Saturday, August 26, 2006

Vacation part 3...

Tuesday we decided to start out with a supplemental shopping trip, so my in-laws met us at the cabin around 10:00 & we went back to the “big” market for more cheese, yoghurt, & bottled water. When we got back to the trailer we discovered that my mother-in-law had invited someone from the club to lunch, & so lunch preparations began in earnest... sort of. The trailer’s kitchen is barely big enough for 2 people, so only C’s parents were involved in the prep. B was getting antsy, so C started a parcheesi game with him. While my father-n-law was madly preparing lunch food my mother-in-law decided that the flowers needed fresh water. They started sniping at each other while doing various things & then my mother-in-law decided that C should take the flowers out to the picnic table & that B should retrieve the lawn chairs from underneath the trailer...! B is not only terrified of spiders & webs, but hadn’t the first clue of where to look for the chairs under the trailer, so C just said he’d get them, much to her apparent dissatisfaction. I chatted with B & kept knitting to keep my mind off the chaos. B was grumbling that there was a strange person invited to lunch, so I assured him that he didn’t have to join us outside for lunch. C seconded this, because B was getting the upset look on his face that heralds a meltdown, & this seemed to calm him. By this time it was 12:30 & B was really hungry, so we let him start eating. Fortunately, we had allowed him to get a “lunchables” (meatess, of course :) at the grocery store (something he’s never had, & would never be allowed for lunches at home, but we thought it would be ok to try for vacation), so he opened it & started in. My mother-in-law said something about him eating, but we told her that he was hungry... The friend arrived then & the adults sat on lawn chairs & chatted with snacks (they opened a bottle of wine, too, but C & I abstained, since we didn’t want to fall asleep in the afternoon) for a bit before eating lunch, so I was soooo glad we’d let B eat earlier. He sat in the trailer & read his Jedi book for a while, then he & C finished their parcheesi game while we finished up with lunch. The friend turned out to be a retired kindergarten teacher, so it was interesting to talk to her about how special needs kids were integrated into the school she had worked in. She was very interested in B’s school & how they & our school district handle special ed. I really enjoyed talking to her.

The wind was blowing nicely for a sail, so the friend joined C, B, & granddad for a sail. C’s mom took a nap & I went back to the cabin & watched a couple of episodes of Inuyasha which I had brought as a treat for myself :) C had requested that I bring an afternoon snack back with me, so I met them at 4:00 on the beach with juice & chocolate-chip cookies that B & I had made at home before we left. They had had a nice sail & B had even taken the tiller for a bit. Now they were back sailing the little boat off the beach (my father-in-law had attached kite string to the boat so they could “fly” it outside the swimming area). My mother-in-law joined us for a while, then we went back to get dinner ready. C had been drying wood in the sun all day & he & B built a very nice fire for afrer dinner. We got “eating & drinking time” set up & B & C did some more whittling, making a beautiful, smooth stick that B decided was not to be used for marshmallows but would be preserved. He was using it as part wand/part fencing foil & having a great time making swishing noises with it :) My in-laws arrived & we finally got dinner going. My mother-in-law had mentioned once before that C was drinking wine by the time he was B’s age, & we explained that B is allowed the occasional sip, but that he is on medications that make it unwise for him to have any more than that. Unfortunately, this did not register because she went and offered B some gin as I was getting dinner on the table. C, his dad, & I all yelled simultaneously, to the effect that this was not appropriate & she subsided sullenly. I was pretty upset, since I felt that this was not only disregarding our wishes but B’s health. Drinking has always been very inportant to C’s parents, & even allowing for the cultural contexts of their age & economic status, it has always felt to me that they are too fond of their alcohol. C, perhaps intuiting this, had made a rule for himself in med school that he would drink no more than every-other day, since he thought it would be too easy to come home every day from a hard day at the hospital & pop open a beer. I’ve never been much of a drinker & haven’t touched “hard” liquour since B was born, mostly because I don’t tolerate it well & don’t enjoy being drunk. I think that somehow I became associated with C’s rule about alcohol, although we didn’t even start going out until he’d been in med school for a year, & so it’s been seen as my “fault” that C doesn’t share his parents’ value for liquour. It’s a constant undercurrent, though, & I feel like C’s mother’s disregard of our feelings about B & alcohol are part of this whole, unspoken issue. Big sigh. I think that the main problem was that wine was served with lunch & by the time dinner rolled around, gin had been added to the mix, so my mother-in-law in particular was not behaving her best- sniping at my father-in-law & unpleasantly muddled. We managed to get through dinner, although it wasn’t as good-humoured as the others that week, but B didn’t really seem to notice any of the unpleasant behaviour. He was really focused on the camp fire after dinner, & he was not disappointed either. Granddad taught him how to light a wooden match & B himself lit the campfire. He was delighted :) We toasted more marshmallows & ate more s’mores & the fire was so much better with the lovely wood C had set out in the sun.


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