Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Warning! Drinking and fixing bikes does not mix!

Newton's Third Law of Physics...Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Originally I had a lovely post planned today to commemorate my birthday weekend and the Fourth of July.  I'm putting that on hold so I can vent and address something that happened last night.  I think it's very important for everyone to remember Newton's Third Law of Physics.  You actions have consequences.  Sometimes there is a wonderful reaction (hugs, kisses, praise, etc), sometimes no noticeable reaction, and sometimes a negative reaction.

We had a family barbecue yesterday.  Simple and easy.  Just my family and my parents.  For anyone who doesn't know, we own a two family house and my parents live on one side.  Some days this causes me MAJOR regrets.  It started off normal enough.  My dad went and fiddled with the grill some because we had problems with it working properly.  My husband came home from work early (2 pm), showered and took a short nap (he wakes up at 3:30 a.m.).  All was good.  We grilled, the kids played, we ate, we talked.  Everything was "normal".  I should know that never lasts around here.  I swear my family (all encompassing) draws drama like bees to honey.

My dad is diabetic.  He has type 2 diabetes.  He is not supposed to drink alcohol as it turns to sugar when the body breaks it down.  He bought my husband a 6 pack of beer for the barbecue.  Something my husband would normally never drink.  My dad then decided he wanted to try one.  Fine.  He's a grown man and one should be ok.  That was when he was starting to barbecue around 4:30.  At 6 he says he's having a glass of wine.  Red wine is good for me, he says.  Ok.  Going to keep my mouth shut. 

He then offered to switch out the tire on my daughter's bike.  The tube was flat and he said he could switch it out with the one on my son's old bike.  I said ok.  It would save us a few dollars if it worked.  I've seen him switch out tubes and tires before so I figured it was no big deal.

Holy heck was I wrong!  I didn't realize that he had been spiking his diet soda with red wine the whole afternoon.  I didn't see the signs.  I want to smack myself in the head.  I should know better.  I've seen it before.  He rarely drinks anymore but when he does it's rarely one or two.  Ugh!! 

My daughter asked to watch him make the switch. He didn't mind so I said ok.  He said it would take about 20 minutes.  I figured he would switch it out, she would take it for a short spin and then it would be time to shower and get ready to watch the fireworks on television.  Boy, was I wrong.  After 30 minutes of watching him in the basement she told me wanted to wait and try it later.  That's when I started to hear him cursing.  Yep, time to go inside for the night. The yelling and cursing got louder.  My mom told me today she could hear him throwing things around in the basement.  Not cool.

He called me later while we were watching the fireworks.  I told him that it wasn't a good time to talk and he got mad at me.  Sigh...since when is our family time less important than him yelling at me that the bike is stupid.  I don't get it.  My brain doesn't work that way.  What good comes of getting mad because something isn't working the way you want it to?  Upset I can see, but you move past it.  I swear he's a little boy trapped in a man's body.  I now realize where my son gets his attitude of whatever is wrong is everyone and everything else's fault.  A light bulb clicked this morning that my dad is the same way.  I'm having a tough time getting my son to be accountable for his actions.  It's hard when he hears his grandfather doing the same thing.  I'm going to have to nix some of their unsupervised time together.  I hate to do it but it's got to be done.

To make matters worse, I wake up this morning to see her bike outside by the curb with the trash.  What the heck?  What gives him the right to toss it out like it's garbage.  It's a year old and looks almost brand new.  Just because of a flat tire he couldn't fix?  I picked it up and brought it to the backyard.  There was no way it was being tossed. I was so upset at him.

I find out later that he went out at some point and bought her another bike.  Why???   Take her bike to the bike shop and have them fix it.  It would cost a lot less.  Now I'm scared that it was the bike he was throwing around.  Maybe he bent the frame and I didn't notice it.  I could cry.  How could you like your temper get the best of you when it comes to something special of your grandchild's?!

My father had asked us if he could take both of the kids on a trip to see my brother in August.  It's a nine hour drive.  We've been debating back and forth about it.  He's taken Goalieboy before but never Little Bee.  We questioned whether two kids would be one too many.  Also, my dad gets road rage and even though it's gotten better we were still leery.  It's a six hour drive.  A lot can upset him in that amount of time.  We really wanted them to be able to spend special time together bonding and making memories. However, after this last display of maturity my husband and I are 100% on board the NOT GOING TO EVER HAPPEN train.  My heart aches because I really wanted to trust him and I have to admit I can't.  They're 7 and (almost) 9, I can't expose them to that.  I can't trust how he'll act when he's away with them.  What if he has 3 or 4 drinks and then something happens.  I would have sworn before that he wouldn't drive drunk.  Now I don't know.  I can't believe he was 100% sober when he went out to buy that bike.

I'm so sad.  I ache for what my kids are losing with not being able to go on this trip.  I ache for the way my dad acts.  I ache for the way my father talks to me when he disagrees.  I ache for the loss of it all.  Sure, things will go back to "normal" but it won't be normal.  Not really.

***I just found out he went out at 5 a.m. to purchase it, so I guess he was sober by that point and realized the result of his actions.  He said he messed up the break when he was switching tires.  I'm still going to see if the bike shop can fix it and for how much.  The bike he got is a 20" which is too big.

So, in the end, it's important to remember that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  Drinking = Rage = Broken Bike = Money for new bike = Ruined vacation for grandparent/grandchildren bonding.   It's all so sad.  Think and weigh the consequences when making decisions with questionable outcomes.  Especially if previous results have not been positive.


Carolyn said...

What a tough and honest post. I hope everything has settled for you and the kids today.

~Mistee~ said...

So sorry about your weekend! :-( Hang in there.

Barbara said...

That's got to be rough. Hang in there!