Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sunscreen On Diaper Rash , Tylenol Overdosing, and Other Grandparently Quirks

I admit it. I am an envious, and sometimes bitterly jealous, mother. Mainly in regard to ONE thing. One big, fat, enormous life-altering thing. I secretly envy those mothers who have THEIR mothers and mother-in-laws nearby to watch their kids like WHENEVER someone sneezes! I'll out myself. I COVET thee. I'm breaking a commandment, people. I don't really know what coveting is, but I'm reasonably sure I do it. There are even fleeting moments when I feel spite. Yes, spite. I said it. I'm not proud of it, but when you're bringing 4 girls with you everywhere from the supermarket to the Gyno while others get weekly Grandparent respite for everything from a hangnail to a bad day to a date night, it's hard not to be bitter. Or, perhaps it's just me.

But, Grandma watching the kids can have some cons too. You know how it can be. Grandma doesn't always do what YOU would do, or what you would like HER to do with your children. Like, my Mom. She's not really around to see the kids that much. When she does, she's great. Really. But, she's kinda like a drug pusher on the corner. She has this propensity to think all her grandchildren "feel a little warm" and so she's very liberal with the dispensing of Tylenol. I, on the other hand, am very reluctant to use any medication unless necessary, and don't think that feeling some one's forehead and proclaiming "she feels a little warm" (when, by the way, she feels exactly the way she feels every day and there is NO use of sophisticated devises like THERMOMETERS or the presence of any other symptomotology whatsoever) is grounds to dispense acetaminophen like crack gumdrops. But, hey, that's just me. I have friends who suffer from other types of Grandmas like The Over-Indulgent Grandma. You know, the one who lets your kids get a way with murder, too much T.V., too little sleep, and they come back to you spoiled rotten. Or, you can have the Overly Advicey Uber Neurotic Grandma, like my friend whose Mom gives her excellent pointers like "Don't wipe the baby's face with a paper towel because they have bleach in them."

MY mother-in-law is quite awesome. She's a better Mom to my kids than I am. Good discipline, lots of love, home cooked meals. She also knows what style I have and what I like to do for the kids and tries her best to do things "my way." The only downside to my mother-in-law is that she lives 2 hours away. Bummer.

Even though distance is a challenge, my mother-in-law and father-in-law love having the kids stay over a few nights every now and then. The funny thing is that while Grandma is stellar, their Papi is... well... Papi. You won't find a Papi who is more loving, playful, and fun than my girls' Papi. But, he's not so on the ball with other stuff. Like safety, diet, and basic common sense when it comes to children. I'm not just talkin' about feeding them junk all day long. It's stuff like, he'll put sunscreen on Rella's diaper rash instead of Desitin. Yeah, at least her butt won't get sunburned, thank God. Or, he'll use his handy pocket knife that he just used to work on tools and other greasy dirty messes to cut up an apple for the girls, claiming he just "washed it off" on his jeans. That's sanitary in MY book! Then, he'll bust out some prehistoric electric fan from before they had the safety grate thing on it and put it right on the floor like a whirling machete, just tempting the kids to splice off a finger (hasn't happened. Yet). He'll take baby Ella up a 10 foot ladder into the hard hat zone of a construction site. I have no problem with that other than he is considered disabled and his leg "gives out" often. Just what you want to have happen holding an 18 month old at the top of a 10 foot latter. Or, he'll put a 12 month old baby in a booster car seat made for 5 year olds while simultaneously feeding them the World's Top 5 Most Chokable Foods. I'd probably have an ulcer if we lived closer and they watched the kids more. But, loss of stomach lining for gain in childcare/Independence/sanity is an exchange I'm willing to make. Who needs a stomach lining anyway?

So, how do YOUR mothers and mother-in-laws stack up? I'd love to hear! Watch the Juice Box Jungle video clip in my sidebar. I love the gang at Juice Box Jungle! Leave me a comment if you can relate to their clip and/or have a funny story to share!


Crystal said...

I hear ya. My Mom is sick in bed...always (really, I feel she's just depressed and chooses to stay there) and my mother-in-law is a royal ___________. You fill in that part.

