***So How Did Everybody Do?***

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Suz, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    How was Christmas for you?

    Are you smiling? :snowman:

    Weeping? :9-07tears:

    Did you have to get stitches on your tongue because you bit it so much? :nurse:

    Does your neck ache from being a quiet bobblehead? :doctor:

    It seems that I am the latter. Suffering from whiplash from the bobblehead syndrome.

    Rob and his girlfriend Heather came for lunch on Sunday. They were an hour late. They called to forewarn me, which was nice, except lunch had been in the oven for hours and tasted more like shoe leather by the time they got here, than slow-roasted ribs. :hammer:

    They loved the gifts I got them.

    And I got nothing in return. Not even a card.

    Do I have the only difficult child who does this? Honestly, I can't imagine not getting my parents a gift when I was a young adult. In past years I really didn't mind as much because I knew how poor Rob was but he had been bragging about all of the gifts he had gotten Heather and that he still had $200.00 left over...and "sorry Mom, I would have gotten you something but I didn't know what to get."

    Bobblehead :hammer:, bobblehead :hammer:, bobblehead :hammer:.

    I have been so grateful to have a non-combative relationship with him the last couple of years that I think I've let him down with teaching him the next step...and that is nurturing an important relationship. I've modeled the behavior but he isn't very good at picking up the cues. Maybe a baseball bat will be a more effective training tool? :rofl:

    So that will be my goal this year.

    He did call me last night to wish me a Merry Christmas. Count your blessings, Suz...and I do.

    In the meantime, sweet baby Chloe decided to chew a HOLE THE SIZE OF A QUARTER in my leather loveseat. :nonono: :faint: :9-07tears:

    She is lucky she is so cute...and alive. :crazy2:

    Tell me about your holiday.

  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    This was the best one we've ever had! No arguments. No growls. Just soft and loving.

    On Christmas Eve we went to look at lights around here. There was one house that had the lights synchronized to music. It was truly beautiful -- much more impressive than seeing it online. We just sat there and enjoyed for at least 30 minutes. Came home, laid out snacks and watched a movie.

    For the first time since she was a little girl, she actually gave me a gift! Well, actually, more than one. What was impressive, she had to truly sacrifice to give these to me -- a vac that would actually pick up pet hair (it's awesome!) and a gold locket. Considering she only works 2 days a week, she truly saved and thought about what I needed/wanted. I was in tears. We spent the day in bed watching movies and napping. It was truly lovely.

    Of course, today it's back to normal. She got up early to do some post-sale shopping and was growly and mean all morning. When I finally snapped back after putting up with her growls for an hour, I got, "Why are you being so rude?!!" ARGHH!!!!

    Suz, I'm sorry Rob is such a dork. What would happen if you were honest to him and said you were disappointed he made no effort to get you a gift? I did that last year with Marie after putting up with the disappointment of nothing, not even a homemade card again. It did seem to get her to understand that it really did matter, that it showed she cared and sometimes words just aren't enough.
  3. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    I'm thinkin' I'm the bobbleheaded person too.

    But...I'm also thinkin' I set myself up for it this time. I did tell the difficult child's not to get us anything.

    difficult child 2 got husband a little something that had a lot of thought into it and was cute. But I didn't even get a card.

    I think in the months to come I will suggest that planning start earlier and cards and a small gift will be mandatory in the future.

    Even gosh darned Christmas socks are only $1.00 at Target.

    I better be careful....I'm starting to seethe. :grrr:
  4. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    That's where we are, too.

    Although I have to say Suz, that it never occurred to me to EXPECT a gift.

    You are on the same page as my husband on this one.

    He is on a slow burn about the lack of resposibility regarding presents, birthday cards, and phone calls.

    I think I am still just traumatized enough by everything that has happened that just hearing difficult child's voice without that telltale zippiness in it that indicates he is drugging it up hot and heavy is enough.

    But you are right.

    There is no reason for us not to expect a decent standard of behavior from our sons and daughters. Whether they meet the standard or not is no reason for us to be content with less.

    On the other hand, experience has taught me that I would be foolish to rely on difficult child to make me proud, or to behave toward me in a way that would leave me feeling cherished or special.

    Most times, just the opposite.

    Another loss.

    Another place that needs to be healed.

    Still, it's been so long since I have anticipated anything more....

