The Norm | Giftie Etcetera: The Norm

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Norm

Is it normal to insist that other people let you buy them a new bedroom set, and to insist that the same people should choose the pukey orange shiney blanket, FOR THEIR OWN BEDROOM?

Is it normal to grocery shop, on your last day visiting, and buy tons of food that your hosts have not picked out and have no interest in and to try and insist that they keep the food, even though it is literally so much that your hosts cannot close their frig?

Is it normal to see someone having a contraction (the fifth one in an hour, at 20 quite scary) and to tell that person's two year old, in the Wal-mart parking lot, to go with mommy (who is doubled up on the ground from the strength of the contraction)...and then to let go of said two year old's hand?

Is it normal to nap on the couch ALL DAY, then claim you don't nap and get angry when your son says that you do?

Is it normal to only shower once during a five day visit?

Is it normal to ignore the fruits and veggies on a kid's plate, and insist that they eat the icing off of the cupcake, even after they say they don't want it?

Is it normal to eat a pound or more of food at every single meal, to take an hour or longer to eat, and to claim that you never really eat anything?

Is it normal to constantly warn a two year old of impending - and imagined - danger, but not specify ANY action that the child can actually take to avoid the danger?

Is it normal to respond to "we have plans tomorrow" with, "oh, no problem...I'll just stay at your house alone and wait for you to come home"?

Is it normal to constantly ask to come over and "help" after the birth, and after being told "no, we'd like to do this on our own," to say "why do you think I wouldn't be a help...I'll just stay in my room and not get in your way"? (Okay, this one deserves a commentary. As I explained to MIL, if she stays in the room, she is not helping. And I am too anal about how things are done to let anyone else do them. And it's going to be Ander's new bedroom by then, which would mean that she would be evicting Ander just as the new baby arrives. And, she doesn't actually help. That is, she says she will clean and cook, but she will spend so much time asking us to find the cleaning supplies and cooking supplies and putting them away in the wrong place so we'll spend hours looking for them that it will be worse for us instead of better.

It's not like we (both Alan and I) aren't blunt and clear in our responses. It's our home and we will make the decisions (decorating, child discipline, and who stays here after childbirth) here. It's just that she ignores anything we say and just goes about life doing what she thinks is the right thing. I just couldn't visit someone and try to redecorate their house. Or assume I know better what the people should eat. Or stick around their house when they already have plans. Or answer a comment like, "well, we get off work Friday afternoon" with "well, I'll get there Thursday morning, or at noon."




Stac Cole said...

You just SKIMMED over the contractions part. Did they stop? Everything ok?

Maybe MIL should stay away until baby is born. Sounds like maybe the stress got to you big time.

Giftie Etcetera said...

They stopped as soon as I rested.

That's WHY she can't stay with us after the baby is born. The exact same thing happened after Ander was born, for the same reason, except instead of contracting, I started passing large blood clots.

She wanted to shop at Lowe's and Target before we went to Wal-mart (where we needed to shop for groceries). It meant a lot of walking. Apparently, it meant too much walking for me and I started contracting. So Alan put Ander in the buggy and went to pull the car around for us. MIL took Ander OUT OF THE BUGGY (while I was doubled over, contracting), let go of his hand near the parking lot road, and told him to go to mommy (which meant walking into traffic and around the buggy to me). I had to stand up mid-contraction to stop him from getting run over. And she could have just left him in the buggie, since he wasn't even complaining or anything.

She's just in this little spacey world where only she exists. She doesn't even play with Ander. She just sits there. UGH!!!

I'm especially mad, because I just opened my frig, and despite Alan telling her she had to take the fruit (that we don't eat, like fresh cherries) with her, she left them here!

Frog said...

I think she shouldn't visit until after the baby is born too. Maybe a week or so after. That's just too much stress!!

Did she buy you new furniture this weekend??

Try and get some rest now that she's gone.

Stac Cole said...

Ummmm...I'll come shopping out of your fridge if it helps? :)

fairyhedgehog said...

I found my MIL difficult but yours sounds even worse.

I do relate to the interference bit though. MIL had a key to our house, I can't now remember why, and one year we came back from our holiday to find a room redecorated including tiling over a piece of stone for our fireplace that had taken us ages to get hold of. With ugly, plain tiles: the sort you'd get in a public toilet.

She didn't put the kids in danger, that I know of, though. That's unacceptable.

pacatrue said...

"It's just that she ignores anything we say and just goes about life doing what she thinks is the right thing."

It sounds like you have a MIL on the more extreme end, but, yeah, at least this last quote seems to be entirely typical mothering behavior. Every parent who's visited our place has jumped into action in their own way to improve our lot.

Lacey Tackett said...

I think all mothers in law should be banned from being around their daughters in law from conception until the baby is 2 months old... especially if they are controlling whack a doos.
My MIL likes to come over to my house unannounced(lives 20 feet away) and then belittle my housekeeping. She is like the MIL on Everybody Loves Raymond, only nuttier. My MIL likes to invite us over and then be naked when we get there or to show us her newest surgery scar by her hoohah...