Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Lowlights, AKA Open Letter to MIL

Here's just some of what happened during their now-infamous visit last month:

Dear MIL,


I'm sorry you "didn't feel welcome" during your visit last month and that you "felt like an imposition." But quite frankly, you were. You were supposed to visit in June, near Piper's birthday, but canceled on us at the last minute because you "had something else to do." I'm sure playing around with the boat your husband bought even though he doesn't know how to sail or clipping more education-related articles to clutter up my house with are very important pursuits, but are they really more important than your only grandchild's first birthday? Yes, I know we said we wanted it to be just us on the day-of, but we did tell you that the weekends before and after were free. My parents somehow managed to make it down here and celebrated just fine. Ryan had already taken a week off work so he could hang out with you...and then you canceled, and seemed miffed that we found this last-minute cancellation troublesome.

When you did get around to visiting, in July, it was only on your way to do something else. Forgive me if I'm not feeling like Piper is a priority for you. You bitch and moan at me to put more pictures up on the Internet, you call and ask relentlessly to hear "the stories, I have to hear all the stories," you expect Piper to perform her words or giggles or whatever on cue when you call (sorry, she's not a trained dog here to do tricks for you), you badger and pester me about how "we want to be involved in her life! We want to be part of her life!" Apparently it's only selected parts of her life you want to be a part of, at times and place you designate.

While I am discussing your visit, I'd like to add a few more things:

- You FREAK MY KID OUT. She actually hid behind me when you came into the house. You scared her. That has NEVER happened, not even when the drunk proselytizing guy at Jack-in-the-Box touched her her head to try and bless her with the Holy Spirit while I was waiting for my orange creamsicle milkshake. She sleeps like shit when you're around, she's crabby and irritable and unmanageable. Could you be a little less intense, please? I'm sick of dealing with a freaked-out baby for three days after you visit.

- Your husband sucks at babies. He let her run out in the street TWICE when he was supposed to be watching her, then had the gall to act offended when I ran past him to pull her out of the path of an oncoming car. He won't pick up toys she drops, even if the fall on his side of the table or, in some cases, ON his foot. He won't change diapers, instead preferring to come find me in the kitchen and say "We have a report - she either pooped or farted really loud, but it was definitely something, so you might want to check." He sat in my living room and read a book, totally ignoring her while she played. Also, I can't eat meals near him anymore because it makes me physically ill. His table manners are horrid (um, hell-o! if my kid talked with her mouth full like that I'd pop her one), and his constant chew-smack-snuffle-grunt-snort is like listening to someone throw cheeseburgers into a woodchipper.

- We don't drink much, and we don't drink at 10:30 in the morning. It's nice that you showed up at that hour with two bottles of champagne and two cases of beer, but don't get huffy if I don't want any until later in the day. Your excessive alcohol consumption is also part of the reason I haven't accepted your increasingly-more-insistent offers to babysit, BTW.

- I did warn you that Piper doesn't like to sit still, but because you wouldn't shut up about how much you wanted her to make you a finger-painting for your fridge, I agreed to let you try it. Don't blame me if she was screaming to get down after two minutes.

- I appreciate the thought, but that book of poems you brought makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty nail. I know they're supposed to be for kids and all, but really they're just moronic. I don't care what parenting magazine recommended the author, he sucks.

- When I say "no more work-talk," I mean it. I know you like to think you're informed about Ryan's job, but you haven't got a clue. I'm sick of you ruining our family time and his vacations with your blathering.

"Ohana" means family,

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