Uninvited for Christmas!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Running_for_the_shelter, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Yeah, I'm still here; I just haven't posted as much lately. difficult child managed to not get suspended at all last year (teacher was a saint or something) but this year is not good at all.

    That's a whole different story, though. This thread is about how we went to Thanksgiving at my sister's and difficult child managed to do enough stuff (messing up the yard and pond, pounding up and down the stairs, rudeness and disrespect, etc) that it's clear we aren't welcome to come back at Christmas as planned. Sister can tolerate it; her spouse isn't willing to. Can't blame him and there's no point in noting that difficult child is often much worse. Thanks, difficult child! Two holidays messed up for the price of one! Just one more service he offers for free.

    I'm not actually looking for sympathy and I am well aware that many people here have faced the same situation and much, much worse. I just feel very crabby with difficult child right now so I'm giving my sarcasm and bitterness an outlet here. And for those of you who had difficult children who behaved well at Thanksgiving -- I hope you appreciated it and may it hold through Christmas! ;)
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{Hugs}}} I think most of us have gone through something like this.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sorry to hear about this. It stinks, it really does. But from my own past experience, we preferred to stay home and have a "just us" holiday time, than to be constantly on tenterhooks biting our nails, wondering what our wayward kids would do next.

    We found the relatives that were the worst, were the childless ones. Then when they finally had kids, they got to understand a bit better.

    Or those relatives who DO have kids, but whose kids are "perfect" - sometimes it didn't matter what we did, they would find fault. My sis-in-law was a classic - when they finally had kids, they had very strict rules such as "you must not go outside with bare feet" when in our family, we all go barefoot around home, we'll slip on a pair of thongs (flip-flops) in summer or ugg boots in winter, to go any further afield. So when our kids were around doing what our kids do, it led to insubordination in sis-in-law's kids which she blamed on us.
    One incident I remember, which should have warned me of easy child 2/difficult child 2's literal-mindedness but didn't - we'd stayed overnight at grandma's, easy child 2/difficult child 2 and older niece were snuggled up in bed under the bedclothes at 10 am, easy child 2/difficult child 2 reading a book to her younger cousin. It looked cute - but sis-in-law was appalled that the girls were in bed under the bedclothes while dressed. "Get out of that bed!" she told them. "Make that bed and stay out of it. You can read a book, but not in bed."

    So the girls made the bed, then got back ON the bed to continue reading to one another. At home our kids often used their bedrooms as a place to read.

    Sis-in-law was even more furious and took us to task for our disobedient, insolent daughter who she fely was being deliberately manipulative. "I told them to get out of the bedroom!" she fumed.
    "Actually, you didn't," I replied. You told them to get out of the bed. easy child 2/difficult child 2 is literal-minded, it's typical of her age group. She is used to reading on her bed at home, it's a comfort thing. They obeyed you immediately."
    No they didn't!" she fumed. "By getting back onto the bed, they are continuing to disobey, it's pure manipulation to try to twist my words to make it seem OK. and if you make excuses for this behaviour, it's no wonder she's like this!"

    For easy child 2/difficult child 2, I knew she would follow rules but only if she had it made clear to her, what the rules were. I made it clear to her - "Your aunty doesn't want the girls in the bedrooms unless they're in there for bedtime or for a nap. If you want to sit together to read, use the living room. Sit nicely on the couch, then when you are finished leave the couch tidy as you found it, plump up the cushions when you're done."

    It has to be spelled out.

    When your kids are around other family members who are not usually in their sphere of influence, it can often cause problems. Some kids (boys especially, I don't know why) seem to be trouble magnets. My best friend's son was one such - a nice boy but always wanting to explore and work out how things worked and fitted together, usually by destroying them. When difficult child 3 was born friend brought her two kids in to see us in the hospital. Her teenage son got bored and went to look out from the balcony from my hospital room. "How do you get to that flat area down there?" he asked. I told him it was the roof of a wing several floors below, it was only accessed for maintenance to service the air conditioning. I probably didn't exactly emphasise that it was strictly out of bounds.
    Next thing, about fifteen minutes later a security guard walks in with the boy. "We found him walking around down on the roof over there. He had gone downstairs until he found the floor that was on that level, walked through some private laboratories then he climbed over the balcony rail."
    "I just wanted to see what was there, it looked interesting," he tried to explain.
    His mother was horrified. "I can't take you anywhere!" she complained.
    The security guard asked them to leave because the boy clearly hadn't got the message that it's not OK to go exploring, especially in a hospital. He was bored and would have slipped away again. He wasn't trying to cause trouble, he just wanted to explore, to see what was there or where this place led to. From his point of view, people just didn't trust him, he really intended no harm.

    When that lad turned 21, instead of baby photos showing him passing each childhood milestone, his mother put up X-rays. "This is the broken arm, this is the fractured wrist, this is the leg with pins in from the motorbike accident, this is the fractured skull from swinging on a rope over the river then letting go at the wrong time..."

    He's now a easy child, he got married two weeks after easy child 2/difficult child 2. Mind you, he has to part his hair carefully so the scar from the skull fracture doesn't show.

  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Well, first off, that BITES. It really peeves me because it happened to us so often.

    My dad's little sister and I had kids within 6 mos of each other. Her oldest was a holy terror of a spoiled brat, even after he got a little sis. He could do NO wrong. His father had the stones to pull me aside and tell me to take my son home and not bring him back until his voice changed because it was too high pitched and squeeky!!!

