Sunday, April 01, 2007

Bad In-Law Karma

I shouldn’t be writing this for two reasons:
  1. I am already so behind at work that even going in to the office for several hours yesterday (Saturday) and NOT blogging, I didn’t catch up, and tomorrow I start a week “on service,” which unfortunately does not mean I get serviced; it means seven days seeing patients in the hospital while continuing to do the rest of my job, which means someone is going to be suffering, and mostly that someone is me, though I fear more than a few patients may be feeling the pain too.
  2. Whenever I bitch about my in-laws, I get an image in my mind of all the things HellBoy’s future partner will say about me. In-law karma is going to bite me in the ass.
But anyway. This is what was supposed to happen this morning: When HellBoy woke up, TrophyHusband was to whisk him into Nana and Papa’s room and they’d let us—particularly me, since I guess I seemed a mite cranky yesterday—sleep in. I would rise several hours later, rested and maybe even bearable to be around, and certainly not likely to write an ungracious post about them.

This is what actually happened:

6:45 am. HB wakes. TH whisks. I roll over and even manage to pick up the thread of my dream, which had something to do with edible handkerchiefs.

6:47 am. HB is climbing on my head.

6:48 am. TH is attempting to peel a howling HB off my head, explaining that Nana apparently didn’t understand that HB can open doors.

6:54 am. TH succeeds. The howling travels downstairs. I roll over again, but the dream has fled.

6:56 am. Howling.

6:57 am. Howling.

7:03 am. Howling.

7:05 am. Sounds of television (usually forbidden during daytime) echoing up into my bedroom.

7:20 am. I give up and come downstairs and turn off the television.

7:21 am-7:40 am. Howling.


I suppose I could have sedated myself at that point, but although I am generally a big fan of Better Living Through Chemistry, the idea of taking a sleeping pill in order to sleep late seems a bit much.

Then there was breakfast, which involved Nana making 1) pancakes 2) an enormous mushroom cloud of blue smoke and 3) piles of dirty dishes. During the eating of said breakfast, the following conversation took place:

NANA: Eat the pancakes, HB! Eat the yummy pancakes!

HB: I want to eat butter.

NANA: You know, when he comes to our house, he eats a lot more!

ME: Really. [Subtext: Nana truly believes that I do not feed HB enough, and that this is the cause of his small stature, rather than that he might have inherited some short genes, for instance from her side of the family, where none of the men stand above five four.]

PAPA: That’s true! I think it’s because if his cousin is there, it’s like a competition. Are you going to eat that pancake? [Note: Nana also loves to tell stories about how Papa’s mother used to feed him raw eggs when he was a child to try to fatten him up. Papa is now of Shrek-like proportions. For some reason this is supposed to inspire us.]

NANA: Maybe it’s like with Annie and Jasmine. H__ can never get Annie to eat at her house unless she cooks her something really special, but when she brings her to our house and she gets to eat next to Jasmine, she’s fine!

ME: Are you saying that H__ has an anorexic GOLDEN RETRIEVER?

TH: [laughing so hard he starts weeping and wheezing]

HB: I want to eat whipped cream.


Anonymous said...

The first part of your story reminds me of what usually happens when my husband volunteers to get up with our 2-year-old daughter and let me sleep in. Or if he promises to keep her occupied in the other room while I do some work in the other room. Every 30 seconds she bursts into the room, I call for my husband, and he makes ME feel bad for not scooping her up and playing with her...although we have agreed that HE is supposed to occupy her! "Well, what do you want me to do? I can't watch her every second," he says. Um, yeah you can!!

Sorry you didn't get to finish your dream. Edible handkerchiefs is an...interesting idea. Are they used or fresh when you eat them?

OMDG said...

I'm so happy that when my in-laws start complaining that I'm underfeeding my future offspring that I won't be able to understand them because they only speak Italian.


meno said...

How is it that mothers-in-law
(and mothers)are able to perfect the art of saying something that SOUNDS reasonable, but is really a dis to those in the know?

Vetmommy said...

It may have been irrational to post, but sounds like it was cathartic and well deserved.

Hope more ZZZs are in your future soon.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I have fabulous in laws and there is always an incident or two that I have trouble with.

The questions I don't want to answer.

The scolding of my child.


