Friday, May 17, 2013

It Has Begun

Last Post I told you of the impending trip Back East to visit with the Outlaws. From day one the "discussion" about where we would unpack our suitcases began. It has not been pleasant. I made my case, crossed my arms over my chest, drew my line in the sand and considered the discussion closed since F agreed to a hotel.  MIL on the other hand does not agree. And over a month later she is still harassing F. Still crying to him on the phone.  F is absolutely beside himself with guilt and God only knows what other feelings are churning inside him. I can only guess at what is being said to him. And it makes my blood absolutely boil. I am stressed out by extension because I know if I would just give in and agree to stay there, things would be pleasant. For the moment.
I have however made up my mind that I am standing my ground. My little family deserves to be treated with love and kindness, not anger and disappointment. No matter what we do, there is always something that makes them unhappy.  And by "them" I mean the entire family.  We don't visit often enough. We don't get there fast enough.(I'm not exaggerating about this.) We don't stay long enough. We don't spend enough time visiting with each family member. We don't allow MIL to make us enough meals.
It is exhausting.
And stressful.
And sad.
F is between a rock and a hard place. Visiting with family should be exhausting, but because you've done so many activities and late night card games, not because you've been emotionally tormented.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to deal with this, I would greatly appreciate them.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Blessed Be Bitches

Today Little Man is 5 months old! I cannot tell you how much we love him. It isn't quantifiable. As much as I want him to stay the same, I love all the changes I see in him. His smile is a heart melter, let me tell ya. FLIRT just like his daddy.

Anyway, I believe I promised you a Baptism story.  F did all the planning. I did all the shopping.
There were countless discussions about where the Outlaws would stay upon their arrival. F of course wanted them housed with us. I of course, did not. I managed to make enough logical points(or so I believe) that they, and the other out of towners, stayed at the local hotel. How this went down with them, I don't know, F has taken to not telling me certain things where his family is concerned, but I am sure it was not received well.
MIL immediately dedicated herself to telling me that Little Man was catching his death of cold in the meat locker I kept him in while dressed in mere rags. This continued for the next 4 days. Even when we were in a restaurant that I kid you not, was above 80 degrees and Little Man was in his sheep skin lined car seat, with fleece pants and jacket on. I told F to remove said fleece jacket so he wouldn't over heat. "Isn't he cold?!!!!" MIL quivered worriedly as F reached to do as I asked. He stopped dead mid-air.
"No, he's not. F, take the jacket OFF."  F did as I asked. Bless him. Crazy Best Friend was seated beside me and later gave me her take on the whole situation.
"They must think you are one bossy bitch."
"What?!!? Why?!"
" 'F! TAKE OFF HIS JACKET!!!'  Seriously DH, you were bitchy about it."
I was floored. I floundered about for why she, who knows me so very well would say this. We are decidedly honest with each other and I knew she wouldn't say something, obviously, just to make me feel better.
"I'm going to guess you didn't hear MIL say "Isn't he cold!?" "
"She did?"
"Oh, well then, you were fine."
As the long weekend came to a close CBF saw more and more instances of MIL questioning my parenting choices and of her "poor pity me, I'm such a victim" manipulation tactics. They are subtle, but they are there.
 I'm not going to lie, it was nice to be validated. I'm not just being over sensitive, these things really do happen.
Every time I would try to take Little Man into a separate part of the house behind closed doors to feed him or try to quiet him down for a nap or just because he was being over stimulated by all the activity, MIL would hunt me down, burst into the room without knocking (I breast feed in my own home with it all hanging out, no cover); and insist that I needed help. Was she truly wanting to be helpful? Maybe. But I took it as her continual questioning of my parenting skills. I had been doing it without help up to this point, why did she keep insisting that I needed it?
MIL's parting conversation with me? In a heavily concerned voice; "DH. I don't know how you can do it *heavy sigh* but you MUST find a way to keep him warm in there (Little Man's bedroom)." (a room that has its own free standing heater. Set at 70. With the door closed.) 
 FIL on the other hand insisted that Little Man, at all of 3 months, smile on demand. And became disgusted when Little Man didn't comply.
He was told a day in advance at what time he needed to be ready to leave for the church.  15 minutes from departure time he insisted that he needed another 30 minutes to get ready. F hit the roof. FIL managed to get himself together in the allotted  time but upon arriving at our house, REFUSED to get out of the car and come in.  True to form he was grouchy and sullen for most of the visit. After picking up CBF at the airport and getting her settled into the hotel we went back to our house. The moment my foot touched the tile FIL demanded, "WHAT IS GOING ON????!!!!"
Bewildered I asked, "What is going on with what?"
"With M and L!"
"I don't know what you are talking about."
"Have they landed!!???"
"I don't know. Didn't F leave to go get them from the airport?"
"YES. But they were delayed because of the snow. So what is going on! Are they coming here or what??!!!"
"I haven't heard anything from F, so I don't know what is going on. You know more than me. Have you called him?"
"YES. He's not answering."
He was not at all happy with my lack of knowledge and glared at me until F and his passengers walked through the door and then it was as if the long lost son (M, not F) had returned.
When Little Man would start to cry he would loudly inform me, "HE'S HUNGRY! Feed him!"
By the end of the long weekend I had all I could do to continue to bite my tongue.  M even mentioned to F that he was shocked when I snapped at FIL after FIL had informed me that my son needed feeding. I didn't even remember doing it. I was that exhausted by dealing with them. (Later I would also realize that I was coming down with the stomach flu that weekend, so yay!)
The stress was was insane for both F and me. I felt bad for him and how his father was behaving.
But we made it through intact.

I may be recovered by the time we head BACK EAST to visit with them for a week in June.