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The Nana Chronicles
My MIL is visiting again. She comes twice per year and stays for 3-4 weeks. It’s hard. Real hard. I can’t write about it on my own blog because I can’t risk the wrong person seeing it. So I write here, anonymously, because keeping this stuff in would surely be bad for my health.
These are the Nana Chronicles. In these chronicles, my 4-year-old son will be referred to as ds (dear son), my nearly 2-year-old daughter as dd (dear daughter), and my husband as dh (dear husband).
I Am The Law
Maybe I’m an over protective mom, but I just don’t think it’s OK to let a 4-year-old self regulate when it comes to the super fun activity of swimming in a freezing cold body of water. A just opened swimming pool in May is not a welcoming temperature in our neck of the woods. Ds loves to swim and if it were up to him he’d continue to swim until he died of exhaustion and hypothermia. It takes a grown up to see that the child’s lips are blue, that his teeth are audibly chattering, that his entire body is wracked with uncontrollable shivering. It takes an adult to step in when the child is crying because he’s so cold and yet he insists on staying in the pool. That is when a grown up lays down the law. Clearly, Nana is no grown up.
Ds has been in the freezing cold pool under Nana’s supervision. I went out to check on them and found ds in what looks like the beginning stages of hypothermia. OK, time to call it quits for now. Ds cries. What does Nana do? She argues with me. “He’s fine. Look, you made him cry. We were perfectly happy. He wants to keep swimming.” This is where I want to launch into a monologue listing the times when Nana fails to be a normal grown up. This is when I want my cracking, barely intact, fake-nice and welcoming exterior to just crumble away altogether and let the RAGE out. But I don’t. I don’t trust myself to even open my mouth. I turn around, walk inside, and tell dh that he is needed outside. I also tell him that ds needs to come in, per my absolute law which overrides all other laws.
In the end I’m the mom and what I say goes. That is just that. Generally, being a reasonable and normal adult (despite his upbringing!) dh is on the same page as me so the fact that my law is the end-all-be-all of laws isn’t really an issue. I out-rank him with regards to the kids. He probably knows that but it doesn’t come up that often. It seems to come up every minute with Nana. I out-rank her by so much and she seems perfectly oblivious to this.
Luckily, dh knows that I meant business. As I write this ds is in a warm shower. I am the law.
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