A still from the movie One Fine Day.
I have to say that this vacation hasn't much felt like one. It all started with the children and me getting sick. Because of that, I needed help taking care of the kids. I was really appreciative for MIL's help during that time. But because she's MIL, she can't just take a step back. She thinks if you need her help during one situation, you need her help for EVERY situation. I wish she would just understand that no, I don't.
They came at the crack of dawn to watch us get into a taxi for the airport on our way to Guangzhou. That was fairly irritating. I could understand if we were on our way to America. But we were only going for 6 days. And we'd seen them the night before.
Here's what I think...I think that my in-laws, bless their hearts, think that my husband and I are just too stupid to care for our children. This is my theory anyway. It starts to make more and more sense the more I think about it. Like all the times MIL has come over to feed Raelynn in the past. Remember when she came to feed her an egg?!?
She just pushes and pushes and pushes so she can control EVERYTHING in our lives. FIL too. While we were in Guangzhou, she apparently cleaned our home. I'm not saying it was spotless...how could it be when the person who "cleans" doesn't use any cleansing agents? But it was a nice touch. I noticed a few other things too. Like that they monkeyed with our power strips and cords. I discovered this when we weren't getting satellite or WiFi. We initially thought the power strip it was connected to was broken, but upon closer inspection, one of them plugged said power strip into itself. Oh yay. That's when I noticed they had cut the curtains in our room so they were no longer floor length. You know, I care not about these curtains...I just want something to keep the bloody sun from bothering me when I'm sleeping. I never chose these fug curtains anyway, but now they have a lopsided trim-job, thanks to one of them. But I can't get too angry - they cleaned our windows and replaced all our wonky screens that had begun getting holes in them. Holes that allowed evil mosquitoes entry. Access denied, bloodsuckers!
While it was helpful of them to tidy up, fix our screens and trim our curtains for unknown reasons (the wheels of my desk chair were always getting the bottoms of the curtains stuck in them), it bothered me that they'd seemingly gone through our things. It took me 30 minutes to find a book that was mine that they'd stacked in a pile on Jeremy's desk. I wish they'd just left those things alone.
Once we returned from Guangzhou, I knew we'd be obligated to have a meal with them. That was fine, but of course, come Monday, MIL was showing up again. During our trip, I'd calmly talked to my husband about how his mother's constant daily presence is depressing me. I even told him I'd be fine with her coming to cook dinner 3 days a week, but that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I'd really love it if she'd just left me be. He'd told me he'd tell her to give me more space but now she insisted she was going to come Tuesday and Wednesday too. ENOUGH, I'd declared.
I sincerely don't mind if she comes over in the late afternoon a few days a week. Really. Even if I am stuck eating her mostly vile cooking abominations. But what I do mind is someone TELLING ME what I need and how I should feel. I do not need your help every day. Why can't you come over a few days a week and if I need more help, let me ask you for that help? Instead, she comes on like an 18-wheeler, taking over my kitchen. Putting my dishes and pans where SHE thinks they should go. And putting them back wet. Or dirty. It's extremely irritating, believe me.
Ever since Jeremy got promoted, he has to attend these stupid sale meetings right after work 3 days a week. So on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, it's very helpful to have MIL around. On Tuesdays and Thursdays though, I really don't need her help. And she doesn't seem to get that I want to eat foods that I like some of the time. I'm not Chinese! I need variety. And even if I didn't, I LIKE COOKING! I feel at peace when I'm creating something in my kitchen. She keeps trying to take that away from me.
So Jeremy put his foot down on Wednesday and told her not to come on Thursday. Oh, ok, well I'll come watch the children while you cook. Um, no. No, you won't. I will be fine. Jeremy interjects that I'm having a friend come. I wasn't. Few of my friends ever venture out here because it is hard to find your way in our neighborhood unless you have great Chinese-speaking skills. I try not to chuckle at the fib he's told his mother. Despite what he's told her, she keeps trying like hell to come on Thursday. Oh, well I'll bring you some vegetables! You need vegetables! NO WE DON'T, both Jeremy and I stated firmly. Really, we didn't. There were potatoes, onions, carrots, leeks, cucumbers and spinach in there. Shouldn't I use the food we've got instead of wasting it?
You see what I mean about her? She's always trying to butt in under the guise of helping. But I don't call that helpful. Helpful is coming to help me care for the children when I'm sick in bed. It's not pushing me out of my life and taking over my life for me. She always seems to think I'm incapable of watching my children, cooking for those of us that can eat more than mush (sorry Seoul) and not killing the children.
And you want to know what? Yesterday was a perfectly blissful day. Seoul napped well. Raelynn was a good girl. We played together. I made hamburgers for lunch. Raelynn ate all her food without fussing, something I think she does in front of my in-laws to get their attention. And I made an epic dinner. And I did it all without MIL getting on my nerves, interrupting, constantly talking and shuffling around my house. It was indeed one fine day. Very fine.
Sure, soon enough we'll be in the US and perhaps I will wish she was around to help us. I'm sure it won't always be easy but that's the chance we'll take. Otherwise we'll wind up spending our lives by having them lived by someone else. Maybe every day won't be fine, but it will be all our own.