As ABBA once said, "I have been waiting for these visitors..."
I'm going to come back to the My Pookie Bear testimony soon, but there are some other things we must discuss first.
My Mum is out visiting at the moment, with D. It was also my birthday last week (27... sigh...) and I was embarrassingly disappointed with the whole affair. Since I was little, right up until recently, I have looked forward to my next birthday right after I got done with the last one. However, for the last four years I have felt absolutely nothing. No excitement, no anticipation, no nothing. It's going to be incredibly selfish of me to say this, but ever since 2007 something has kind of stolen my thunder. In 2007 I was forced to live in the UK while we waited for immigration paperwork to be processed, but my husband had no legal right to work over there so we spent the whole year (our first year of marriage) living in two different countries. On my 24th birthday, therefore, I was sleeping on my sister's couch working as a credit-control temp for a food company, and it SUCKED. In 2008 I was happily living in WI and took a week off in the summer for my birthday and for my family's visit, but I go so excited about them coming over that I completely forgot about my birthday and felt a bit weird on the day itself. Same story in 2009, and exactly the same in 2010. I'm so lucky that my family wants to come and visit me, but I wish we could spread things out a little. I'd love for them to come over every year, but perhaps they could make it a week or two later next time? I'd really like to celebrate with just my husband and Little O, and feel special about my birthday again. I want to DO something... not feel like I have to entertain guests or watch my alcohol intake in front of my parents. Maybe next year if they're back again, they can look after Little O for a weekend and my husband and I will bugger off and get pissed at a hotel somewhere. I'm really not looking forward to asking my family about that though...
It's weird having my Mum here with D. Admittedly he's helping to diffuse potentially hazardous situations, for which I am very grateful, but it's still strange watching their relationship. For example, my Mum stopped kissing and hugging us goodnight when we were teenagers, but with D she makes sure they say a 'proper' goodnight... every night. It's sweet and not inappropriate (he's gay, remember?), but it just strikes me as odd that she'll give him a hug and peck on the cheek before bed, but then turn to me and wave goodnight as she goes up the stairs. I dunno. Maybe this is all at D's request: not her's. Maybe it makes her feel weird doing it in front of me too. It's just that I don't have a great relationship with Mum on my own, and seeing her be comfortable and motherly to someone who isn't her child is... hmm... uncomfortable.
Another thing that's making me feel uncomfortable is how my Mum is around my son. She clearly adores him and has frequently demanded to hold him or play with him, but she's never once offered to HELP with him. I know he's a lot of work and that learning how to take care of him is a bit of a minefield, but even if I turned down the offer of help I'd still appreciate the gesture! She has never once offered to feed him, change him, put him to bed, give him a bath, get him dressed, hold him while I deal with another crisis... nothing at all. As far as she's concerned, she's his Grandma and her prerogative is to enjoy cuddles and playtime. My in-laws, however, offer to do EVERYTHING. They have been the most helpful, supportive grandparents for Little O, and I feel more confident in their abilities to take care of him in an emergency than anyone else. Yes, they've seen him more often, and yes, they live considerably closer, but that's not it. They're better with Little O because they WANT to be. When we visit them they make sure we have everything we need to get comfortable, and they will happily and without complaint rearrange anything at all to fit around us. They want to administer medications, feed him via g-tube, change diapers, give him his nebulizer, bathe him. They're happy to do it because not only do they love him, but they realize how much pressure my husband and I are under and they want to help relieve it. My Mum, on the other hand, wants to be treated like a guest. So I have to run around cleaning up after her and D as well as all my usual Little O-related business. It would just be nice for her to offer to change him when he's dirty, or feed him something tasty... just once. That's all. Because that's the kind of Grandma Little O needs.
Thanksfully my Dad is coming to visit in October and he's more like my in-laws. He's happy to get stuck in there and help out as much as possible, so I'm looking forward to seeing him and trusting him to take care of his grandson. I think he's a wonderful father and a brilliant Grandad. I miss him a lot.
In other news, I got offered another copyediting project! Thank FUCK for that! I was beginning to think my publishers didn't love me anymore...