Big Trouble Again

I wonder if I possess the strength to beat my head against my desk enough to actually give myself a concussion. Because, I could use one right about now.

We’re in trouble with my parents again. What a shock.

This is why:

For her recent birthday, Shmuppie wanted to see a Mudcats game with the whole family. So, all 6 of us went…and the rain started. The game was eventually called when local animals and fat people started lining up 2 by 2 in the outfield.

From what I understand, JewelrySlut and I were not pleased enough to see my parents. They apparently felt slighted.

Let’s see. We were standing in a damp, cold, concourse, watching Moo run amok while waiting for Shmuppie to blow a gasket because her birthday was rained out. And, we’d gone out to lunch and were full. As a result, we weren’t our usual beer-guzzling selves.

When they finally called the game, we decided NOT to go back the following day because my parents could not make it. They’d been sniping at each other all day about power washing. In fact, when they called that very morning, neither had wished Shmuppie a Happy Birthday. They had taken turns complaining to me about the other. We decided to go this coming weekend.

We also mentioned that we were making the birthday feast on Sunday. Shmuppie had requested Korean-style pork and BBQ fixins. We didn’t invite my parents because we were pretty sure they would not eat what we’d made. It is a tad on the odd side.

MISTAKE!

Time pasess…

Now it’s Mother’s Day weekend. My mother had invited Shmuppie up to MD for the weekend to watch by brother and SIL run in one of those Tough Mudder things. We reminded them both that it was Mother’s Day weekend and that, perhaps, Shmuppie should stay home. No harm, no foul…as far as we knew.

So, on Mother’s Day, the 4 of us went to brunch at a dim Sum place (yes…we are total food snobs). Since my parents were away, we never mentioned it to them. Even if they’d been home, we would not have mentioned it because they’re not quite the chicken feet and pork bun crowd. We called when we got home and left a message (confirming, to us, that they were not home). They called back at about 6:00PM and missed us because we were walking to a nearby store to get some bread (man…we just sound like awful foodies here. Then, I jumped in my Hybrid and joined the Occupy Movement). They left a message and we all moved on.

Or so we thought.

On Monday, I went to St Louis and Shmuppie started a few days of her End of Grade Exams at school. And, bedlam ensued at home.

Still…as far as we know…all is well.

Then it started.

I had posted pictured from Shmuppie’s birthday dinner, including the nifty ice cream cake JewelrySlut had made. My father mad his monthly visit to FB and commented on the cake picture. He said how much of a shame it was that, despite living only 6 miles away, they could not share such a special occasion with their beautiful granddaughter.

Ah…the passive aggressiveness of the NoGoodFamily has now come out.

In fact, a FB friend messaged me to say “Wow…you’re in trouble now”.

Now we know we’re in the shit…we just haven’t realized how deeply we were. By mid-week, my brother had posted a message saying that he was ready for his mud run.

Oh. Fuck.

My mother had the weekends wrong (shocking) and they had been home for Mother’s Day…and we had ignored them.

JewelrySlut and I could sense the cloud of bad hanging over Raleigh. So, on Monday, I had Shmuppie call her grandparents. She missed them and left a message. My mother called back and got me; Shmuppie was outside playing. I could tell that she was pissed but, in typical fashion, wasn’t saying anything. I confirmed that we were on for Saturday’s game and was told to call my father.

I emailed him (not wanting to do this over the phone) and we got a long reply this morning outlining all the bad things we’d done (as shown above). He suggested that we all get together so JewelrySlut and I could explain why we were acting the way we were and explain why we had so many problems with them.

Allow me to also mention that, recently, we switched from AT&T back to Time Warner for our internet. That’s not an important detail other than to say that we were able to reactivate our old TW email addresses. Guess whose mother has been emailing her daughter-in-law on the unmonitored email address for some time now. And who is unhappy that her daughter-in-law’s been ignoring her through email and not responding to invites for social gatherings. Yup…so we’re in trouble for something we didn’t even do or know that we didn’t do out of no fault of our own.

In essence:
They watched the girls in April while we went away: something they offered to do and strongly suggested. We have not appropriately paid them back yet
We were not happy enough to see them at the rainout
They did not come over the following night for dinner or cake
We didn’t do anything on Mother’s Day
We just suck, in general.