I wish I had them, but I have No. Female. Role. Models. In. My. Life.

Just a bit bitter...

Michelle said...

Okay, perhaps I'm one of the friends you covet:) But you're right. There are downsides. The baby has explosive diarrhea for 48 hrs every time he gets back from my mom's. "My oh my! This baby just looooves his fruit. He just ate an entire pint of blueberries, a crate of strawberries, 8 plums and half a watermelon. Can you believe it?" Yes mom. And I'll believe it even more later tonight. BTW, I didn't want to throw the blame her way on my post "Beware - Disaster Zome" because I know she reads it. But I'll do it here. It was ALL her fault. None of that would have happened if it wasn't for the fact that he just ingested 350 grams of fiber at her house!

Alicia (aka Dr. Mom) said...


Enza at 8:53pm July 16
very true..i know what you mean about wishing to have family close by to help out..i miss mine sooo much!! =(

Lydia at 9:02pm July 16
I wish my Mom lived closer too! She does a great job, but I swear Reese and Jesse gain a good 5 pounds each over a weekend.

Tracy at 9:13pm July 16
My husband and I were just laughing out loud reading that blog. Holy cow I needed that after today.

Rebecca at 10:22pm July 16
Haha I think we all know the bleached paper towel story. Jack and my family do live close by and yes my mom will watch them occassionally, so will my sister, and its great. Jack's mom will if she HAS to. HIs father would just feed them candy all day and get away with murder so needless to say he has never been left alone with any of the grandchildren for long periods of time.

Bernadette at 10:24pm July 16
I must admit, I would never make it without my Mom, infact I would never of had a second or third child.

Jennifer at 10:33pm July 16
My parents and in-laws live very close by but I have always acted as if we had no one near us because I never wanted to rely on anyone else. It's a self sufficient thing. On the other hand my sister in law didn't take the kids anywhere with her until they were like 10! My kids have gone to all my doctor appt.'s, meetings, shopping everything and it definitely helps them get used to things.

Kristin at 8:17am July 17
LOL!! Actually, I don't give my Mom enough credit... when the kids are with her I know they're being well taken care of (goes for my MIL too) so I'm VERY lucky. It definitely does come at a price though.Well, I gotta go get ready- dropping the kids at my Moms so my husband I can go out to dinner and a movie tonight for our Anniversary- don't be too jealous ;-)

Leigh M. at 9:20am July 17
I too am bitterly jealous, my mom lives in GA and I would love to have her closer so she can help. I still want my mommy when I'm sick (hubby really doesn't measure up)! As always loved your post!

Anonymous said...

Too funny. Papi reminds me of my elderly neighbor who recently fell in her bath tub. She is now using a cane and has a neck brace on that seems bigger than her head. She hobbled over to me the other day and said 'anytime i can babysit those girls you just bring 'em on over!' so sweet. but my girls would kill her.

Jeannie said...

My mother-in-law is great. She's only 30 min. away. But she tends to only watch the kids when it's convenient and I swear, between all her gynie and hair appointments, it seems like she's hardly available when I need her.

My mom died just before Miss Chattyshoes was born and was never really involved with Mr. BP before then. Long, ugly story. But I do miss her so much and wish I knew more about how she handled things when we were kids.

Maddy said...

Well my mother just 'doesn't do children' as she's from quite a different generation. My mother in law now lives with us. She adores all the children but as for minding /taking care of anyone it's really more a question of the shoe being on the other foot, but I hear you!

Beth L. Gainer said...

Hey, loved this posting!! I can't imagine having four kids and not having the luxury of someone to help out as much as you need.

I just adopted a baby from China and just got home a little over a week ago.

I'm a single mother of one, and it's exhausting. My family isn't in the same area, but I have lots of friends to help out if I need it.

My envy started in China. Everyone was part of a couple, and they got to hit the nightlife in Hong Kong, shop like crazy, see the sights, etc. They helped each other with strollers and took turns napping and such.

I, on the other hand, had a very upset child for the first four days of the stay, and the entire trip was exceedingly hard on me.

I can't say I envied the couples, but I was kind of angry that they had luxuries I didn't. That being said, I held my own, when it came to parenting skills.

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