    NOT because Wiz was acting badly - he wasn't! This fool just didn't like his voice. We left and almost never returned, in spite of living 10 minutes away or less for 5 more years. My aunt was confused. I only ever told her to ask her husband. HE called once to ask why I was being mean to her and with holding teh kids from her. I said she was welcome to see them anytime at all. Anywhere but her home, as Wiz was not welcome until his voice changed. Last I heard from him on THAT.

    So I understand the bitterness and sarcasm that is straining at the ends of the leash of good manners. Vent away, cause here you are not likely to hurt a family member.

    I AM sorry. At least you have some time to plan a new holiday tradition.

  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    The holidays!! Uggghhhh!!!!

    I think it would help if the media didn't try to make the holiday season the "end-all-be-all" celebration of the year. It puts unrealistic expectations into the heads of families who KNOW that their family is not capable of behaving like the family on the Christmas cards--and yet they expect it anyway (cause after all, it's the holiday!)

    And then when our families turn out NOT to be the perfect people we expected for the holidays, feelings get hurt on many sides...

    Yes, it's probably best to just have a nice, albeit VERY toned-down, celebration at home. It's easiest on everyone.

    My own Thanksgiving was torture enough--I am SOOO glad I did not try to take that show on the road by accepting an invitation somewhere. There is no way we would have been capable of being the "perfect people" that were expected for dinner.

    Sometimes, you just have to create your own tradition based upon the familiy dynamic you have--the heck with what they show on television (and movies, and commercials, and magazines, and books, and postcards, etc etc etc)

  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We have a phrase in Australia, thanks to our advertising - "the Meadowlea Family". In ads, anyone using Meadowlea margarine is depicted as the perfect mother, catering to the needs of the perfect family. The caption is "You ought to be congratulated". But here we say, "There is no such thing as the Meadowlea Family."

    Besides, I insist on using real butter, anyway. Despite the implications of my name!

  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    If it helps at all, after T'giving with the relatives I'm choosing to stay here for Christmas. Back to our own rituals that we had before husband died.

    I think there's too much stimulation, far too many expectations & little understanding of our difficult children. It does get better when our little wonders get older & have far more life skills ~ for me & mine I think 2 holidays less than a month apart is too much for kt & myself, not to mention wm who misses out on so much.

    So I uninvited myself. kt & I will do Cornish game hens & possibly go to a movie that afternoon. Maybe take a friend of hers along. It's all very flexible - just what our difficult children need.

    (((hugs))) it's hard when we become isolated AND we can create our own memories that are relaxed.
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry. This really stinks. Here I am though wishing we would be uninvited to my dad's for a Christmas visit (not actually on Christmas). Not because of my dad but his wife really doesn't get how to deal with difficult child and the stress is overwhelming at times.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Two holidays messed up for the price of one!

    Well, at least you're getting a nice, dry sense of humor out of it. :)
    I feel for you. I can't tell you how many times difficult child was sent away from the table on Thanksgiving, to run up to his room and thrash around, overhead. Not comforting for the guests below.

    I agree with-Marg, maybe a calm, quiet, small family holiday would be best. You can stop by your siblings or friends' on your own, for an hr or two. It's just not worth the hassle until he settles down.

  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Which brings me back to - what is family all about, anyway? Sometimes we get too caught up in the celebration to realise just what harm we do to ourselves and our families, by insisting on everything being perfect. Families generally are not perfect. Celebrations don't always go to plan. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

    I have written comedy pieces based on my observations of Christmas celebrations where every little family ritual had to happen, including those little rituals which were in the process of being written. Such as having to lay a place for a recently-deceased family member, then keeping up that tradition every year for the next couple of decades. Such as everyone having to take a photo of the table all laid out, food on plates (rapidly going cold), everyone sitting in their place (squeezed in with extreme difficulty, so every time someone has to get up, it's an exercise in Tetris to re-seat everyone). At mother in law's place (which has more room than our place but is still crowded) you literally have to leave the house by the side door and go round to the front door to re-enter, just to take a plate to the kitchen.
    So when someone says, "I must take a photo!" and they get up to do so, they leave a vacant place. So someone else says, "I'll take a photo of you back in your seat," and this goes round the table. Myriad cameras get produced and photos taken, then people swap places and the whole round begins again. Then someone says, "My food is cold!" and they head for the microwave one after the other (each time, of course, necessitating another Tetris game of human rearrangement). Of course there is always someone who insists everyone be able to all eat at the same time. On this special occasion there is no "Don't wait for me; start without me!" and the whole crowd of people all have to assess their meals to ensure they are all at the right temperature at the same time.

    Imagine doing this with a room full of difficult children, adult and child.

    It's no wonder we rarely eat our "midday meal" on these occasions until late afternoon!

    So if you choose to have a quieter celebration at home, consider yourselves being more in the true spirit of the season. It also teaches your family a powerful lesson in love, in proportion, and depending on other activities you do (such as invite in someone who otherwise would be hoome on their own) in compassion for others.

    The holidays are often the worst time of the year, for people who live alone.


  11. Twinners

    Twinners New Member

    My family and I were going to spend Thanksgiving Day with a friend of mine and her family, but my difficult child ended up calling her a b*tch - not once, but twice - the Monday before when we were there after she tried to discipline him for poking one of her kids with a push pin and we were uninvited to dinner. She asked us to leave when it happened. We found out about being uninvited Wednesday evening.

    I was heartbroken when I found out. We ended up staying home and having an okay day all on our own. I guess it worked out for the best.