Sunday, 1 August 2010

Happier now

Hi. I have been meaning to blog all week, but time got the better of me - hubby has been off work, which has been a good start to the school holidays. We have been busy - I wanted to make the most of him being around, so I was determined not to spend too much time at home.

We spent a night camping - that was an eye-opener. I have always been very anti-camping, but we went to visit some friends who had been staying at a site for a couple of weeks, and who were loving it. The location was stunning and the kids and husband were so keen to give it a go that I caved in.

It wasn't as bad as I expected. It was undoubtedly good for the children - all the fresh air and traipsing up and down the hill to the toilet. But after a night of very little sleep - what rest there was punctuated by the very unpleasant man in a nearby tent who haranged his teenage daugter, going on and on at her relentlessly, swearing very imaginatively until eventually he reduced her to tears and then he stopped the bullying - I had gone off the idyll somewhat. My children did not know how to swear before - they do now. Thank you, Mr Nasty.

The eight year old came into our tent (another drawback, we only had two small tents so the girls stayed in one and the rest of us in another) and asked if I could stop the man from shouting. I was fuming, but I was too afraid of the potential consequences to ask him to shut up. Hubby is too laid back to want to get involved. One positive thing though, was that younger daughter then decided to stay in our tent, so hubby went into the other tent with our elder daughter, and I felt much safer then - I didn't like the idea of the girls sleeping separately.

We have since had an offer of a loan of a family sized tent, but I am not in a hurry to repeat the experience - maybe next year. It was murder getting Toddler to sleep - he doesn't stop talking, which is great most of the time, but when you are shattered and he is counting incessantly to twenty, saying 'Look, Teddy can climb the tent pole!' and other variations on the toddler theme, it becomes wearisome. I had to laugh eventually though - I was lying down next to him, trying to get him to settle, and he picked up chunks of my hair in his baby fists. 'I like your hair' he said. Then he covered my eyes with it. 'Now you hiding. One, two, three...coming, ready or not...Found you!'

Anyway, we have had a great week. Been to Legoland today. Our Merlin passes have now expired, and I shall not mourn them. I think Legoland et al are much better kept as a special day out, maybe once every year. I should know; we have been there about ten times in the last year, and to Chessingtons, Thorpe Park, and various Sea Life centres. I might consider it again in a few years time, but it has been exhausting. We only managed a few rides today, as the queues were so long. And toddler can't do the same rides as the others, so we had to split up most of the time we were there. We left early, and overcompensated by buying the kids expensive toys in the gift shop - at least now they will remember the last day of their Merlin passes.

I asked my nephew to look after the puppy for the day, which he did happily, and it was fantastic not having to return to the house after a couple of hours out. She is quite a tie, which of course we knew before we got her, but it is one thing to know something and another to experience it.

I was finding it hard going earlier in the week - the biting has not eased off and she has ruined a lot of our furniture. We took her with us on several days out during the week, and when we were camping, and at times she was starting to feel like a burden, although I felt awful thinking that.

But I have taken positive action - re-reading my puppy book, stocking up on chews for her, training her to fetch and to play constructively, and it is feeling like fun again. I know she will be fine in a few months anyway, it is just those sharp puppy teeth which make her need to chew, and once those fall out she will be fine - meanwhile, I will redouble my efforts to train her. She is really very sweet.

The best thing that has happened this week is an unexpected improvement in family relations - the wider family, I mean. The sister that I once felt closest to, but who I have grown very distant from in recent years, suddenly started being nice - I mean, really nice, like listening to me talk and looking interested. This is quite a departure, and I am mystified by it - but very pleased. I think I used to see her as a sort of mother figure - not consciously, but because she is several years older than me and she used to look out for me when I was young I think that must be why I became so attached to her.

So when I realised that she actually did not have much time for me any more - and I was very obtuse about this, it was so blatant but it took me an incredibly long time to take it on board - I found it really hard to deal with. And over the years, however hard I have tried to rationalise it, I still couldn't cope with the loss of love. Like an abandoned child, although I am actually quite old now! Anyway, she was very pleasant to me yesterday, for the first time in ages, and although I suppose I should have more self-respect and not care, I do and it would be pointless to pretend otherwise.

Who knows what will happen from here? Probably nothing. But maybe one day we will be friends again, maybe even have a family Christmas. Hopefully while my Mum is still around to benefit from it.

It is really important to me that my sons and daughters should be friends with one another, now and in the future, doubtless because of my own fragmented family. I am very strict with them on that - if they fall out I usually lecture them on the subject. Today was perfect in that respect - the girls were really good buddies, in fits of giggles for most of the day, which was lovely. Long may it last.

Hubby and I have been getting on famously too, which is lovely. So life is good at the mo - except for the in-laws, who I am annoyed with. It is a long and unnecessary tale, but basically I find it hard to cope with my Dad-in-law, who is a head case. But then, who am I to talk?

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