I like to joke around about my mother-in-law as much as the next person, but for the most part, she’s pretty awesome. Take this week for example… Willy’s away, so she dropped everything and hopped on the train to come and help out and talk care of the lils while I go to work. The fact that the monkeys are sick has not deterred her, even though it has meant that she is now exposed to their little germs and at risk of getting sick, despite the fact that she is hosting a party when she returns home at the end of the week. It has also meant she has not been able to meet with friends here, as the lils won’t be going to daycare tomorrow. That earns her a BUNCH of gold stars in my book!
This visit is starting to be a bit of a problem for me, as she is starting to make me look bad. At first I didn’t see it for the clearly calculated plot that it must be. Seems innocent enough that she planned her train arrival at a time that was most convenient for the lils and I to pick her up on friday, right? I mean, she didn’t intentionally take the perfect train that allowed her grandchildren to stand on the platform and be awed by the arrival of the train, then be greeted by her running down the platform with open arms to them? They were thrilled. I didn’t see it when we got home and she suggested to them that they all paint together. In the house. Every day of her visit. I started to get suspicious when I caught her reading them book after book after book, including the same books over and over without complaint.
I came home from work today to tales of a game of “doctor” that somehow involved the lils piling every blanket and chair cushion in the play room onto Gramma and then jumping up and down on her repeatedly. Then I heard that they had hot crossed buns at both morning and afternoon snack today, complete with hot chocolate this aft. I knew what was up when she let Goose climb into her lap this evening and happily much on her dinner cuddled in her Gramma’s arms. How on earth are am I supposed to live up to this??
Now she has done it. She is making me look bad to myself. This weekend, she raked our lawns and cleaned up my flower gardens. Today I came home to reports of happy children, with nary a whine or cry in sight. One night, she offered to make supper, and when I shoed her out of the kitchen, she started to fold and sort the laundry, on the same day that it was washed. As each load finished!! Each night after supper, she has sent me out of the kitchen to play with the lils while she washes the dishes. On the same day that they were used!! Then, right before bed, she cleans up the play room, sorting all of the toys, and getting the lils to actually help.
It has gotten to the point where I now have to privately make things up that she has done wrong so that I can live with these standards. Sure, she folds the laundry, but the underwear is folded wrong. Yes, she sweeps the floors, but she walked by that pile of clothes at the top of the stairs twice, and everybody knows that things left at the top of the stairs are supposed to go down. It’s wrong to just walk by. After the dishes, she leaves the water in the bottom of the sink, claiming that she is looking for more dishes to wash, but that is just wrong. Thank goodness I have these to “faults” to hold on to.