the sometimes senseless ravings (and the occassional rant) of an aspiring marine ecologist who may enjoy killing things a little too much

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Know I'm a Psycho Bee-otch Sometimes...

But I'd like to think that I'm not a completely ungrateful one (more on that in a bit). And also? I REALLY need a break from my in-laws for a while. We have seen them so many times lately (EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND for at least 5 weeks plus a few times during the week) that I am quickly reaching my breaking point. And guess what? They want to come over again TODAY. Do they not know that it's Friday and NOT a holiday? Actually, they wanted to come over and get Max and take him to the Bass Pro Shop (which, incidentally, is BETWEEN their house and ours and probably about 30-40 minutes from our house). Shall I say "WTF?" Um, yeah. I shall. WTF?

We've already been through all of this. So suffice it to say that I'm a possessive psycho bitch who flat out refuses to let ANYONE take her toddler away from her. Even if it's his grandparents and only for a couple of hours. I'm sure it's crossed your mind that perhaps I wouldn't react so defensively to the idea of my own mother taking Max shopping without me (or Chad). That perhaps it's only my MIL who brings out the crazy bitch in me. The answer is I don't know. Because my mom? Has not foisted her presence upon us with mind-blowing frequency or ever taken it upon herself to walk off with Max without a word to at least one of his parents in a public place, and I really don't think it has ever crossed her mind to come over and take Max off somewhere without us. She has invited us (all of us) to go somewhere when she wanted to take Max somewhere. So excuse me if I think that's the way things SHOULD be (add a healthy dose of snark to that statement).

Now for the "I'm not ungrateful" bit. We went to the zoo with Chad's parents last weekend. And they kindly paid for our admission as well as theirs. They also bought us lunch. I acknowledged these generous acts and thanked them sincerely for it. But if they think that paying for zoo admission and lunch makes it all right for them to hog my child on his first trip to the zoo (not to mention carry him off to see the tigers for the first time and leave our diaper-bag-lugging, stroller-navigating asses in the dust OMG WTF) then I'd rather pay for everything myself. And yes, they DID take Max to get his first glimpse of a real live tiger without me. When we've been reading animal picture books in preparation for his first trip to the zoo to see them in real life. Hello, steam coming from my ears.

You might wonder how it is that my in-laws manage to sneak off with my kid in public places with such alarming regularity. You see, they're tricky about it. At Frank's wedding, for instance, Chad and I were sitting down to eat, and his dad was standing up with Max behind us while we ate (because the Max, he likes for you to stand up when you hold him. Otherwise he wants down). Then we turn around and they're GONE. We scan the room, and they're NOWHERE. OMG, WHO DOES THAT? He couldn't have said, "Oh hey, I see a co-worker, I'm going to take Max over and say hi." Nope. He just walks away like it's not a big deal at all that we're at a crowded wedding reception and he just walks out to the parking lot with my baby without telling anyone. So I'm freaking out a little bit, searching the whole room then the bathrooms then outside behind the reception hall where some people were mingling before seeing them walking back from the parking lot. So I tell him that is NOT OKAY, I require a bit of common courtesy when it comes to this sort of thing (if not asking permission to take my kid out of my sightline, then at least a heads-up that it is happening). Otherwise, I FREAK THE HELL OUT. Because I don't know where my kid is. Gah. I get a smile and nod and half-hearted apology. Problem solved.

Or not. Because when we went out to lunch for Mothers Day, he did it again! GAHHH! He's all, "Let Grandpa tote you to the car for Mommy" to Max. And I'm all, "Fine, whatever." So he gets Max out of the highchair while I'm putting his crayons and sippy cup back in the diaper bag, and I turn around and once again, they're gone. And when we get to the front of the restaurant, where we can see Chad's truck, they're not there either. Because once again he saw someone he knew and followed them to their car (in the lot on the side of the restaurant) and didn't bother to tell anyone. Gah. See, the way it usually happens when we go out to the eat with them is that Chad's dad will take Max out of the highchair and wait for us to gather our things, and we all walk outside together. I really hate this new 'taking Max and disappearing' act they have going. Because Chad's mom always manages to disappear with them, but they never bother to say a word about it to Chad or me.