    I think the nearer truth for me is that I am learning (very well, too) to create celebrations having nothing to do with difficult child. I missed him fiercely at one time.


    It would be very uncomfortable if he were to come home.

    My son is someone I talk to on the phone.

    A good conversation means there is nothing desperate going on, nothing I have to come here for strength just to survive it, or for words to say to get through it without finding myself destroyed in the process.

    So it was a good Christmas in that sense, Suz.

    I am neither so innocent nor so vulnerable as I was, once.

  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    We got along fine. My creative "keep it simple" holiday did the
    trick. Miraciously I survived the 5 year ADHD ++++ granddaughter
    from around 6:30 AM until 5:15 PM. She had a Christmas she will
    remember...baked her first Xmas cookies, learned that we take turns and watch others open their gifts without hollering "I want
    another one", etc. etc. difficult child stepped up to the plate and took her
    to the park in the afternoon. She is a darling little brat, lol,
    and she primped in the mirror to make sure all of her Cheetah
    Girls jewelry was in place and her Cheetah Girls purse positioned
    "just so" on her shoulder. Off she pranced with her big bro,
    wearing her new Barbie sun glasses and looking like she was on
    a runway. :smile: Ninety minutes later difficult child came half-limping in the door carrying her home. All the jewelry was stuffed in his pants pocket and her Barbie sneakers were in his
    two back pockets. The purse she still clutched. "TAKE HER MAMA"
    was difficult children comment..."she REFUSED TO WALK and I am exhausted!"

    Yep, that pretty well wrapped up the Christmas spirit! LOL DDD
    I was in bed for the night before 8!!
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Our day went very well, which is a delightful surprise. It didn't start off on the right track, but it did end up that way.

    Gifts to parents aren't a problem around here. I drummed that lesson home from the time my kids were in preschool. Actually, I came out rather spoiled. lol

    However I have noticed with sister in law and Nichole's boyfriend that gifts to family/parents are something they don't even think of on their own. The girls each insist they buy gifts. You should hear the lectures they give on "being selfish". :smile:

    The big surprise is that there were no couple fights this year. easy child and sister in law didn't wind up in a moody fight, nor did Nichole and boyfriend. It was AMAZING! Wonderful, as this is something I've grown to anticipate and dread for each holiday the past few years. The tension between couples here can be almost as bad as difficult child meltdowns. :smirk:

    So for the first time in several years, Christmas turned out to be a very pleasant holiday. :smile:
  7. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    There were no arguments, so that was awesome. Angela & Rick were 1/2 hour late. We were waiting for them to make breakfast, and they didn't get here 'til 10 am so we were all very hungry by then. But it was OK.

    Angela went through a period of where she did not buy me gifts, saying she did not have the money. But she has bought gifts the past several years. She never ever knows what to buy and always asks what we want instead. I always tell her something that is not expensive.

    Melissa, on the other hand, is sooooooo generous and always has been! She spends waaaaaaaaaay toooooooo much money on everyone. And she knows the PERFECT gifts to buy--what each person likes. She has a keen sense about that. I got very emotional with one of her gifts she gave husband and me. She is taking us to a national drag race competition in Chicago in June where we can see Ashley Force race. This is like a dream come true. We watch drag racing on TV whenever it is on, plus with Melissa drag racing her car (at the nearest track for fun), we especially are interested in it. She doesn't have the tickets yet, so she made up a little folder for husband and me with color photos of Ashley and John Force and the race schedule and she typed in big letters: "tickets brought to U by your daughter".

    The things I didn't like about this Christmas: Angela brought her huge 1-yr-old Weimereiner dog with them. They got here late. They only stayed 'til 1 pm 'cuz Rick's parents wanted them for dinner (and it was OUR year for Christmas). And last night Melissa wanted to use our van to run over to a friend's house to give her her gifts. I told her to use her own car (the heater doesn't work well) or put gas in my van, and she said I was being stupid. (she took her own car--haha)

    But the good far outweighs the bad. Everyone getting along is the best gift of all. :smile:

    p.s. We spent Christmas Eve afternoon at my mom's house with my sister's family. She has a big time difficult child who always picks a fight with someone. Surprisingly, she did not! However, we spent Christmas Eve at one of husband's sister's house and one of his brother-in-law's picked a fight with him over the Iraq War and the nearing Presidential Election. I have never seen my husband yell like this, especially in front of his family. His brother-in-law got him so upset.

