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We took two back-to-back weekend trips to CA: one over President's Day weekend and another the following week for our anniversary. The first of the two mini vacations included Valentine's Day. We went to the beach and had a great time! We usually stay with our friends, but I have a feeling that's going to change in the future. We'll still visit, but it will not include a meal nor spending the night. We'll have to start budgeting for a hotel the way people do. I know better as this has happened several times before and my husband and I have discussed it. We stay sitting too long at the dinner table. People, not me, have had way too much to drink and the comments start to fly! I'm not sure when our friend decided to include my girth in the conversation, but it was such a lovely way to end Valentine's Day. I always wonder when my husband might jump in and rescue me, but he treads slowly here as we both know we might be dealing with an alcoholic.
So, we had planned to visit CA again the following weekend for an early Spring Break trip to Legoland. We booked that last July! Not really the way I imagined spending an anniversary, but I am a bit obsessed with Lego minifigures. I am. With Naethyn's angelversary around the corner, we thought we'd do something early and the boys were super excited for it! We had the Arabian Horse Show coming too and still had tons of laundry to tackle from the previous weekend. Somehow, it would get done and it did. I then received a phone call and letter from my former high school French teacher. Her husband passed away and there was a Celebration of Life Ceremony on 2/20 for him in Tierrasanta, CA at 11:00 a.m. I wanted to be there for her. She's like my second mother from Ohio, but the one who gets me (more). She is the hands-on grandma I yearn to have for my own kids. She's become my friend and colleague and I told her I'd at least be there. No kids allowed, so we asked our friends if they could watch the kids for 2-2.5 hours max for us. If not, I'd just go by myself. This is not a problem. This is usually how we handle things. We are used to it.
Our friends agreed, but just one would be home to watch them. That's the message that was relayed to me. So, we got home from the horse show late that Friday night. Ate a late dinner, packed, and went to bed at 12:40 a.m. Saturday morning. Woke up a few hours later and we were on the road by 6 a.m. Forgot the Legoland tickets, turned around, and put us back on the road at 6:38 a.m. No worries, I drove 90-100 mph some stretches of freeway to make up for the lapse and we arrived in San Diego County about 11ish. I got dropped off, hubby dropped off the kids, and drove back to me to catch the end of the ceremony and grab some lunch. It was a nice ceremony. She had a little presentation and talked about fond memories of her late husband. He helped organize the exchange I went on in '95. I didn't know that. He was a contributor to TripAdvisor too. He was also a retired Special Education teacher and was so good with kids. It was all very positive and uplifting. She didn't want it to be sad, no black, just sharing stories and memories of good times.
We get home to our friends' house and D runs and hugs me. Hmm, this is nice to be missed I thought. I am seldom away from them. Then, I thought, something's up and then I would learn why I was missed. Well, apparently our friend didn't really watch them. He was working on his taxes upstairs. I thought maybe he'd play Xbox with them or watch a movie. No, I'm asking for too much, silly me! The boys were getting loud and when he had to come downstairs the second time, he threatened them with a long walk. Well, we don't threaten our children with physical activity. Our friend has never taken T out in public alone and not an hour-long nature walk through a canyon. We didn't give our friend permission to take the kids out of the house. So, that sort of bothered me, but I didn't say anything. I was so tired and emotionally drained.
The next thing I know, the other friend is home with Costco pizzas. Okay, I guess we're eating dinner at 3:30 p.m.?! Whatever. It was an hour later our time and the boys were hungry. Okay, I thought. The kids finished quickly and were about to dart back to watch cartoon network, a channel we don't have, when male friend called them back. See, normally I might call them back too, but I was tired. I wanted them to just go, play, and enjoy and let the adults have their time. But, house rules I guess, so the boys came back to the table. T starts stimming. Friend wants to make a conversation out of said stimming. I wanted to leap across the table and strangle friend, but I just made eyes at my husband instead. The next thing I know, friend is firing off (yes and no) questions to T like a police interrogation. I am freaking out! What is this guy doing? Are you trying to tell me that rapid fire questioning is normal speech?! I was losing it people, losing IT! Thank you so much for the Miss Manners on staying at the table until everyone finishes their meal, but not today, okay?
