Monday, January 19, 2009


Whenever my father makes an appearance, I go a little nutso-bonko. My father and I don't generally get along. More accurately, we often find we have nothing to say to each other. Growing up, nothing was ever good enough. There was always something you could do better. Something more you could have done. Something that should have been done differently. And stranger still, he really couldn't have cared less about it, just that it should have been better.

I have tales I could tell that made even my therapist look at me funny and question my recollection, because it was just incredible. Truth really can be stranger than fiction.

Even when a "visit" is going fairly successfully, I get left with this vibration of "you should have done this. You could have done that." Oh, and "the house is a mess." Such strangeness comes out more when things go wrong. For example, this round, Joey apparently swallowed too much pool water Sunday morning at swimming, and the result was waxing on my father. Score: Joey, one. Father, zero.

JoeyAndyDad bravely and diligently got Joey to the bathroom, and I tried to hail the waitress for a mop. The other customers in the restaurant quietly and tactfully packed up, paid their bills, and skedaddled while I waited for a mop or towels or something to appear to help clean the mess. Finally, I was informed that she couldn't get a mop, because the mop was in the men's room.

So I fetched it. Joey was still sick. Hot water was slowly fetched- then the mop placed in my hands. Huh? But the smell was getting to me, I had to get it cleaned up. Where were my children? My father? My husband? Apparently the husband was being bundled up with the sick child to take home. Car seats needed to be moved. Waxxing still needed to be cleaned. The other child was hungry. There was pizza in there somewhere, and the salad I had been eating disappeared. When the dust settled, JoeyAndyDad had taken Joey home to rest, and I was caught at the mercy of my father with Andy and my father's wife at a pizza place that would really rather we just leave.

Right. As we finally packed up and went to pay for the pizza, it was just my father and I at the register, waiting to pay for the pizza.

And now I will toss in another tidbit. Remember that brother I haven't seen or heard from in ten years? Apparently he made an appearance at the family Christmas gathering we didn't go to because driving to Pennsylvania with two small children, especially small children who may get carsick, for a two-hour upheaval in a new place, is just not a great idea. I learned this because last weekend, my cousin's husband showed up with the Cousins, and we were driving to the pizza place (yes, the same one- I got in the car with him so he wouldn't get lost), and he thought I knew, so started talking about it. He thought I knew because my aunt and uncle have already been by since the event. I think they didn't mention it because they probably thought my dad should be the one to tell me, which is perfectly reasonable in this kind of situation.

So we stand at the register, just us. Perfect moment to start a conversation about something. Anything. Would he tell me? Would he have something else to say, like "the boys look good" or "you seem to be doing a great job" or even "gee, the weather sure is nice."

We stood there in silence. Was it my place to say something? Should I have just gone ahead and put something out there? But that isn't how we work. Um, well, I guess we don't work. Silence reigned. The entire visit finally passed without one mention of my brother. I did hear a lot about their trip to South Dakota, though. Oh, and I heard about my porch needing repairs. He'll come help if I hire a few other people to help.

Skip to today, and lingering insanity. I made pot roast for dinner today. I managed to get it together enough to get the potatoes cut, the carrots in, the meat in, and turn the crockpot on. Hey, that's a big deal around here. The boys got a new toy from my father, a Mickey Motor Speedway. I don't recommend it. It would be a fabulous toy if it stayed put together. But it doesn't. I might get the glue out tonight. The boys have been playing with it. Then it falls apart, and there is much screaming until I can get it back together. Joey decided he wanted the other car. That was a mess, involving deliberate pulling apart of the toy. Really, I can't much complain, but it was enough to be on my nerves with my nerves not so great to begin with.

Poor JoeyAndyDad came home tired. Not hungry. Must have packed enough food for him today when I packed his lunch bag last night.

Six o'clock arrived. I wandered into the kitchen, took up the lid on the pot roast and looked at it. The edges were too dark. It looked dry. I must have forgotten to put in the bouillon. Why did I make it, anyway? No one is going to eat it. The boys don't like pot roast. It will sit upon their plates. Joey will poke at it, and might eat it if he's really, really hungry; more likely, he will just say he's full and push it away, then ask for a peanut butter sandwich. Andy won't be so subtle. "EWWWW!" is his favorite dinnertime word, followed by, "I don't eat that! It's yucky!" JoeyAndyDad already said he probably didn't want any.

Why did I even make it? Was it for me?

I slopped the roast into a casserole and stuck it in the fridge, and fixed the boys food they would eat- sliced raw green pepper, a PBJ for Joey, some rolled lunchmeat for Andy, some grapes, and a cheese stick each. Andy even ate a couple slices of the pepper.

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