Monday, June 22, 2015

You don't get to pick your family!

 photo blog Minion.jpg 

 Let's just say that this past weekend included entirely WAY too much family time.  This past Saturday my Dad, sister and brother in law ran in a 4 mile race called the Steamboat classic.  This meant that I was elected to babysit my  nephews.  Now mind you that my sister did not ask me if I minded watching the boys.   In all reality I wouldn't ever say no to my sister but it would just be nice if she extended the courtesy.  There's just something about someone assuming that it's perfectly ok to drop their children off at oh dark early.  Admittedly I AM NOT a morning person.  Frankly if I see 5am it's because I haven't gone to sleep yet.  I'm sure I'm just being a less than nice, charming version of myself but it still rubbed me the wrong way.  Thankfully between Princess Bear (PB) loving being a babysitter and having a smart TV so I could play various versions of Star Wars Dancing with the Stars Hyperspace Hoopla.  Show my nephews anything Star Wars related they're happy kids.  Thank G-d!  The thing that is somewhat interesting is that is that my nephews were very well behaved when it was just the four of us and then my parents got back from the race and they started acting up.  Not completely bad but leaving the little angel realm.  Once my sister and brother in law got here they became little devils.  WTF???????  After we ate breakfast I was  a) ready for my sister and her family to leave and b) ready for a nap.  Stick a fork in me I was done. I'll be the first to admit that I have basically no patience when it has anything to do with my sister and I'm a horribly grumpy person when I'm tired.  It didn't bode well that Fathers day was the next day.

I do need to stop my sister rant and give my Dad props for still running this race at 68 years old! My dad is the one on the left. 

 photo 088c14d8-4dff-4cf1-8a29-ed0be59abd67.jpg

 photo 4d592fb1-fc1e-4fa0-8b85-126634353e96.jpg

My sister and I have always had one of those relationships that went from one side of the pendulum to the other side with very little time spent in the middle.  It also didn't help that growing up my parents often compared us to another.  A+ parenting it wasn't.  It most definitely had a lot of influence the way my sister and I deal with each other.  In addition my sister and I are 3 1/2 years apart.  The way that our birthdays fell it meant that we were not in school at the same time once I got out of 8th grade.  I was a freshman in college when my sister was a freshman in high school.  Basically it meant that she was nothing more than an annoyance.  There's a family story that when my sister was an infant I saw the garbage man collecting garbage one day and went booking out the front door to ask them if they would take my sister.  I don't remember this but it wouldn't surprise me!  

My sister decided that her thyroid issues were just making it so she couldn't host Fathers Day (same excuse as Mothers Day).  Now this means that in my mothers mind that they have to come here because she refused to go to restaurants on holidays.  My sister knows this.  She doesn't care that it means my mom and I are then doing a meal that meets my moms standards of a holiday meal.  This also means that my moms ideas of how things need to be play into part of this.  I'm sure in our own way we're all responsible.  Part of me thinks that if we're not going out that maybe ordering dinner in is a better option except my dad wanted a home cooked meal.  OK.  Then let's make this easier and use stuff like paper plates and plastic utensils so we don't have dishes coming out the wazoo.  Nope.  So my mom and I are making a meal that includes appetizers, salad and main meal.  She leaves dessert up to my sister.  A mistake in and of itself since my sister can't bake to save her life but it gave her something to do.  Personally I'm all for playing for some one's strengths.  My sister follows a very green clean eating diet.  It would make sense for her to make the salad, right?  Nope.  We also always have to deal with my sisters time table for meals.  When the kids were very little I understood that but they're 5 and 7 now.  In our house we don't usually eat dinner until 6:30 or 7pm.  I get that wouldn't work for my nephews but I think insisting that we eat by 5 "for the kids" is a bit much.  To add to the fun they all arrived late so we didn't start the pasta until they were here because we didn't want things to get cold.  

