Today was a day I had high hopes for. A day to have fun. A day to hang out. Make memories. A chance for some active relationship building.
The easiest and deepest relationship this week that means ALOT to Greg at this point is his relationship with his brother. He will play with the sisters when I ask him to, but who he is LOVING is his big brother. And THAT I think was the downfall of our day. Because to L, that is competition.
We all were going to the waterslides an hours drive away. Everyone. A fun, fun time I was sure. I was excited.
I think it all started to fall apart in the parking lot of the hotel.
First, sister #2, age 3, ran to me in the parking lot. "I missed you SO much last night Jen. I wanna drive with you"
Following her, sister #1, age 6, ran over as well DEMANDING to ride in our car.
Greg is hiding out in the car. He doesnt feel up to a big hello this morning. No more hugs for him.
L, mother, and J, grandmother dont get the hint. They go around to his side of the car and reach in for hugs. He's cringing.
We have an empty seat. Greg asks brother to drive with us. I invite him happily. He looks highly uncomfortable. He says no. He glances back at his mother.
We leave. I wonder. I understand, but I wonder.
By the end of the day I no longer have much understanding. I want to scream at her that its NOT Greg's fault he wasnt raised with his brother. Its NOT brother's fault he wasnt raised with Greg. Its not either of their faults that they were placed into two different families and just now they have a chance to be friends. .
But as it turns out. She will make them pay. They will pay the price for the consequence of her actions because THIS she can control.
We get to the water park. I pay. I buy a swim diaper. I rent us a locker. I rent a cabana. I so want this day to go well.
I really dont know how it happens but again I am left with the girls. I am not asked. I do not offer. But I provide child care all day for two of the sisters. I keep returning to their mom, their aunt, their grandma. They seem perfectly content to have me hang out with the girls. Don't get me wrong - its FUN. The girls are so adorable. They seem to love me to bits and this is my favorite part of hanging out with kids - my own or other people's - PLAY. But it just feels STRANGE. Is it supposed to be like this? I have no idea if this is "normal". Its not MY normal. I am a jealous mom. I love my time with my kids. I miss them when we are apart. I loved my babies close. I loved those special times. I loved their firsts. This is the girls first day at the waterslides. And I got to be there with them.
I dont understand the logic of not being jealous of your babies wanting to spend all day with someone else - and not just any someone else the adoptive mother of your son - but being jealous that the 13 year old prefers the company of a 15 year old. I try to be understanding but she genuinely doesnt seem to care. I dont appear to be misreading her she really seems just fine with the girls being with me all day. This I know because I would have enjoyed a 15 minute break. I didnt get it.
Greg is with his brother, older cuz and little cuz. They are having so much fun. I love watching it.
I ask him to play with sisters for 10 minutes. He does. We play together. They swim back and forth from him to I. Its fun. He laughs with them. But he is bored.
I ask him to talk with L. He tries. She makes no effort to talk to him. He is getting more and more frustrated. I "release" him to go where he wants to be - with his brother. They are making plans for a sleepover at the hotel tonight. They are planning for our bike ride with Addie tomorrow.
L begins the drama. She now refuses to talk to me. She sits crying at the edge of the pool. She refuses to talk to Greg. She begins to threaten to leave early.
I try repeatedly. I am alternatively nice. Funny. Engaging. Sympathetic.
I am so frustrated. Heck to me this feels like a root canal without freezing, I cant imagine how it feels to Greg.
He is SO willing to have a relationship with her. All she has to do is #1 respect his boundaries #2 make an effort on his terms. And here I am trying to have HIM make the effort on HER terms.
It isnt going well.
I decide the 6 and under crowd is an easier sell. The girls and I have a great afternoon. Greg and his brother have a great afternoon.
Aunt talks to me nicely. I am thankful.
They pack up to leave. I decide its not wise for Greg and I go leave at the same time. We are both ready for this day to be over ... not to drag on. I have a chance to talk privately with Greg.
L tells brother he cant stay with us. L tells brother he cant come to a sleep over. L tells brother tomorrow's plans are off.
I go to the washroom. I come back to an upset Greg. L asked him if he wanted to come over to their place tonight. He had to say no.
We had a deal. Greg is adamant he doesnt want to be left alone with them ever. I am supposed to be the "bad guy". This is to keep him safe. To keep him feeling safe. And now HE had to tell her no.
I am angry. That she would put him in that position. That she would put ME in that position.
I walk out to the parking lot with them to retrieve their car seats from my vehicle. Greg refuses to come. I dont blame him. They dont give him any hugs goodbye. This is probably a good idea on their parts.
As I walk out to the car sister starts to beg and whine. She wants to go home with Jen and Greggy. I try to quiet her. Your mama needs you tonight. She is feeling sad. NOOOOO I wanna stay with Jen. I wanna go to Jen's house. I am adamant. No. Your mama needs you to go home tonight. We will play tomorrow. Tears. Finally Ok. Not happy but ok. I feel sick to my stomach. I dont know to make any of this better. But who I care about most is Greg.
I go to focus on my son.
Greg and I hit some waterslides together. Its fun.
We leave. We go to the outlet mall. We go out for ribs. We have a great conversation. I talk about what is going on. He asks why, over and over again. He is angry. He wants to spend time with his brother. She is taking that from him. AGAIN.
We talk about our day tomorrow. We are meeting L alone for lunch. He wants to ask her his "questions". Its going to be hard after today. It would have been hard BEFORE today. It will be harder now.
We talk about our visit with Addie. Another of mommy's internet friends. He rolls his eyes and laughs.
I ask if he wants to go watch a video with L and family at their house in the evening after they get off work. He is adamant that he does NOT want to. I dont know what to do to undo the damage of today. He is mad now. He wont forget easily.
We have a good time. Our dinner is fun. Conversation actually flows. FROM GREG. This is noteworthy. The ribs are apparently the best he has ever had.
I think about formulating an email to talk about today. I think better of it.
Greg ends our conversation over dinner by saying "Mom she is JUST like baby J's grandma"
If you know our story, you know what a damming statement that is.