Baby steps can be teeny and seem insignificant but they can turn into so very much more if you get enough of them. by the way for those waiting for the news.....blood test was neg, Nichole is NOT preggers. YEA!!! Now on to the topic at hand. Nichole asked husband if we wanted to go eat with her and boyfriend yesterday evening. The past few times I've begged off, either I had something I had to do (study) or I just didn't want to listen to boyfriend goading her. So I accepted. Can't beg off too often or boyfriend might be able to use it to manipulate. We set a time to meet at the restaurant. Now what normally happens when we accept (can be either with easy child or sister in law too, not just us) is that right at the last second boyfriend will throw a major tantrum and start a huge fight. This always winds up with Nichole backing out of the plans. Which of course frustrates us no end. boyfriend manipulation in hopes we'll get fed up and just stop inviting her places or arranging to go places with her. It would probably work, but we've got him figured out. He just doesn't know it. husband and I happened to be talking about that while waiting on them to show up at the restaurant. Time to meet came and went and no Nichole. I gave her some extra mins and then called her. I'd worked clinicals yesterday, ran my fanny off, and was starving. I was in no mood to put off my dinner for one of boyfriend's mantrums. Surpise, they were in the middle of a huge blowout with boyfriend acting like a class A jerk. I told Nichole to get the baby and just come on and eat. If boyfriend wanted to be a major jerk (insert a few other colorful words here) he could stay home and manage to do that all by himself. She said to give her some time and she'd be there. At this point I no longer expected her to show up. She never does. boyfriend will keep it going until she finally just doesn't come to whatever event it happens to be. But we gave her some more mins anyway as she is good about calling me and letting me know one way or another. Several mins later she arrives. (yes my mouth was hanging open) I was surprised she didn't have Aubrey but let it go as she was extremely upset and trying very hard not to cry in public. I told her since I was proud of her for not letting boyfriend to manipulate her once again, that I'd buy her dinner. We talked and laughed once she calmed down. I didn't get much detail on the fight except that boyfriend has taken up the new sport of calling her horrid names and degrading her I didn't get the impression the fight was over anything real per se......mostly the manipulation. I reminded Nichole of how she came to me last week and said how boyfriend had sat down with her for a real (gag me) heart to heart. He supposedly professed his profound love for her and told her he is finally ready for marriage (gag me again) blah blah blah. Until yesterday she'd been riding cloud nine. I told her those professions sure didn't last very long. And I let it sort of hang there in the air for a while. I could see her looking it over for herself. husband and I came home after the meal. I enjoy clinicals but it involves alot of pre and post work that can take 4-5 hrs to finish. I'm talking easy child home from work when husband suddenly brings me his cell phone. Now I've got to put in here that I'd gotten up at 4am with all of 2 hourse of sleep yesterday. By this point I was totally wiped and out pretty much brain dead. With 1 girl in 1 ear and the other on the cell, I have Nichole telling me to call boyfriend's cell. I asked her why she wasn't calling his cell. She replied that she had been in a car accident and was being taken to the ER. I said **** boyfriend! Your Dad and I will meet you there! She says, no Mom. I just want you to tell him that so he'll answer the darn phone. I told easy child I'd call her back. Then told Nichole I wasn't going to be a part of such a childish manuver that also happens to be cruel. Her defense was that he does it to her all of the time. I told her that doesn't mean she gets to stoop to his immature idiotic level. Then I asked her if she wanted to hand him back the bit of ground she'd gained by defying him and coming to dinner earlier. She said no. Evidently boyfriend and Aubrey were not home when Nichole got home. He'd left no note and was refusing to answer his cell. Nichole was panicking. I told her that he probably had Aubrey throwing a tantrum because she expected to come eat with Nana and didn't get to and he probably took her out for something to eat. Then I added for good measure.......it's not like there is anywhere for the jerk to go. His parents were out of town and he doesn't really have any friends. He'd be home eventually. And the score would be Nichole 2 and boyfriend 0. Then I asked her if she wanted to still being doing this sort of thing with boyfriend when they're 40. Cuz if she doesn't learn to stop letting him manipulate her into behaving the way he wants now......it's going to keep getting worse. Last night boyfriend's mantrum was unsuccessful. I am soooooooooooo relieved Nichole is NOT preggers.