Monday, March 27, 2006

Why me?

Why is it that people who are ostensibly there to *help* you out are way more work than anything else? I haven't had an empty house for more than a day since Mouse came home from the hospital. This time around, it's my FIL and SIL, in from out of state to *help* and see the new baby, and play with Bear. Yeah, they're fine and all, but I have several issues with this situation.

Issue the First: Wherein I have to do extra work.

My FIL does not feel comfortable with tiny babies. They scare him. He has held Mouse for approximately three minutes the whole time he has been here, and she was sleeping during that. He did the same thing when the Bear was born, I remember. So, no baby help from him there. Fortunately, the Bear is big enough to play with, and he will try to do that occasionally, but she doesn't know him that well (they don't come that often) and so sometimes she doesn't want to go to him - she only wants Mom. Argh.

Issue the Second: Wherein teenagers are inherently lazy.

My SIL is fifteen. She is in high school. She is a teenager. She is amazingly and comprehensively lazy. She will sit on the couch and send text messages on her cell phone, oblivious to the world around her, while I try to simultaneously answer the telephone, nurse Mouse, and tie the Bear's shoes. This is not the behavior of someone who has come to *help* and I don't have time for it. It irritates me almost to the point of irrationality.

She wants to have her picture taken with Mouse. While Mouse is sleeping, of course. She will not do the fussing. She will not change a diaper. She will hold her while she sleeps, but only if the timing is convenient for her. This morning, for example, when Mouse vomited all over me and I had go change my outfit, she was laying on the floor, watching Gilmore Girls. I had to finally ask the Bear in a rather pointed voice if *she* would hold the baby while Mom went to change her vomit-soaked clothing. That got her to roll over and ask if I needed something. Geesh.

Issue the Third: Wherein I am diagnosed with OCD.

I have a hard time asking people for help. I really do. I cleaned my entire house before the in-laws got here because I need them to think that I have no difficulty taking charge of two small children and an enormous house. I need to give people the impression that I have things under control at all times. I told my own mother not to bother coming down to help with the kids when I went into the hospital to have my kidney surgery - I could handle it on my own. This is silly. I recognize that.

If I can't ask my own family for help, how much harder do you think it is to ask my in-laws for help? This morning, the Bear woke up at 6, as did Mouse. Unwilling to disturb the teenager passed out on my sofabed in the middle of my living room, I kept both girls in bed with me until 7:30 before I dressed and readied all three of us and went downstairs. She was still passed out on the sofa, even while we were all making large amounts of noise everywhere.

Sidebar: is that rude? I was always taught that when you are a guest, you get up when your host does, especially if you are prohibiting her from sitting on the couch, nursing and watching Matt and Katie while drinking her morning coffee. And when you are a host, you should get up as early as your guests do, if they are early risers. That's just polite. Or so I was taught? Am I being nitpicky?

So, I had to feed everyone breakfast, clean up the kitchen, mix up a batch of muffins, deal with temper tantrums (Bear), answer the phone 2984357 times, feed the Mouse, amuse both kids, etc. etc. All while they were sitting at the kitchen table, reading magazines.

I want my life back. I want my house back. If you are not here to rub my feet, fix me dinner, or take my children away for two hours so I can nap uninterrupted, then get the hell out!* How hard is that to understand? Husband doesn't get it - he gets to go away to work all day. Lucky bastard.


I am about to give voice to some very unpopular stereotypes. I am a biased person. If that offends you, don't read this.

My in-laws are fat. All of them. Not just pudgy in an ordinary way. I'm talking, candidates for gastric bypass, morbidly obese, my couch cushions are weeping in utter defeat fat.

And that grosses me out.

They eat in such a way as to perpetuate this cycle and make it even worse. They've handed these habits to their kids (Husband got the lanky genes and a high metabolism, for which I am eternally grateful). They don't take care of themselves, numerous health problems notwithstanding. They will not be around for my kids' graduations and weddings, I can guarantee you.

