Monday, 1 January 2007

Four fights and a wedding...

Monday, 1 January 2007
...otherwise known as 'My Greek Holidays Part One'.

So we managed to get out of England on the day that not many other people were so successful. For the non-English readers this was because fog pretty much closed Heathrow Airport for several days, the first of which was the Wednesday we left for Greece. I still have no idea why our flight was one of the lucky ones but given that around 50,000 people were not so lucky as over 300 flights were cancelled that day I thank whichever deity that was watching over us. We were however 2 hours delayed so we arrived in Athens at 3.15am local time - bleary eyed but relieved to have survived a four hour flight with an 18 month old that did not sleep at all!

We had stuffed our luggage to capacity with food, toys, gifts and clothing so had arranged that the first morning we were there we would go to a supermarket to pick up nappies, toiletries, baby milk etc. We duly set off with FIL as our taxi service to a large supermarket on one of the busiest roads in Athens. FIL insisted on carrying Lia around the store, a task that also involved feeding her from the shelves, encouraging her to throw fruit on the floor and buying her a toy that she picked up because she cried when it was taken away from her. Because FIL was paying for the toy he went to a different check out than us and then DH had to go and get some fruit weighed so I was busy packing the shopping. Once DH had returned and we had paid I was walking away from the check outs when Lia called me. I turned to find her alone on a display pallet near the automatic doors next to piles of electric heaters and wood that were taller than her. FIL was absolutely nowhere to be seen.


If I live till I'm 150 I'll never get over the fear I felt when I realised what he'd done. DH told him off but said 'my father's a bit absent minded'. Absent minded? Okay, forgetting to pick her up from school is absent minded, putting her down and walking away from her is irresponsible, stupid and so far away from 'a bit absent minded' it's not true.

Needless to say, I've been a bit more jumpy about her whereabouts than normal.

So, fight number one. This was between DH and myself on Christmas Eve because I refused to go out that evening anywhere that wasn't walking distance from the appartment. There were two reasons for this, one I wasn't feeling great as I'd had an infection in the run up to flying to Greece (at one point medical advice was not to fly and I was taking 17 pills a day to fight the symptoms of dizziness and sickness) and two, Lia had not been sleeping well as she was teething. Basically DH's sister had said we should have dinner together that evening and I said fine as long as we were close by so I could get back quickly and without ruining anyone else's evening.

This shouldn't have been a problem as there are numerous places to eat but DH hadn't bothered to sort anything so when his sis called it ended up with us not being able to agree anything and not going out at all. This all happened when DH and I were in a taxi so we arrived in downtown Athens with me in tears and him shouting that he was 'ashamed' to tell his sister that I was unwell again and couldn't go out. Apparently he has to use this excuse all the time and it bothers him so when I asked him the last time he had to use it he said 'I don't remember but I'll ask my sister as she remembers every time'. I told him to go stick his head back up his butt and if she had any issue with me she should open her mouth and tell me, not him. After about an hour of this I told him I'd fly home with Lia and he could spend the rest of the trip doing whatever the hell he liked without being ashamed of me.

The end of it was him saying that he was in the wrong because he couldn't cope with sorting out and booking a restaurant. It was an argument about nothing really but it gave plenty of Greeks some entertainment as it was conducted in public...

SIL is blooming at six months pregnant. Unfortunately my hopes of her baby being called Achilles so we don't have to use the name have been dashed as it will be Leftaris after the other Grandfather. Still I amused myself by telling SIL that I intend to call the child Lefty and that 'Lefty the Greek' sounds like he should be running an East End gang. DH's grandmother says she will call the baby Teari (as in tear paper) but SIL doesn't like that either - Leftaris is the shortened version of Eleftharios so Leftaris it will be apparently. Poor child.

The second argument was on Boxing Day between MIL and SIL. I have no idea what it was about but it woke Lia and also provided a wonderful atmosphere for the evening's meal out as the pair of them were sulking big time.

Argument three was the next day between MIL and FIL as she found out that he had two mobile phones. Of course, there is only one reason why a man would have two mobile phones and that is 100% the reason why my FIL has them. Obviously many of you will feel that MIL is justified in shouting at him and normally I'd be totally on the side of the person being cheated on but I'd challenge anybody to be married to my MIL and not look for a bit of light relief on the side.

As for the wedding. SIL got married in white between Christmas and New Year as, if they aren't married, the baby is officially illegitimate and the father has to fill in some legal papers to acknowledge he was the sperm donor. It is possible to arrange a church wedding in double quick time and get the whole thing over with in one go (I know because DH's cousin did it in October as her baby is due just after SIL's) but no, SIL has to have two weddings (date of number 2 still to be arranged) so we all get dressed up (I show how important I'm taking the whole situation by wearing exactly the same outfit to her wedding as I did to my own) and drive for half an hour to the mayor's office for a ceremony that lasted about 30 seconds. Honestly, I turned to pick up Lia and everyone started applauding because they were married.

For me the only interesting part of the whole thing was that the groom wore jeans just as he had done to my wedding and Lia's christening so at least it proves that was nothing personal, he just has no idea of what is acceptable dress.

So finally the fourth argument. I'm afraid to say that I started this one just this morning as I was sitting inside while FIL and DH's Grandmother took Lia onto the balcony. I have no issue with this, what I do have an issue with is the pair of them standing around and encouraging her to throw all the fruit on the floor. I stormed out, picked her up and shouted at them at which point DH came out and I explained that I found it hard to believe that two adults could honestly consider that this was acceptable behaviour. Apparently I expect too much from them to think they might now how to bring up children...

In other news, Lia now has 16 teeth, is shaking hands with people when she meets them, is saying daddy quite distinctly (instead of Dadda), occasionally managing Mummy, can moo like a cow, meow like a cat and roar like a lion (okay a very small cute lion but a lion nonetheless) and is coming out with new words all the time - 'oh dear' and 'oh no' being the favourites. She's also dancing an awful lot and we have some great video footage.

That's all for now, I'm on dial up and my time is limited. Thankfully we're home on the 4th and life can settle back down to what we laughingly call normality. I'll update you with the fun parts of the trip then.



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