The first grandchild.
Naivety and I will always be linked.
People who love me find this to be a charming part of my personality.
My ego hates it.
I continually forget about this characteristic flaw of mine.
Then life reminds me loudly.
I am shocked each time.
It is a ridiculous cycle.
We were going to have a baby.
We called the MIL.
He talked and I listened.
Of course, she was so happy.
She was emotional and excited.
She was really excited.
She was so excited...
She moved back to Ontario.
(You just inhaled didn’t you? I did more than that let me tell you.)
I tried to remain optimistic.
He was realistic.
And yet, even his realism...
We were both naive.
I thought the new grand baby would change things.
I hoped the MIL would now see us as the adults we really were.
I believed the baby would consume her perseverating ideologies.
I had faith, the baby would fix the odd relationship we had with the MIL.
So...apparently, not all women have a natural ability with babies.
I assumed, a woman, who was a Mother, who had raised a child...
And of course,
Not all new Moms are as...we can call it protective since I can hear this.
(I can admit...I was a lot nutty about my babe’s...EVERYTHING.)
It wasn’t a good mix.
The MIL couldn’t wait to take the baby for a walk in her stroller.
I got her ready and carried her out to the stroller.
I was feeling fairly confident ok about this.
I was taking deep breaths.
Just before they left she showed me a note she had in her pocket.
It told the person who may find her collapsed on the street, where the baby lived.
And with that information sharing completed, off she went with my child.
I ran into the house to get my shoes.
What the hell? Collapse?
I followed my MIL as she pushed my daughter about our village.
I used my best ninja moves.
She was none the wiser, but, I was stressed to the maximum.
I just couldn’t wait to hold my child safely in my arms again.
From that visit on,
When the MIL suggested she was taking the baby for a walk,
We all put our shoes on.
He KNEW the rules.
He was wise and followed them.
Next challenge: Changing the baby.
Of course you can, MIL.
Disposable diapers are not easier to use than cloth diapers with pins.
There are big decisions to make...
Put the adhesive strips right on the baby’s stomach or on the diaper itself?
Next: Dressing the infant.
Takes some logic I guess.
Pants over sleepers could be a thing I suppose.
How about that backwards sweater look?
Next: Basic health and safety.
Also, doesn’t always come naturally.
Crystal chime, held above infant on floor.
The more it clinked, and jiggled
The more the baby cooed and kicked.
Not even close.
Not. Even. Close.
MIL now lives twenty minutes from our home.
She has proven she is incompetent at child care.
I cannot, may not, and will not leave the baby alone with her.
Let’s give it some time.
When the baby is older...
Perhaps she will be more capable then.
Not gonna happen.
She made my daughter do that every visit.
Every visit my daughter would eventually cry in frustration.
Every visit was as difficult as the last.
We tried to explain to the MIL to accept the missing numbers.
We tried to explain the child was only three.
We tried to explain, constant correction was frustrating to her.
We tried to explain...
We needed to change things.
We invited the MIL to our home more than we went to hers.
This way we had more control.
We were sure this would alleviate the tension in the relationship.
The MIL was a professional critique.
She couldn’t help herself.
EVERYTHING my young daughter would do...a critique.
Coloring...out of the lines, wrong color, shading techniques.
My child was not going to accept these critiques.
My little perfectionist had a short fuse.
My child did not trust her Grandma at a very young age.
I was worried for the MIL.
Mentally, my child would win.
We tried to explain.
It was pointless.
There was never going to be a bond between those two personalities.
We needed to keep them separated.
One visit, when my daughter was approximately two years of age,
After listening to her Grandma tell a story... a very long story,
My daughter looked at me, gestured “Coo Coo”
(You know, the index finger circling the side of the cocked head gesture...)
And indicated with a nod of her head, exactly who she was referencing.
Oh, I love my daughter.
I knew right then, she was brilliant.