Marie asked if knowing I could blog each thing my MIL said made it easier to deal with. YES. In fact, it makes it like a GAME. She says something and I think, "Yay!" and I jot it down. If she goes too long without saying anything good, I start getting anxious: "I'll have nothing to tell them about! I'll have to say she's being fine and there's nothing to report!" It reminds me of the fun of blogging dieting/exercising/cleaning stuff: shared sorrow is doubled joy.
And so dawns Day 5. Ah, Day 5. Day 5 is when, if she were staying a week, I'd be thinking, "I THINK I can make it. Just two more days." The time she came for 2.5 weeks, I was thinking...well, I was thinking some dark, dark thoughts, and they involved shovels and moonlit fields and mysterious disappearances. For this visit, when there are 10 days but only if I count the arrival day, when she didn't arrive until after lunch, and the departure day, when she's leaving early in the morning---and I DO INDEED count those days, not with other houseguests but with her---I'm pretty sure I can make it but goshy-gee 7 days would be better.
Day 5 is, I think, the day she settles in. She's not feeling nervous or awkward anymore.
1. I bought Elizabeth two 2-packs of belts (on 75% off!) at Target, not because the child NEEDS four more belts but because I couldn't decide between the two 2-packs (and because they were 75% off!). My mother-in-law had several things to say on the topic of belts, in addition to saying every 10 minutes or so, "Swistle! [Child] needs those pants pulled up again!":
1a. I was saying the problem was that if I made Elizabeth's belt tight enough to keep the pants up, it would bisect her. MIL: "Yes, well, the day will come when we'll all be looking back and saying remember when Elizabeth had no hips?" Er, no. I don't think we WILL be doing that. And I think that anyone who DOES choose to say such a thing can say hello to that shovel I mentioned earlier.
1b. We were at a store and Elizabeth saw a belt she liked and asked if we could buy it. My MIL said to her, "I know a certain little girl who has puh-LENty of belts, considering she can only wear one at a time!"
2. My MIL wanted to go to Walmart to buy the kids their Christmas presents, to avoid shipping costs. (She takes stuff to one of those mailing stores. I don't think she realizes they charge A MILLION DOLLARS MORE than the already-expensive post office.) She suggested she get clothes, because "HEAVEN KNOWS they don't need any more TOYS."
3. Yesterday evening the topic of milk came up (no, I don't know how it came up---what am I, a court reporter?), and she said she just never could stand the taste of it, didn't like it as a child and didn't like it any better now. I said my mom didn't like it either, but that I did like it, and that I was hoping that would help me avoid the osteoporosis my mom's side of the family has had trouble with. My MIL: "Oh, I think that's more a problem with petite women, and I really don't think you qualify." Me: "...Uh...I... [*mind searching desperately for ANY response*] ...Well, both my grandma and my mom..." Mother-in-law, interrupting me to repeat herself: "I'm just saying, that's really only slightly-built women who have trouble with that, and I really don't think you qualify." Me: *picks up a notepad and pen and wrote it down*
3b. Have I mentioned before the way she will repeat her first point nearly verbatim, as if making a second point? Well, she does do that. She'll make her point, and if you argue with her, or if you make your own point, she'll repeat her own point JUST AS IF she is refuting your point or shoring up her own argument, but she is saying THE SAME THING. It is nearly impossible to continue the argument without following her lead and repeating your own point a second time.
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...