Saturday, November 25, 2006

GRIPE! My Mother-in-Law

I've GRIPED about my mother-in-law before, but it's been a little while. I have to tell you, she never seems to run out of ways to tick me off.

My wife and I just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary (on Thanksgiving Day). I gave her a little gift for our anniversary, just to mark the day mostly and not let it go by unnoticed, but her real anniversary gift will be next weekend, when I endure a Clay Aiken concert with her. Last time she went to one with a friend, and her friend made the experience as close to miserable for my wife as she possibly could. It was then that I agreed to go to the next one with her. Now it's time to keep my word.

We made arrangements for our three-year-old son and (by then) seven-month-old daughter to spend the night with my in-laws while we make the nearly two-hundred mile trip to the concert and back. It was my understanding that my daughter -- who has not yet spent the night away from home -- would spend one night with her grandparents before then while we are still in town to ensure that all would go well. Just to ease my own mind, mostly.

On Thanksgiving day, my wife asked her mother when she would like my daughter to spend the "test" night. It was my wife's understanding -- and mine -- that it would be tonight. When my wife called her mother earlier today to make the arrangements to drop my daughter off, her mother said, "You never said for sure what day it would be. Your dad and I might drive down to Gatlinburg for the day tomorrow morning." Gatlinburg?!? From central Indiana to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and back is not a day trip! She went on to say, "I'm sure she'll be okay, we don't need a test night."

That really gripes me! And this is what gripes me the most about it: every time my sister-in-law (my wife's brother's wife) asks my mother-in-law to watch her daughter -- and it's been this way for the entire eight years plus that I've known my wife -- she bends over backwards, cancelling any plans that she may have, to accomodate. Every time my wife calls her and asks her to watch one or both of our kids, she has some more important, more pressing thing that just can't wait. I don't know why she can't seem to make the time to help her own daughter by spending some quality time with her grandkids, but it's really pi$$ing me off!!!

I keep telling my wife that she just needs to be firm with her mother for a change and demand that she act like a mother and grandmother. If I had my way, we wouldn't be going anywhere near there until she straightens up her act a bit. Maybe that would teach her a lesson about family. Of course, it would also punish my kids, and I don't want them to be brought into the middle of this. It's not their fault that their grandmother is basically worthless.


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