Sunday, June 29, 2008


You kow, here's the thing.

I have always been the baby of the family. I was 10 before a new addition was made to the family, and even then I remained the baby. Growing up with family friends I was youngest of all the kids. I have 3 cousins who are younger than me, and 2 neices, and still I am referred to as "the baby". While I was pregnant, I can't even tell you how many times I heard "the baby is having a baby!".

It's funny, I never minded being called the baby. It has never bothered me. I liked the attention.

Now, of course, the baby's baby is born. A family member pointed out to me that I would longer get the attention of the baby in the family. And you know what? I LOVE it. I love that Sacha is the centre of attention around here. It thrills me to have people come over, say a quick hello to me and beeline for the baby. (And I get the distinct feeling that Sacha adores it too!)

Friday night my in-laws called and told my husband that they were coming for the weekend. (Yes, they told him they were coming, not asked if we had other plans, seeing as they would be arriving 12 hours later.) Alas, as annoying as this information was to me, there was little I could do about it. They haven't seen Sacha since he was about 2 weeks old.

I was out all day with Sacha yesterday, and arrived home a few minutes after they arrived at our house. I unlocked the door and there was my father-in-law. He grabbed the baby seat from my hands and plunked the baby down in the living room in front of my mother-in-law, who immediately started fawning over him. The child was still strapped in and it became apparent that the mechanism of the carseat was too much for my mother-in-law to handle so I unbuckled him. My mother-in-law practically pushed me out of the way to lift Sacha out.

As I said before, I am ecstatic that everyone wants to see Sacha right away. And I know they were excited to see him- it had been 3 months. Never mind that they did not take into account that the baby might be scared when faced with people that he doesn't recognize. Never mind that someone that is a strnager to him swooped right in and grabbed him. I am hardly ever comfortable around my in-laws (they don't speak much English, and make very little effort to try to communicate with me), and their behaviour instantly put me on edge. Some kids are sensitive and don't like to be bombarded by strangers. I'm lucky that Sacha likes to laugh and giggle at anyone.

I realized about 10 minutes after our arrival that my in-laws did not even say hi to me. It's almost as if I don't exist. They have never been warm and fuzzy towards me, but now it's apaprent that I was just a vehicle for their grandson. My husband thinks that I am nuts- of course they said hello! He, as I recall, had ran out to the car and not seen this whole transaction, or lack there of.

All day the in-laws have been clapping and whistling at Sacha, holding him when I want him to be playing or having tummy-time. The C showed my mother-in-law some books we found in Portuguese, and asked her if she would read one to Sacha. She basically laughed at the notion that we read to the baby because, of course, he can't understand!

I know it's only a weekend, but it still puts me on edge. Are there not limits to what I should tollerate?


Fertilized said...

oh YUck..really

Ann said...

Oh, the in-laws...such fun. If I had had a weekend like that, I would be complaining about it for the next week. I hate it that some grandparents have this sense of entitlement, that WE are the ones keeping THEIR grandchild from them, and we don't matter at all. My SIL has the same issues with her in-laws.

carrie said...

OMG. We have the same in-laws. The clapping, the loud cooing, the grabbing of the car seat, the in-your-face-ness of it all. My MIL held Margot's hand (!!) WHILE I was nursing her. Ugh. I have to keep chanting to myself "they love her. They love her. They love her."

Hang in there. I COMPLETELY understand.

Caro said...

argh in-laws.

Erin said...

We had a week like that (minus the language barrier) when P was 3 weeks old. It was the most miserable week of my life, no question about it. If P wasn't breastfed, I wouldn't have gotten to hold him for the entire week. I truly, completely feel your pain--and haven't got a clue what to do about it. The only thing to do is be glad that they don't live next door.

robin said...

Ahhhh, yes. My mother-in-law poked at my boob while I was breastfeeding to make sure baby was getting air. And asked endlessly about his bilirubin and whether we'd be getting a stroller.

I was gracious for the weekend, but figure I'll have to stand up to her at some point... One more thing to test our parenting mettle!

Hang in there.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I kept sitting on reading this post because I knew I was going to want some time to comment :-)

First and foremost, I am always here if you need a venting post.

My only advice is making sure you and your husband always remain on the same page (as best you can) or at least present a united front. And focus on that rather than what the inlaws are doing. Because, damn, the tension can run high...

It's easier said than done, but that's my assvice for the day.

Aurelia said...

Ahh yes, a description of a visit with my my case I had great in-laws, and it was my mother who was the nightmare in-law for my husband and me.

I just bite my tongue and keep pretending I'm earning points in heaven for being charitable.

Samantha said...

Well, as you said, be glad that Sacha enjoys the whole spectacle! Meanwhile for you, I think Mel's on the right page with making sure that you and Mr. C are on the same page together. You may not be able to change much about your in-laws, but hopefully your husband can be there for you to support you during their visits.

Amanda said...

My inlaws suck. It would take me hours just to explain...but they are crazy. I feel your pain. It's just crap we have to tolerate, I guess :(

sariel & shlomit said...

oh boy....i'm so sorry ms. c....i can only imagine. i have no wise words other than enjoy a glass or two of wine!