Monday, July 25, 2011

Here's What they Don't Tell You

If you are having problems getting pregnant, people want to lift you up by telling you all the good things that life without kids means.  Sleeping for starters, freedom to come and go as you please, seeing a first run movie in the theater- you get the picture.

Here is the big one you probably have not been told- with children comes disparaging comments about your parenting from your in-laws.  If things were strained before, just wait until baby comes along.  I get along well with my in-laws, but sometimes I cannot believe the things that are said.

Let's take today.  My mother-in-law comes over to see Evan.  I am slightly freaking out about his lack of language acquisition (another post to come on this) so I have been making a conscientious effort to label things and repeat words.  He thinks animal noises are funny.  Please forgive this digression, but why are there so many baby products geared around farm animals?  Maybe this is ethnocentric because I have lived in a city or suburb my whole life, but it seems like overkill.  Evan alone has a tracker toy that totes along a wagon of animals, a little people farm, and a page in his 100 first baby words book dedicated to farm animals.  They sell baby flash cards of just farm animals.  I guess they are cuter the Little People meter maids and streets and sanitation workers.

As I was complaining-  Evan picked up his animal book and I started doing my new word game with him.  In my view, there is only so many times you can ask, "what does the cow say?" and get no response.  So now I ask, "what does the cow say when he is happy" and I say moo all excitedly and tickle him, and then I ask "what does the cow say when he is surprise?" and I bark  moo and lift him unexpectedly. I run through a rainbow of emotions and the move on to another animal who is also feeling overly emotional. He thinks this is hilarious.  So she asked why was I doing this.  I responded, "to help him build vocabulary and to learn to label his feelings?" And she says, "you need help." with her mouth cocked up and this judging look in her eye that my sister-in-law and I have seen all too often.

It is not like I can snap, "I would like to see you do better" since the product of her parenting is my husband.  I guess these judgments come with the territory, but I could definitely do without the snarky remarks.


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