Thursday, 12 March 2009

Shit, Bugger F&%$

Warning - language may offend - or may have offended already.

Sitting here with a diet coke and a cheese sammy trying my best to simmer down. The cheese is australian chedder - which I say in a good way. As a New Zealander I may have said that with a bit of scorn had I been saying it in New Zealand, but here, in the depths of rural Japan I say it with joy. Australian bloody chedder people - delivered to my door. The doctor is going to give me assholes on Saturday when I go for my check up and may well even offer to come over and rid me of my secret timtam stash and 1kg block of cheese - which I will try my best to reduce to perhaps 300g by the weekend. Well on my way.

So this morning - stupid fuckin bitch of a bloody mother in law. It really isn't anything major, and may sound extremely trivial to the untrained - 'never lived with thy mother in law' eye but oh no, I predict the battle of Kunimi is not far a coming.

The morning started fine - like any other. I may have been feeling a bit hormonal for no other reason than well, hey I can get away with it, but I wasn't teary or on the verge of hurling knives in her door or anything even close. Shou loves his Granny - and this is a good thing as I think the kind of angst I feel for her really only needs to be a one person thing. He went into her room right as I was changing Marina's nappy - hence I was unable to stop him. He was fed (to the brim) and changed and almost ready for kindy. Five minutes later he comes out of her room with a mouthful of food.



I know....

But christ woman have we not had this conversation every week for the past two years?? Do. Not. Feed. My. Kids. when ever you feel like it and with what ever you feel like. I thought she had finally understood this rule - that both hub and I try to enforce. Apparantly not.

The dialogue that followed was...

Gaijinwife: Shou darling you have had breakfast. If you were still hungry why didn't you come and ask mummy for something else.
Shou: I'm brushing my teeth with daddy.
Gaijinwife: (to Granny K in calm-ish voice) Have I not asked you before to not feed Shou.
Granny K - shuffle as the vestling comes out of her hive / den / sty ???
Gaijinwife: (to Granny K in not so calm-ish voice) We have been over this again and again. Shou has just had breakfast. I don't want him thinking he can get extras anytime he wants from you.
Granny K: (off the fricken scale so not calm) Would you not check what he is eating before you go off at me. It's a mouthful of puffed wheat shit
Gaijinwife: (off the fricken scale so not calm) I can see that, that isn't the point. Shou can't get snacks in your room any time he wants.
Granny K: How completely unreasonable. It was only puffed wheat.

(Bloody puff wheat shit you you stupid woman)

Gaijinwife: This is what stresses me out. Did I tell you I'm getting the lock moved up on your door so Shou can't just walk in when he wants.
Granny K: Really?
Gaijinwife: Well, if you're not going to move out like you bloody said you would ...(ooh hoo feel the nails)
Grannk K: Fine then.

Shou is all the time crying to get back into Granny K's room and saying how much he likes Granny - not the best time for mummy to be hearing this, and while I realise that he is probably upset because we are having a heated discussion (heated, hehe - fuckin burn the house down) I remove him from the equation and take him to his room - only to be followed up the stairs by 'poor Shou' comments from the witch. Safe in the confines of his room we have a talk and I read him a digger and concrete mixer book. We both calm down a bit.

Granny K needed to be taken to the hospital this morning (nothing to do with me or knives or nails) and I was going to be driving her but that quickly changed to hub. She is back now and silent. The door man came around while she was out and measured the door and is coming back tomorrow morning to move the lock.

What really annoys me is that the morning thing, and the evening thing - the times when hub and I are busiest trying to get things sorted with the kids, Shou will quite often take refuge in Granny K's room and I am usually in the middle of something. She doesn't tell him to get out and seeing as he can open the door on his own... I know that spending some time in Granny's room shouldn't stress me out so much but from experience, I don't know what she is letting them play with or feeding them while they are in there. This is afterall the woman who thinks giving an adult vitamin tablet to a six month old baby is acceptable. And that a lighter is an OK toy just because it doesn't have any lighter fluid in it.

At this prime hormonal time I also get upset when mummy loses out to Granny K. I tend to get annoyed when she comes in the picture - and me getting annoyed makes Shou want to be in her room more which in turn gets me more annoyed. It is a cycle, a cycle that I could put up with if it was once every couple of months, but damned if I am going to be devil mummy everyday of the week. I want my children to be in here, with the family - with mummy and daddy. Being a 'spoil your grandkids' granny every day of the fricken week is not acceptable. Rules and boundries are being broken left right and center and it always seems like I am taking one step forwards and two steps back.

Be doing the bloody moonwalk soon.

So, that was the start to our day. I have calmed down considerably after getting very cross at the washing while I was hanging it out. Damn you bloody socks ... bitch of a shirt...

I also spoke to a friend in New Zealand for about an hour and I think my choice of phonecalls to make on this particular morning was spot on. A diet coke and a cheese sammy latter and my blood pressure is almost back to normal. Marina will be up soon and then it's lunch (for her) and off to our play date.

I have two English classes this afternoon so I wonder if Granny K will show up - although seeing as Marina is having a late nap now I can probably get away with not putting her down for an afternoon nap until just before my classes start anyway. God, I'll entertain her at the same time if I have to.

Anyway, good to get that rant out.

Bitch drives me fuckin insane.

Sorry for the obscenities but I think cursing is an occupational hazzard if you live with your mother in law.


Orchid64 said...

You're absolutely right about this being a cycle, and you can't control your mother-in-law. It seems to me though that you do have control over Shou. Rather than get angry at her, perhaps it may be more productive for you to punish him for eating in her room. He knows he shouldn't do it, but he does it anyway, and you can control his behavior far more easily than hers.