So they finally arrive and I'm watching videos on my phone and playing with my nephew.  I figure I've been helping with the prep work and doing dishes all day.  I'm going to keep the kids under control and my sister can help finish up the meal.  There was also discussion about what gifts my youngest nephew wants for his birthday.  We'd been at Walmart earlier that day and bought a ton of stuff.  My mom refuses to give gifts to the boys without my sisters "Ok".  Me- I buy what I want for them and hopefully it's damn noisy and annoying!  I had showed my nephew a video of a Minions fart gun and he thought it was hilarious.  So there's now a fart gun in our den waiting for his birthday.  I digress, the boys, PB and I are in the living room watching videos.  My sister comes in to show me pictures of what toys she has deemed acceptable for my nephews birthday and she has a fit that the kids and I are watching  videos (apparently it wasn't a "screen day").  I start to turn off my phone but that doesn't work for my sister.  She has a fit and goes back into the kitchen.  I decide that buying into her shit isn't worth my time.  My sister then goes into the kitchen and pitches a fit to my mom.  My mom just roles her eyes and motions for me to just chill.  Ok fine.  Gotta keep the peace.  In the mean time my nephews are running completely amok.  I'll be the first to say that my youngest nephew is a bit of a handful.  It doesn't help that my oldest nephew is a very, very, very good and obedient child.  My sister and brother in law thought that's how all kids should be.  So when Luke came along and wasn't willing to conform to exactly what my sister wants things get ugly.  My sister has been at her ropes end dealing with my youngest nephew for awhile.  I'm pretty sure Luke has picked up on this.  I actually think some of his acting out is because he then gets attention from my sister instead of her being all stand offish and I can't deal with this kid anymore.  So Luke is doing things like hitting his brother in the head with a ball.  My oldest nephew doesn't help in that he's a very sensitive but perceptive child.  He's very quick to cry and knows that my sister is not dealing well.  So he comes into the kitchen screaming that Luke hit him in the head with a baseball.  My sister flies into the other room to put Luke in timeout.  What they didn't get is that the baseball Luke threw was a nerf baseball.  After about 3 rounds of putting Luke in time out and to the car for a talking to my mom tells me to take Luke and just watch videos with him one on one so he doesn't get into any trouble.  Dinner itself was a complete fiasco.  Luke kept getting out of his seat and creating havoc.  I get why he's acting out but I also get that if he doesn't stop it's just going to get ugly and probably sooner than later.  

After dinner my mom, sister, PB and I were cleaning up and doing dishes.  At one point I hear my nephew saying something about playing a guitar.  I didn't add up the pieces until later that evening.  After we cleaned up everything we all went to visit in the living room.  There was a perler board with a big project that PB had been working on for the better part of a week.  (A perler board is this board that has little nubs all over it.  You use these little plastic beads to make pictures by places the beads on the nubs and then ironing it together).  I had warned my nephews the day before not to touch it and reminding them on Fathers day as well.  After dinner I see that the entire project is ruined.  My sister says "the kids were told everything they could hurt had been put up".  Um no since I'd told them about this project they knew better.   She never said she was sorry about the fact that the boys fucked it up and that's the part that really pissed me off.  An apology wouldn't put the project back together but it would have meant something.  Somehow my parents decide it's my fault that they project had been left out.  No consideration that moving the project would have screwed it up just as much as the boys had.  It's just easier to blame me.  Then after they left I walk into the family room and see all the toys the boys have played with and not put away.  So if we're keeping score it's 1) the boys screwed up PBs project and 2) they left the house a mess.  PB cleans up everything her cousins left out and we start sorting the beads back out so we can start her project again.  Then I realize that the boys had said something about playing the guitar and I remember the guitar was in my room to keep the boys away from it.  I don't close the door to my room because the cat always hides in there when we have company but her litter box is downstairs and I don't want to cut her off from it.  The boys know that they are not supposed to go into any of the bedrooms.  That way we don't have to worry about what they can harm.  That was about the point when I really lost my shit.  Yes I love my sister.  Yes I love my nephews.  Yes there are times that I just want to not have to deal with them.  Yes I'm perfectly aware that  this post has been one huge rant.  That's why blogging is better and cheaper than therapy. 


Michaele said...

Dare I say I enjoyed this story. It is all so REAL. You are younger than I, so you are probably more tolerant and patient also, even though it may not seem like it. I tolerated my sisters for years. You get to a certain point in your life where years of tolerance is enough. I won't be in the same room with them ever again if I can possibly help it. I feel for you, still in the midst of all that drama.

Sarah said...


Thank you so much for leaving your comment! Sometimes I feel like such a bitch with things regarding my sister and then there are days like this past weekend that I wish I was an only child! I do remind myself often (oh so very often) that until my nephews are grown up it is best if I stay in somewhat of a cordial relationship with my sister. In all honesty it's the driving factor behind any relationship with her. It is what it is, right?