This is the post I started on the Monday after we got back. I decided it sounded a little mean and bitter so I stopped. I changed my mind and thought I'd post it anyway.
Well, we're back from our Thanksgiving trip. We went to Mom's for the holiday - she lives in Oklahoma. We also have Christmas with Mom on Thanksgiving because we can't get back there for it. We went on Tuesday; my brother and his wife came on Wednesday evening. Then my brother and his wife left on Saturday; we left on Sunday. Here's the thing... my brother is a bully. I know that sounds harsh, but it's true. He thinks he's a house-repair, car-fixing, macho guy. In other words, he's a male chauvinist pig. I really wish I were exaggerating - unfortunately I'm not. Don't get me wrong... I do love my brother and, when I need him, I can normally count on him. He and his wife have bought the kids school clothes for at least the last 4 years. They always give the kids good presents at Christmas and birthdays (probably too many presents). They paid for Oldest to go to camp last summer. So, at least when it comes to affording things, he’s not a bad guy. On the other hand... he always has to be right, he doesn't like the way my girls dress (refers to them as hookers if they wear tight or short clothes), he complains about everything, and these are probably his good qualities. Here are some examples from the past week. 1. My mother makes wonderful homemade sour dough rolls. The dough rose overnight on Wednesday and cooked on Thursday morning for dinner. On Friday Mom heated the leftover rolls for lunch. She put them in the oven to re-heat which made them a little harder than putting them in the microwave. No big deal to everyone except Brother. He made sure to point out that the rolls were a little hard, calling them a rock and hoping he didn't break his tooth. Everyone else was trying to be polite and they were still good, so why bother making a comment. 2. Brother gave my mom a BB gun for Christmas. Yes, that's what she wanted. She lives way out in the country and needed it to keep strays out of the trash. It's not really as bad as it sounds and it doesn't hurt that much. I should know... my brother shot me with it! I was talking to Mom in the living room and ping - he shot my arm. It left a little round bruise but it was ok. I just told him to please not do that again. He was like "Waah! It didn't even hurt you." Whatever, Brother. 3. My mother had an old Pepsi machine. It was the kind that you have to open the door and pull the handle to get the pop out of. She gave that to my brother and he was trying to load it into his truck. His wife said something to him and he just went off on her. "Just go away! I'll do this myself. I wasn't even talking to you... it wasn't even your business. I'm serious, just get out of here!" I felt really bad for Sis-in-law. 4. Here's my biggest complaint against my brother. Deklan was acting out. "He just needs a good spanking. If he were my kid he wouldn't act like that. You always give him what he wants... you don't treat the girls like that. When we were kids you know Dad wouldn't have put up with any of that. Autism or not, you just baby him too much."
When Deklan said he felt different and not happy, I actually believe that he got that emotion right. My brother doesn't give him any attention - except negative. He does give the girls attention. Especially Oldest, who is his favorite and everyone knows it.
Overall, our Thanksgiving went well and we came home on Sunday after. It was so cold. Oldest had rolled the window down part way on the way to Oklahoma. It stuck! Then when I was trying to fix it, I rolled it down more and then couldn’t get it fixed! We put plastic and duct tape over the window. The plastic was too thin and ripped before we got to town (did I mention Mom lives out in the country – 12 miles outside of town?). We stopped 3 times before I finally got to a small town with a dollar store. I bought one of those clear plastic paint drop cloths and more duct tape. We had the whole door wrapped and taped! Needless to say, it was kind of a loud (from the wind on plastic) and cold trip home to Kansas.