By Heather O.
My MIL, loving, generous, woman that she is, volunteered, yes, VOLUNTEERED to take my child for a few days while I went galavanting about with my side of the family. I was touched by her generosity, and it took me about 45 nanoseconds to accept her offer. She originally understood that the trip was only 2 days, and paled a little when I told her it was actually 3 and a half, but, like the trooper that she is, she perservered and survived. Now, it’s been literally years since I have left my son overnight with a grandparent, and I was a little worried about the whole thing. I mean, I guess I knew that everybody would be fine, but I wondered if everybody would still LIKE each other at the end. I worried about the tantrums, the not eating, and my son’s penchant for violence towards bad guys that sometimes extends behind smacking inanimate objects–you know, the usual stuff.
The little demon, apparantly, was perfect.
Did he ever cry?
MIL:” Well, once when he saw you weren’t there, and once when he didn’t want to go to the park, but I just told him that we either go to the park without crying or stay home and cry. That’s what I said, and he dried right up. You just have to give him choices, and he’s fine.”
Choices. Right. You think I’ve never tried that? Whenever I say something like that to him, he flings himself on the floor and wails like he’s being tortured, and twitches his body likes he’s trying to imitate sausage frying in the frying pan. It’s not pretty.
Did he eat?
FIL:”He ate great while he was here. We don’t believe in letting kids snack, so he got hungry and filled up on all the good food that we gave him. He just gobbled everything up, every night.”
No snacks. Hmmm….Clearly, Jacob did not turn on his whine, which is so annoying, so piercing, it feels like you have a bell tolling against your eardrums, and you will do anything to MAKE IT STOP, including tossing anything edible into the back seat just to keep his mouth occupied, as gagging him with a rag and duct tape surely falls into the category of child abuse.
And apparantly there was no violence, no pain, no injuries of ANY KIND. Truly, I wondered if it was my son they were describing. This is the kid who has pulled off the skin of both his toes, because he was running really fast chasing imaginary bad guys, and crashed into our cement steps at home. Cement vs. kid is never really a winning combination, unless, of course, you’re the cement and you like having a toddler’s blood smeared on you, but really, let’s just not go there.
So, I’m back, my in-laws have gratefully relinquished the parental duties, and Mommy is in charge again. I’ll have you know that in the 6 hours I’ve been in charge of my son, he’s whined at least once, threw himself on the floor twice, has injured his cousin, and refused to eat anything but lettuce and 3 bites of chicken at dinner. (”He loves corn on the cob” is apparantly true only when Grandma is in charge. When mom’s around, he feeds it to Grandma’s dog.) I’m trying really hard not to think his bait and switch behavior is a reflection of my mothering skills. But after hearing what a great job he did at my in-laws, I might have to think about another vacation, say, to Hawaii, or the Bahamas, with just me and DH. We wouldn’t be gone too long– just maybe, you know, until Jacob can vote.
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