This blog is small glimpses into my heart and soul - attempts to be transparent with friends, and sometimes, to myself. This is my safe place, where I can come and be purely Ness.

Family: If you found your way here, please do me a favor and don't poke through my closets, ok?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Finishing New York

(This is a post I began while we were still in New York. I'm going to try to complete the thoughts.)
It's been a long day again today. We didn't sleep very well last night. The single king sized bed (eta - when rearranging the bed for our second night, we realized that this "king" bed was about a foot shorter than our "king" bed at home. No wonder it felt so small) didn't really fit the three of us and Boy ended up spending a large part of the night on the floor. We were also so overtired by the time that we made it there that we had trouble falling asleep. So we weren't really ready to get up when Dune started bouncing on us at seven. So began our first full day with Boy's parents.
It was a very bouncy bed!
A little background - I love Boy's parents. I know they love us. But, it's like they are from a different culture. We simply don't speak the same language and even simple gestures have entirely meanings to each of us. They really don't get why we choose to go barefoot, that Dune and I can't eat milk products, why we prefer to avoid chemicals, the way we parent, and more personally - our personal expressions (eg. tattoos, no suits, despite the the fact that Boy is a pastor), and my very particular taste in food.
I fall into the picky eater category, and I know some people (like the IL's) see me as just being difficult, but it's really not that. It's truly difficult for me to eat other foods. I try occasionally. As I've gotten older, I've pushed myself to try things that weren't on my "normally eat" list and some things that were way beyond that (food is not supposed to be foamy and green. I don't care.) But, when it comes down to it, there just isn't a huge list of foods I enjoy eating, and that list got significantly smaller when I took dairy out of my diet. I know that this makes life difficult for others (try having me over for supper), and I always feel horrible about that, but there are times when I would truly prefer to go hungry than eat certain things. Not too long ago I read an article about highly sensitive kids that made me realize my food preferences were part of my sensitive nature, that it was actually "normal" for me. It doesn't really make life any easier, especially when dealing with people who see it as more of a character flaw, but it was like this little feeling of freedom to learn that.
So, mealtimes were stressful, not at all helped by the fact that Bug has a habit of taking off his shoes the moment he enters a building. (oh no, barefeet! how horrible! whatever shall we do?!) Activities had stressful moments since we all had different ideas on how and when to do things. And, 75% of all interactions involving Bug were stressful. Please don't ask my son what he wants to do if we aren't actually going to do it. If you want him to answer a question, give him a moment to think and respond, don't just keep rephrasing the question every two seconds. Don't tell him something might happen that you know won't. Don't say, "maybe there'll be pony rides" when it's highly unlikely. Don't tell him, "tomorrow we'll do this exciting thing," he doesn't understand tomorrow yet.  And, above all, DON'T step over my parenting/discipline and do things your way. If I am right here handling the situation, you don't get to step in. Bleh. I'm getting tense just thinking about it, and it was weeks ago.
I hate conflict, so we never actually addressed most of these issues (Boy touched on the outright lying to Bug), we just tried to parent around them. I don't really know what was the best way to handle it, although if there had been more than two times they overrode my parenting, we would have had that discussion, because even once is really not okay.  We will have to see what happens when we get together in the summer...
Bug enjoyed most of the trip - seeing the dinosaurs, playing at the Children's Museum, watching the polar bears at the zoo, enjoying his first hockey game on tv (how do I have a sports child?), but at the same time he wasn't so sure about this staying in a hotel room business and asked at least once a day to go home.
Of course, the whole point of this trip was a stressful one. I don't think I ever mentioned, but we went to NY to meet the IL's because my father in law was there to do some testing at Slone-Kettering's cancer center. He has melanoma that has spread to his lymph nodes and liver. His current treatment is chemo, but it generally has very little effect on this type of cancer. If he qualifies (and he does, we just found out today!), he will be able to receive a new drug that is just finishing it's trial phase. It's likely not a cure, but would make life better and longer for him. So having this test and result hanging over everyone added to the stress of the occasion. (one of the reasons we didn't make a bigger deal out of their frustrating interactions with Bug)
Good points - I got to see New York! Far from all of it of course, but I saw the Empire State Building out my window, Central Park and the zoo, the American Museum of Natural History,
impressive stores like Tiffany's and Saks, famous sites such as Rockefeller Plaza and The Plaza Hotel, and well known streets like Broadway and Madison Avenue.
One of these days I'm going to actually make an online album of all the pictures!
So the great things helped balance out the stress, but this experience took a lot out of us. It took us almost a week to prepare for the five day trip, and about a week and a half to de-stress and re-energize. I'm glad I had a chance to see this famous city, but we were all so glad to be on the train home.


  1. I can totally relate to the challenges of the in-laws, but the stress of the reason behind the trip had to add to that even more. We live just an hour from NYC and we have yet to take the kids in... I guess it's about time!

  2. There are so many great things to do with kids there. Bug keeps asking to go back to the "mewsum" to see the dinosaurs. :) I guess we will have to settle with Toronto's sights!