  8. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Our Christmas was quiet. Mygfg is in jail and we visited him on Christmas Eve. My daughter and her husband came over and ate dinner with us on Christmas Day. It was fun. We looked at old pictures of the family. We laughed and enjoyed each other. I wish our whole family could have enjoyed it. My daughter this year got us a little more for Christmas. She is a verythoughtful person. Last year we got a $25. gift certificate to a restuarant. We didnt eat much! This year was alittle different. She wanted a place setting of her china. That is what I got - it was expensive Vera Wang and I just got them a whole bunch of little things and her some lotion, etc. Ihope it was enough. Last year I worked my rear end off and got her a Kitchen Aide Mixer, jewelry(that I have never seen her wear) and a cookbook. Anyway, my young easy child son got us nothing. He has a part time job at a grocery store. He has spent his money on stuff for him. I think I need to drum somthing else into his brain. All in all it was a good Christmas. I was a little depressed more so than last Christmas. At least we didnt have any drama!
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Christmas went ok this year for us if you dont count the frozen ham...lol.

    Everyone but Cory bought everyone presents but none of us expected him to get anyone anything since he really didnt have funds.

    As to grown kids learning to get parents gifts...TELL THEM!!!

    Or guilt them into it.

    I always tried to get my parents something...even if it wasnt large or something I figured they didnt have a use for. My dad and stepmom were so hard to buy for. They have everything they could possibly want and if they need anything, they go buy it. Also, my step-sibs are much better off financially than I am so anything I give is normally dwarfed.

    For awhile my dad collected birdhouses and I would find a cute one and get him that. I got him a dvd player one year...my step sibs got him a new tv...sigh.

    My best present to him really cost me nothing but time and a scrapbook. I found pictures online of the ship he was on in WWII and information from the ships logs and all that and I put together a whole scrapbook of it along with his picture from bootcamp with his history in the Marine Corps. He loved it more than anything else he got that year and showed it off to everyone.

    As far as phone calls...I learned the hard way that I am obligated as a good daughter to call the man at least monthly...lol. If I dont he worries. If I cant afford to call him then call him collect. This was drummed into me when I didnt call until I could afford to call. It left a lasting impression and now I rarely go more than 2 or 3 weeks. It also helps that I have a kid out of the house myself now.

    So tell them what you expect. If you want monthly calls to check in, tell them. If you expect at least a token gift, tell them. Socks, pictures of their kids, pictures of them, a heartfelt letter...all cost a reasonable amount. They can be trained to do this if you tell them. I was.
  10. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Barbara, I didn't EXPECT a gift.

    I just hoped that by some kind of miracle it occurred to him that it might be nice to give one instead of always being a taker.

    Even when he was broke he got me a card. I don't know what he was celebrating to not even bother doing that this year. :hammer:

    It wasn't like he asked and I told him not to bother. He didn't even bother to ask.

    So like Sunny, I am starting to seethe again...

    So yes, I think this is the year he needs to take the next step in becoming an adult and that is learning "reciprocity." :smile:

    I'm so happy to read all of your (for the most part) happy stories. It sounds like it was a pretty good holiday overall for those who have posted.

    ***Anyone know if a bite mark that perforates leather can be repaired? (visions of Ted Bundy and how he was convicted from his bite marks- pardon the grisly analogy- maybe I should nickname Chloe "Ted")***

  11. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    That is just awesome. What a wonderful, thoughtful gift!

    We had our best Christmas in years. difficult child was so great. She used her own money and bought some very thoughtful gifts for each of us. She gave me the latest Rand McNally road atlas -- I'm the kind of guy who can browse an atlas for hours on end, and I love to drive, so it was perfect.