I also wonder if he may be doing this on purpose because it's getting attention from all involved. You and Granny K fight over him and then you read him a book in his room. It sounds like an excellent motivation for going to her room as often as possible to snack, even if he isn't hungry.

I may be missing something in the picture, and I'm certainly not saying I know what I'm talking about, but it's got to be really bad for you in general (and worse while pregnant) to be upset so frequently and I'm just suggesting another approach.

My apologies if I'm talking out of turn.

illahee said...

i think orchid64 has a point, though i wouldn't go so far as to punish shou (how??). in fact, the moving of the lock is a great idea. i really really hope it works.

i'm curious, though, are you going to lock her in her room? hehehe.

gaijin wife said...

Not talking out of turn at all :) Gives me food for thought and ...

I don't think Shou is doing it for attention seeking purposes as Granny K and I don't usually fight like we did this morning. He doesn't get rewarded for bad behaviour (the book reading) but this morning I felt was different - we were both worked up and it initially wasn't what he did that got me fired up. Rewarding him would have been letting him back into Granny K's room which is what he wanted.

I'm not too keen on punishing him for something I don't think he is wrong about. Put a bit of chocolate in front of any two year old and 9 out of 10 times they will take it - especially if their parents aren't there and the person giving it to them is encouraging them. I might have more success if he was older - but still then I think it is something Granny K needs to take responsibility for and not a two year old. Besides, it's a hell of a lot more fun getting angry at her than it is at him :)

I agree getting upset so much can't be good for the bunster. That said I don't think I would be less upset if I was punishing Shou for something Granny K was ultimately responsible for. Probably stress me out more.

Hence the lock - which by the way illahee is unfortunately not the normal kind so I can't lock her in!! It is two way - like the one on there now just up higher so only big people can reach it. I won't keep it locked all the time just those times when I know there is the potential for me to get fired up :)

Helen said...

I've lived with my MIL so I think you're quite justified in getting angry. I don't have children, but I do know what old J-ladies are like!

Enjoy the cheese...I so miss cheese that really has some taste!

Rachel said...

Lena came back from Baachan's having eaten ONLY nori-gohan all weekend. The only reason I can hack it is because it IS only once a week.

I've heard Baachan talk about how you're supposed to feed kids what they like. Not with 'desho' or any hesitation, but with the tone of authority, like she got it off an NHK documentary or something. Auntie also talks like this, and when we eat with them they off go 'suki na koto dake de iiyou' or something like that. So that I've reached the conclusion that they're not just being unbelievable dense, they do truly believe that this is what you are supposed to do.

So I begin to speculate...they were raised after the war in extreme poverty. Apparently FIL's mother died from putting her children first all the time. Children ate anything they liked and as much of it as they could, with the adults praising them and heaping more on. Of course, it was a case of "Would you like the shredded daikon on your rice tonight or the dried sardines?"...

Then when they raised our husbands, Japan still wasn't rich enough that they overdid it.

It doesn't work now of course. Auntie is a bit younger, daughter of the second wife (after the first died of malnutrition). Her kids raised in the 80's got really fat, and one ended up with juvenile diabetes.

Just food for thought here, wondering if your MIL truly just doesn't get it - she agreed to not feed them, but being passive agressive like her generation of Japanese women, she wouldn't disagree with her son. She'd go off and whinge to her baachan friends, who would agree with her that of course the child should be able to eat whatever he wants whenever he wants, kawaiisoo.

Tell her about my niece. Show her photos of overweight junior high students. Point out the tree-trunk legs on the high school girls these days. Tell her about Amy's friend C-chan who was overweight because her Baachan, who watched her after school, fed her MOUNTAINS of snacks EVERY DAY. She's back with her mum now, as Mum has a new baby, and getting slimmer again.

Kids, especially energetic little boys, often snack on the run as well, so perhaps you can also provide her with some pre-approved snack foods for her room? Boiled eggs, fruit, cheese, etc?

Well take it or leave it, I certainly hope you two come to some kind of agreement about this. I understand your frustration, as I take my kids diet very seriously! I know it would drive me nuts too.

Lulu said...

No advice at all really except to say
damn that granny k to hell

Was that too strong?

gaijin wife said...

On a normal day Lulu putting damn and to hell in the same sentence as Granny K would be a bit over the top but today it was completely called for :) I would even add a few more obscenities.

Floria said...

I'm a frequent lurker, but have never posted before. I feel so lucky in that my Japanese in-laws do not live with us! My MIL is an amazing lady and I love her to bits--but I suspect the fact that she is several hundred kilometers away has a lot to do with it! Anyway, i grew up with my grandmother (father's side) living under the same roof as us and do I ever recognize the situation. Gran drove mum over the edge by feeding us sweets all the time and letting us roll her cigarettes! Eventually mum and gran agreed that gran roll her own cigs and would be allowed to give us one treat a week. It was a good arrangement—mum regained control of our diets and we kids had something to look forward to every week. Just an idea—maybe not so easy with a 2 year old, though.

gaijin wife said...

Florie - several hundred kms would definately help the situation :) I like the idea of a once a week treat from Granny K - I might have to try and remember that for a bit further down the track. But for the moment - he get's quite a lot of what I would term 'treats' at kindy for morning and afternoon teas (puddings, hotcakes, shucream, toppo!!, cookies etc) so we tend to knock the sweet stuff out at home.

Midori said...

I think your MIL and my mother may indeed be the same person. I feel your pain and could have written almost everything you did about my own mother at the moment. (((HUGS)) from me