Tuesday, May 23, 2006
The Weekend in Review
Okay, we're home. Hurrah and all that.

It really was a pretty good weekend.... but never fear, I have plenty to kvetch and snicker about.

It all really started Thursday morning, when Willem and I got in a Really Stupid Argument. The details - even the basic content - would be way too involved and ridiculous to go into here, but suffice it to say it took up most of our day, snarking at each other and generally feeling snotty. Midway through the day, in between snark, he said, "Oh, yeah... this evening there's a party at this professor's house, for the math department." Oh, be still my beating heart, can we all go, can we, can we??

Yes, we could.

Now, to be fair - it was boring for me because it was a bunch of his buddies and so it was only fair to be the primary kid-chaser in this wildly unchildproof house while he socialized, not because it had anything to do with math. But at the same time, here's a way to fulfill some family obligations without actually having to talk to Willem, since I was still in a snit over the morning's snark.

There was a very cute incident there, between Jacob and another graduate-student-offspring who is two weeks younger than him, a cute little girl named Dasha. At one point, Jacob clambered up into an armchair next to her, laid his head on her shoulder, blinked sweetly, and said, "Hi, baby! My name Jacob." I realized I had just witnessed his first-ever pickup line.

Friday was fine, we snarked some more but we also managed to get along for most of the endless drive out. A lovely albeit brief visit with my family for my sister's graduation, and the requisite guilt on my part for not staying for the ceremony - but nothing fatal. Being on the President's List, apparently she got her own personal profile presented at the ceremony... yeah, no guilt at all... *sigh*

Friday night, we arrived at Willem's mother's house and threw the children in bed, and then he announced that he wanted to go out and meet his friends at a bar in town. Which didn't instantly thrill me, because I wasn't feeling especially bar-ish and I'm *never* feeling much in the mood to be left home to chat with his mother while he goes out to play with his friends. Particularly with the same group of people who he's going to meet up with at 9:00 the next morning for an overnight bachelor party. But he wanted to, and he informed his mother that she would be watching the kids while we went out (she's a nightmare, but that doesn't mean that she's on the receiving end of the occasional steaming pile of obnoxiousness, too...) so he asked me to go, too. So we went, and ended up sitting in the parking lot for an hour continuing the previous day's snark. Ah, bliss. I still don't know whether we ever came to any sort of closure or if we finally just talked each other into a coma - but at some point we finally went into the bar, and I stood around and watched other people chat about things I didn't care about (sports, beer, plans for tomorrow's party that I wasn't attending - actually, parties, since the bachelorette party was scheduled for the same time - and so on), and I can't hear in bars anyway, and I don't drink... just one big barrel of monkeys, I tell you.

Next day was the bachelor party, so Willem was picked up at something like 8:30 in the morning. The kids and I got up and breakfasted and fed around the same time, and got ready to head to Niagara Falls, with mommy-dearest-in-law in tow. As we were about to head out the door, the phone rings - Willem has forgotten his passport. Now, being a Wife Deserving of a Medal, I agreed to meet him on the highway rather than saying, "Awwwww, does that mean you can't go?" He gave me directions so I could meet him on the Thruway on-ramp, all was well. Then his mother - who couldn't find her way out of a paper bag with a map and a flashlight - insisted, "No, there's a better way to get there - turn right here." And we arrive... at the wrong on-ramp. Bah. But a few annoyed cell phone calls later, we were able to meet up and he got his passport, and a raincoat and his sunglasses and a realization from me that the world really WOULD come to a grinding halt if I weren't there to save it. Or something.

The up-side to this whole rescue operation was that now I'm in the Jeep with both kids and my mother-in-law, and he's in a car with four of his buddies, and we're all headed to the same place for very different reasons. So for the next hour we did that leapfrog thing that you do on the highway, and I never needed to make eye contact or even smile - the fact that both of his kids and his mother were literally pressing their faces up against the glass and waving as though they're having a seizure was karma enough.

The rest of Saturday was actually really, really nice. When Willem's not around, and she's not expected to think or make decisions, my mother-in-law can be a lovely person, and we all had fun. Sunday, similar. Until Willem got home, at which point she reverted into a total inability to have an opinion or state a preference or even offer options... in other words, back to status quo. Which is comforting, in a twisted sort of way.

Monday morning was the funeral with my uncle's smashing faux pas, then a quiet evening with my mom and my sisters. Decided this morning not to visit my grandparents, because they were busy until 1:00 and we were packed and ready to go with two slightly pre-meltdown kids at 9:00 in the morning.

Long, long drive home - but we made it and we were greeted at the door by my dad, who had made chicken soup for us. Awwwwwwww....

So, all in all, a good weekend. Willem and I seem to have gotten past the snarky interlude, we all are in essentially one piece after endless miles of driving to and fro, and aside from the inevitable instance of leaving my mother-in-law's on Monday morning with her having made chocolate milk for both kids and coffee in a travel mug for Willem and precisely as much of a breakfast beverage for me as I have grown to expect from her, there weren't any noteworthy incidents, in-law-wise.

Maybe next time.