If you saw another post pop up this morning and you planned to read it later but it was not named 'RED ALERT' - do not be alarmed, I mean feel free to be alarmed by the red alert title, but rest assured it is not life threatening. I think 2 people saw the initial post for today before I decided to yank it for this more pressing topic:
Friday I am headed to Lake Geneva, WI for the night. It is about 1.5 hours from here. Curly competes in a dancing competition Saturday morning. Mini is planning to come to cheer her on and meet up with old dancing buds. I might drag Reg because the fancy hotel has an amazing gym and he can shoot hoops. Less bodies at home might simplify things.
The deal is Coach leaves on Friday till Sunday for a course he is teaching. In Ohio, maybe?
I am trying to figure out what to do with Tank and possibly Reg. I texted my sister, Ann, to see if she would be in town. Maybe the boys could stay one night at her house. Or would she want to hang out here till 11 pm or so until she was convinced there was no nonsense? Ann lives alone. She is divorced. She loves hosting cousin sleepovers and chilling out with her nieces and nephews in general, which I am very grateful for.
In the fall, I posted on FB a video of Curly crying when Ed came home from college and surprised her at dancing class.
Ann told a mutual friend: That was so sweet, but that is what Ernie's kids are like. They all get along so well. It's great.
I prefaced my request for teenage help with the fact that if it was just Tank, then he would most likely opt to just sleep at a buddy's house that night - so her help might not even be necessary.
BUT - the following weekend I have a bigger issue, Coach and I are once again out of town in two different places. (I know, I know - talk about two ships passing in the night. The conversation went like this: "Wait you are out of town? Oh, shit. So am I." oops).
Would she possibly be able to help us out Saturday, March 7th? That is when Coach takes a class in Oklahoma (maybe?) departing Saturday night and returning Monday. I am driving to see Ed at college for his fraternity's mom's weekend on late afternoon Friday the 6th and returning early Sunday the 8th.
I am really looking forward to the mom's weekend, in part because I am planning to carpool with another mom. Her son is one of Ed's best friends from high school. When kids make friends in high school, I find that the parents do not always meet or don't get to know one another very well.
Hello, 4 hour car drive. This is my chance to become better acquainted with her, right?
You already know my sob story about not necessarily belonging to a 'group.' I know this woman enough to know that she is fun and friendly. Her son is a great kid. We texted one another and decided to drive there on Friday, March 6th in the late afternoon. She flies out of town for business really early on Sunday morning from an airport near the college, so I will then drive home solo. We also decided to get rooms in the same hotel.
Sigh, how to describe the sister conundrum . . .
Ann texted me right back. She said she could possibly help out this Friday night. Then she reminded me that she wanted to tag along with me whenever I ended up going to see Ed. Her daughter Beast goes to the same school as Ed. Translation: instead of watching my kids March 7th, she invited herself along to the college visit.
Beast doesn't really talk to Ann. Long story, but to sum it up:
1. Ann's ex husband is a sick monster. He is a narcissist. He does whatever he can to entice the kids to spend more time with him than with Ann. Not because he likes his kids, but because he knows it riles up Ann. In a nutshell, he is very lenient with them, and he is loaded and pulls this: 'Oh mom took your car. I will buy you one. Come live with me.' Enough said?
2. Ann is INCREDIBLY controlling. She plays right into her ex's hand. (full disclosure: I COULD not handle this disaster. It is a tough situation and I do not envy her one bit. I am not heartless. I feel for her, but I also think there are other approaches or counselors or help of some sort that might need to be given a try). I like to say that Ann suffers from the Brady Bunch mentality. Everything has to be 'just so.' Case in point, Ann cannot rest if she does not see Beast's apartment each year she is away at college. It is a 'thing' with her.
Side note: I never say where Lad lived last year. Over it. Have not even asked him to drive me by it when I go out there.
Another example: If she took a photo of her oldest kid in front of a tree on their first day of kindergarten, then each kid after that needed to have said photo taken in front of same tree. Follow?
I do not really care at all if Ann shares my hotel room. She will not attend the stuff I am attending with Ed and his fraternity. She will do her own thing. I can handle her in small doses. I don't care if she drives home with me.
BUT: I cannot be myself when she is in my car. So I will not be able to be my legit self while attempting to become better acquainted with my carpool pal for almost 4 hours.
For example: I am not telling my family that I am enrolled in a writing course. They have not been really supportive of my writing efforts in the past, so I decided a while ago to clam up about my goal of writing a book. There are other topics I would steer clear from. Could I manage this for a 4 hour car ride? Yes. Do I want to? No.
Back when the kitchen was ALMOST complete (2 years ago- um and 2 years later it is status quo: UNFINISHED), I hosted a girls' night out thing at my house to share my new kitchen with my friends. Ann and I have some friends in common because we live in somewhat close proximity to one another. I invited her.
Becky, my good friend who also babysits and anxiously awaits summer as much as I do, told me something that surprised her.
Becky: Your sister did not take her eyes off of you. She could be talking in a group several groups away from where you were talking to other people, but she was more interested in what you were talking about.
Me: So true.
Remember just a few weeks ago when Ann arrived at the doc office as I was recovering from my allergic reaction? She told the mom who came to pick up her baby who was in my care at the time: 'I am the quiet sister. She never stops talking.' RUDE!
That sums it up. I try to keep my judgy family members at a safe distance, because it is just easier.
So, what would you do?
1. SURE, COME ALONG: Tell my sister she can come with me, but alert her that I am trying to get better acquainted with my other passenger. Instruct her to avoid criticizing me in general. (in this case, I still have to clam up about stuff I would normally tell someone I am building a friendship with)
2. SORRY, I AM DRIVING WITH SOMEONE, CAN YOU MEET ME THERE? This seems goofy. I have not determined though if Ann can leave work early enough to plan to drive with us, but I assume she would.
3. DOES BEAST KNOW YOU ARE COMING? It isn't my business or my problem if she plans to show-up unannounced and demand to see Beast's apartment, so doubt I would say this. I am not one to dictate how she handles the mangled relationships she has with her kids.
4. OFFER ME AN ALTERNATIVE, GIVE ME A SUGGESTION, SAVE ME! Counting on you, my blog friends. Share some wisdom. Am I missing an option I have not considered yet. The clock is ticking. I have not responded to her text.