Ok time for an update of the weekend now I have surfaced from the washing. I will post photos just haven’t found the camera as yet.
Our mattress arrived in good time and we had left home by 9.30 and in Halls Gap by 1 pm stopping for lunch on the way. Completely set up and enjoying drinks by 2 pm – which even for us wasn’t bad. The other family members didn’t start arriving until after 5 so we had time for a breather before they got there. Remember I was fairly nervous about the weekend.
It wasn’t too bad a weekend. We did quite a bit of driving, checking out what had burnt and what hadn’t. There is a hell of a lot of burnt trees (understatment of the year), but the regrowth, even in just a couple of short months, is amazing. Anyone who says that to burn a forest will destroy it is wrong – well in my humble opinion anyway. Australian natives have the most amazing ability to regernerate and literally emerge from the ashes.
I played nice all weekend you will be glad to hear. The in laws that I don’t particuarly get on with – J and J, I was very polite to. Didn’t even bring up any controversial subjects – although the temptation was there on more than one occasion. I think I bit my tongue so much at times I thought it was bleeding. We shared the occassional laugh and went our seperate ways. I think that when their baby comes, they are on such a steep learning curve it won’t be funny. I know we have all struggled when it came to our first born, but they are so off the radar on what is likely to happen it is unbeleiveable. Despite that I wish them well and just won’t get involved in any of it. Safer I guess for me. I won’t be regarded as the b**** like I normally am. Although not being involved could mean I am in trouble for ignoring them. Ohh well can’t please everyone.
The other in laws B and F and their children we do get on with, although after three days of camping even that was being strained. In the post mortum of the weekend Ashley and I realised that we have very different ways of raising our children to them. On a day visit or an over night one the differences aren’t so obvious, but put two families together, in side by side campsites, then the differences become glaringly obvious. Now I know we are all different, but this was like the two extremes of the artic and the desert.
Our children are very discliplined. Now I don’t mean they jump when we say jump, instead I mean they have a good work ethic. When there are jobs to be done, our kids do them – most times, but not always, without being asked. When we camp, we all have certain jobs to do, and they are done without fuss, as part of being a team. The children have been taught since birth, that there are certain types of behaviour that are just not acceptable (especially when out in public) and they are expected to behave in shops and businesses and just when we are “out” in public. Now they are children, and of course not always perfect, I don’t expect them to be, but on the whole I can take them anywhere and trust that they will behave in the correct manner.
Compare this to the neice and nephews, who incidently are similar ages to Nicola and James, who did nothing all weekend other than makes lot and lots of noise, make lots and lots of mess and wait for it – when the eldest (only a couple of months older than Nicola) was asked to shoo the flies off the meal while Mum cut up the meat for the youngest, said he was too exhausted to do anything and could she pass him his plate. This is also the child who made the biggest performance of his life when after saying he had a headache, then tried throwing up to avoid having to take some pain killers for it. Truly, if I hadn’t felt like whacking him with a wooden spoon, I would have awarded him an Oscar!! None of these children have chores that they must do, no responsibilities for anything, even their own toys. Mum runs after them constantly and when they are asked to do something and they put on an act, just goes ahead and does the job herself. As a result Mum is so stressed that I beleive she is on the brink of a breakdown. Dad isn’t much better. I honestly belive that they are doing their children a disservice in not requiring more of them. As for behaviour when out in public – I’m not even going to start on that discussion. Lets just say I walk a long way in front or behind them.
Now don’t think for a minute that I don’t love my neice and nephews, I do. They have many good points, unfortunately after seeing several of the award winning performances that Mum and Dad, and by association – us, were subjected to, their finer points were being rapidly assessed and found very wanting.
I know I probably sound very critical and I do try to keep a very open mind about how others being up their children and conduct their lives. We all do things differently, that is part of the beauty of being human beings – we are given the ability to think and choose and decide what is best for us. It just become so incredibly stressful by the end of the weekend, that I was very glad to see the back of the relatives. Maybe it is me being too set in my ways. Maybe I expect too much from my children, Ashley and myself. Maybe I am just a first class b****. It is who I am and I have to live with it.
I guess to sum up a family weekend is like a trip to the dentist – good for you, but you don’t want to repeat it too often.