Monday, August 3, 2009

There's no place like home

"I want to talk to you about some things when you get here."

Every one's favorite words to hear from their MIL, eh?

Now, I should be clear. I really like my MIL. I honestly won the MIL lottery. She's nice, kind, funny, smart, she doesn't coddle David, often takes my side in disagreements, is helpful and supportive, genuinely listens and is just an all around nice person. I love her ninety nine percent of the time.

The "things" she wanted to talk about involved Robbie's puking. She said she and some friends had discussed it and prayed about it and "had some suggestions."

Are you cringing yet? Because man, I was on edge.

Of course, traveling with an infant isn't exactly easy anyway. Then add a kid who comes with a fair amount of medical equipment and it can lead to a slightly cranky mom.

The trip down went well. Robbie seems to have a 2 hour threshold for the car seat. It's a 2 1/2 hour drive, so we stopped and got some water and let him stretch his legs. He was still a bit fussy for the last half hour, but we sang some songs and he managed.

When we got there, my MIL was really in a mood I'd never seen before. If I didn't know better, I'd have blamed PMS. Really out of character. She was full of assvice.

At one point she told me I should go to bed at 9:00. When I said that I couldn't, she snapped, "yes you could!" I don't know that I've EVER heard the women snap before, so I was taken aback.

I explained that after Robbie goes to bed, I wash bottles, then make bottles for the next day. She told me I could do that now. (It was a bit earlier in the evening.) I then explained that I also have to pump, Robbie gets medicine at 11:45 and I start his night feeding at 12:30.

Then she tells me that I don't need to give him his night feeding. This floored me. He gets 25% of his daily calories between 12:30 and 7am. I, of course, told her that he DOES need it. She said "but he's big enough now, he shouldn't need it." Ay yi yi. Did she have a meeting with my family?

By that time, I was getting testy and explained the 25% thing and that yes, if I reduced his diet by 280 calories per day, he'd not only stop gaining weight, but probably lose. And that if I tried to add those calories to his day feeds, he'd puke even more. Yes, he needs the night feeding. She appeared to pout.

I was honestly puzzled. I've NEVER heard her this way.

Fortunately by Friday morning, she seemed to be back to her old self. She mentioned Robbie's puking and I bit the bullet. "So you had some advice about that?"

She was nice about it, and said "Well, I was just wondering if you'd ever offered him milk in a sippy cup."

Seriously. She HAS been talking to my family, hasn't she?

I really wanted to say "Offer him something to drink?! WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT?!" but I didn't. I simply said yes and that even if he would drink milk from a cup, it wouldn't keep him from puking. The milk comes up no matter what. She seemed to accept that fairly well.

Later, I reported the conversation to David and he was confused as well. "Why would she think that would keep it in his stomach any better?" I dunno.

Anyway, other than Thursday and that conversation, the weekend was pretty nice. Robbie didn't sleep great, but that was probably to be expected. He hadn't been sleeping great at home, either. He's working on some teeth (Dear God, are they EVER going to come through?) and has had a low grade fever off and on for a week. I even took him to the doc on Wednesday to make sure it really was "just" teething and nothing more serious. (All clear. She agrees it's likely the teething.) So add the not-great-sleeping to the sleeping-away-from-home thing and we did have some busy nights. But nothing we couldn't handle.

But we got to hang out, have some great food, do a little shopping. My MIL is REALLY great with Robbie, even doing his therapy exercises with him. It was a nice break, really.

This afternoon we had lunch at a popular local restaurant where Robbie baptized me with his first public diaper blow-out. I won't give you the blow-by-blow (pun definitely intended). But I will ask that if you ever enter a bathroom and encounter a harried woman with a screaming, naked child trying to get paper towels out of a jammed dispenser, I BEG of you to offer her some assistance. I'd have given 20 dollars to someone to stand there and hand me paper towels.

In the end, Robbie recovered and I managed w/o cussing anyone out. Though it was a close call when I overheard a neighboring table chuckling about us as we returned from the bathroom.

Anyway, we made it back home this afternoon and Robbie promptly took a 2 hour nap (and was still going, but I woke him up so I could bathe him and get him ready for bed) which he didn't do the entire time we were gone. I think he was as glad to be home as I was.

There's no place like home.



Anonymous said...

Trish my heart goes out to you! My daughter has reflux too and we get all sorts of (iritating)advice from everyone. All well-meaning i'm sure, but honestly, do they think you haven't thought of milk from a sippy cup?! It's almost funny..if it wasn't so annoying. You're doing such a great job with Robbie. I read your blog every day, have done for about over a year, and am so pleased to see how well Robbie is doing - all thanks to having such a fabulous mummy (who makes sure he has his night feeds!!)Bite your tongue and hang in there. Love Mel x

Adriane said...

Sorry you keep getting advice about what to OFFER. It's almost comical! You're doing such a great job.

Two Hands said...

What I don't understand is how anyone could think that they had a better idea than you, ROBBIE'S MOM. You have the history, the knowledge, the attempts at alternatives, everything to make an informed decision, they have ?
In church we're talking a lot about the power of words and controlling our mouths. God smiled at you when you bit the bullet and asked your MIL about the advice.
And for the record, I did too.

Mrs. Spit said...

Oh, Trish - that must have been frustrating, and strange. Your MIL sounds like a normal, sane person, and I think she's probably getting all sorts of advice from her friends (cause you know that's helpful) and she's stuck in the middle and getting pressured to say something about it, and ugh.

That seemed to put all of you in a really awful place.

Me said...

You ARE patient. I don't think I could have taken that on the heals of your family's recent helpfulness...

Kristin (kekis) said...

WHAT?! Tell her to add a dash of stfu to her coffee and have a good day. There's nothing worse to me than unsolicited advice. Good job keeping your cool.

Robyn said...

Sorry to hear you trip was filled with lots of unwanted advice! I'm sure it's hard but try to ignore it.

Malloryn said...

I'm sorry that you had such a rough time with your usually-helpful MIL. Why don't people understand that sometimes just being supportive or being there to listen means so much... and that unsolicited advice can be painful? *hugs*