Holy mother in law!
First, Sarah had an online auction this weekend to raise funds for her adoption, and I totally missed my chance to support her. I basically didn’t pay attention to the details of the timing, and since I’m typically offline on weekends, I BLEW IT! Luckily, there’s still the option to make a donation via paypal. (Since this sometimes means giving up your anonymity–depending on how you have your account set up–I’ll just mention that she’s totally not a psycho old man pervert posing as a long-suffering infertile woman. Or if she is, the illusion is so convincing that you’ll never know it.) If you can spare a dime, I know even the tiniest donation is such a precious show of support. Though if you have a million dollars you don’t need, that would probably be even more precious.
So what was I doing this weekend instead of spreading the word about Sarah’s auction? I was entertaining my mother in law. Mr. Bunny’s mother and I have always had a cordial relationship. A few hours after she arrived, it became evident that this was simply because we’d never had any point of conflict before.
Things started off pleasantly enough. She’s a labor and delivery nurse, and walked me through the c-section process in a way that I found very helpful and enlightening. I got to ask lots of specific questions, like and when will the catheter come out? Good times. But then she started pressing for an answer to the question of how soon she could meet Bun Bun. We’d been dreading this: since she found out about Bun Bun, she’s been talking in terms of hours after his birth, and we’ve been thinking in terms of weeks. You see, we don’t want visitors for a month. That’s right. A month.
You’re probably thinking, wow, what a SELFISH WHORE you are, Bunny. Maybe so, but when I think about the reality of a new baby, what seems nicest to me is total privacy and uninterrupted solitude as we get to know this child. What seems not nice to me is a lot of scrutiny from a very pushy and opinionated person. Anyway, I’m amenable to persuasion, and this is her first grandchild, so I understand the RABID eagerness (a bit like a famished tiger chained a few inches away from a terrified goat). It wasn’t so much the actual issues, as the approach.
I didn’t have much control over how this child was conceived, less still over how he will enter this world. The idea that, from his very first breath, she’s going to privilege her desires over mine made me exceedingly anxious about, you know, the rest of our lives. Then she started giving me shit about eating enough protein. Then she said something else that annoyed me so much I’ll have to write about it separately.
On Sunday, Mr Bunny took her aside and smacked her around a bit, pointing out that making us angry was counterproductive. When I left for work this morning, she apologized. And of course the moment she did, I became a million times more likely to make concessions. In the end, she’ll probably get to visit while I’m still hospitalized (all drugged up and barely mobile and terrified that my milk won’t come in and my baby hates me), which doesn’t sound ideal to me, but sounds infinitely better than having her in my house.
This is a classic conflict and it’s just the beginning. It’s also a great problem to have. But I must say, when I watched other people go through it, I always thought I’d be able to handle it. Now I appreciate that it’s not so easy to protect your own interests and priorities without feeling like an unreasonable control freak.