Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Just don't tell me

Do you want to know one of the projects that has been keeping me away from blogging?

Here it is.

I made the invitations for my brother's surprise 30th. Have I told you that my brother's name is also Dallas? Yep.... keeping it in the family.

Keeping this secret from Dallas was easy enough.... he lives in a different state. Dal (my husband - called Dal P. for clarification) slipped up just a little when we were staying with my brother and sister-in-law, but with a nudge and a few furtive words, the suspicious phrase was forgotten by Dallas.

I haven't had much luck with secrets. One particular brain freeze moment still makes me cringe when I think of it.

Being in a different country to Dal P's family means that getting to know them has been a slower process than usual. I try to take the opportunity each time we visit to chat with each of my in-laws in the hopes of making up for lost time.

Christmas of 2006 I was five months pregnant. I never reached the moment in pregnancy that some lucky women get to - the moment you become happy in your pregnant state. Both Dal and I were looking forward to the infamous second trimester when, as urban legend has it, you are supposed to be injected with happy hormones. LQ is almost two, and I am STILL waiting for my injection of happy hormones. I am considering searching the black market for the stuff. Do you think they have an ebay for the black market?

Slow, pregnant Hel and Dal and his family all visited California for the Petersen annual Disneyland visit. For the most part Dal and I spent our time walking to and from our hotel room, so little old me could have the naps that kept me happy - remember, no happy hormones for me. Dal's parents occasionally kept us company and on one such occasion Dal's mum told us all about her plans for her youngest's sixteenth birthday. Plans included a trip to LA and tickets to Wicked, among other things. Dal and I were lucky enough to see Wicked in New York while on our honeymoon, so we were excited that Mom and Daughter were finally getting to see it.

Later that day we were summoned to dinner with the family at the Mexican restaurant located near the shooting gallery within Disneyland. As I had the walking pace of an injured whale, we were inevitably late to dinner. Most of the family had eaten and our entrance gave half the family permission to scamper off to the various rides that were still accepting patrons.

I sat down opposite my youngest sister-in-law (the one that was about to turn sixteen). Parents, soon to be sixteen year old, Dal and I all had a nice chat together. And then...... I was left alone with "soon to be sixteen year old" (SSYO).

SSYO and I don't really have that much in common. The lack of commonality and the 10 year age gap leaves me with little to say to SSYO, but in an effort to learn to love and impress the SSYO I felt it essential that I start a conversation with her. My five month pregnant brain, which I am sure resembled potato mash more than a brain, reached back through the archives in a desperate bid to find something we had in common. It didn't take long for the mash to come back with something.

"So SSYO, I hear you are going to see Wicked soon." Even after saying it, no warning bells went off... the mash was performing true to form.

"I don't know. Am I?" SSYO looked confused.

As the mash took in the confused look and the words that were spoken it sent a panicked look to my face. There was no way my potato mash brain had enough wit to cover my tracks. I was in a state of confusion. My eyes were shifting from side to side, anxiously looking for Dal. Maybe he could help. But Dal was nowhere to be found. I was sick to my stomach with guilt and so I said the most clever thing my brain mash could think of.

"I mean.... shhhh.... no you're not."

The stricken look on my face must have been of the same ilk as that poor old deer turning her head slowly toward the headlights. SSYO couldn't help herself.... the laughter resounded around the empty table. I desperately pleaded with her to act surprised in January when her birthday came around.

As far as I am aware SSYO kept her promise and my mother-in-law is still none the wiser.... unless she reads this post*. Sorry Julie!

*chances are she wont read this post. Julie once told Dal that she doesn't read the words on my blog, she just looks at the photos of LQ. I think I'll put a nice photo of LQ at the top so she will stop reading before she even starts.... good strategy? We shall see.


Matthew Stavros said...

Brother's name is Dallas? That's too weird for my taste.

DeNae said...

Excellent strategy! That's a cute pic! Oh, how I wish I could always blame my mashed-potato brain for the number of times I've spilled the proverbial beans. My life is an open book, so I forget that not everyone feels the same way about theirs!

I finally told my family, "I won't be offended if you keep something from me until you're ready for it to be common knowledge. I obviously can't handle that kind of responsibility!"

Amy said...

LOL! People keep telling me what a wonderful experience pregnancy can be, so I wait, and wait ....and wait. As I wait I am discovering that my brain is also slowly turning to mush (I stole your term it's so appropriate), my nose is keener than a k-9's, I make mad dashes to a trash can and my hair has mood swings! It's good to hear that I'm not alone in the it's not the best thing in the world campaign. I will let you know if I discover any miracle cures. I love reading your blog Helen! Don't worry, your secrets safe with me, I'm sure she'd understand anyway. Your sis-in-law from the states

Anne Bradshaw said...

I can't remember what your connection with Australia was, or is, but in case I didn't dream it, you might like to know that the give-away on my blog this week at Not Entirely British is from Guy in New Zealand :-)