Where I’ve Been, Part II

July 23, 2007

Ready for the MIL stories?  Since I didn’t vent about them every day as they happened, instead you’ll just be getting the bigger ones that I can remember now.  That’s probably all you really need anyway to get a good picture of how the week went.

  • Remember how she recently lost her job and found another one?  We were hoping she would be so focused on the new job that we wouldn’t have to hear her whine about the other one incessantly.  We were totally wrong.  I had to hear the whole annoying story numerous times in her short stay.  Each time she turned more and more into the victim.  I got extremely frustrated having to console her and tell her everything would be okay and the mean doctor would be punished for what he did to her.  Yet each time she insisted on telling the story, it felt more like she was lying about it, like she was hoping to convince herself her story was true and that it would be more realistic the more she practiced it.  I think the truth is that she wrote herself a prescription and the doctor found out and wouldn’t stand for it like the previous doctor would.  Now she’s trying to find excuses for why she did what she did and is making it sound like he misinterpreted something she did–which was most certainly not actually writing herself a prescription.  M agrees with me that she’s lying.
  • The worst time when I had to hear the whole story yet again was Friday late morning.  Unemployment called her to hear her side of the story after hearing the doctor’s, and when she got off the phone with them she had to call my FIL and M’s aunt (her SIL) to tearfully tell them what she had told unemployment, which included the whole sordid story again.  It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal, despite the fact that I had to sit through it all trying not to sigh and roll my eyes at the drama, except that moments before the first phone call I was about to go get my shower.  I needed her to watch PJ while I did so.  This was the only chance I would get to shower since I had to go to the ultrasound that afternoon and had just gotten up a few minutes earlier, and we’d be leaving right after lunch.  By the time she got off the phone and composed herself enough to watch PJ as she’d promised, I could barely squeeze in the quickest rinse-off ever before we had to rush to the hospital (to wait and wait and wait).  I acted nice but was super aggravated.
  • Friday night’s dinner was annoying, too.  PJ woke up from his late nap fussy since he hadn’t slept long enough yet, but we had to wake him up for dinner.  MIL put him in his high chair long before she had food in front of him, though (obviously a bad move), and he screamed until there was food there.  I listened as M told her not to give PJ any biscuit yet because once he saw there was a biscuit, that’s all he would eat.  He would cry any time there wasn’t biscuit on his tray, even if it was gone, and would refuse the rest of his meal altogether.  What did I see as she put food in front of him?  She started to give him a bite of biscuit.  I again told her not to–acting like I hadn’t heard M just tell her the same thing–and then watched as she did anyway.  For about two seconds, while PJ ate that piece of biscuit, we had wonderful peace.  Then he realized the bread was gone and screamed for more.  It was a full-blown hissy fit.  When we wouldn’t give him more until he’d tried at least some of the rest of his meal, he screamed louder.  My MIL apologized to him–for not giving him what he wanted because Mom and Dad wouldn’t let him have more biscuit yet.  She deliberately made us out to be the bad guys in the whole situation.  (By the way, I finally distracted him enough to get him to eat a few bites of chicken, thus winning the battle.  He ate a decent meal afterwards perfectly happily.)
  • The whole idea of beinig spoiled by Grandma was a common theme of the week.  All he had to do was appeal to her, and she gave him anything he wanted, even if we had just told her not to.  Or if she refused him something, she made it clear that she would have given it to him, but Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t let him, making us the bad guys always.  She overreacted to every hissy fit, getting anxious and rushing to get him what he wanted.  She refused to take our advice about him, instead making lots of mistakes with him that she could have avoided.  I guess she’d rather not do anything the easy way.  We’re just lucky that none of this permanently harmed him.  We’re re-training our spoiled little brat not to be one this week, but at least he can be re-trained.  When he was seven months old, she had him overnight for one night and in that time managed to turn him against bottles.  That was the last time he ever took a bottle, and I suspect made his transition into sippy cups that much more difficult.  I’m glad there was no repeat of that this time around.
  • Apparently she gave no thought into what to pack for her stay here or how to pack for airline travel.  She came totally unprepared for even basic hygeine needs.  As a result, we made numerous trips to pick up that one more thing she realized she forgot (or had confiscated at the airport), and she still borrowed excessively from us.  I don’t mind being a good host and lending out anything I can, but it bothered me that once something ended up in her room or bedroom, there it stayed.  Even if we asked her to return something ASAP since we needed it too, we didn’t see it again until she left.
  • As I suspected, she didn’t do a lot of helping out around here.  She kept PJ entertained well, so I really can’t complain, but it bothered me how she handled the few things she did.  She mopped the kitchen floor and expected immediate and repeated praise for it.  When she helped make the pasta Friday night (by stirring it every so often), she made a big deal about it to my FIL who was on the phone at the time, acting like she was cooking us dinner while taking care of PJ (she was holding him for those few moments).  M was doing the majority of dinner, and I was watching PJ most of that time.  I think it’s safe to say she was stretching the truth just a bit.
  • She kept harping on M to do certain things, like sit with her in the evenings and chat with her instead of playing his game.  If the nagging didn’t work, she moved to manipulation.  M finally gave in just to get her to leave him alone, but I know it bugged him to think he gave in to such obvious manipulation.  She also griped at him for having a cookie and milk before bed one night.  She tried blaming his weight problems on him and trying to convince him that if he has cholesterol problems, that’s why.  But she eats healthy (meaning she drank lots of water while she was here because we didn’t have anything better for her to drink), so she can criticize him.  What a hypocrite.
  • I had Braxton-Hicks bad while she was here, and my MIL was concerned, making sure I spent as much time lying down as possible.  Yet I’m positive now that she is complaining to everyone who will listen that I was so lazy and made her do everything while she was here.  In reality, she only created more work for me and let me sleep less.  And don’t mention the stress.  It’s no wonder I was having problems with contractions.

And I think I’ll stop there.  I could come up with many more gripes about her, but I’ve had long enough to vent now that I probably don’t need to tell all of you every little detail.  For the record, all this is stuff that M and I have talked about.  While he loves her because she’s his mother, he can still see her personality flaws and has trouble handling her for very long either.  In this case, the problem is all her.  I’m glad my husband can see that too and reacts the same way I do to her.  Neither of us will cut ties with her for the petty stuff she does and her annoying personality, but we work together to keep each other sane when we have to be around her.  This is not at all like the in-law problems I read about so many of you having.  There is not a problem between me and the family or the fact that they are in-laws.  It is mostly just my MIL’s personality; everyone has trouble dealing with it–close relatives and strangers alike.  Because of that, our reaction to her is totally different.  It is more a case of learning to tolerate her the way she is instead of trying to work through the situation.  At least I am definitely a part of the family and loved like it.  I guess things could be a lot worse.