Yesterday was truly a lovely day. We had a friend from work and her family over for the afternoon. They have two kids, a 4-year-old boy and a little girl who’s about 6 months older than Peanut. Peanut seemed to really take to the kids. The little girl kept trying to climb on him and play with him and the little boy kept giving him hugs. It was adorable. The little boy was enraptured by the cats and several times grabbed my hand and asked if we could go see the kitties (who were hiding under the bed). The little girl gave me big hugs when it was time for them to leave. It was nice to sit and eat a (as much as you can with kids) leisurely lunch with our friends.
Saturday was the Day of Shit. I brought Mom over after work on Friday. We started the evening out with her pulling a “I need to take my medicine an hour before we eat” as we were getting ready to leave for dinner. She did that last time, too. When I nicely suggested that next time maybe she could take the medicine before leaving her house, she replied with “Oh, I thought you ate dinner at all different times.” Hmmmm, I guess she hadn’t noticed that since having Peanut, we give him dinner, then eat ours right after. Sometimes they even overlap. The contrariness had begun. On the way home from dinner, Hubby pulled over a pizza delivery guy for tailgating us, nearly hitting us, then honking when we stopped too long at an intersection. When Hubby got out of the car, Mom started in with “Why’d he pull that guy over? He was doing the same thing. He was TAILGATING THAT POOR MAN IN FRONT OF US.” He wasn’t and Mom can’t see for shit at night, but whatever. I told her to keep her mouth closed.
So Saturday rolls around and I’m already annoyed with her and not looking forward to cleaning the house and mowing the front yard. Hubby was working all day (12+ hours), so I knew if I didn’t do it, it wasn’t going to happen. Mom had commentary on how she “wished you didn’t have to do all the cleaning and do you really need to mow and Hubby should do more.” Honestly, Hubby could pull more weight in the housecleaning department and I’m frustrated enough about that situation, but I don’t need it thrown in my face. Not the right way to start out the morning.
In addition, Mom can’t do anything with the baby on her own, yet she keeps pushing the babysitting issue. So all morning it was the whiny “how do I…?” “where is…?” I had to tell her how to heat up a bottle (heat the water, put bottle in the hot water…) She’s deaf and I’m hoarse from yet another cold, so I had to tell her 3 times in order for her to understand. Never mind that Peanut is 10 months old and she is only just learning how to do this now. I was annoyed and frustrated, she didn’t like my tone. So a little while later, she says in a pathetic, poor-me voice “I want to go home” and that I was being “verbally abusive”. Abusive, no. Rude, yes. I was being rude and I knew it. In fact, I was purposely being rude. I asked her to let me pump milk, then I’d take her. By that point I was fuming, so I let it out.
I told her I don’t need her badmouthing hubby or telling me how to raise my child and that if I want conversation on either of those topics, I’ll initiate it. That I don’t need her stressing me out when I’m already at the end of my rope about getting the house clean for company and worried how the night is going to go with Peanut. How I’m tired of getting shit from her when we try to help/do favors, but we don’t do it right/fast enough/whatever, so she gets all pissy. I tried to make it clear that we don’t mind driving her to doctor’s appointments/picking up prescriptions/grocery shopping/etc., but we’d appreciate not getting attitude about it.
So of course, she couldn’t let it go at that. Oh no. She had to pull the old “I know Hubby doesn’t like me and I don’t like him. He didn’t like me from the start. I’m sensitive I can tell. And do you know what he said when you were first dating. He said don’t let Selzach ever move back north. He could never live in the North. He hates all Northerners. … except you.” (OK, that last bit was funny. Good save there Mom.) Never mind that she didn’t like him from the get-go. She thought he was rude and told me all about it the first time she met him. Never mind that he welcomed her into our home when she was at her sickest (craziest) and babysat her during his summer break from teaching. Babysat her during the time when she took to wandering off from our house when we refused to take her to the grocery store to buy food she didn’t need with money she didn’t have (that was the time period before disability kicked in, so I was paying her mortgage and whatever bills I could afford while still paying my own). Never mind he’s the one that still talks about selling our house and buying one with an apartment for her.
No, he doesn’t like her now and neither do I. He doesn’t like her because she’s rude, contrary and disrespectful to him. No matter how hard he has tried to make her happy, it doesn’t work and he’s done going out of his way for her. And so am I. I’ve been done for a while.
Then she had to go on about this past week. She had testing and required rides to and from the hospital. Hubby had originally planned to do it, but was out on call the night before. I dropped Mom off and gave her a list of numbers for the nurse to call when it was time for pickup. She called Hubby about 30 minutes before Mom was ready to leave. Hubby, having been up for 24 hours straight, then getting maybe 4 hours of sleep, fell back asleep. OK, dumb thing to do, but understandable. The nurse had to call back and wake him back up, so he was late picking up Mom. An annoyance, yes, but it’s not like she had anywhere else to go. Hubby had already told me about it, but Mom had to be sure and tell me the whole story, and to let me know that she thinks Hubby is L-A-Z-Y. I reminded her of his on-call status. She reiterated “L-A-Z-Y”.
Then she had to mention Peanut being spoiled. (The whole co-sleeping and clinginess issues). I so did not need that. You know what? I know we got ourselves into a bad situation. I’m reminded of that every time I try to put him in his crib and he screams. In fact, when Hubby was out on call, I had to lay Peanut in his crib so I could pump and get dressed to take Mom for her testing. Peanut cried so hard, he puked. If she thinks I’m not aware of the situation, she’s stupid. Dumb as a rock. Hubby and I want to get him in his own bed, but we work and neither of us can cope with less sleep than we get. We planned to do a weekend of cry it out over Labor Day, but Peanut was on breathing treatments and steroids for labored breathing brought on by bronchiolitis and was dealing with an ear infection. We’re not heartless and decided to postpone crying it out until the next long weekend (Veteran’s Day? I’m not even sure if it’s a holiday for us). And there are times when I have to pump, go to the bathroom, need a minute for sanity, that I let Peanut sit on the floor with his toys and cry. I generally do pick him up when he’s upset, but I also know that when he’s well fed and rested, if I just leave him alone, he’ll often get distracted and stop crying.
So, we’re not speaking. I feel guilty about our fight, but I am so relieved not to have to deal with her for a few days, weeks, or however long this lasts.
I’m sad that our relationship has turned into this. I’m sad that I don’t have the patience or strength of character to let her comments and attitude slide. If I could find a way to ignore them, then I could come to some sort of peace with her. I’m especially sad that all this will probably taint Peanut’s relationship with her. He loves her and gets all smiley and bouncy around her. She’s the only grandparent within 500 miles of us; the only one he sees more than 2 or 3 times a year.
I have so much pent-up anger towards her. I know I need to deal with it, but I have no idea how. The idea of counseling has crossed my mind more than once, but I’m not ready for that step. I know she’ll keep on whining about her ails and giving attitude about Hubby and I’ll keep it in until I blow up again.