Then there's the whole zoo fiasco. Not to mention the "we really want to take your baby and raise it ourselves" seeds that were planted years ago when Chad's mom was pressuring us to have a baby (like, a week after our wedding). When I told her I most definitely was not ready for a baby at that point in my life she said, "You can just have the baby, and I'll raise it." I am not joking. Those were her exact words. I don't actually know if she was joking or not. My gut says not. So I am obviously not the only crazy person in this family.

So maybe all that has something to do with my gut reaction to their incessant desire to take Max off without me (or Chad). You know, that instinctual response that says "NO!" Well, all those incidents plus the little seeds they're planting in Max's mind that say "Grandma and Grandpa are better than Mommy and Daddy. If Mommy and Daddy do something you don't like, even if it's for your own good, you can call us and we'll take you away" probably contribute to my wanting to keep Max with me, or at least in one place when he's being baby-sat.

After all that negativity, now I'll leave you with a picture of Max seeing sheep for the first time.


Holly said...

Oh dear lord! BTW, that IS really inappropriate to walk away with someone else's child. I repeat: SOMEONE ELSE'S. Repeat that over and over. I don't think grandparents get that, while they birthed the baby's parents, WE birthed the actual baby.

It might take a village to raise a child, but one small part of that should actually be up in that chain of command. At least insofar as "walking away with baby" is concerned.

I know I look really odd to people, because I only let one person, ever sit for him, and only when it can't be helped, and I am not keen on strangers touching/holding him (and neither is he, so that's likely for the best). But I really don't think people realize how much stress there is involved with being the primary CEO of another human's welfare in this day and age.

Kids go missing in the blink of an eye - that is always there in the back of the head.

So, ok, rant over. In sum: I got your back, sistah.

latina marie said...

Thanks, Holly. I totally understand not wanting strangers touching your baby. I don't either. Friends and relatives are ok, and most of my friends and relatives handle Max just fine (i.e., they don't take parental liberties with him).

Max's grandparents (Chad's parents and my mom) are the only people who have ever baby-sat for him, even though I do have a couple of close friends who have offered and who I really wouldn't mind leaving him with (I've left him for a few minutes with my friend Katy at the lab). And obviously, he is in daycare part-time, but I know exactly where he is at all times, and I absolutely love the teachers he's with in the toddler class. If it were possible for me to concentrate enough to write my dissertation with Max here all the time, he would not be in daycare at all.

I think people think I'm weird because I won't allow Chad's parents to come over and take Max to spend the night at their house all the time or take him out shopping. I mean, if there is no reason that I have to be away from Max, I prefer him to be with me. People are like, "Let his grandparents take him shopping. Big deal." But to me, it is a big deal. Not to mention that they don't have a carseat, so we'd have to move one out of one of our cars, make sure they know what to do if he has a public tantrum, and all the things that go along with taking a young toddler out and about.

Maybe when Max is older, I'll be more comfortable with him going places with his grandparents, but for now it's out of the question. Knowing that other people think I'm being kind of a bitch doesn't change the way I feel.

Holly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holly said...

You should never let appearances make you feel bad for your honest judgement as a mom - nature gave you (us) those instincts for a reason.

And I totally understand not wanting people to take Max shopping - not to be mean, but do older folks really have what it takes to keep an eye on him AND do their shopping without him wandering off? Is it a risk that needs to be taken? Shopping areas are dangerous places in terms of lost/stolen kids.

And I am lucky that I am still breastfeeding - no overnight trips possible. Will have to come up with another excuse later.

However, I do admit I am looking forward to week long jaunts to granny's house when he's a bit older. (though it will also be hard to get used to.) Just not now.

(Had to re-post to change wording.)