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Friday, April 8, 2016

The Family Visit

Hello, dear readers!

My apologies for not writing recently. I've been very busy working on the baby's crib, the car, and then this week, my family came down to Arizona to visit me (also because my dad has a conference to attend in Phoenix), so I had to spend a few days cleaning and tidying up the house. I normally push for it in one go, but babies have a way of preventing that from happening.

Originally, my mom and grandmother wanted to come and visit on Wednesday, but my hubby had to work and so we told them Thursday would be the better day. If they were gonna take the time to come down and visit, it would be better if all of us were home. They reluctantly agreed, but as it turned out, the daughter of a longtime friend of my grandmother's was in town and she stopped by for a visit so nobody was lonely.

Unfortunately, despite feeling optimistic about their arrival, this visit by my family was not a pleasant one. Despite the stalemate that is currently in place, the family feud which drove me out of Illinois and back here to Arizona still has not been resolved. Tensions boiled up again over lunch at a renowned local steakhouse when my mom inadvertently admitted to force-feeding me squash as a baby, and laughed while describing my "do not like" face. I do not, nor have I ever liked squash, and to know that I'd had the stuff shoved down my throat without regard to whether it was something I might not like was unsettling to say the least. Call it petty or an overreaction, but I'm not a fan of force-feeding, regardless of whether the food being shoved down the gob is "good for me" or not. I might have overlooked this faux pas years ago, but parenthood has sensitized me to issues surrounding food and children.

Scene from lunch. Baby got to sit in the big people's chair!

Things just went downhill after that. While hubby and my mom went to Home Depot to get some lumber, I stayed home with my grandmother and the baby. Tensions erupted again due to our different parenting styles. My grandmother is old-school and believes picking up/holding children often spoils them, whereas I am of the opinion that you can never give a baby too much attention because attention helps the child feel secure and loved.

My mom bought those booties for me when I was a baby. They still had the Montgomery Ward's price tag on the wrapper!

Case in point: the baby jail. My grandma had me put the baby in the baby jail, despite me warning her that was not a good idea since the baby doesn't like being confined in there. Sure enough, the baby threw a fit but my grandma was able to keep her attention long enough for me to finish washing the leftover dishes in the sink. At that point, the baby, who was full from lunch and in need of a nap but in her usual characteristic self refused to lay down and sleep, became very cranky from fatigue. A quick nursing session sent her off to dreamland, and my grandmother helped me fold and put away the laundry that I'd brought in because the sky was getting dark and it looked like it was gonna rain.

Four generations, and Pest whom I insisted on holding for this family picture

When my hubby and mom came back from Home Depot, we took a few more pictures and they left, but not before my mom threw a hissy fit about my perceived time spent online and communications. I really don't spend much time on the computer because babies have a way of taking up all your time and attention (I'm offline most of the day, going on only at night after the baby has gone to sleep to cruise Facebook, watch videos and write), but in her mind, I'm online all day and neglecting the baby while playing games and talking to "uneducated whores" on Facebook. My denial of such an absurd idea only served to reinforce it in her mind because save for the once-in-a-blue-moon emails, my communication with her is limited. It's not out of malice, but out of a desperate attempt to preserve my sanity and well being are the reasons why I rarely talk to her. Family feuds combined with personality issues (I suspect that my mother is a narcissist, given her die-hard petty-bourgeois elitist attitude) can do this. Needless to say, hubby and I were relieved when the two old women left. It served to reinforce how NOT to raise children.

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