Saturday, November 13, 2004
The Conclusion of the Mac & Cheese Incident
This visit is endless.

When we last heard from our intrepid heroine (that would be me), we had made it through Thursday night with a few bumps and bruises but no permanent scars. Still the same situation now, I'm tired of the constant head games and defensiveness but there have been no glaring experiences of social ineptitude.

Yesterday morning I made a discovery: I can be bought, for the price of a big grocery-shopping trip. I'm willing to provide all kinds of forgiveness and deliberate memory loss to someone who whips out a credit card at the end of a first-payday-since-mortgage-week shopping extravaganza. I used to get all prickly and snobbish about not wanting her to be throwing money around so much, but then I realized that buying things is her only way of showing affection, and I simply don't have the heart to stifle that outporing of love. Go ahead, permanently mess up your children's sense of self-esteem and respect for others! Irritate everyone who has ever spent more than 15 minutes in a conversation with you by your sheer inability to listen to another person's complete thought! Get other people to do things for you by faking incompetence just so you can criticize their efforts! Just throw a couple hundred dollars at us, and we'll forget all the bad stuff!
I know, it's pathetic.

It absolutely torques my pique when my mother-in-law starts working on making my daughter neurotic and weight-obsessed. I have a beautiful little girl, and she would be beautiful if she was 40 pounds overweight and had vicious growths all over her face, because she's smart and precious and MINE. And my husband and I have worked hard to praise her for the stuff she can control ("Hey, great job not dropping your mac and cheese all over the floor!") more than the stuff she can't, such as her appearance. So last night Emily was plying dress-up and got her fairy princess outfit on, and she half-pranced-half-gallumphed her way to my mother-in-law and said, "And what do YOU wish for, Grandma?" And Grandma instantly says, without a moment's pause, "I wish for you to make my butt smaller." And Emily, bless her little heart, replies, "Why? Do you poop too much?" Gotta love her.

Oh, have to run, Jacob's waking up and my mother-in-law looks like she's thinking of cleaning my kitchen. And no, no, don't let that fool you into sympathy for what a nice lady she is... her version of cleaning is to ineffectually wave a sponge in the general direction of the dishes and then place them, food chunks and all, directly into the cupboards. (And don't let this make me sound like a cleaning freak - believe me, I can put up with a LOT of clutter and even some dust in the corners, but we're talking about huge chunks of who-knows-what, sometimes big enough to make my FiestaWare stick together.) Tres gross, and far more work than it would have been for me to just do it myself.

I think I can make it one more day. I think I can... I think I can... I think I can...