Monday, January 01, 2007

running for the shelter of her non-mother's little helpers

My 800' house is slowing sinking into it's foundation. My parents left 3 days ago, incidentally the SAME DAY as J's mother flew in to town for 8 days. That's almost three weeks of in-laws. And J's mom is nuts (Go on, I'll wait. It's worth the click).

I am not complaining, I love M's time with her grandparents and since none of them live nearby it's a rare occurrence. But I am often left perplexed. Like how it's cute and fun to take M out for junk food even when we have made it clear that is something we do not want them to do. Or how Nana taught M to yell I am a famous movie star whenever she walks into the room. Or when I walk into the room and catch M trying to hide cookie contraband while they both laugh in conspiracy as M yells "Mama, NO. Back. Kitchen. GO!" The kitchen part was an especially nice touch, kid. At least you know my place.

So my overly indulged and sugar dosed child is feeling mighty full of herself lately. All her whims are responded to and captured on film. Every desire of her wee heart is met with eager anticipation. The universe has aligned itself to revolve around her single glowing star. Back talking? No problem, it must mean she's a genius. Time outs? Unheard of, no way, uh uh.

You people are setting me way back. Way back. At least we've taken liberal advantage of the free babysitting and have seen 4 movies plus spent a night in a hotel.

I had the chance to spend a moment or two alone with my child tonight and while she kicked and said "Nana do, Nana do" as I tried to change her diaper, I seized the moment and leaned down and said dude, you are SO screwed on Friday. The world according to M comes to a screeching halt when Nana gets on that plane. Then it's back to mommy and daddy. And we're on to you, buddy.

To which she jumped up, cackled, and ran back into the overzealous and boundary-less arms of her Nana, and as she wrapped her arms around her neck, she coyly looked over at me and said mefamuusmoveestarrrrrr!!

Game on, kid.

Don't forget to nominate someone for a Just Post Award. All the cool kids are doing it.

31 comments:

landismom said...

Ugh! I spent the holidays enmeshed in an in-law-related funk, and it was not that much fun. Hope you are able to get back to normal at the end of the week.

ewe are here said...

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

And I can laugh because we just returned from Scotland where MF is spoiled silly by his grandparents, and most especially his Farmor (father's mother)! Although, to be fair, she knows better than to give him too many 'snacks' without mommy-approval, so we both give a little on that area.

De Aufiero said...

I hear you, sister! I know it's nice to have the support and help year-round, but just try fighting the Grandma spoilage when they both live IN TOWN.

kristen said...

Oh man are you and J in trouble! I loved the story of you and Harvard and I could totally picture the tonal quality to those curses. I live for the East coast accents that assault me daily, I still think they all sound funny.

Juliness said...

I can only imagine how crazy things must be with M running the house! You are a brave and wonderful woman, my friend, to tackle 3 weeks of family in a small home.

QT said...

Oh boy...I agree, you are a brave soul. It is always more fun to be defiant when you have an audience, so maybe she will tone it down anyway once the MIL is gone? I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, sweetpea!

mamatulip said...

Sounds like she's up for a Best Dramatic Performance Emmy...

...she'll have to fight with Julia for it. ;)

Susanne said...

There is something to be said for babysitters that you pay, don't you think?
Like De said, it's nice to have the help (especially if you couldn't be working otherwise) but it's really tiring to try and set boundaries with your MIL.

("You know that I don't like it when you let him pee in the hedge." "But I didn't want to go upstairs and it was only once." "You could have gone to our bathroom." "But..." "It's disgusting. I won't have it." - Guess who still let's my son pee in the hedge? (Only not now, because of the weather.) Now we're back to winter theme: "Please don't use that face lotion on him." "Why? How did you know I had used it?" "Well, his face was red and itching." "But he can't be allergic to that, I always use it." "Well, he has always been allergic to it, so please stop.") And myriads of other things. We actually live in the same house.

- Here's to the live-in babysitter. (At least my husband doesn't like her either.)

Mrs. Chicken said...

Oh, God are we EVER having that same issue here. Ten days, five grandparents, five uncles ... many of which we only see once or twice a year, plus a birthday and four (yes I said FOUR) separate Christmas celebrations with presents for little girls.

Kill me. And then tell me how you broke her spirit! :)

Mrs. Chicky said...

You are so screwed. It takes .05 seconds for a kid to be spoiled and weeks of getting them back to normal. Good luck with that. ;)

(and? No self-respecting Mass. native says "pisser", it's "pissah". Sheesh.)

mrsmogul said...

I can't even change the kids diaper without his butt squirming all around! It's crazy.

kitchen is his fav place, love to touch the oven. THE CRAZINESS!

Happy new year to you!! Come visit again!

Mary P. said...

I can relate, only in my case it's the parents spoiling them prior to their return to my care!

