Saturday, July 25, 2015

Some mothers do have 'em

My MIL came over for a visit. It was a simple and civil one compared to her last visit where she was all over the place. Her first visit she came "to help". As the kids are more or less grown, I was expecting bath and bed time supervision; light housekeeping (e.g. change the foil on the cooker once in a while, throw away old food from the fridge, feed the kids when I am at work or school, etc). She was going to be around for six months and so, I rolled out the red carpet for the first couple of weeks and took her with me everywhere.

The first sign of "trouble" was when I began to cook alone while mama will shout well done intermittently from the living room as she watched TV. Honestly, it was a red flag because she used to come help out in the kitchen but after a week she refused to do anything at all. She also announced to me that she cannot wash her clothes with a machine(?) and I responded by buying her a bar of laundry soap and letting her know where it was so she could wash when she wanted to. Needless to say, she put her clothes in the machine after all. Then, she had a "hypertensive crisis"; she stopped taking her blood pressure medicine, and when she went to the Doctors' office she told him she had taken her medicine and her bp was a whopping 178/96; of course they brought out the big guns and placed her on beta blockers et al. She looked a mess by the time she was leaving. Of course on getting home, she reported to her son that she took her medicine at different times because I didn't always have breakfast ready. . .

I pointed out that she is in her house and since I work nights, AND go to school during the day, I was sometimes half awake when I walked in. I told her to feel free to help herself to some bread and tea or cereal so she could get her medicine early. She also said her bp spiked because of all that salt that I cooked with. Long story short after three arguments with hubby acting like I was trying to kill his mother, I started cooking two pots of stew, and later we just went salt free. She really isn't a horrible person, she is just scheming, petty slow poison, passive aggressive. She will nag you to death while feigning innocence. After her hypertensive episode, she kicked up her feet and did nothing while she waited for her departure date. I continued to cook and clean and watch after the kids more or less take care of her while she pretended to be an invalid. Many other things happened before she left but I wont go into them, after I understood her motive, I decided I would not engage her. If you must catch a monkey you gotta think like a monkey, so we both went about our fake sweetness for as long as it took.

A week before she left, my husband offered to take the kids to speech therapy so I could sleep in. He asked his mom to bathe and dress the kids. She assumed I would get up before he got back so, she sat at the computer watching one of her "Redeemed camp" or " Mountain of fire camp" programs. I was jolted awake to hear her son come back two hours later and the kids were still playing in their pajamas. He repeated his request and left (not so nicely either). She then went on her own tirade about how the kids four and five should be bathing themselves and how she had never seen such big kids who could do nothing for themselves. I heard the computer change to a kids program, then a loud smack as it was changed back to whatever camp it was that she was watching. I sighed and got up to get the kids ready, looking her square in the eye so that she knew that I heard all of the crap she had just spewed. By this time she did not care so all I could do was the Yoruba laugh.

By the time we took her to the airport I was glad. Why come for such a long period if you didn't want to? Na by force? As luck would have it, her other son was going to have his kids born here as well; I am sure she didn't think she was coming back so soon. Thankfully, they had their kids in Dallas so, I didn't have to see her for longer than ten days. Of course, the other son so unlike my husband, made his expectations clear, she was here to help his wife and he did not leave any chance for his mom to antagonize her. I have nothing against her but hey, I am not stupid. She wants to be my mother - in - law, and will hence forth be treated as such. Two can play this game, as a matter of fact, I invented it.