    We had two family reunions in the summer, once on wife's side and one on my side. I printed 8 1/2 by 11s of the group portraits (our daughter-in-law, who has a degree in photography, took the pictures) from each reunion and mounted them in matching frames for a gift for all of us. difficult child was in both pictures -- seeing the family with her included made her and wife both break down in happy/sad tears.

    easy child 3 is here with us on leave from the Navy. He has to be back Friday, so will be traveling tomorrow (Thursday). He was just promoted to 3rd class Petty Officer not too long ago.

    easy child 2 couldn't get time off but he called and we had a nice chat with him and daughter in law. We called my parents and father-in-law.

    wife gave me three volumes on CD of Stephen Ambrose's WWII history (D-Day, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers). Plus clothes that I really needed. I gave difficult child some jewelry and a tanning salon membership, and wife a number of smallish gifts of things she's been hinting about (a wallet, a hair dryer, smell-good candles and oils, etc.). Nothing says "I Love You" like a new wallet, eh?

    easy child 1 was lavished with too many gifts and too much attention, as usual. She has been in hog heaven with her uncle here -- he was a surrogate father to her her first two years. She got a Barbie laptop, a Hannah Montana doll, Troy and Gabriella dolls from High School Musical. She was a little put out at Santa though. She wanted Webkinz. She only mentioned them on Sunday, and I actually tried to find one, but Target was sold out. So we explained that Santa's elves need a little more lead time and he did get her what she said she wanted. She is spoiled, but she was very sweet about thanking everyone, and she really enjoyed going out with me last week to pick out gifts for her grandma, uncle, and mommy.

    We feel especially blessed this year.
  12. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Ours was interesting to say the least. J expected us to drop everything and drive to another state to see him. Didn't happen, but I guess we're going later this week. That should be interesting.

    About the gift thing- I don't think kids get it until they sit there with a pile of gifts for their own and realize they didn't do anything for someone else. I saw this yesterday with easy child son. He's a great kid, but doesn't think beyond his nose. When he saw all our friends give him something and he had nothing to give back (although he has been counseled on this) he was quite embarrassed. Lesson learned. He makes good money and could have done something but chose not to. He chose to buy Wii games.

    So, I don't really think it's a difficult child thing, but a growing up lesson. They all go through it.

  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Mine was odd.

    I was plating cookies on the 23rd. I had to dump the meringue cookies I baked because they went bad (??) when I went to to plate them, I grabbed one to eat, and it reeked! Like it was spoiled. SO, 3 dozen meringue cookies thrown away.

    Christmas Eve day, Tink & I went to see my dad. It's his birthday. Have a great time. That evening I bite the bullet and decide to go to my aunt's after all, even though I had made up my mind that I would not go. Just before we leave I whip up the artichoke dip and bake it, and THAT comes out bad. Like 1/2 inch of grease floating on the top. Forget it. I leave it on the counter and out the door we go. While there Tink gets very upset that there are other kids getting tons more gifts than her (my aunt's husband's grown kids and their kids were there, and they all exchanged with eachother. We are not included in that exchange. Very hard to explain to a 7 year old). But by Christmas morning she forgot all about it. Copper spent the night so Tink could wake up with her. The morning was wonderful with the girls.

    Then, Copper left to be with her man, and Matt showed up (late, what else is new) to get Tink, and my brothers and parents came over. And I messed up the lasagna.

    What the heck is wrong with me?

    I did manage to salvage it. Holy Cannoli, did we eat. It ended up to be a very nice day.

    Tink came home with a box of gifts from her dad. Now, I know dad & g/f are broke. But the stuff he got her for Christmas is like something you'd find in a 5.00 Easter basket. Bubbles, superballs, a jumprope, an off-brand barbie (crosseyed), you get my drift. Junk. And I don't fault anyone for doing their best. but if the blankeddy blank would try to get a job...

    ...OK, I'll stop. I had a very nice Christmas and so did my kids. That is what matters. I hope you all did too. And I hope nobody tried to make the artichoke dip.
  14. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    We had Christmas EVe dinner here for my children and grandchildren. My younger daughter had to work so we ate without her but held off on our gift exchange until she arrived and had a bite to eat.

    difficult child was supposed to spend the night but he said he wasn't ready yet ( probably just a ploy to spend time with his new girlfriend but worked out ok in the long run). He arrived with his gift for me in a box from a grocery store. It was taped shut with masking tape and he placed prominently it in front of my beautifully decorated Christmas tree with all the color coordinated gifts meticulously wrapped under it. And I smiled and left it right where he placed it. There was a time I would have tried to make it less conspicuous by discretely moving it behind some of the prettier gifts so things would look nice for the guests who had not yet arrived. But I have grown a bit and I have accepted that he is who he is and that he is not going to be the dream I had envisioned when he was a tiny baby. I guess have learned to appreciate his efforts whether they are magnificently successful or not even noticeable. His gifts were used things that he probably bought for 50 cents from a thrift store. But he bought them with money he earned honestly. He put some thought into them, and was proud of them. That was the real gift. It went fast and before we knew it it was 10pm and my grandchildren had to get home and to bed which was about an hour drive. husband then took difficult child back to his group home and I finished the clean up.

