Today I am thankful for my husband and my two beautiful boys! I am also thankful for being able to have a nice, quiet (well, as quiet as it can be with my two boys) Thanksgiving at home.
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Yes, we decided to do what was best for Noah and stay home.
Yes, it created much grief and confusion with my mother in law. To the point Rich and I were wondering if we shouldn't just go and let the boys go crazy just to make a point.
Of course trying to make a point like that tends to backfire on the pointer (us), and never quite get the intended message across to the pointee (in this case the BIL and SIL).
Rich and I finally sat down and talked about how to handle this. It was a good conversation and we are definitely both on the same page.
I even offered to be the one to make the phone call and explain to the BIL and SIL. I figured it was ultimately better for me to take the crap if they offered it. And I'd rather they have issues with me than issues with Rich.
So I called, and
got their answering machine. I left a very pleasant message thanking them for their invitation and explaining that right now it was better for us to stay home. I told them we would miss seeing everyone, but would see them all very soon, and hoped that they had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
An hour or so later the BIL called and was very insistent that we come. He was quite pleasant about it, but was not taking no for an answer. He said they had already set the table and they had gifts for the boys. I explained more about what was going on with Noah and why we felt it was best for us to stay home. He kept insisting. I finally left it that we'd let him know if we changed our mind.
And that night the calls from Rich's mom started. She has Alzheimer's and it has progressed to the point that things stick in her mind and once she starts dwelling on it she can't let it go. Nor can you have a reasonable conversation with her about it. It's pretty much there until she finds something else to dwell on.
Apparently my SIL had called her to tell her about all of this. And that really pisses me off! The only reason she would involve my mother in law is to cause problems for us. They are quite aware of her mental status, and in fact complain often about how she calls them over and over to talk about the same thing.
I spent thirty minutes trying to get it through to her why we weren't going. All she kept doing was repeating that BIL had bought toys for the boys. I was completely unable to get through to her why we made this decision.
The next day there were five answering machine messages from her in a two hour period of time wanting to know why we weren't going to be at dinner and what was going on with her family. In most of them she was crying. Unfortunately
or perhaps fortunately?
she was calling during the day when we weren't home.
The next evening she started calling again. Rich spent over an hour on the phone with her, saying the same things over and over again. She told him 14 times (he counted!) that BIL had toys for the boys and that we were keeping them away from him.* It was so sad, and so frustrating. And I'm still so mad
that the BIL and SIL would involve her in this way.
There was no communication between Rich and his brother between my call to them Sunday and Tuesday evening when Rich had this long conversation with his mother. After that call he called his brother and they talked.
I was so proud of Rich. He was very firm in our decision and explanation, but he wasn't rude, and he didn't bring up any of the BIL's rudeness or the things they have said about Noah (most of which they think we don't know about). Rich felt much better after the call and thinks everything is straightened out.
I'm not as confident knowing how crazy and manipulative the SIL is, but I'm glad Rich thinks so.
Why do I think this? Because the SIL told her son that the BIL had called us and "gently" asked us to bring toys for Noah to occupy him, but we decided not to go because we are embarrassed by Noah. WTF?
Once again, please let me express just how thankful I am for having a quiet Thanksgiving at home with just the four of us!
*The "interesting" part of all of this is just why do they care so much all of a sudden? Their actions in the past couple months (lying to us about not having Rosh Hashanah dinner, the things they have said to other people that get back to us, his email) have made it pretty clear they don't want us there. And this "keeping them away from the boys" bit is hysterical, considering their complete lack of interest in seeing Kiel since he was born. It's a head shaker folks.