Thursday, November 02, 2006

So it begins

I have already posted about my mother-in-law referring to the fetus I am toting around as "our baby." Not "the baby" or "my grandbaby." "Our baby." Which annoys me, since a) I don't recall her being around for the conception (*shudder*), b) I don't see her horking over a toilet once a day and unable to drink plain water for fear of puking it up, and c) I haven't noticed her in my living room when I'm up late at night, insomniac and worrying about losing my identity to motherhood.

I don't have the best relationship with my in-laws; though they were pretty sane about the wedding, the creeping, reaching, clutching "we want to discuss how you feel family fits into your marriage" talk they tried to ambush me with the week after the wedding did not sit well with me (not to mention all the shenanigans they pulled before we were legally married). Sometimes I feel as though my mother-in-law and I are dogs, circling and growling at each other, hackles raised as we bare fangs and try to nudge the other out of my husband's life.

My husband was also bothered by the "our baby" comment, which I took as a big step. We've been together three and a half years, and I've spent much of that time convincing him to let his parents know less about his life, not more. It caused a lot of trouble between us and I had to tell him that if he could not learn to put me first - put us first, our life together, not the life he had with his parents, not their needs or wants or opinions- that I would find it hard to build a life with him. He eventually got it, eventually realized that the less information he gave his mother, the less ammo she had. Now that we are about to have a child together - our child, created by us and not really something his parents can take credit for, lay claim to, or take away - I think he really does get it. This is something that is absolutely ours, and I think his hackles were raised a bit when he heard his mother trying to wedge her way in there.

He hinted to her this weekend that perhaps she should find a different moniker for the much-anticipated grandchild. Much along these lines: "I'm just surprised, is all...I thought you'd be calling it your grandbaby, you've been waiting for this for so long..." He tried several times to get her to bite, and she refused. She essentially replied that she was going to keep calling it whatever she wanted. "We're going to be there for that baby when it's born!" she said. "As soon as it's born, we'll be there!" He started trying to find a way to tell her that we'd prefer not to have a pack of relatives hanging around the hospital when the baby comes. She immediately got huffy and started in with the "well, if you don't want us to come" line. He had to backpedal and say no, it's not that they can't come at all, just that we're going to need some time. "Well, of course," she said. "I mean, of course you guys are going to want a couple of days..." Which she's said before, when we told her. Look, I know they're excited, but (as I told my husband when he said that maybe it wouldn't be so bad and they could help out and it might be nice to have them around blah blah blah, like we can't even take care of our own damned baby without their valuable help) I don't relish the thought of having a house full of people the day we come home from the damned hospital.

As I explained to my husband, his parents aren't exactly the type to entertain themselves, nor are they they type to go and find the coffee filters and figure out how to work the coffee pot when they want some. They'd hint they want some, but it would be up to me to make it. They'd feel it was impolite or something, I suppose, to dig through my cupboards for filters and mugs. Even though they have no problem passing judgement on everything their son does and inviting themselves for visits, I don't think they'll raid my cupboards for snacks. What this means is that, although they won't be sleeping here (at least I don't think they're planning on THAT), I will wind up being the one responsible for feeding and entertaining them every minute they're here. It's not like we can go out travelling the countryside with a newborn (germs! crowds! strangers touching my baby!) and how long can we possibly sit around our (stuffy, hot, and generally bad for entertaining) apartment gazing at the baby? "Look it's sleeping." "Yup, still sleeping." "Oh, there's the poop-face. Time for a diaper change."

And, truthfully, when I hear my mother-in-law saying that she will call it whatever she wants, and show up whenever she wants, I feel like raising my hackles and baring my fangs. Back off, bitch, this is my show. You have no jurisdiction here. At least I feel certain that my husband will back me up on that one.

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