    Christmas morning our basset hound woke us up at 6:30 am (UG!)
    we had a leasurly breakfast of chocolate truffle cake from the evening before and coffee. husband then showered and went to visit his father in the nursing home. Grandpa wasn't up to going out so husband had him open his gifts and then visited for a little before his father's (Alschimer's)delusions took over again and he had to leave because grandpa was getting too agitated. husband is handeling this better these days so it wasn't too depressing for him. He then stopped back here for lunch. (chocolate covered figs and some christmas cookies and eggnog.) And then set out to pick up difficult child. I was still lounging in my PJs so I went and showered and got dressed. We then all went to my daughter's house for Christmas dinner. It was scrupptious BAked standing rack of lamb, and shrimp, Clams, Oysters, and several other wonderful appetizers and salads. It was lovely. Unfortunately her poor husband got a migraine and had to stay in bed so we cut it short and left about 8pm. It wasn't all bad though it made having to drive difficult child home easier since we got home to our house earlier than planned and were able to relax a bit before turning in. It was nice to have a family holiday that went relatively smoothly and without any real DRAMA.

    I called my daughter to see how her husband is doing today and he still has a headache. Yesterday we thoughtmy son-in-law had a migraine from lack of sleep. We are now of the opinion he is comming down with the bug which had caused his son's pneumonia and which grandson passed to me after I took care of him. For both of us it started with a bad headache. Son-in-law is very disappointed because he loves Christmas and plans all year for it. He says he wants a Do-over. -RM
  15. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE


    That is the perfect example of the Christmas spirit, RM. :bravo:

  16. Hopeless

    Hopeless ....Hopeful Now

    Our Christmas went well. I had posted at the end of last week, that I wanted to skip Christmas. Well, to my surprise, everyone was calm and there were no meltdowns. Our difficult child and her boyfriend (difficult child too) spent about 4 hours between our house and my mother in law's (we went there for dinner).

    I enjoyed the time with my difficult child and was very grateful that it was a calm day. She seemed to really enjoy all the gifts we got her. She did buy gifts for us, even though we told her not to (she has no income because she cannot use her right arm currently). She took the money she got for Christmas from her boyfriend father and bought us gifts (me,husband and lil sis) She is in physical therapy twice a week to get use of the arm and hand back.

    Since I was off work this week, I took her today to the physical therapy appointment, laundromat and grocery and lunch. It was a good day actually, we kind of talked about things but without being judgemental. A good step for her and I.

    Have a good evening all. Will stop by tomorrow to read and post on the boards.
  17. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    It was extremely quiet - We got up about 7:00, and xchanged presents between all of the boys and I. I told Danny all I had wanted was my kitchen floor finished, and he did it and did a great job - he didn't have much money, but did buy his brother and SO a little something. easy child bought me a KitchenAid Food Processor which was something I have been mooning over in the store. Both SO and difficult child had their presents open a few weeks before Xmas (they both got an XBox 360), so there was just a few little stocking stuffers for them. SO got Dan some new tools (and I was sooo tempted to take out the hammer) and I bought him some San Diego Charger stuff. easy child got the ginormous external harddrive he has been wanting, and a car vac and a new set of sheets.

    Eldest had asked us to come over for breakfast so we went over and gave gkids their gifts. We only spent about two hours there as the kids were not interested in anything but the scads of toys they got.

    Came home, made dinner, and played on the computer while everyone was in their room playing with their new toys. I don't think I will let anyone open ANY presents anymore before Xmas - sort of took some of the excitement out of it - but they were all happy and got exactly what they asked for.

  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Suz, there were over 2600 leather repair kit hits when I tried to
    find the one that is advertised on TV all the time. I think you
    need to call Home Depot, Lowe's and maybe a few upholstery repair
    places to get an overview. Good luck, buddy. DDD
  19. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    (thanks D3. I have a leather repair guy coming over Friday morning to take a look and hopefully repair it :smile: )

  20. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I'm glad your floor was finished in time for xmas!!! :bravo: :dance:

    Thanks for letting us know, so now I can uncross my fingers and toes. :rofl: