4th of July weekend was something I was looking forward to. Taking my kids to see my brother and sister-in-law. They live in this beautiful idyllic beach town in central California that is such the perfect change of pace for someone who is trapped in the desert most of the time. The trip was full of ups and downs. The ride there was entertaining if only for the random spurts of uneducated racist and other politically incorrect statements streaming out of my 80 year old grandmother’s mouth.
Not surprisingly, my son was in heaven. He had stairs to climb, an ocean to splash in, sand to play in and a dog to torture. My daughter was equally excited, although she is one of those babies that smiles for absolutely no reason. I don’t know how I got such freakishly delighted children, but I’m not complaining. I’m sure when they are 12 and 13, everything will bore them and they will have a perpetual scowl on their face.
Being around family all weekend can be fun, if not a little exhausting. My grandma infuriated me when she saw that I was texting and not paying attention to everything my son was doing. She also doesn’t understand that I am fairly chilled out in the parenting department. I think that mothers need to relax a little with their kids, or they are going to make them anxious basket cases. I also understand that my son is not even 2 yet, so I do pay close attention to him and manage to multi-task. However, my grandmother decided to compare my mothering skills to my cousin.
To explain, I have a cousin that is a year older than me, but quite different then me. Growing up, people would be shocked to discover that we were related. She was kind of the slutty-bad girl who dropped out of school in the 9th grade and had no real aspirations in life. I was the nerdy, shy, academic girl who had high hopes for doing something amazing with my life. Somehow, as we have grown up, our vast differences have become less so. She has a 6 year old daughter that she more or less takes care of on her own. Most of her daughter’s life was spent with the grandma, so the parenting thing is kind of an afterthought. Comparing me as a parent to my cousin is a major insult in my family. But since I am used to me grandmother being pure evil on occasion, I simply confront her and remind her that she had 5 kids that all turned out a mess. Yes, I am that much of a bitch, that I talk trash to my grandmother. That’s what family does, when you’re close, I guess.
Another element I gathered from my trip was that my older brother and his wife were absolutely exhausted simply having my kids around. My brother thanked me for helping to stave off the desire to have kids for a few more years, because he didn’t know if he could handle it. Light weight.
The trip was a great success, and then we came home. My father is a recovering alcoholic and so when he went away for the weekend to hang out with his two alcoholic brothers, I was concerned. As soon as I got back from the trip, I had only a short time to get get ready for work and take off, so I almost ignored the fact that my father was acting odd.
When I got back from work, my father was acting extra sleepy. This was only slightly worrisome, as he had just spent the weekend away and is also a diabetic. It wasn’t until I got home from work that I started to suspect somthing was amiss. I went on my nightly walk and returned to him dozing off while holding my daughter. I asked him if he was going to go for his walk, he responded that he was way too tired. I knew something was wrong, because he is never too tired to take a walk and has to help stave off his high blood sugar with 2 walks a day. I took my daughter into my room and put her to bed, as I went on my computer. After about an hour, I walked in the kitchen to get a glass of water, when I noticed that my entire fifth of raspberry vodka was empty!
My father is incopacited on the couch (something that I have gotten quite used to in my 26 years) and screamed at him to wake up. When he finally came-to, I asked him where my vodka was, his response? “oh, I drank it”.
After a good ten minutes of berating him and telling him that my life is a complete mess and I have serious issues all because of him, yes I have daddy issues, I told him to get out of my house. He told me that I was being ridiculous and overreacting, but he drank an entire bottle of vodka at 3 in the afternoon while watching my children. Not okay! He drunkenly stumbled around the house to pack up his stuff and I stood their like a parole officer with a watchful eye. He asked me if I think he is drunk, why I would let him drink and drive. My response was simple “because I’m hoping that you will drive into a wall, and we will finally be done with it!”
As soon as he started his car, I called the police and reported a drunk driver with full description.