I'm sitting at my desk upstairs listening to my in-laws talking to my two year old son downstairs, and man do they drive me nuts.
- Kid hears me walking around: "Mommy!" Grandma: "Is Mommy resting?" No, lady, Mommy is working, like I do every Sunday evening when you visit. My work is way less visible to my son than my husband's since I don't leave every morning, but I do work and I'd like my son to know that, dammit.
- They got a twin bed for their spare room, and now every time they see him they spend a lot of time telling him that he has two rooms, one here and one there. He has never slept there, and in fact he couldn't because it doesn't have a rail to prevent him from falling out (which I have told them he needs). They've also only ever babysat for him once, so the idea that he spends lots of time over there to the point of being a part-time resident is ridiculous. There's honestly something a little creepy about how hard they are pushing the idea of him spending the night there. They have never once even changed his diaper! This is my kid and his room is here, and I know that because I am in there two, three, or four times every night when he wakes up crying for me and won't accept anyone else. They have never made any real attempt to help out so please don't pretend that you are the kind of grandparents who are taking an active role in raising this child.
- Relatedly, just on Friday I heard my MIL telling a friend that she is going to be out of town from Christmas to New Year's. Our second child is due on Christmas and she had told us they'd be around to watch our son while I'm in labor if we need it. I mean, it's not their responsibility, but it would be nice if we could rely on what they say, and it would also be nice to feel like family might actually be interested in helping out at a time when we are really going to need it. Fortunately my family is reliable and they are willing to change their Christmas plans to do it (even though my family celebrates the holiday and my husband's family is Jewish).
- My MIL has only one tone of voice: this sickly sweet, cloying, amused tone that you'd use to talk to a toddler who is being excessively cute. She uses this tone with everyone, in every situation, no matter the topic of conversation. This is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me to begin with. But beyond that, it's not the tone you use when a toddler is coloring on something he shouldn't or throwing things he shouldn't. It's also not the tone you use when a large dog in misbehaving, like when my SIL's dog was nipping at my small child the other day. Is it rocket science that if a misbehaving kid/dog thinks you approve of their behavior based on your tone, they will keep doing it?