Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Unexpectedly Pleasant Dinner Companion

Yesterday when my husband came home from work, he told me he would most likely not be home for dinner tonight due to a business dinner meeting. I always hate when these things come up but it's not like they do every night, or every week for that matter. But that wasn't what was troubling me. I was disappointed that I'd be stuck eating dinner alone with my in-laws.

As you may have read, my in-laws and I have made an arrangement that makes us all happy ever since the school year started back up and Raelynn started coming to school with me. I'm actually happy to see my FIL waiting for us at the bus drop off. A couple of days a week, he just carries her upstairs and then goes on his merry way. But 3 days a week, he sticks around and plays with her while my MIL makes dinner. Since they don't spend all day with Raelynn anymore, they definitely need to have some time with her. And it has been working out great because lately, I'm so wiped out from being on my feet and teaching 20 horribly behaved children (seriously, this is THE worst batch of kids I've ever been dealt ever since I started teaching) that a nap is in order.

So even though Jeremy wouldn't be able to come home for dinner, I was stuck eating with them. But so tired that I was relieved I didn't have to cook or worry about watching Raelynn. I took a nice nap and when I woke up, I found FIL had gone home. MIL asked me if I was hungry now that it was just past 6pm. She said she'd fed Raelynn while I'd been asleep. Then into the kitchen she went, clanking around briefly and emerging with steamed clams, tofu with green onions and wonton soup.
From left to right, tofu with green onions; steamed clams and wonton soup.

I was absolutely surprised. No longer is she nagging me to do this or that like I'm some small child, incapable of making a decision for myself. No longer is she making me things she knows I despise. She's actually GETTING IT. Go MIL! Lately though, as much as I love steamed clams, they've just tasted strange to me. It's no reflection on her...she has never made them badly any other time I have had them, and that's saying A LOT if you're a regular reader of my blog because this woman makes many things very badly. I think this latest aversion is more about my hormones playing tricks on me. Still, I sampled some to be polite. Tofu is an easy pleaser for me. And her wonton soup really does rock.

But what was even more surprising was that I actually ENJOYED her company. She sat down to eat as well, having no son or husband to rush around and serve. It was just us, and Raelynn, who joined us at the table to pick at some clams (which she loves and, incidentally, calls "shells" instead of "clams"). She also arranged some of her dinosaurs on the table to keep us all company. What a dear!

It was amazing that I could finally sit in peace with my MIL and not be constantly wishing for her to go home and leave me be. We even talked and laughed as Raelynn continued to amuse us with her cuteness. Perhaps that will change, but I hope we'll have more peaceful encounters like this. As long as she and her husband remain helpful without interfering, I think it could work. Then again, this is the same woman who somehow keeps getting water in the rubber kitchen dishwashing gloves EVERY time and who buys my daughter clothes that look like this so perhaps not. Oh well. Even if it's just a little more peaceful, I'll take it. 


  1. Perhaps she's realizing that she isn't really a "necessity" in your day to day lives, and that she'd better make herself more accommodating if she wants to continue! I also suspect that because your husband was away for dinner, she didn't feel the need to "mother" quite so much.

  2. Perhaps, or perhaps she was just saving her energy to buy me that horrible maternity shirt. Did you see that post yet? It's one of the most recent ones!