This is how it goes; they offer to do something and we accept. Then, we are not made aware of the strings that are attached and end up in trouble for something we didn’t know that we did or didn’t do.

They fester.

They fester some more.

We go on with life trying to maintain sanity in the face of what goes on at our house from 5-9 every night (utter chaos).

They fester some more.

Then, they start sniping.

You’d think that, at any time in the past 3-4 weeks, they could have called to ask what was wrong; why we weren’t happy enough at the game.

No…they prefer to let it build. I’ve actually been told that I’m supposed to call them when this shit happens because, as the son, it’s my responsibility. As I’ve said “I’m supposed to call you because you’re mad at me about something I don’t even know about”. Yes. That’s how the parent-child relationship works.

Maybe they could have called for Mother’s Day to see what was going on. No, that’s MY job. I’m supposed to coordinate all holiday gatherings. I didn’t even try this year because, as far as we knew, they were not at home. I didn’t think to call them earlier in the week to make sure that their schedule hadn’t changed. I’m gonna have to take a hit for that; for not checking up on their schedule.

JewelrySlut will take a hit for not taking the girls to their house the day after Mother’s Day. The kids didn’t need to say goodbye to me before I left for the airport; that was not as important as seeing my mother.

However, whenever they decide it’s time to talk, I think JewelrySlut is gonna blow. I try to keep her from these sit-downs because they just end up sucking.
But she’s had enough.
Enough with them creating these scenarios where we’re the bad guys.
Enough with letting these things stew.
Enough with the online troll attacks.
Just enough.

Whenever this powwow happens, it should be buckets of fun. We can either just accept the blame for everything and roll over…which will give us 4 months until the cycle starts again or maybe everyone can agree not to do this anymore.

I doubt that will happen. We’ll just start the cycle again. The only problem is that, with every cycle, my scar tissue builds. I’m tired of this and really have next to no patience for it anymore. I wonder how badly I need to have my parents involved in our lives. With more of these episodes, I’m going to wonder if I need them at all.

2011 can eat a bag of dicks

January: We started the shitstorm of 2011 poorly. I weighed in at 190 and immediately became sickened with myself. My mother had her back surgery. Since I spent the day before and day of said surgery in the bathroom puking up my guts, I didn’t call her. After she got home, I was “sent for”. She lectured me about not calling her “What if I had died?” I told her we both knew she wasn’t going to die and if I hadn’t called then I’d have to live with it (whatever that meant), not her; she’d be dead. I then went on the assault. We didn’t speak again for months. Work sucked. It was cold. I started running

February: JewelrySlut turned 40 and I managed to make a nice mid-week dinner for her. Our planned trip to Asheville was scuttled because of my mother’s back, Shmuppie’ s inability to stay at their house without freaking out and my mother and I and the whole not speaking thing. I’m sure Moo did something cute. Work sucked even more. My feet hurt. I needed new sneakers and some $400 inserts. My feet still hurt. I got under 180.

March: Shmuppie was tracked out for 3 weeks. Grr…having her at home for all that time was evil. On a positive note, we took a vacation at the end of the month. We went to WEI and promptly walked into horrid weather. The Wii saved us from certain insanity. We won’t complain about a week off from life, but it could have been better. My feet hurt. I kept running. I got into the low 170s. On a positive note, UConn went on its run through postseason basketball. From a fan’s perspective, it was a joy to behold.

April: Pollen, tornadoes and more suck from work. It really was a horrible year at work. My main account was just terrible; both the clients and my coworkers. I worked way too much in 2011 and am hoping to not be so stressed out from work in 2012. I kept running. I didn’t like it but it was getting somewhat easier. I was up to about 2.5 miles at a time. I stayed in the low 170s.

May: Shmuppie turned 9. I don’t remember anything else happening other than that I’m sure I hated work. I ran some more. IN convinced someone else to run. She became angry with me. She was down nearly 20lbs by now too. I was in the high 160s.

June: It was hot. We had swimming. Swimming sucked. Shmuppie did not take it seriously and lollygagged through the summer. She also tracked out for 5 weeks. My mother took her on another cruise. My parents and I were barely speaking. I was fine with it. Work was awful. Running became infinitely less fun as the temperatures went up. Life was madness. Swimming 2X per week and Saturday meets. It was all a blur of trips to the Y and working on my blackberry late into the night.

