Thursday, January 04, 2007

Are you doing this on purpose or are you just ...?

New Year's Day Chuckles didn't eat a great breakfast (not unusual at all for him). So, we canceled breakfast and went about our day. A while later we tried again. He ate. It was getting later, so I didn't push the issue too much since lunch would be upon us soon. He had eaten enough, so we ended breakfast so as not to spoil lunch. (As a side note, Chuckles needs to be kept on a rather regular eating schedule or we mess up dinner and when dinner is ruined, there is no sleeping through the night and then we all suffer.) A couple of minutes later, I see my SIL feeding Chuckles Cheerios and some kind of Gerber junk food (side note: just because it's made by Gerber does not mean it is free of sugar, salt, high-fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated oils). I let it go since I didn't want to cause a scene (for once).

A few minutes later, Chuckles is on his grandfather's lap eating something. I ask, "What is he eating?" almost sure it's a cookie. The response: "An apricot kolatchky" like it being apricot - a fruit - makes it OK to feed him a cookie right before lunch. I reply calmly, "OK but no more since those have cream cheese in them." At which point we have the following conversation:
FIL: No, it was apricot - not cream cheese.
Me: I mean the dough. The dough is made with cream cheese.
MIL (who made the cookies): No, it doesn't.
Me: Yes, it does. I have your recipe.
MIL: Oh, right.
FIL: So what?
Me: Chuckles is allergic to milk.
FIL: Does cream cheese have milk?
Me: ????? You're kidding, right?
FIL: What? (acting like he didn't hear me)
Me: Yes, it's dairy. Cream and cheese. #1 ingredient is milk.
MIL: Well, it's only a little.
Me: Well, he's a lot allergic, so no milk. At all. OK?

At lunch time, Chuckles demands a "cock-ee" or cookie instead of scrambled eggs and carrots and throws the cutest little temper tantrum that I ignore completely since I want to end the tantrums before they start and my sister-in-law tries to offer him a cookie during the tantrum to get him to stop. I think I gave her the iciest look in the history of the world and froze her to death since she stopped speaking mid-sentence whilst criticizing my parenting. I almost grabbed my child and left right then, but since my husband was having a nice time and it's his family, I stayed but said we had to get to my aunt's house right away for her party (which I didn't even want to attend, but ultimately decided to attend to get out of there, since there was no way we were leaving for hours if we didn't have a good excuse...and I ended up with the blankie faisco at my aunt's, so that wasn't great).
As we were leaving hastily, my in-laws again smacked me up the side of the head by suggesting that I am somehow mistreating my child (or future children) by making him wear hand-me-downs or somesuch crap like that. I'm not sure what exactly the point of their statements was but let's just say that what they said made me feel both defensive and like crap. I like these people and they are very nice, but either I am going completely mental these last few weeks or they have actually gotten catty. And they always do this stuff when Mr. L-S is in the bathroom. So either they do it on purpose or he spends a lot of time in the john.

I am guessing that the real reasons are many and they have just as much to do with my own insecurities as with anything they are actually doing. The Number One reason I think I have had go-arounds the last three weeks is this:
They are not my family and we do not share common history. I guess this one fades over time, but really, I think that my childhood shapes how I view everything about how I want to raise Chuckles (and not that I am trying to emulate how I was raised because I am actually trying to do the opposite). And the run-ins have become much more frequent and a ton more painful since I became a mother.
As I have said before and will say again and continue to say until I am blue in the face: How I choose to raise my child is not a judgement of how you raised or are raising yours. We're all different and have different values and different children who need to be treated differently to fit into each of our different families. Different is OK. We're all just doing the best we can. Maybe my best isn't as good as yours or isn't even at all like yours. If I practice Attachment Parenting (which I don't) and you practice Babywise, it doesn't mean we can't be friends, but we should never talk about childrearing if we want any common ground at all.

Maybe I'm just sensitive over my own insecurities. And perhaps, I need to stop living with them.

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