Wednesday, February 28, 2007


A week ago now I emailed my MIL and asked if we were still going to see her in March. She had made a big deal with "pencil me in! Are you doing it right now? Are you done yet? Am I penciled?"

"Yes, you're penciled." But not literally. I did not actually write anything down, because if my MIL picks out a particular weekend and tells me she coming A) the threat is enough to keep me from forgetting, and B) I don't actually believe her.

She has seen the Cracker twice since he was born: at 5 months and at 28 months. She lives 6 hours away by car, and likes to tell me about how she can fly here on Southwest $28 one-way. All talk, no action.

"Has he changed? Will I notice a change in him?"

No, developmentally he'll be the same kid at 4 that you last saw at 2 and not quite a half. He's just taller now.

So she makes this really big deal, informs me of the who (just her), the when (March 15-18th), the where (my house), and then I didn't hear from her again, at all. Finally she calls two weekends ago and J answers the phone. Did she mention the penciled visit? No, not a word. And of course J forgot to ask .

(Sorry, I’m distracted by the neighbor’s puppy across the street who is strutting up and down the fence line with a big ol tumbleweed in her mouth. It’s freaking adorable.)

So, to recap quickly: MIL informs me she’s coming to visit. Weeks go by without any contact. She calls, talks to J, doesn’t mention the visit. I e-mail her and ask nicely “Are we still going to see you in March?” More time elapses. She e-mails J today and again doesn’t mention it.

Why do I even care? Because I am trying to book a flight, and it turns out that the best time for us to go includes part of the days she’s selected. It’s too late to call her now and I have a sinking feeling that the fare will go up $400 at midnight when it becomes less than 14 day advance notice. (I forgot about stupid short February.) And I KNOW she’s not coming, but I have to pretend that this time will be different just because she’s the mother of my husband, and if the Cracker ever sees me they way J does her I will be devastated.

(And it was far too windy to play outside today. That always puts me in a foul mood.)

I care because I’m tired of playing this game with her. She picks arbitrary dates in the future 3-4 times a year, tells me she’s buying tickets and that she’ll call with the details in less than 24 hours, and then doesn’t. It’s not that I don’t like her, and I try my best to make her feel welcome because I want her to be a part of my child’s life, but my patience has worn thin. Her relationship with J is strained to say the least so the effort I make is for his sake as well.

“Why does she do this? And why do I let her get to me?”
”It’s the whole passive aggressive thing. Nothing’s changed.”

This brings me to our old code name for her, Pamela, which dates back to our newlywed days. Passive Aggressive Mother In Law Attacks. (Okay, so it’s not perfect acronym, but I was a friggin teenager.)

Further proof that we are evil: we did get a laugh at her expense today. In the e-mail she sent J, which he forwarded to me, she has added a new signature line:
“(Business name) coordinator #32,864”
Pyramid scheme, anyone?*

*Which reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw recently "Mary Kay: Enriching Women's Lives.” I don’t wear face paint more than once a year because I am far too lazy, but really? Enriching women’s lives? And I stupidly wonder why the princess thing has gone from an innocent game of make believe to so out of control that it’s hard to find a 0-3 mos Carter’s outfit that doesn’t say “Princess” on it somewhere. (But more on that another day.)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Today's Parenting Lesson

Your child does something they aren't supposed to do. They knew that it was a no-no, but they did it anyway. You know they did it. Hell, you may or may not be sitting right in front of evidence; you may have actually stopped them in the act. Doesn't matter.

"Did you just wipe poo off your tushie with your stuffed bunny?"
"I saw you."
"Nope, it wasn't me."
"Honey, it's very important that you tell me the truth. I'm not mad, but I need you to be honest with me."
"But I didn't do it Mommy."
"If you didn't then who did?"
"Hmmm...I don't know."

And they are the suckiest liars ever. Their faces are this weird mix of guilt for the act and doubt as to whether or not you’re going to buy what they're trying to sell. Go ahead, ask until you're blue in the face, but the answer ain't changing.


But, ask them why and the suckers crack immediately. It totally worked.

"Because he's soft, and he was alweady in my hand, and I didn't know where the toiwet paper was."
"The toilet paper is right here, on the roll, where we always keep it."

So, thank you mothers on the internet who've BTDT. Keep it coming.

Oh, we're poop trained now

Why didn't I say anything before? Because regression is inevitable. Seven glorious weeks without a single (not one!!!) accident and we're back to dirty drawers.

So now I can talk about it.

"Mommy mommy! I went poo all by myself!"
And you've already pulled up your pants = skid marks. (moan)
"That's great honey. Let's go wipe."
"I alweady did!" Pauses and then sticks out thumb. "But my thumb is has poo on it."
Visible poo.

Now, take that exact same scenario, fast forward a week, and replace thumb with pinky finger, and you have the second time it happened.

I am now attempting to cut his nails every other day.

Another Embarrassing Moment, Batteries Included

Whenever my parents visit my Dad is delighted to take on any job that needs doing around the house. And because he takes pride in his work the guy won't quit until it's friggin perfect. It's just...awesome. My dear husband, on the other hand, puts so much energy into bitching and moaning even if I'm not nagging about the prospect of having to do something that he exhausts himself to the point that he needs a nap before he can even begin, and so begins the process again the following weekend.

So last weekend my Dad asks if there is anything else, anything at all, that I'd like him to look at before they left. Yes, I have a clock that has never worked right.

"Let's start with a new battery."

So I go into our bedroom and reappear with AAs.

"Uh, actually it takes AAAs."

No sweat. Thinking nothing of it I head off in the opposite direction for J's office where all the other batteries are kept.

J, witness to it all, is dying.

And did he cover for me? Noooooo.

Bad husband.

Then, to rub it in, he makes me watch that episode of Coupling where the guys keep telling Steve to check out Susan's remotes.

In case you were wondering, yes, I still find ways to embarrass myself. It's a talent, really.