July: We went to FLA for July 4th. JewelrySlut’s father was moved to a hospice facility for a “respite”. He was to stay there for a month. S was at home, mostly trying to regain her sanity and life. She’d been caring for him 24/7 for 2 years and it had taken its toll on her. We had a nice visit, ate shrimp, set off fireworks and drive home in storms. Work, as expected, was beyond bad.

August: Happy Birthday to me. I celebrated by running 3 miles. I was in the mid 160′s, having lost 25lbs and had managed to keep it off. JewelrySlut was also running and was cursing me with every step. Work was…you know.

September: Shmuppie tracked out again and we went back to EI. MerlotMan, ChurchBomber, and us all decided that we needed a good trip down there after March’s misadventures. We got it. The weather was wonderful and we had a great time in our oceanfront house. We played in the sand, ate well, and had a wonderful time. Moo really enjoyed the beach. By now, she was more than a handful. She’s developed quite the personality. Watching her play in the sand or stand in the waves with her mother was among the highlights of the year for me. Work… I went to Cleveland for a few days. I hit 162.

October: I got back from vacation and walked into a tsunami wrapped in a tornado, glazed with a forest fire. I spent the first week back waiting to get fired. My team had fallen apart in my absence and everything went to shit. I realized that there was nothing I could do to save things. I was going to have to accept that I was considered a failure and take my beatings that continue to come on a daily basis. I rode the worst of it for 2 weeks.

Then, one fine Wednesday, JewelrySlut walked into my office with red eyes. “Dad’s dying”. FUCK! We had her and Moo no a plane the following morning. We hoped that they could race Death to Florida. They made it in time. Did they ever. By Saturday, he was still alive and I had gone insane. I jumped on a plane, sending Shmuppie to my parents’ house. In typical NoGoodFamily fashion, we put the shit behind us and rallied. They took Shmuppie for a few days. I got to FLA for long enough to realize that my father in law didn’t plan on dying on our schedule. He was waiting until he was ready. I put us all on a plane and brought us home. We needed to restore some sanity.

The running continued.

November: My father in law passed away early in the month. This time, JewelrySlut, Shmuppie and I all went down to FLA for the services. My brother in law and his fat derelict family showed up. We spent 4 days not talking to one another. A year of calls from their debt collectors had soured us all on each other. The services were what they were. My mother-in-law’s family and kids all came down to FLA and it was good to spend time with our new family. Some people don’t get our decision to keep her in our lives; she is, after all, just a step-mother. We don’t see it that way and are happy our kids have another grandmother…a bonus grandmother.

I went to Lima OH for work.

There was a rash of un-friending on Facebook. Apparently, I’m a tad too much of an asshole for some.

We ran a 5K. JewelrySlut won her age group. We ran WAY too fast.

Thanksgiving was its usual bout of wine-induced fun.

December: Work started sucking a little less. Shmuppie tracked out again but spent a week at my parent’s house. The 3 of us sat around the house and relaxed. We went back to FLA for Christmas. IT was a good trip; filled with the usual insanity, but done while in shorts.

I guess we’re back to normal with my family. We talk now and think we’ve reached another level of d‚tente. It is what it is with us. We’ll never be normal or storybook-looking. Too many bridges have been blown up to ever have that. I gained a few pounds at the end of the year and finished 2011 at 168. I also finished it with a 3.5 mile jog with JewelrySlut. I don’t know who these 2 skinny runners are who live in my house, but I think we like them.

2012:
I need to lose 5lbs.
We will run another race or 2.
JewelrySlut and I are taking a vacation in the spring; just us. We need it and my parents are pushing us to do it.
It’s supposed to be a St. John year, but I don’t see it happening. It’s too much money and hassle. I prefer EI and its simplicity.
Shmuppie turns 10. Good lord.
Moo will turn 3.

I hope 2012 is better than 2011. 2011 goes down in the books as a very bad year around here. The only thing I can say about it is that we got fit. That’s good, but not good enough.

Sometimes you’re the bug.

Sometimes you’re the bug’s asshole.

For months now, my mother’s been complaining of back and ass pain. She was convinced it was a muscle pull in her ass. The rest of us were convinced it was her back. Of course, she did not seek medical attention for this.

