Monday, 30 March 2009

Day Four and catching up

Mac was taken to school by Granny today. I insisted and all but threw them out of the door. Then I felt terrible and rang Dawn, asking her to text me when they arrived at school. "Take a stroll along Nunhead Lane afterwards Amelia!" I said cheerily as they departed and I slumped onto the sofa. It's no exaggeration to say that it's been hell for the past couple of days. Those without in-laws (or those with nice in-laws) gape at me when I start snarling about Amelia but David left for work early today and was whistling.

Thursday, when she arrived, set the scene for her entire stay so far. David tells me it can only get better but, as he was telling me this from a restaurant at Tower Bridge and I was sitting here with her and a frugal ham sandwich, I'm not convinced. Apparently, he is looking peaky - amazing that she knew seeing as this statement was made three hours before arrived home on Thursday night. David's Ex Wife "knew how to look after him" - this was said as she sifted through the ironing basket after twenty minutes on the premises. I am also "ruining Mackenzie" by letting him have half an hour of television before David comes home. This from a woman who gave him three bags of Haribo sweets when he got home from school and refused to let me put some away for later. "Leave him! Children need to make choices". Mac didn't make any choices between the bears or the strawberries or the sour mix but poured them all in a bowl and got down to munching. Said bowl is now somewhere unaccessible for a five year old. She asked me yesterday what I'd done with them - I professed not to hear and turned the radio up.

On Thursday she asked to see the menu for the week - I gazed at her and mumbled something about "chops for tonight, fish and chips for tomorrow and stew for Saturday" which made her sniff haughtily and question my imagination on the "cooking front". The house wasn't up to her standards either - I could tell this by the way she ran her finger along the window sill and examined it closely. The speck of dust she found was then magnified immensely and she started asking me if I'd seen that "brilliant machine that gets rid of bed lice". I've had nightmares ever since of bed bugs the size of Amelia criticising my bed linen "which wouldn't look out of place in a bordello". The bathroom also came under fire: "do you need all this clutter in here?" she demanded, pointing to my glass sail boat and crystal seahorse who were minding their own business on the towel cabinet. On Saturday she tugged all of our coats off of the coat rack and into a heap and told me to "sort through these, surely you can ditch a couple?" I was so tempted to bin her hideous puffa jacket thing. So, so tempted......

She also seems to have mistaken me for an entertainments agency "I'm bored" being the continuous refrain. Mildly irritating when a five year old who has a whole room full of toys to play with says it, horrifically stressful when it's an elderly woman who once castigated me for "sighing" during a long walk in Hastings. "How can you be bored?" she whirled round and demanded of me. I protested my innocence but she was off and running about the "younger generation not knowing they've been born". I wasn't sighing because I was bored, I was inhaling because we were walking up a hill.

Ginny, her beloved only daughter, rang for a chat yesterday and David, wonderful man that he is, told Ginny to come up for the day on Wednesday to take Amelia out to lunch. Ginny agreed after a bit of hissing from David but Amelia is all for ringing up and cancelling "She doesn't want to do that! I'm okay here! I'll find something to do.". I've taken the battery out of her mobile and have not left her alone with the phone. Oh, and Lydia has refused to visit again until she's gone - Freddie is a bonny child, his health visitor is very pleased with him and he's giggling away like that very last baby on the Cow and Gate advert. Amelia, however, took one look at her great grandson and pronounced him "obese". Even Freddie looked unhappy at this and unleashed a nuclear nappy. Lydia has made an emergency appointment at the baby clinic and keeps sobbing that she's overfeeding her baby and is like one of those trailer park mums. Matthew was despatched this morning to "have words" with his Gran. Instead he spent the entire time with me in the kitchen whilst Amelia "channel surfed" looking for something "educational - doesn't your television show anything other than rubbish and foul mouthed presenters?"

According to Amelia the mothers at the school gates are a degenerative lot. She came back this morning looking horrified. "Piercings, foul language and chewing gum - and they wonder why children are potty mouthed and dress like tarts?" she announced as she got yet another Yorkshire Tea tea bag out of her special caddy. She didn't make me one, nor even offer by the way. We spent today at opposite ends of the house. Or, to be more accurate, she followed me around. My ironing skills were ripped to shreds, the fact that I use Flash Liquid was held up to ridicule, my hoovering arm "isn't flexible enough" and my "lick and a spit" in the utility room is the reason why "it smells like a raddled old tramp out here".

I've got at least four more days of this. At least. I think I'm going to start seriously looking at the suggestions in the comments to the previous post. Although. Between you and me. I did make her a caffeinated coffee instead of a decaff one on Friday night which gave her a teensy headache all day Saturday. It was an accident. Honest!


rosiero said...

OMG. That is seriously bad. Even the mother-in-law jokes have nothing on this. The woman sounds a psychiatric case. To be overly kind, maybe she is immensely jealous of you and criticising you helps her feel better. I think someone needs to have serious words with her, though. You cannot possibly survive another four days.

Anonymous said...

Make this the last time she stays ever! Why should you have to put up with this! Day visits only from now on!

nappy valley girl said...

Agree with the above. Seriously too much to put up with. Have BIG words with your other half.

Anonymous said...

Oh God! I don't know how you're managing to stay sane!!

aims said...

The question - why is she visiting in the first place - arises.

Plus - what happened to the 'love affair' with the guy next door? Can't he 'take her' for a while?

I've been known to blow and tell relatives to 'f**k off'. Seriously. I told my 90 yr old aunt those exact words. Well - I could have changed 'off' to 'you'...I probably did. It did change the whole tone of the visit dramatically. I got some respect after that. Leery respect - but still....

Can't you book her a spa day or something? Or better yet - yourself?

Merry said...

It would probably be too cruel to accidentally arrange to have a postcard sent to her (forwarded to your address, natch) announcing that she's won an all-paid Caribbean cruise, but that to claim it she has to leave right away?

Then, you could sorta kinda accidentally arrange for a weekend trip somewhere else before she realizes it's All Been a Mistake?

No... I suppose you couldn't actually do that. Still, it was a nice fantasy, eh?

Anonymous said...

I know it's not at all funny to you when it's happening but it's the way you tell it! An obese baby? What next!

CJ xx

Anonymous said...


All about me

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.