The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

The Mother In Law

Posted by pauaprincess on May 15, 2007

You know I’ve come to the realisation that one day I am going to be a Mother in Law.  My hatchlings have both confessed various “crushes” to me, btw I think it’s a direct result of television sitcoms that children now believe they are “crushing” rather than “in lurrrrrrve” as we did.  Anyway, I’m going to be a Mother in Law eventually, a somewhat startling thought given the state of my current relationship with my Mil.

The Paua Prince comes from a family very unlike my own.  For a start, his parents are still married and have been for about 40 years.  They aren’t big on contact, my parents ring every now and then, just to reassure me they are still alive and to reassure themselves, I am still breathing.  His call when they want something.  My family are pretty open, we argue till we fix problems, there isn’t any subterfuge.  His never say anything openly and much like my strange mother (when I say parents I mean Dad and Stepma) believe in the old wait a week and then make like it never happened thing.

Hindsight is 20/20 as they say and coming from my background, I should have forseen the outcomes.  Basically our relationship with the inlaws was ok until I hatched the princeling.  While it’s true their reaction to our engagement announcement was underwhelming to say the least, I thought I could at least cope.  Yeah it hurt that they asked the Prince in private if I was pregnant when we announced (my parents shared a glass of champagne with us) we were engaged.  I thought it was strange that she hated both my brother in laws wife and my sister in laws fiance, but Mil explained that bils wife trapped him into marriage by getting pregnant and sils fiance put tomato sauce (ketchup)on Christmas dinner!  I wasn’t fond of tomato sauce and I wasn’t trapping her baby, so I thought I was ok.

After 14 hours of labour culminating in an emergency c/section I produced the princeling. By now bil and sil had split from their partners.  I heard via the family grapevine from Mil, before the epidural had worn off even, that I’d have another baby and name it after her family.  Apparently the Princelings names 3 christian names in all as a nod to Mils tradition, were too MY family oriented.

Next was the constant barrage of anti breast feeding comment, he doesn’t want THAT Mummy, he wants steak eggs and chips!  Mil told the Paua Prince that we never knew how much food the princeling got via bf and how he was on formula at a month old, at 6 weeks to get him to sleep through the night they put cereal in the Princes bottle and I should be doing that.  They constantly took my baby’s pacifier away, despite all their other grandchildren being thumbsuckers.  I heard how my princeling had asthma but I wouldn’t do anything about it, I wouldn’t take him to the doctor (he didn’t and doesn’t) and Mil diagnosed him as lactose intolerant when he was a toddler.

My Mil seemed to have issues with her role as grandmother, when around my princeling she seemed to forget the grand part and tried to do the Mother part.  Of course, this lead to resentment when I failed to allow it.

This went on for years.  The Prince had my back though and occasionally I would get in a zinger of my own.  Things got worse when the Pipi Princess arrived.  They went on and on about her dark hair, wondering where on earth she got it.  My dear old Dad told them, whilst standing beside my hospital bed, ALL his children were born with dark hair.  Two weeks later we met them at a fundraiser and they were still wondering aloud to acquaintances where it derived from.  Now I am a skinny wee princess, petite of stature and light as a feather, but that never occurred to the inlaws as they pondered aloud at every meeting, how my princeling came to be so thin!  The child is average, their other grandchildren are with one exception; obese as are my inlaws.  I fixed that one though, by telling the princeling to advise them that a thoroughbred can’t be fattened.  I wondered though what they would have said if I’d zinged them with “Well Gee I dunno, here I stand all 6 stone of me, ya think it could be my skinny gene that he inherited?” Or “He’s not skinny, he’s just not fat like you!  I can understand though why you would find it bizarre coming from a family of heffalumps” (No offence meant to the overweight here, I was just totally sick of the whole deny my chomosonal input thing ya know?)

Anyways, the day I gave up trying, was Christmas day when the pipi Princess was two.  I hosted a joint family celebration.  I cooked a traditional ham, turkey meal.  Mil was unhappy that it wasn’t like every other Xmas, that is us going to hers for the trad meal, she never said it, but her entire demeanour reeked of ill will that day.  Come gift opening time, the children were gathered in a circle to open their gifts.  The Pipi Princess was toddling about and I went to gather her to a spot to assist with her gifts and turn taking.  Mil stepped between the wee princess and I, shook a brightly wrapped parcel in her face to stop her and scooped up my princess, like I, her mother, didn’t exist.  It took the Prince to get her back for me to take my place as her mother and help her open her gifts.  Mil sulked and made rude remarks about our gift opening traditions.  That is the day I stopped making any effort. 

From then on, I kept myself busy when they came over, once I even went grocery shopping while they visited.  I could barely even look at Mil without becoming angry, I stopped visiting her home to minimise being in her territory and while I was polite when they visited us, I didn’t initiate conversation. 

This caused a major temper tantrum the following Christmas, with Mil walking out of my house slamming doors and gates on Christmas day.  This resulted in the Prince having a yelling match with her in the street and deciding we would not be attending her Faux Christmas lunch two days later.

Have you ever seen a non apology?  Mils took the form of an email, stating she was sorry the Prince got angry with her.

I told the Prince I had enough crazy in my life coping with my mother, shift work and the nature of my job, I didn’t need more crazy in my life.  As always, he had my back.  We’ve barely seen them in the last 4 years. 

So, one day I will be a mil.  Things I do know I am not going to do?  Speak badly of my dil or sil behind their backs (you never know who will tell them do you?) , I won’t diss their traditions, ignore their genetic contributions to any grandchildren I may be fortunate enough to have and most definitely, I will know my role is that of a GRANDmother, I’ve done my stint as MOTHER!


One Response to “The Mother In Law”

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