with…A JUNK DRAWER! He felt we really needed a place to store all of our “junk,” (because, you know, putting stuff AWAY is just LAME) so he moved my potholders from a completely logical place to a completely illogical place. See if you can guess where he moved them to. And also, where would you keep them if it were your kitchen??