Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Mother-In-Law Conundrum

I can't believe the school holidays are over; *sigh*. We were really getting into the swing of staying in our pj's until mid-morning. Ahem.
I think that was one of our most fun breaks ever. And we didn't even go anywhere. It was so nice to have some down-time and refuel emotionally and physically for the next busy term.
Over the break we had a few visitors, one of them being the mother-in-law. Let me preface this whinge by saying she is a lovely lady and we actually get on rather well. When she visits she always brings our littles pressies which is very exciting for them. Books, stickers, colouring pencils. Nice. And this time a BLOCK of chocolate. Each.
She must have seen the WTF look on my face because she immediately explained that it was organic and preservative-free (at least my banging-on about something has been heard).
Okay, I thought, if I convince the kids to use their choco-booty to make biscuits and cakes I can live with this one (and get in on the action).
But then she rips out this line: "After dinner you can have some". I think this time my head spun 360° and green froth came out of my mouth. I had to put my foot down on this one; "No we won't be having chocolate before bed, we'll do some baking with your special treats tomorrow." The kids looked at me like I had just banned Christmas and had a bit of a sook but the decision was accepted. I think they kind of guessed it would go down that way anyway.
Now here's where it gets rather interesting. After dinner Granny got them ready for bed and read them some books. See I told you she was a nice lady.
The next morning our five-year-old informed me that when Granny went to say goodnight she smuggled them in a few squares of chocolate. After my head fell off and I kicked it around the room for a bit I tried to explain the many levels on which this was a wrong thing to do. Then of course I had to have the awkward convo with "Granny" — she just gave me a bit of an eye-roll and left me feeling like a freakin' prison warden.
Now here's the ugly twist. My mother-in-law is vegetarian. I made her some risotto that night. With chicken stock! What? It was organic and preservative-free. Do you think I'm going to hell in hand basket?
How do you handle your mother-in-law?


ACTing Like A Mama said...

Bahahaha - this made my day. Can so sympathise with family members that go over the top of your decisions.

I think it was really important that you approached your MIL on this issue. While it is no big deal for me personnaly to give children a choccie after dinner, it is a HUGE problem if you said no and then she went behind your back. That's just disrespectful and sends confusing messages to the children.

Leah1517 said...

I think the chicken stock was a beautiful way of payback and that she slightly vomitted when she realised it was chicken stock! Payback is a dish best served cold (with chicken stock as a side!)

Well done on your subtle payback!

(now my MIL has a key to my house and regulary let's herself in when she 'knows' we will be away!!- any suggestions on how to handle that one is appreciated!)

mum space said...

Leah you should leave the house totally trashed so she thinks someone has broken in (and maybe even cleans up for you) — Sandra x

veronica said...

Dude! You can simply forward her their future dental bills - that shizz is out of line!

Faith Hope and a whole lotta Love said...

LOL!! too funny - but not! Oh don't get me MIL (whom I have known longer than my husband!!) rocked up in Sept from QLD to our house in VIC - uninvited & without warning - in her caravan that she slightly dinted our fence with (the loud noise allerted me to the fact she was here) I was FUMING....straight on the phone to hubby warning him....tried to hide the angst from my girls...asked her how long she was staying & she replied just long enough for you to wish me a happy Mother's day - oh yeah??!!!!!

miss leslieanne said...


I reeeally fear for moments like that in he furure.

Like you, my monster in law is actually really lovely, but she's also *very* pushy!

So far the only battle i've had to deal with is "NO, we're NOT using baby poeder" (but why? it makes them smell all lovely?? ARG!), but I do wonder what I'll have to deal with as the little man gets older.

I reckon the chicken stock makes you even though :P

Piper+Lily said...

I love it! When I read it I thought, 'hey, did I write this & not remember?'I am going to show this to my husband!

Leah 1517 - the only way you can fix your mess is to change the locks! ha!

mum space said...

My hubbie was away on biz when this whole thing went down and when I told him he was peeved but only because she would NEVER have let him and his brother have choc when they were kids, they were raised on mung beans and tofu all the way. So at least I was able to get a bit of a laugh out of it.

Mahmood said...

She should realise that she was also a daughter in law. Your blog is very nice. The images are very beautiful. God is Great. Best wishes.

Staki said...

That's gold! Nearly fell off the chair laughing!

I toohave trouble with my lovely helpful MIL, the best to date was when I told my daughter off for doing something naughty & MIL hugs her & says "don't worry Baba loves you"

There was a big how-to-do about that let me tell you!

EntertainingMom said...

I was about to preface this by saying thanks for "following me" on my cooking blog... but that aside... OMG I am HOWLING over here!!! I want to give you the High Five Girlfriend! Have you tried my Grandma's Dressing recipe? It's made with a bit of beef bouillon ;)

On my other blog I had a long post about my mother... it made my MIL seem saintly by comparison... there is definitely a stronger bond my mother in law and her girls but she does try. It's so very hard and because they are not blood relatives we do have to walk on egg shells around them.

I would have been LIVID had she snuck my children chocolate at bedtime... not only is it sugar at bedtime... but their teeth?!

Talia said...

I can't believe she did that!!! I thought my mother-in-law was bad... we don't have kids yet, but I hope she doesn't do things like that!!

I don't think you should worry about the chicken stock either- it's probably good for her. :-P

Michelle xx said...

OMG - it doesn't matter if you tell your kids that they have to pick their nose! She should NEVER cross you - what you say goes.

I can sympthise with you, my MIL does it too.

becca said...

Ok seriously that would have put me right over the edge if my MIL went against what I set forth. And I can see it happening. If I didn't have such a "hall monitor" for a daughter, I'm sure my MIL would do things like this all the time! My 4 yo once told me, "Guess what mommy! Granny gave me 4 desserts!". She must have seen the evil take over on my face because she then said, "they were small desserts..."

Cute blog! I'll be back!

becca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WelfareWisdom said...

I can so relate to your funny story!! The best bit was the chicken stock, that was just the icing on the cake!!! I have some 'issues' with my MIL but things have got a little bit better over the years, a little bit!!!LOL

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