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Archive for January, 2011

Ever heard of “Shit my dad says?” Well, here is my version entitled “Shit my Italian mother-in-law says.”

Let me mention a few details first.  My son is the first grand child on both my husband’s and my side of the family.  In other words, his arrival was like the coming of the baby Jesus.  And since he was born a male (and given this European family), his status is even more elevated than being the Almighty Son, believe it or not.  What I’m about to depict, may not be similar to everyone else’s Italian mother-in-law, but it’s whom I have the pleasure of dealing with.  Ever seen “Everybody Loves Raymond?” Well, my mother-in-law is very much like Raymond’s mother (and my husband is Raymond), so that makes me Debra, I guess.  Here are just a few of the things she’s said to me, that I can recall, and that I’d like to share with you.

 

Scene: Last night, in her kitchen at about 8:30 p.m.  I’m getting Julian ready to go home, as it’s already approaching his bedtime and he’s becoming more and more irritable.  Mike has disappeared and is talking on the phone.  I put Julian’s hat on and am getting his sweater on.   He’s not making things easy for me as he’s squirming and whining (again, because he’s tired, and simply doesn’t like layering up).  My mother in law throws down her spoon, and rushes over

Her: “You’re squishing him! You’re squishing him!”

Me:  (sarcastically) “Yep. I’m squishing him…that’s exactly it!”

 

 

Scene: Sunday afternoon, in my kitchen.  My inlaws have come over specifically to spend time with Julian because they don’t think they see him nearly as much as they’d like.  It’s nearing Julian’s nap time and he’s starting to get a little cranky.  But given the purpose of the visit, I’m trying to drag out Julian’s time awake to avoid the “Ughhh…we didn’t get to see him for much time” comment.  When he becomes crankier, I know he’s in need of his bottle and nap, so I start prepping the bottle.

Her:  “Mommy forgot about you.  Mommy forgot about you.”

Me:  (exchanging a look with my husband) WHAT?!?!

 

 

Scene: Vaughan Mills, before Christmas.  We stop for a gelato at her insistence.  Julian is only 7 months old.

Her:  “Give Julian some gelato to taste.”

Me:  “No.”

Her:  “Ahh…just a little bit to taste.”

Me.  “No.”

Her:  “Just a little bit.”

Me:  (more irritated) “No.”

Her:  “Just give him a little bit of gelato.’

Me:  “Ah…no.”

And repeat for another minute.

Me:  (thinking to myself) Ever heard of nut allergies? You know the things that some kids are deathly allergic too?

 

 

Scene:  Vaughan Mills, before Christmas a few minutes after the gelato discussion.  We’re seated near the kids’ rides.  There’s a rocket and train from what I remember.

Her:  Let Julian go on the ride.

Me:  “No.”

Her:  “Ah, come on.  Let him sit in the ride.”

Me:  “Ah…he can’t sit.”

Her:  “Ah, come on.” (As she makes her way to the ride, and plops Julian in despite me saying no).

Me:  Staring in disbelief as she’s ignored me yet again and watching as Julian’s hands are all over the steering wheel and everywhere else.  “I didn’t want him touching all that stuff because I’m sure it’s covered in germs,” followed by Julian putting his hands in his mouth.

Her: “Oh yeah.  I didn’t think of that,” as she takes Julian back out of the rocket.

Me: dumbfounded

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Anger

Is there such a thing as postpardum anger?  The little reading that I’ve done on the subject suggests that there very likely is such a thing, but that it hasn’t ever been formally studied. 

Here is my theory on the matter.  If postpardum depression is a very real experience that many women have, then postpardum anger is equally likely in my opinion.  For one, the anger seems related to the lack of proper sleep, as is the depression.  And secondly, the anger can also be related to hormonal changes, similar to depression.  So it seems to me that anger is merely a different manifestation of the postpardum condition.  It has been mentioned that a reason that postpardum anger hasn’t really been formally studied is because there’s the common held opinion out there of “what could you possibly be angry about?” and this was and to some degree still is a similarly held belief with respect to the very real case for postpardum depression.

In my experience, the postpardum anger is directed towards my pooch and towards my husband.  I can definitely own up to this.  I think that the anger is also somewhat directed at me too.  (I’ll get to that afterward).  With respect to the dog, I can’t help but get angry when he begs for attention or does something he shouldn’t in order to get some attention (whether negative attention or not), because I often feel so drained and think why does anything beyond the baby, and the baby’s needs deserve attention?  With respect to my husband, he just can’t do anything right according to me.  When he feeds the baby, the baby eats less, or he doesn’t clean up afterward.  When he changes the baby he takes too long.  When he washes the baby, he doesn’t swaddle him properly, or forgets to wash his hair, etc. etc.  The list of perceived inadequacies is long and varied.  Trust me. 

Granted this can all be exacerbated by the lack of proper, restful, much needed sleep, in addition to the not-so-friendly-seeming hormonal rollercoaster, but what does one do with all this anger???

Lastly, there’s the anger I feel towards myself.  I think I’m upset with myself as well because I don’t think that I should be angry.  I have so much to be grateful for, so I should be thanking my lucky stars rather than being angry about what isn’t working, right?

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