Sunday, March 20, 2011

The MIL Saga: Part 2 - Early Warning Signs

Read here for the MIL Saga: Part 1.

Adriana was born mid-October, 2009. All three sets of grandparents met us in the middle of the night, after my water broke but before I was actively laboring (we told them they didn't have to do this, but everyone was too excited to not be there). MIL and her husband, who I supposed I will call SFIL, left soon after Adriana was born, electing to visit again once we were back home. They did, and everyone was happy, and everything was fine.

During the first visit, MIL mentioned that she had picked up a crib, a high chair, and some other baby stuff to stay at their house. I was surprised, but it wasn't entirely unusual since my parents have a full nursery at their house (then again, they had babysat my nephew for the past year, and were planning on watching Adriana full time when I went back to work).

I think MIL and SFIL came over once after that (maybe twice, but I only have pics of one more visit, and I took literally hundreds of pictures a day back then). We didn't really spend a significant amount of time with them until Thanksgiving. This was when I started to get a little uneasy. MIL made numerous comments about how she couldn't wait to have Adriana spend the night alone. It hadn't really occurred to me that any of the grandparents would be requesting overnight visits so soon. I don't usually react well when I am caught off guard, and Justin wasn't exactly piping in, but I calmly let her know that it would be a while, since Adriana was still exclusively breastfed and I hadn't started pumping yet. I also mentioned that she was still a little young for that, and I just wasn't comfortable spending a night without her.

After the visit, I asked Justin what he thought about the conversation. He was right with me - in addition to the fact that Adriana was so little, was breastfed, woke multiple times a night, etc., he was not a fan of the fact that his mom is a chain smoker (and all of their nursery stuff was coated in smoke). Plus, she has two dogs, and one of them is literally psychotic to the point that it tries to bite us every time we visit and has to be locked away. I felt better that he agreed, and that was that.

We didn't see MIL and SFIL again until Christmas. Somewhere in between the two holidays, MIL realized that the smoking was going to be an issue, and decided to tear out all of the carpet in their house. When we were over there for Christmas, she went on and on about her grand plans for hardwood floors, which would help control the dog hair and wouldn't hold in smoke. There was just the plywood subfloors left, and, at that point, lots of staples and nails sticking out of the floor, so we couldn't set Adriana down on the blanket for tummy time. Not the hugest deal in the world, since she was only a few months old and liked to be held, just a minor inconvenience.

MIL brought up spending the night alone again at the Christmas visit. Justin just sat there and let me do the talking, again, and I bumbled through the same explanations, again. However, this time didn't go quite as smoothly, because MIL had previously done her homework, grilling me about whether or not I was pumping and if Adriana could take a bottle. I didn't realize that all of the questions she was asking were just setting her up with ammo for the spending the night thing, because I am a little dense sometimes. MIL said she would be more than happy to give Adriana a bottle as often as she needed it in the night. I said it was still too soon, and dropped it.

Another fun moment of that visit came when we were talking about the dogs. This time, Justin made it perfectly clear that the psycho dog made him nervous. MIL said that she had thought about that, and was going to buy a baby doll so that the dog could get used to an infant. Because, you know, a DOLL is the same thing as MY BABY, and would have similar consequences if either one got their head bit off. Justin made it clear that the dog would never be allowed to be out when Adriana was over, and MIL made it clear that she didn't think it was a problem.

Another car ride home, another conversation that proved that Justin and I were 100% on the same page.

But I was officially nervous.

Stay tuned for Part 3...


Swistle said...

Oh, man, I am getting light-headed over this. And I want Justin to START TALKING. I mean, I want him to go back in time and start talking.

Brenna said...

Wow. So far, it's like you're writing my story. Like, almost EXACTLY.

The Diniwilks said...

Swistle - it's partly because he's nonconfrontational, partly because (I think) after years of dealing with her, he tunes her out 90% of the time. That doesn't make it any less annoying though.

Brenna - yikes, I'm sorry!

Mama Bub said...

I have a MIL who is like this, in so many ways. Mostly she likes to roll her eyes and remind us that she raised two children, so she knows what she's doing. Anyway, my husband is the official communicator with the MIL. We never would have made it this far if he wasn't willing to stand up for us because I'm spineless.

Saly said...

This whole situation is making me NERVOUS!! My mother harped and harped about keeping the kids overnight for the longest time, but Hub and I didn't think it was necessary. The first sleepover they had? Bud was 5 and Lu was 4. Liv stayed home with us. My parents have had all 3 overnight a few times now, but it's not a regular thing.

This post also makes me glad that even though she was a pain in the ass, I had a really easygoing MIL.

d e v a n said...

OH DEAR! This is officially NOT GOOD.

My inlaws want to keep all my kids too, but they live 1000 miles away and there is NO way on Earth I'm comfortable with it.