You see, my parents have some sort of fucked up frontier mentality when it comes to seeking medical help. They’ll more or less let themselves get to the point of collapse or loss of limb before they go see a doctor. My brother and I, on the other hand, go see doctors when we’re sick. As a result, we’ve been labeled as weak and this is brought up as yet another reason why we had daughters; I’m not man enough to raise sons.

At times like this, JewelrySlut likes to remind me that nothing about my family or my upbringing was normal or healthy. I used to laugh comments like that off, but I now realize how right she was. My family is a mess.

Back to my mother’s ass:

So, by last week, it was so bad that she couldn’t walk. She was in serious pain. In addition, she had a lovely stomach virus that’s tearing through the collective asshole of The Triangle.

By Wednesday, my father got her an appointment with an orthopedist. Said doctor would review the MRI taken on CHRISTMAS EVE!

Yup…seriously fucked up disk. Surgery time!

So, on Friday evening, my mother had back surgery and wouldn’t you know it, but her ass and legs and back feel better.

So, the good news is that my mother’s going to be able to be more or less pain free now.

Here’s the bad news and how it impacts us.

We’re fucked and I’m pissed about it.

**Momentary background**
JewelrySlut and I are tired. We’d like just a few days, or even a few hours, away from the kids. As she says “For a little while, I’d like to be someone other than Mommy”. We haven’t had any time to ourselves in nearly 6 years. I know that this is a part of parenthood, but everyone gets a little time, don’t they?

Shmuppie was home for 5 weeks and was cranky for 4 1/2 of them.
Moo got sick right after Christmas.
We had last week’s puke parade.
I was sick on Thursday and Friday with the stomach flu.
Last night, Shmuppie broke out in hives and swelled up like a balloon. The por kid is missing her 3rd day of school in 2011 today.
It’s supposed to ice tonight. This will cause another 3 weeks of school cancellations.
The whole “father in law’s health is deteriorating” thing is really kicking into gear. It’s not “if” he’ll move to a facility at this point; it’s “when”.
JewelrySlut is turning 40.

The last one isn’t a bad thing, but it’s an event. Her birthday trip started out some time ago as a week in Aruba. Then, we had Moo. Then, it became a long weekend up in NJ with ChurchBomber and MerlotMan. Well, we killed that 2 weeks or so ago because we could see all the shit that was heading towards our fan.

We’d decided to go to Asheville for a weekend, stay in a nice hotel, and just chill.

Well…now that’s not happening.

Now, am I mad because my mother had surgery and can’t lift Moo? No…that’s not it. I’m happy she had the surgery and will be getting better. Am I FUCKING FURIOUS that, a few days after we would have gone away, she’ll be well enough to get on a plane for 2 weeks in Maui?

You bethca.

We need to save our strength and heal up for our vacation. I’m not sure how one can be well enough to sit on a plane for the better part of a day and not be well enough to care for a grandchild, but that’s the case.

So, JewelrySlut and I will be home…yet again. Yes, we’re acting selfish, but dammit, we want a weekend away from the mess. We’ll try again in late February, but I’m sure that will also fall to shit when one of my parents’ dogs gets a hangnail and needs full time nursing care or some bullshit.

PS: Before I posted this, JewelrySlut and I had this very discussion. It’s not that we’re pissy that she had surgery…it’s quite the opposite. We’re pissy that every effort will be made to ensure that she can go to Hawaii (Even if, as JewelrySlut said, she needs to be administered epidurals on the tarmac at RDU and upon arrival in Maui) because, in the end, that’s what’s important.

Go away if you’re squeamish

Obviously, life changes when you’re a parent. Uh-doy.

But, let’s talk about sleep. You start off, after the baby is born, sleeping whenever you can. Once the baby starts sleeping, you wake up every time he/she sneezes, moves, coughs, farts, etc. These noises, of course, are all signs that your baby is deathly ill and will cause you to not sleep as a result.

Then they move down the hall. Now, you don’t hear every cough and fart, but most of them. No matter how deeply asleep you are; you hear it.

CREAK!

Shmuppie’s door opened. The 3 bedroom doors upstairs all stick somewhat, so JewelrySlut and I have excellent early warning detectors. We heard a creak and I shot awake.