I was so with you when you leaned over her at diaper time and issued the Fair Warning. Me, I kinda like the first couple of days, when you can see them struggling to maintain holiday mayhem, failing, and saying to their little selves, "Well, nuts!" Or perhaps something riper.

I so have your number, kiddo. Heh. :-)

Mad Hatter said...

You'd think that my daughter not having grandparents would spare me all this BUT NO. I'm afraid that my husband and I aren't much better than grandparents. Oh and then there are the aunties. Maybe you'd like to come up here for a few weeks and whip my little movie star into shape.

meno said...

Please remember to buy some earplugs for when they all leave. There will be screaming during the Nana withdrawal process.

urban-urchin said...

When we lived in the Bay Area a few months ago my parents and my aunt and uncle were less than 10 minutes away. We took advantage of the 'Baby Spa' as we called it- a chance for us to get away but man did we pay for it when we'd pick them up- but Nana let's me! Papa always lets me! Grrr.

The thing that gets me is these aren't the same people who raised me. They would never let me have that much junk or buy whichever toy I wanted at the drop of a hat. Bill Cosby is right- they're "Old people trying to get into heaven"

Also one of my very dear friends is a Southie- I love the accent- salt of the earth people those Southies.

Tabba said...

It must be a special class these grandparents take while we are in labor on how to screw us royally. Don't THEY remember what it was like?
Damn.
Good luck at bringing things back around. It does take awhile.

Thailand Gal said...

She'll come back around. What the heck. She will have her bit of fun ~ then reality will set back in. I don't envy you the transition period however! :)


Peace,

~C

ECR said...

hee hee. I was thinking the same thing as Mrs. Chicky. "Pisser" is one "-er" word that begs to be written out with the "-ah" ending :) As for the rest of your story--well, it makes me realize that I have something to look forward to when everything starts to sag as long as I have grandchildren to uplift me :) It's such a special relationship.

carrie said...

That is soooo not funny, so why am I laughing?? I am sorry. I hope that the damage will be shortlived, as I completely understand the predicament of the evil granny!

Carrie

I'm a movie staaaaar! :) That is kinda cute, just a little!

jen said...

chick/meno - you are both totally right. i can't quite pull it off, but it's much more along the lines of R's being added to any word that does not already have an R attached to it, and then in that case, the R disappears completely.

and everyone else - i agree, it IS funny. it really is. in fact, who wants to take her for the weekend? I'll pack the cheetos and cookies.

Tabba said...

I volunteer to take that little M. What is one more screaming kid? Just be sure to pack some bottles of red.
HA!

luckyzmom said...

That's what Grandparents are for. You have no idea until it happens to you.

What if you looked at it as how your parents wished they had been able to be with you but had the heavy 24 hour responsibility of an amazing new life.

I think you handled it perfectly!

I am just an old person trying to get into heaven!!!!!

Momish said...

My mom lives nearby. Like one hour away. Feel better now??? It could be worse.

crazymumma said...

honey honey honey....I will try so hard to get the JustPost button up but I am living teh life of two kids home from school and me being the performing seal for them plus my man still seems to like my company and and and...I feel swamped. pantpant. thanks I feel better now.

On to M. I want to be a fly on the wall of the first week without grandparents. Hell has a place for you Jen. But I will be here with a glass of wine and a 'there there, its ok honey' soft tone to make you feel better. i'll even let you snuffle on my shoulder after you have lost the first round.

Good freakin' luck. Been there. done it. Bought the damn T shirt.

KC said...

Um, hello Jen? 4 movies AND A NIGHT AT A HOTEL???

I would tolerate all sorts of child-rearing mayhem. Temporary spoiling. Disparagement. Mutiny.

You lucky dog, you.

Laurie said...

My mom and dad lived nearby and were my paid babysitters while I went to college and worked full time. Funny though, they were the strict ones! My mom always said it took half a day to get him back on track after the weekend. Maybe that's because they had him 40 or more hours a week, or maybe it's because I am nothing but a big kid myself. ;-)

NotSoSage said...

OMG, I am just revving up to write a very similar post...except that it was my mom AND my sister AND my cousin and it's all a little more passive-aggressive. Like, "How high is she going to count on this time out?" spoken to no one in particular...I feel as though the last three months of learning and negotiation have been completely undone.

Ugh. I feel for you. Is the game on?

Lillithmother said...

I say send M to their crib for a week and see how much they keep up the "grandparents are entitled to spoiling crap"!

Sorry, but I laughed anyway!

Lil

Tink said...

My brothers used to behave much in the same way after a trip to their dad's. We called the time in between them getting home and sanity being restored, "Detox Time."

I hope your Detox Time moves quickly. :)

J Fife said...

Lived in Massachusetts for a few years. Your description of driving through Cambridge is just hilarious. You have a magnificent way with words...

ecm said...

Very funny story...my, what a lot of visiting that was. May you have some peace to recover.