we finally arrived at 1pm and made it out to the pool not long after and drank beers. oliver played for awhile in the grass (which he has hardly ever touched in his condo life) under the sprays of this little, red fire hydrant sprinkler thing. i missed the opportunity to get a photo of the back of his head looking like it had 7 jets of water shooting out of it. i did manage to get some photos of his plumber's crack.
i finally made it into the shower before my grandparents and sister's family showed up. we had the usual eggplant/mushroom spaghetti.
then it was time for the loot.
my sister's family gave me a gift certificate for $35. they love gift certificates. perhaps they purchased this one with the amazon gift certificate i gave jeff for his birthday in july. i imagine this whirlwind of gift certificates where we continually exchange the same old money for new pieces of plastic and paper. during one of my many times of financial crisis, i was not above trading in one certificate for an exact duplicate to give back.
i paused to explain amazon.com to my grandmother.
my parents gave me a boatload of sewing notions and supertramp's greatest. my sister sulked because she had purchased the supertramp as well. my family is filled with great communicators.
my mother said she had hesitated to purchase me a copy of sewing for dummies until i emailed her stating i had not tried out the new machine because i had not purchased any bobbins with thread yet. to cover up my embarrassment, i told her she should be ashamed for not having better schooled me on the home arts.
once it was time for the requested lemon cake with light green frosting, i blew out the candles and grabbed my slice. it was round about then that i happened to notice my sister in the kitchen pulling her finger out of my son's mouth just in time for her to notice me noticing her so that she could look all coy and make it known that she was aware she was doing something of which i would be displeased. it quickly occurred to me that she was feeding him icing. not only do we not give the baby sugar (the closest he comes is the small amount in his organic toasty o's), but we definitely do not give him sugar in the form of store bought icing that contains ingredients i can't even decipher. maybe i should be glad it wasn't homemade since that increases the chances that my baby is still a pure vegan since they love to use chemicals instead of recognizable food ingredients.
good grief. we didn't even give him any of his own birthday cake.
needless to say, i lost my cool quickly.
i demanded to know if she had just fed him icing. she seemed to think it was funny and pointed out she had done so while she had been standing over by me. great... it was at least two fingerfulls.
what got me was that she was completely unapologetic. so unapologetic that when i reminded her that we do not feed him sugar, she screwed up her face so she could look at me like a crazy person and informed me it wasn't going to hurt him. i said that wasn't true or it didn't matter... we don't want him to have sugar. she said that fruit contains sugar. my eyeballs exploded out of the back of my head. i let her know that it doesn't matter what she thinks since we're his parents and don't want him to have sugar.
so yes, let's train the baby to like refined sugar. good idea.
someone must have left at that point and i imagine it must have been her because all i remember doing is standing there at the backside of my birthday shoving down bites of cake as fast as i could and trying not to throw the plate against the wall and stab someone with a fork.
i could hear her out on the patio, where her entire family had already decided to go earlier, letting everyone know it was, in fact, true: i'm a crazy crazy person. unamerican, even, i'm sure. it had been certified by the woman who keeps a tower of 12 12-packs of soda and energy drinks in her breakfast nook.
when ashleigh wandered back into the kitchen later lamenting the lack of permission to consume a third piece of cake, i told her i wouldn't mind feeding it to her. it's not like it was going to hurt her.
and that was the incident with the icing on the cake and why i will likely never be able to trust my sister to be with my baby and simultaneously respect our wishes even if she doesn't agree with them.
i was very disappointed.
brian asked daily for several days if i had heard from either my mother or my sister on the topic. i asked him which family he thought i belonged to because apparently he believes it's one wherein the members talk to one another about sore points.
after everyone left, we put the baby down in that old playpen with the bears in wedding attire pictured on it and played trivial pursuit with my parents and drank beers. brian and i wiped the board with them thanks to our combined mental prowess and my superior dice throwing skills. for a minute there, i thought we just might win all on one turn.
we experienced our first partial night without a baby in the bed with us. it wasn't all that different. i couldn't say how long it lasted since the clocks in the back bedrooms of my parents' house are always blinking no matter if you set them the last time you were there. oliver woke up terrified and i think i scared even more shit out of him by approaching him from behind to pick him up. then it was the usual wake fest the rest of the night. i finally dragged myself out of bed at 9am the next morning. brian promised to be up one minute after 9am. i woke him up at 10:30. he got to drive us home.
we played magnets and i totally loafed around the house and never made it out to the pool and my parents ordered in chinese and i ate left over spaghetti of course and we finally left around 4:30pm. i nursed immediately before we left and spontaneously received a case of self-diagnosed mastitis down the right side of my right breast. i felt like i'd been punched and given bodyaches and a headache.