All of a sudden, friend has asked some sort of Math question. It is directed toward D, but T quickly answers it. Friend is amazed and probably a little annoyed that he blurted out the answer. In a flash, friend takes his wadded up used paper towel napkin, throws it at T, and calls him a 'freakoid.' I looked up with my eyes about to pop out of their sockets! D catches the hatred on my face and moves his mouth and lips in a negative and disapproving way. I love him for that. I'm glad that he knows what is okay and not okay to say especially when it comes to his younger brother. My camp was completely silent while we let friend fumble to try and find the words to quickly correct his mistake. I'm not sure if this was still his first or second glass of white wine. I could see that the torment was going to continue, so I cut friend off. I looked at my husband and remarked that this was school all over again. Really, it made me think of every ignorant and hurtful comment from anyone about my son. I was still pissed at the fat comment from the previous weekend, I'll be honest. I can handle it though. Start attacking my innocent kid? We have a problem.
Kids left and friend was trying to politely explain to me what he was trying to do. I told him that there are other ways of trying to elicit smooth, fluid, and natural speech from T. I'm not an SLP. but darn it, I could be. I sit in these therapies and I'm involved! Our friends were making the same mistakes my own parents make. I know, it's not their fault in a way as we don't visit often. But why not "Math genius" or "Math rockstar" come out of his mouth? Why does it always seem to fall on the land of weird? I should and could have gone further. It warranted a good ABA tutorial, but I was tired. I mean, this guy calls him back to the table just to insult him? I waited for the apology for 'freakoid' and when it wasn't coming, I pointed it out. Yeah, we don't insult our kids either. He had only apologized for throwing the paper towel ball at him. After that, we gave them time to finish their taxes and left for about 2 hours. One more day to get though and then we were off to Legoland. We stayed out and about most of Sunday morning. We hit the beach again and came home in the early afternoon. It was okay. We did casual goodbyes to our friends this time. I told my husband that had we not unpacked the car right away Sat., we would have left and stayed elsewhere.
We were about to head out and make our way to Carlsbad when Legoland called. They were curious if we were still joining them that evening. Great, what next? It was explained that the Kingdom themed room we had requested was not available and would we be okay with another themed room? I explained that we had booked this trip back on July 3rd and really wanted that theme. They could upgrade us if willing and the room was ready at 10 a.m. We agreed and made our way there to check-in. Well, I don't know if they could tell the kids were a bit disappointed, but one of the staffers whispered something to another staffer and when they came back, the boys were each presented with "the birthday package" of goodies. It was super nice of them to do that and the boys were full of thank yous. We had a great time at the park. Because it was a Monday and non-holiday weekend, there was hardly anyone there in comparison to other times we'd visited. The kids got to experience more of the park, go on more rides, and we didn't stop by Guest Services for "the pass." There were some lines, but not too long and T did great! They even went on their first rollercoaster! We were at the park from 11- 5, did a quick Sea Life walk through at the end, and made our way to dinner.
The room was nice and the balcony was neat. If I was a smoker, I would have enjoyed it more I suppose. I could have used a cigar at that point for sure. The boys enjoyed their bunk beds. We learned that T is terrified of Egyptian things. He had a hard time falling asleep. So, this means we'll definitely have to come back and try and experience a Kingdom room. Had lunch with my teacher friend and drove home Tuesday night. Still tackling the mountain of laundry. It felt good to get away.
Beach Boys 2016
When I learned that the final episode of Downton Abbey airs on N's angelversary, I almost S*** a pile of bricks!
The end of something so wonderful, how fitting!
Lindsay, you always have a way with bringing me along with you in the way you describe your outings. Interacting with your friend sounded so painful! Ugh! Nice job momma bear. I'm always surprised what people will say to kids. I've said some inappropriate things in front of kids, but not to insult them or badger them. It sounds like LEGOLAND turned out fun. I would have a blast there. You were so close, yet so far away from me ;) Thanks for sharing your vacations with us.
sounds like you had an eventful trip. Legoland sounds fun! We want to take C one day to the one in Florida. sorry your friends weren't being helpful and making insensitive comments. How you ended your post cracked me up.
Wow -- what an adventure, and not all of it good. My jaw hit the floor when you described your friend and the way he treated your son. I probably would have been across the table and snatching him up by his collar. Wow.
On the upside, I'm glad that you guys got to get away and have some family time fun -- especially important as you near Naethyn's angel day. Many hugs to you, my friend.
I had no idea that LegoLand was such a big place! I'm glad that you all had such a great time. I am so sorry that your friend was such a downer on your time! Big props to you on handling that the way you did, I am not sure I could muster that much grace. In fact I'm absolutely positive that I would not have said friend anymore as I might have shoved said napkin ball down his throat! Good for you being a good example for your kids.
Love and Hugs
Wow. I am so sorry for your insensitive friends. People just have no clue sometimes. That doesn't excuse them, though. I'm glad you said something to them. It's so hard sometimes to say something in the moment but learning to do that can really make a difference.
I'm so glad you guys got to have some fun at LEGOLAND, though. Those boys are so cute!!
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