And that pisses me off.

They are too lazy to take better care of themselves so that they will live past 60 (D.V.) and be around to be parents to their teenager and grandparents to our two kids. And, in my oh-so-biased opinion, it makes them too lazy to be of any freaking help to me while they are here. Nobody over 300 pounds can chase a toddler in an appropriate fashion. The laws of physics prohibit it. Seriously.


Ok, now that I've earned myself a seat in the seventeenth circle of hell** (the one where skinny people who look down on the overweight go and are doomed to spend eternity bingeing and purging), and bitched enough to get me through the day, let's move on.

I think I may be getting a plugged milk duct. I'm not sure. I have a fairly sore spot in my right breast. It's a bit tender to the touch, and it shoots a mildly sharp pain at odd times. It doesn't feel like there's a hard lump in there, but it's kind of hard to tell because I think boobs are inherently lumpy. At any rate, it's not very comfortable, but it's not ridiculously painful, either. Not quite sure what this is, and not quite sure what to do about it. Any thoughts? (I happen to know that those of you who comment regularly are all breastfeeders, so any thoughts are appreciated!)

Wow. I so wanted to post an update on the last month, but it's been tough to find time (see above for confirmation of that). I'll try soon, I promise!

*I am trying to be understanding. I never had a second set of grandparents, and I know my kids are lucky to have all four of them around. I try to give equal time and standing to both sets, but it's very hard. I keep reminding myself that they deserve time with their family, too. But. Still. Lift a damn finger!

**Yes, I am an English teacher. Yes, I amuse myself by inventing extra circles of hell for various crimes and coming up with fitting punishments for them. Yes, I have read the Inferno *way* too many times. Sorry I'm such a geek.


Julie said...

1. I love Moxie's rule that no one can visit the home of a new baby for more than an hour if they are not *helping.* Enforcing that rule on family, however, is an entirely different story, and I have no idea how I'd do it.

2. I had decent luck with a warm-to-hot washcloth while nursing or pumping when I had a clogged duct. Massaging it while nursing seemed to help, too.

Amy said...

Agh, people that don't help suck!

The worst I've got is my FIL, who saw no reason to bother visiting until my MIL dragged him over here around 10 days old. This baby is partially named after him. I think he may have briefly held Leo for a minute while he slept, then sat and talked to Dan for 2 hours. My MIL, the massage therapist, was upstairs giving me a massage at the time, so I can't complain much. My FIL doesn't deal with kids until they can talk. Everyone else has been universally helpful so FIL only looks bad in comparison.

You can try a cabbage leaf (score the veins) on the blogged duct, especially if it's hot. Massaging while nursing's your best bet.

Jane said...

My LC said the same thing - moist heat, massage while nursing, lots of fluids and rest. I think she said that just so people would be forced to help me out a bit! We'll try it today and see. The thing is most definitely plugged - it feels like I have a lego in my right breast!

I'm off to touch myself in awkward places - wish me luck!

Julie said...

Hee! This might be dual-purpose. If you are busy massaging away while your in-laws are in the room, you just might scare them into doing SOMETHING!

Good luck!

Jane said...

Sadly, no. There I sat, warm compress and hungry baby on the breast, massaging in painful circles, and I *still* had to ask someone else to answer the telephone for me.


Julie said...

Dude! These people have some amazing powers. If only they would use them for good....

Jane said...

Alas, the Force is not With Them.

Ninotchka said...

oh man, this was hilarious though I hate it for you. I once had a visiting relative watch me from the couch for 2++ hours as I busted my ass cleaning house from top to bottom to host a family get together. I was just remembering that today and though it was years ago, I'm still incredulous. I just can't even IMAGINE ever doing something like that. What the *&*^%&% is wrong with people?

And the weight thing is a very valid observation/concern. I don't think anyone could fault you that in good conscience.