Thursday, February 22, 2007

I See Your Passive Aggressive and I Raise You Please Shoot Me.

Meredith recently spoke about her mother-in-law’s passive aggressiveness. I, of course, feel the need to regale you with a tale of my own.

MIL likes to clean when people are watching. She’s not the type to quietly take care of something and move on. No, she’s more the type to wait until you’re there, then comment loudly about what she’s doing, and to recap her actions when she’s finished.

Last night, Mr. WG, S., Z., Mr. WG’s three cousins, and I all went out to a basketball game. MIL stayed home wih D. and Baby J. We left the house at shortly after 7 – and Mr. WG had already put the boys in the bath. They go to sleep at 7:30.

When we left, we had finished dinner, and I had cleaned up most of the kitchen. One counter was still dirty, and there were a few dishes in the dairy sink. When we returned, everything was just as we had left it. It was close to midnight, so we went to sleep. Well, Mr. WG and everyone else went to sleep. I got into bed, then immediately got up again to get Baby J. who has IMPECCABLE timing. I nursed him for a while, then put him down. We repeated that pattern for a bit, and when he climbed out of my bed at 2:30 a.m. babbling away about needing to take out everything in my nighttable as part of a science experiment, I stuck him back in his crib and tried to sleep through the whimpering.

MIL awakens every morning at around 5. Or earlier. Not because of jet lag – that’s just how she is. You remember how she organized my closets on her first morning here, right? So, I slept in this morning. Till about 6:45. I took a shower and came out to find that Mr. WG had left for carpool. I could hear the vacuum running, and when I opened the door, I saw D. vacuuming. S. was playing computer games. I could hear Baby J. upstairs and MIL was with him.

I ventured out into the hallway, eyeing D’s trail of destruction. Mr. WG’s camera was on the floor. The shredder in his office had clearly been fed. And I didn’t even notice that his laptop was also on the floor. The kitchen looked just as it had last night.

I don’t even remember what D. did next, but whatever it was was enough to warrant a time-out. So I took him upstairs and sat him on the couch in the playroom. Sure enough, after a moment, MIL and Baby J. emerged from the room where they had been, and all three of them came downstairs.

By that point, I was cleaning up the kitchen. MIL sees this and tells me that Baby J. didn’t eat.

“Because he didn’t want to, or because no one fed him?”

“We tried to feed him a waffle. He didn’t want it. Yesterday he ate pita. Maybe I’ll give him pita?”

“No. Let’s go with some oatmeal.”

She sets him up in the high chair, all the while telling him that it’s OK, that Grandma will feed him. Yes, he’s SO HUNGRY. Yes, Grandma is here to rescue him.

I mention D’s actions. It is instantly obvious that she knew that D. was up to no good and went upstairs for that reason. She mentions that Mr. WG should get a lock on his office door. That way, nothing bad would happen to his stuff.

Of course, the rest of the house would still be at risk, but her son would be protected, and really, that’s all that matters.

I return to the kitchen and resume cleaning. She sets Baby J. up in the high chair and then asks me if I want her to wash the dirty dishes.

“No, I figured that we’d just leave them that way,” I said. OK, OK, I didn’t actually say that. But I wanted to. So I washed them and listened to her tell me how Mr. WG should really be saying his morning blessings and washing before eating.

“He has never done that,” I said.

“But he should.”

I said, “Well, I guess he was poorly reared.” OK, I didn’t say that either. I said, “He has never done that. In fact, I have seen you serve him breakfast many times before he leaves for shul.”

She shrugged. And then she rewashed all the dishes I had just finished cleaning.


Meredith said...

Yes, yes you totally win!!! Does Mr. WG at least have a sense of humor about his mother - do you have an outlet to say in private "Your mother is INSANE!!!" I so hope so!

lisa said... when is she going home?

Amanda said...

That's what I wanted to know long will she be with you?

WriterGrrl said...

She leaves the 27th. Almost there.... And no, Mr. WG doesn't think his mother can do any wrong.

3MGA mom said...

If Mr WG doesn't see her for what she is, it's a good thing she lives so far away! Maybe the two of them can watch the kids while you sneak away for a night :)