Saturday, December 30, 2006

Family is so great. From a distance.

Somewhere, deep inside, I'm screaming.

We have family visiting. Specifically, my MIL.

I like her but she's making me nuts. And not in that shiny-happy giggling nuts way. The screaming inside way.

Oh yeah....

It all started yesterday with the food battles. See, my stepson has been diagnosed as ADHD and he's a bit overmedicated so he's not maintaining his weight well*.. and that makes Grandma concerned. So much so that detective Grandma was scrutinizing his prescription bottles for any potential irregularities, and muttering about lawsuits and pediatricians. Anyhow, Grandma's also on a quest to cram as much food as she can into the boy. So yesterday when T asked if he could have some of my cinnamon bread, Grandma gave me the evil eye when I said no. And then she offered to take him to the store to buy some bread of his own. Like I don't have a pantry full of kid-friendly stuff already.

Insert huge belabored sigh here. Maybe even an eyeroll or two.

I'm not a wicked stepmom, really.

But my cinnamon bread is no-extra-sugar whole-grain bread. It's a bit expensive, hard to find and one of the few 'treats' I allow myself. The stepson won't eat any bread that's not lily-white and cardboard-y. So he's not getting my special bread. Yeah, I know, it's petty... but for the love of God, leave my stuff alone. I tried telling him he wouldn't like it, he protested that he looooooves cinnamon bread, and I still said no. Grandma's evil eye got even more evil.

Currently, she's opening the toy I just told my three-year-old he couldn't have right now because it's got a bajillion small pieces and I don't want to deal with them first thing in the morning.

And that annoying twitch at the corner of my eye is returning.

Speaking of the three-year-old, I'm pretty sure that she thinks he's undersupervised and underdisciplined.

Because, you know, after three years of having him up my butt 24/7, I'm attempting to teach him some sort of independent playing. In other words, if he's having one of his rare moments of hanging out and happily playing alone, I'm not going to stop him. Unless he's guaranteed to give himself bodily harm, I'm not stepping in.

Which means that if he's jumping off his toy box without jumping onto broken glass, I'm letting him. If he desires privacy in the bathroom, I'm not going to break down the door because it's locked. Nor am I going to panic, lest he drown himself in the bathroom sink. MIL stands outside the door "the door is locked. Rachel, he's locked himself in there. can't he get hurt? can you open it?"

Holy fuck - the kid's locked himself in to get some peace and quiet, leave him be.**

This morning, the evil eye stayed away right up until breakfast.. when the ten-year-old expressed hunger and I said "well, you know where the cereal is".

Is it unreasonable to expect a ten-year-old to fix his own cereal?

Apparently so.

Did I mention I'm making them feed themselves today because I spent ALL day cooking our 'holiday meal' yesterday?

And then - God forbid - the three-year-old wanted the same cereal that his brother had. I started to turn him down, and the eye got super evil... so the boy got a bowl of coco@ puffs that I knew he wouldn't eat. Because, you know, he doesn't eat those. Especially not when he's already eaten breakfast.

Half an hour later, as the puffs were flying around the breakfast table (uneaten on account of they're 'yucky'), I refrained from asking Gma if she was going to pick up the straying food that G had so desperately needed.

Eh, well, the eye twitch is attractive. It goes nicely with my irritation-induced hives.

*that's a whole 'nother issue and since i try not to publicly disparage his mother's decisions, I'll leave it be for now. suffice to say i'm not thrilled but I have learned that neither a stepparent nor a father has any say in anything unless it's in agreement with the mother's decision. least that's what the pediatrician tells us.

**little-known fact about G - he's got some sensory issues and gets overstimulated easily. when he's in full melt-down mode, he often puts himself in the bathroom or in his room, so he can de-stim himself and calm down. knocking on the door and asking him questions prolongs that process, and is not helpful to anyone involved... i don't think this is so hard to understand, but apparently it is. just leave the poor kid alone and he'll come out when he's ready.


Erin said...

Oy. And vey. And Yipes! When does she leave?

~r said...

a bit over a week.

the good news is (i'm going to hell for saying this i'm sure), she's got a bit of a cold or something and is dosing with benadryl... so there's a lot of Grandma-naps going on today. Bliss.