The Tale continues… Part 1 here
There is an argument about who will walk next to the Mum across the road but then I spot the single most fascinating blade of grass ever grown. I let the children go to the door without me. Count to 5 and I’ve missed the riveting porch conversation. It’s over! I am forgotten! Grandmas are more Mum than mere Mums. Quickly talk to people the kids aren’t monstering, find a chair. You must remember I have 4 girls there is almost always one spare to annoy me.
I love my husband’s family, and I also like to see them and even talking to them. My brother in law is a prince among men (like his big brother); interesting, kind and great to look at (he looks like his big brother). His wife is incredibly lovely; as beautiful as she is sweet and whichever quality you encounter first you won’t believe it can be matched. I have been blessed to meet the 2 greatest (looks & brains) men on earth these brothers and the 2 greatest women (ditto) my sister in law & my favourite aunt; different families, different states, different ages, but they could be sisters.
These two wonderful people had children, and of course my gorgeous nephews are much, much nicer than my kids. I even think they are much nicer than regular kids. All offers to swap, in various combinations (kids not husbands), have been refused. But I don’t hold grudges, much.
My father in law is gruff but fun (very caring but don’t tell him I said that), my mother in law is fun but fun; fun becomes a negative when it is too much fun for over-excited, over-stimulated pains in my neck.
Unfortunately my own children were also present. And with the 4 of them I am constantly under siege, especially on my birthday & Mother’s Day!
On special occasions they want to make sure I am happy so they seek more permission, more reassurance, more praise and more punishments for their sisters. They are constantly talking; asking for stuff, arguing, revving up their cousins, checking whether I’ve changed my mind about the stuff they asked for earlier, reporting on their sisters’ infringements, recommending punishments, correcting my mistakes. (I apparently have problems speaking, making decisions & remembering, one day I hope to make it to my 2nd sentence without help). And, of course, asking if they have been good, better than their sisters and in the case of the eldest is she still the best. I don’t know which is worse; the repetition or the interruption to my train of thought.
Wait I’ve remembered; it’s the embarrassment; being corrected, the sensitive subjects they plough through like a runaway train, but most of all Me. I become a harsh tyrant. I snarl, I pick on them, I tell them off.
I feel like screaming, “Wait, wait I wasn’t like this this morning. It’s taken 2 hours to get me into this insane rage. You don’t know what they were like this morning. You don’t know how many times I’ve answered that stupid question! I have a headache, stop looking at me, I will just hide in the corner, but if my children find me I will not be responsible for my actions.”
I don’t say any of this. I’ve said all of this on previous visits, lots of times, while crying, while hitting my head on the floor, in chorus with their son. They know I feel this way. They still don’t lock the kids in the cupboard and let us escape, which I take as not believing me. But they are very kind to the unstable little girl their eldest married, even my father in law (don’t tell him I was conscious enough to notice, the man is a secret softie so Shh). In their defence I’m an anxious, OCD, late diagnosed autistic depressive; I am unstable. Sip your drink, eat some cake, stare into the middle distance 1,2,3 … and I’m back, I’m okay!
“Yes Cat it’s okay to change your mind about telling Grandma about your secret project.”
Part 6 (you’re almost done now!)