Christmas. It started out being the best day ever with, Max was sooooo excited that Santa had visited. But it ended in the most bizare circumstances, resulting in us driving three and a half hours back to Brisbane in the late evening (we got home at midnight).
Late in the afternoon (after we'd all had Christmas lunch), Max was in the pool with his Nona & Pop along with Sean's Aunt and Uncle. I was up in the house reading a magazine and the rest of the extended family were all taking a nap.
I could hear Max being silly in the pool and everyone laughing along with whatever he was doing. Then he started bawling his eyes out. Not that unusual, he was tired and full of sugar and he normally cries when he hurts himself (like most three year olds). I saw Aggie (Sean's Mum) bring him up the steps so I went out to give him a hug and find out what happened.
Between Max and Aggie I found out that Max had thrown a hard plastic toy and hit Sean's Aunt in the head (she was sitting right next to him). Her reaction was to lash out and hit him back. Hard, and in the throat. Max was completely inconsolable, Sean's Mum was so mad that she was shaking and I can't even begin to describe what I was feeling.
I woke Sean up and he was gobsmacked. Once he understood what had happened he was furious. Sean and I handle things very differently, I was crying and yelling and shaking and ready to fly off the handle, but Sean was quiet and still and the most angry I have ever seen him. We could not believe that his Aunt had hit Max. Not smacked (which would still make me angry anyway), but she had reacted in anger and hit him.
Aggie wanted me to go and speak to her straight away, but I knew if I did I would lose my temper and say something I would regret. So we handed Lincoln (who was sound asleep) to Aggie and took Max out for a drive to get some ice cream. Once Max was distracted Sean and I had a chat about what we were going to do. We decided that I would let Linda know that we were sorry Max hit her with the toy, but that her reaction was way out of line and that she was to never lay another hand on him. Then we were going to pack the car and head back to Brisbane (unless she decided to leave, then we would stay).
We went home and let Aggie know what we were going to do. She immediately started crying because she loves Sean and our kids more than anything else and didn't want us to leave.
I called Linda aside and started off by apologising for Max hitting her (to be fair he threw a toy that accidentally hit her, but I was trying to be nice seeing as I was about to give her a piece of my mind). She mustn't have been able to tell how furiously angry I was because she tried to hug me and say that she forgave him. I started to lose my temper at that point, but tried to hold it together. I stepped back and told her not to touch me and that I wasn't finished. I said that she had no right to hit my child and that there was absolutely no excuse for what she had done.
She exploded and started yelling at me that he had hit her first and that I was doing a really bad job of raising Max. I absolutely LOST MY SHIT. I screamed at her that she knew nothing about raising a child (she and her husband chose not to have children so that they could focus on being buddists*) and that hitting Max like that was unforgivable. She reacted by saying that she had trained kids at karate and knew more about children than I did.
I don't remember exactly how things went next, but she stormed out of the room yelling that everything was always about me, and I tried to follow her (whilst yelling at her), but Sean held me back so I couldn't. (I'd already asked Sean's brother to take Max outside to play so thankfully he didn't hear or see any of this).
I cried and vented to Sean for a few minutes and told Aggie that we would be leaving (she was crying even more by this point), she told us that she would ask Linda to leave instead. We took both kids this time and left the house for 45 minutes so that she could pack her stuff and go.
When we got back her car was still there so Sean went in to see what was happening. He came back out ten minutes later and said that she had decided that seeing as she'd done nothing wrong(!!) she wasn't leaving. Sean and I agreed that we would just pack up and go. That process took a good couple of hours because Max had a million Christmas presents spread around the house, Sean's Mum was crying and begging us to stay, Sean's grandparents were trying to smooth things over and convince Sean and I that we could all stay and forget anything had ever happened. At one point Sean's Mum asked her to leave again, but his Grandma told her to stay (I think).
Eventually we had everything packed up and we got in the car and left.
I still can't believe how it all happened. Nothing like this has ever happened in either of our families before. In our family no one is violent, no one has ever hit anyone, something like this is completely out of left field. Sean told me as we were driving home that his Aunt had said to him that she hadn't meant to hit Max as hard as she did. Sean said to her that she should've hit him at all and she again responded by saying 'he hit me first'. And Aggie told me that the Aunt thought she was justified in hitting Max because she felt that he threw the toy deliberately and with malice. She could not see that she had done the wrong thing... Unbelievable.
So we're back at home, Max is sad that Christmas is over, Sean's Mum is still devestated that we left and Sean and I are still reeling.
Most bizare Christmas ever...
(*I don't know much about buddists, but I don't think they're supposed to hit three year olds.)