Well I've calmed down enough over the last two days or so that I figured it was safe to update you about the brother-in-law/sister-in-law situation (BIL/SIL).
The BIL called Rich yesterday to update him on a health issue the SIL had. So after the update Rich told his brother how hurt we were by his email and that we didn't think we were going to go there for Thanksgiving.
Apparently the BIL apologized and said we are family and he wants us there, but he just wants us to make sure that we occupy Noah and don't let him run around. And that we make sure we are supervising him. And then he told Rich that the last time we were there Noah hit their grandson, J.
So I've had time to think and process this, and talk about it with my therapist, and here is where I am at.
The facts are:
The BIL and SIL aren't bad people.
I don't blame them for being protective of their grandson, or for not enjoying Noah's outbursts or all his energy.
Noah has been aggressive towards J in the past. Unfortunately for J, who is the sweetest four year old I know, he and Noah are the only kids at these events and J does get the brunt of Noah's outbursts.
J's parents are the most understanding, gracious people I know. They have always been supportive of us and I have never once sensed they are upset with Noah or us, despite the fact that it would be completely understandable if they were.
Rich and I always take things for Noah to play with, but Noah, being a kid, would rather play with the things that the BIL and SIL have out for J.
These types of family gatherings are pretty much a recipe for disaster for Noah. Lots of people, a small space, making him wait to eat, an expectation that he will sit and wait quietly, and a constant undercurrent of disapproval. Not to mention he senses my anxiety and worry that he is going to do something.
So what am I going to do about it?
Hell if I know! Right now I still don't want to go there for dinner and have told Rich this.
I'm really not sure putting Noah in a situation that we know is likely to end badly for him is fair to him. Even if the BIL and SIL's feelings are understandable it still doesn't mean I want Noah to be subjected to them.
I spent some time considering if I was just giving in to Noah's behavior and excusing something that I shouldn't. And not taking an opportunity to try and teach him appropriate behavior. But, and this is something I'll be writing about soon, I just haven't had the time this week, we saw a new pediatric psychiatrist last week and for the first time I feel like we have a doctor that is looking at the entire picture and his thoughts of where to go next make sense! In a nutshell, he said that until we get what is going on in Noah's brain settled down we won't be very successful tackling his behaviors. What is going on with Noah is pretty much 50% brain chemistry and 50% true behavior. We do need to continue to make changes in how we parent and teaching him how to properly behave, but before that is going to be successful we need to get a handle on his wacky wiring.
So right now I'm trying to figure out if my reason for not going is a rationally based decision not to put Noah in a situation that isn't positive for him, or if its still my being pissed off and not wanting to deal with the inlaws.
I'll keep you posted.