You know when you wake up sometimes from what’s obviously been a deep sleep and you have to really stare at the clock to decipher the rune-like symbols on it? Yea…that was this morning.

My brain churned for a few seconds and came up with 1:48 as the answer. Awesome…

Despite her ninja skills, I can usually hear her if she’s making her way to our door. I didn’t hear said sounds so I drifted back to sleep.

“OOMPH”

JewelrySlut and I are now sitting up in bed. I stumbled out of bed and went out into the hallway. The bathroom door was open and the light was on.

“Shmuppie? Are you O…?”

There was a lake of vomit on the floor outside the bathroom.

So…we had a problem on our hands. I went back to our room and more or less stood in one place while my brain tried to wake up. I suspect it looked a lot like me when I’m trying to start the leaf blower.

“Set the lever halfway between the rabbit and the turtle…remind self to look up what ‘choke’ means on Wikipedia some day, pump the little thing…pull the string 47,000 times”

That was my brain. I knew we had a situation in the hallway that needed cleaning, but I lacked the mental capacity to determine how. I knew I needed rags but my brain could not process where to get them. YES! The linen closet! They’re in a bag on the floor! “Way to go, Brain!”

JewelrySlut was now up and had thrown on some clothes. I was still in my drawers. She hurdled the lake and went into the bathroom where Shmuppie was standing in her pajama top. Only her top. I started scooping up puke while JewelrySlut cleaned Shmuppie up and assessed the bathroom. It was not good. The child had somehow managed to puke her way from the hallway to the bathroom, hitting everything in sight EXCEPT the toilet or garbage can.

We sent Shmuppie back to her room to get new PJ’s as we tackled the mess. I was so happy that I had made those green beans with the nice bright orange sauce made from those cute little orange cherry tomatoes.

(To self)
“Well…this isn’t too bad. At least it doesn’t…”

(Out loud)
“Oh God…there’s the smell”

YAY! It’s 2:00AM and the upstairs now smells like industrial waste. We scooped up the chunks off the rug, cleaned the walls, doors, baseboards, ceiling, vanity, bathtub, car, etc. JewelrySlut went outside to throw away the puke rags. I put a towel over the mess and gathered stuff from the bathroom.

(Back story)
On December 31, Shmuppie was excited because I could no longer call her “Pee Pants”. I had told her in January of 2010 when she wet her bed that as long as she kept that up, I could call her “Pee Pants” for the rest of the year. December 31 meant that the statute of limitations was up…until she peed herself again.
(End story)

I gathered up the bathmats and her Pajamas from the bathtub (where JewelrySlut had tossed them).
(Entering Shmuppie’s room)
“You shit your pants, didn’t you?”
Yes…we are not candidates for Parent of the Year by any means.
“Yes”
“HA! I win!”
I got a weak smile from that comment…she knew what was coming as a result…another year of abuse from me.

JewelrySlut took the underpants outside and I started the laundry. There’s nothing as refreshing as starting the laundry at 2:00AM.

We all went back upstairs and back to bed. Needless to say, Shmuppie is home from school today.

We have a few issues here.
1: She’s on a strong antibiotic for strep throat
2: The ladies spent Sunday at my parents’ house, babysitting my mother who had pulled her ass…AND…had a stomach virus.
3: Shmuppie never seems to have a good ability to sense what’s coming. I can’t tell you how many near-accidents there are in this house because she forgets to go to the bathroom until the train is leaving the station. Last night was a perfect example. She waited too long and ended up missing the target…from either end.

I’m going to go upstairs now and fire up the carpet cleaner. Wish me luck.

Hi…miss me?

When I went upstairs, Moo was sitting at the table, happily munching on a pancake…in different pajamas?

“Yea…when I went upstairs to wake your daughter, I found her covered in vomit”

Oh shit…it’s gonna be like that, isn’t it?

Hmmm…at current time, the dopes down the road are sending us emails to tell us that they’ll never read emails from us ever again and that we should never email them ever again…and again.

Annual Homeowner’s meeting tonight. I plan to hand out lists for people that show things that are guaranteed to be said at the meeting. Mostly, they’re things BigSexyGlenn will say. It should be fun.

I helped at school today. The kids are evil and the gym teacher is a saint.

I have nothing else to say for now. I’ll just sit here and bounce on my big ball.