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|Mon, 12-12-2005 - 1:43am|
What would you do about this situation?
My MIl is ... well, different from the way I was raised. I will just say that. :)
She is quite thoughtless and on more then one occasion, her remarks have hurt my feelings extraordinarily. For example, after a tragic pregnancy, in which I lost twins (one early on in the pregnancy and one later at 17 weeks), my MIL did not even call me or say anything to me. She talked to my husband and instructed him on what we should do with the stillborn baby, but not a word to me. Thankfully, I became pregnant again about four months later. We didn't even tell them about the pregnancy until I was almost to the second trimester because I just couldn't bring myself to talk about it. Then, they came up for a visit. While they were here, I was drinking a caffeine-free coke. I offered to get one for my MIL and she looked hard at me and said, "No thank you. When I was pregnant, I was too afraid to drink coke. I thought it might make me lose my baby." This was just months out from my having to deliver a stillborn child!
That's the way she is. But the thing is... I honestly think she means well; she is just a total klutz about expressing herself. She probably WAS worried about my drinking caffeine-free coke and probably thought I somehow was to blame for the loss of my twins. Whatever. Truthfully, I have gotten to the point where what she says doesn't matter to me anymore. I used to get very hurt, but now I just don't pay any attention to her at all.
My kids are another story. We all went down to visit the in-laws over Thanksgiving. While we were there, my childrens' two cousins were also visiting. They are all near the same age, so the kids were having a blast. Right after the cousins left, my MIL takes out a gift and says to me that it was for my son and she had wanted to wait until the cousins left to give it to him because she didn't have anything for them. She then walked over to where my son and daughter were playing and proceeded to give him the gift. She gave him a hand held electronic game. I watched the whole thing and saw my daughter (who is four) and her face kind of lit up like, "Oh wow - gifts!" Then the smile gradually left her face as she realized that only her brother was getting a gift. After a few minutes of watching my son and Nana play with the toy, she got up and walked over to the sofa and sat down. She was just looking at her shoes. I was watching her, not knowing what to do. Then she started to very quietly cry. I walked over to her, picked her up and left the room with her. I asked her what was wrong, knowing full well why she was upset. She wouldn't tell me at first, but then she finally said, "How come Nana only got a toy for my brother?" I said, "I don't know, Sweetie, do you want to ask her?" I didn't think she would, because she is really quite shy, but she said yes. So I took her over to Nana and my daughter (still sobbing) said, "How come only my brother got a toy?" And Nana was just backpedaling big time. She jumped and said, "Oh! Well! ..... Actually I DO have something for you, but I didn't give it to you yet because your mom will have to help you with it." And I said, "Well, I am right here." So Nana runs out of the room and comes back with this .99 craft item. It was one of those foam door hanger craft kits. My daughter was immediately all excited, so we took it in the other room to do the craft together. When I turned the package over, it had her cousin's name written on it. But I didn't let my daughter see this and we did the craft.
The thing is... my MIL did the SAME exact thing last Thanksgiving. She got a gift only for my son and nothing for my daughter! And I watched my daughter watch this and say nothing last year. And I didn't say anything, because ... what was there to say? I was hoping that my daughter hadn't noticed, but I know in my heart that she did.
And I don't want my children to think that they have to get a gift everytime they go to Nana's house! But how can she buy a gift for her grandson and not her granddaughter? Who would do that to a four year old? She said she just didn't have time to get something for 'the girls' (meaning my daughter and her cousins), but ... she was in a toy store when she got my son's gift! How hard could it be?
I don't know if I am asking you all what I should do or if I am just venting. Both, I suppose. I have gotten to the point where I despise this woman and if I never saw her again, I wouldn't care a bit. But I have tried to foster a good relationship between my children and her. My issues don't have to be their issues, you know what I mean? And so my kids just adore her. And this kind of crap just breaks my heart.
What to do?