I sat down to write a MIL Update, but then suddenly I was, "...Wait. Do I write about MIL stuff here?" I can't remember. I think what I do is write it, and then delete it later? Hm. I need to leave myself some notes or something.
I will start with the boring part, which is that the visit is going Fine so far. It nearly always DOES go fine for the first few days, before she gets comfortable. I still don't like her, I'm not enjoying the visit, but I'm not SUFFERING. And it REALLY HELPS that this time we're doing things the way we usually do them (and looking like experts at it even though she disapproves) rather than doing things the way she would approve of them (and looking like total incompetents). All right, now for the venty examples:
1. Rob and William came home from school. SHE ASKED THEM if they'd done their homework, then reported to me: "I just got the old 'I did my homework on the bus'" and rolled her eyes. Which, um. I checked, and they HAD done their homework on the bus, and also? Why is she getting involved in this AT ALL?
2. Rob and William wanted to learn how to knit, so she taught them. My mom taught William last year; he hasn't knit since then but picked it up quickly. Rob has never knit before. After no kidding LESS THAN AN HOUR she pulled me aside and said, "William may make a knitter. Rob? No"---with a pfff and a totally dismissive tone. NICE. He's TEN YEARS OLD and this is his FIRST TIME KNITTING. And he was DOING IT: he has two inches of knitted stuff already.
3. We went to the store and she kept speaking firmly to the children. I wrote "sharply" there first, but it wasn't quiiiiiite sharp. BRISK, though, and authoritative. "Edward! Stop that! Come here and hold my hand! Come on now, you didn't get hurt!" And I gave Henry things to play with, and he was doing NO HARM and she kept taking things away from him. After I several times gave them back to him, she started instead lunging as if to take them, then correcting herself, then saying to me, "We'd better take those away from him, don't you think?" I'll repeat: NO HARM was being done to the items. And they were things _I_ was buying.
4. First she made several "funny" remarks about my bargain shopping. "Oh, Swistle and her 75% off!" with a little head waggle and widened eyes and jazz hands. Then, later, she told a lonnnnng anecdote about her stupid sister who always buys stuff she doesn't need and doesn't like "but it was ON SALE!"---using "stupid sister" tone of voice. The "but it was ON SALE!" chorus was repeated half a dozen times as her stupid sister was stupider and stupider about her purchases, which---and I'm sure this was pure coincidence---my mother-in-law remembered had been 75% off. This for purchases made back when she and her sister lived at home with their parents, and in her sister's early homeowning days nearly 50 years ago.
5. At the table, in "I am repeating the tone of someone I saw on TV" voice: "Americans eat FAR too much salt!" (For the FIRST TIME EVER I pulled off the kind of response I always MEAN to give when she makes such pronouncements: I said "Mmmmmmmmmmm....salllllllllt.") This WHOLE salt thing is because she personally has high blood pressure and has been personally instructed to cut down on salt. ALL AMERICANS need to obey her medical instructions, because what SHE does is THE ONLY WAY TO DO THINGS. If she were diagnosed with diabetes, we would ALL need to have insulin shots and Americans would eat FAR too much sugar. If she were diagnosed with cancer, we would ALL need to have chemotherapy treatments and Americans get FAR too little radiation.
6. Now she's self-diagnosed herself allergic to eggs, too. No salt, no fat, no caffeine, no tomatoes, no eggs.
7. Regarding her cousin's panic attacks, she told me: "I said to her, 'Now there is just NO REASON for you to have a PANIC attack! WHY would you panic? You are JUST going to the GROCERY store!' I mean, for Pete's sake!"
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...