Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Our Thanksgiving trip was wonderful. Peanut had so much fun seeing his grandparents and playing with his cousins. The drive up was great. We didn’t leave the house until about 8:30 pm, thanks to Hubby having another late nigh, but the drive was fine. Bean was out for the night after a quick stop for a bottle. We could have gone longer if Peanut hadn’t started fussing. Once he’s done for the night, he wants to sleep in a bed, not the carseat. We stopped at around 12:30 at a beautiful new Holid@y Inn. Jackpot! We didn’t get on the road until about 10 the next morning, but made it uneventfully to Hubby’s parents’ around 4pm.

We stayed the whole time at Hubby’s mom’s in her beautiful, newly renovated upstairs. Our younger niece is moving in with her two small kids, so her husband helped finish the upstairs before his deployment to Afghanistan. The house has really come along over the years. Peanut loved the setup and gleefully slept in the toddler bed each night. We purchased him a nice set of flannel jammies before the trip and they happened to match the sheets on his bed – bliss!

The weather was cool, crisp, and mostly sunny. We spent enjoyable time with family and ate lots of delicious food. Bean was introduced to bananas, which he heartily ate. He has really gotten the hang of eating off a spoon. Both boys were loved and cuddled by various grandparents, aunts, and cousins.

We came back with a bunch of clothes for both kids and several really cool birthday presents for Peanut. One toy was the catalyst for a bit of fighting between Peanut and a cousin. The toy had to disappear when Cousin was around to avoid a pre-school smackdown.

As always, Hubby and I wished we could stay. We still would love to move back to the area, but know we can’t do it now. Our debt it too high and the pay there is too low. We did look at a house that would be almost perfect. It was an adorable older home with much charm and a separate little 1-bedrdoom efficiency apartment that would be perfect for mom. But we have no jobs there and would have to sell our house before committing to anything else. And we’d have to have the debt paid off, debt that will take us at least another 3 years at the rate we’re going.

Peanut was one sad little boy when it was time to leave. He told us he wasn’t leaving, that he wanted to stay at Nanny’s.

There has been some family drama, of course. Youngest sister, who managed to get out of a DUI after last year’s hit-and-run, wasn’t so lucky recently. She claimed she learned her lesson last time, but apparently didn’t. I pray she doesn’t kill herself or someone else with the drunk driving. According to Hubby’s parents, she’s doing better now and can keep the drinking down to just one or two beers. Is there really “just one or two beers” for an alcoholic?

Oldest sister also got a DUI and was charged with possession of a controlled substance. She apparently had another family member’s bottle of pills, but claims she has a prescription for the same medication. She’s an RN and may face losing her license. Rumor is that she can drink Youngest sister under the table – no small feat.

Our nephew, who is only 6 months younger than Peanut, seems to be headed down a bad path. (He’s oldest sister’s grandson, the son of her older daughter. She was married to the asshole abusive military guy and is now living with a new asshole. And they have an infant.) I don’t think Nephew has gotten a whole lot of love from either parent and is on the way to becoming troubled. When Hubby put him in time-out for fighting with Peanut, he told Hubby he was going to “chop off your head with a saw”. Not the kind of speak you expect from a 3-year old. Niece (his mom) is notorious for ignoring him/dumping him off on other family members and now with the new baby, he gets even less attention. As usual, Hubby’s mom is the one taking care of him. It’s no surprise – Oldest sister and her alcoholic husband weren’t much of parents her, so I doubt she got the nurturing she needed. Hubby’s mom practically raised our nieces, too. But it’s still a sad situation. And I don’t understand why she had another child when she hardly seems to want the one she already had.

The trip back was a nightmare. We left around 7 Saturday night and drove until 11 or so. The kids both zonked out and did really well. We got going at around 9 am on Sunday and had heavy traffic and multiple wrecks to contend with. We expected to be home by 4 but didn’t make it until 7. We managed to get off the interstate about 40 miles sooner than usual and were able to take a back way home, otherwise we probably would have had another 1-2 hours of s-l-o-w driving. We found a fast food joint with an indoor playground that was our saving grace. We stopped for about an hour so Peanut could burn off some steam and Bean could get out of the carseat he was so unhappy with. Peanut did wonderfully, but Bean was so done with being strapped down and was vocal about the whole thing. Even on Monday he wanted nothing to do with his swing or highchair or anything that remotely resembled a carseat!


The Vanderwagens said...

Hi there. I just found your blog. My mom is also bipolar. I have a four month old and am trying to find some confidence in my mothering ability despite the lack of mothering that I received. How have you done this? If you have time I would love some advice. I have a beautiful baby girl and I feel like I am enjoying her less than I could be because I am so afraid of screwing up. Sarah

selzach said...

Hi Sarah, welcome to the blog! I'll try to drop you an email in the next few days, but I'm not sure I can answer your question. My mom was actually a good parent when I was a kid and young adult.

My quick suggestions would be to talk to other moms or a therapist. NAMI has great support groups for family members of the mentally ill. They might be able to point you in the right direction.

I really wish there was something like Al-Anon for children of mentally ill parents. We need it.

selzach said...

Hi Sarah. I didn't check your profile before assuming you had an email addy listed. Feel free to email me selzach(at)yahoo(dot)com or leave more comments.

I worry about my mothering ability, too. I had a very difficult time after Peanut was born and am pretty sure I suffered post-partum depression. Constantly worrying about a preemie, dealing with Mom, and worrying I'd end up with post-partum psychosis (like her) was not a good combination.

Is the 4 month old your first? With my first, I found the first 6 months were really, really hard, the second 6 months were hard, and at about a year things got a lot better. The baby was almost sleeping through the night by then which made a huge difference.