It's like there is some kind of psychic balance in the family when you have children and the extra family members disrupt it. They can seem like outsiders trying to be insiders. Or something. I think it's just unavoidable. I have antibodies to my own parents that make me notice less (sometimes) their antics--but their antics can be much worse.

There are very interesting studies on child survival and grandparent involvement (in societies where tragically child survival is more of an issue). The mother's mother's involvement has a big impact on child survival but the father's mother has much less. Maybe it's some kind of evolutionary thing then.

Anonymous said...

My in-laws are a pain. I make no apologies for complaining about them occasionally. Because venting allows me to be civil and keep the family peace. Sounds like yours are more helpful overall.

I'm always envious of friends who have parents/in-laws who do a lot for them. I think I could stand the annoyances if I had lots of good in there. At least I know what NOT to do when I am a grandma from my ILs behavior.

Anonymous said...

Q: Do you know the difference between in-laws and outlaws?

A: Outlaws are wanted.

Seriously, sorry your morning was such a mess. Next time the in-laws come to stay, can you & TH book a night in a local hotel? Just tell the in-laws you're trying to have another child; they'll give you all the time you need.

Orange said...

I have great in-laws, but yes, the whole "obviously you're starving our grandchild" bit gets old. For me, anyway. For them? One of the all-time classics, always appropriate. They had a good three-year run on circumcision, but harped on baptism (or the lack thereof) only behind our backs.

My MIL thinks I don't feel my husband enough either. (He's old enough to fend for himself!) That one paid off in spades the weekend that my FIL, husband, (maybe Ben? I forget), and a couple other relatives got food poisoning. MIL deduced that it was the sliced pineapple from the grocery store, since she never has any trouble with her food sanitation practices. (Do you like to thaw frozen meats in the dish drainer? The dish drainer where you place freshly washed dishes? Hey, so does she! Do you like to keep leftovers out on the counter for hours and hours when family is visiting? Hey, so does she!)

And my kid is solidly at the 50th percentile for height and weight now, but he used to be smaller. Do you think that's because his mother neglects to feed him? Or might it hve something to do with his having started life as a very-low-birthweight preemie?

Anonymous said...

TH is only 5'4"?

DoctorMama said...

No, TH is 5'10", but he didn't get it from her -- she and her brothers are basically hobbit-sized. (TH's father is over six feet.) Most of my relatives are on the small side too, but they never pick on us about HB's size ...

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I hear you. I love it when my MIL feeds my mostly-breastfed 5 month-old a bottle, cooing, "Oh, yes, you're starving, you're starving, aren't you?" Grrrr.

My 2-year old son also eats a lot at her house -- wouldn't you, if dinner consisted of applesauce and Keebler Deluxe Grahams?

Jenn (dish) said...

Sounds like my in-laws with the food thing. They're Italian, so if you're not eating so much that you feel sick, you're obviously still hungry. And "it's not sweet" translates to "it has enough sugar to send a moose into shock" which works soooooo well for my son who doesn't really even *like* sweets. Fruit- yes, in buckets. But not cookies and such.

Good luck...

Anonymous said...

God, along with grandparents worrying that your baby is too cold, this is my grandparent pet peeve. So weird, there must be some gene that switches on when you become a grandparent that makes you inordinately interested in your grandchild's eating habits.

To make matters worse, without fail our child will eat several servings of any food I have told her grandparents she hates while she is at their house, and even if she is offered a snack right after mealtime (even a healthy snack), she will devour it as if I haven't fed her in days.

E. said...

I am sitting feeling very lucky about my in-laws, and my own folks. Many's the morning my Old Man and I have both been able to sleep in thanks to Grandparental caretaking.

Maybe next time Nana and Papa can take HB to some fun local hotel? Or you and TH can take yourselves there, and arrive back just after the cloud of blue smoke clears...

Larki said...

Oh, I wish you'd gotten some sleep! It's much worse to think you're going to get to sleep in, then have the people responsible for Child Entertainment and Containment fall down on the job, so that you have to get up anyway, and now you're resentful on top of exhausted. Though of course this never happens to me: oh no, never.

I'm selfishly glad that someone else's child demands butter and whipped cream for breakfast. I once discovered my youngest child eating canned whipped cream off the floor, beside the cat. My husband was laying down alternating squirts from the can for each of them. Everybody was happy. This is what happens when Mama DOES sleep in.

Sarah said...

What a great example of people trying to "help" who wind up making more work for you than if they had just f-ed off to begin with.