Thursday, 30 April 2009

Swine Fever...

I normally avoid doing this but I can't help myself today... Right anyone remember Les Dawson... here goes then...

My mother-in-law... she is sometimes a real trial of patience. My wife's tolerance to her to be honest is very thin these days and it shows, my son isn't too helpful in that department as well and I think daughter-of-Furtheron is beginning to also let irritation show through.

On a Wednesday it's a tradition that my wife and the kids go to see her mother for dinner after school. I don't mind I normally get a chance to watch the Indy Car or whatever I've recorded through the week that they'd just interrupt and moan about whilst I stuff an un-healthy cheese sandwich ("But you aren't suppose to eat cheese Dad!")...

They arrived back last night in full rant the pair of them about the mother-in-law. Firstly she had gone into a rant about these fools not knowing what they were talking about as you can't catch swine fever, she should know her granddad had a pig farm near Boston... blah, blah, blah... My wife pointed out this is about flu not that it's completely different. Instead of acknowledging her mistake she backtracked etc. My wife just got angry with her again.

The next one annoyed my daughter and my wife. As part of a recent clear out she found a load of books from the "Animal Ark" series (younger readers note, good series about kids who live at a vets and have to help loads of animals) which she clearly has moved on from and wanted to dispose of. My mother-in-law knows a lady who has a granddaughter of the right age so we passed them on via her. The lady in question was very appreciative and gave my mother-in-law a bunch of flowers and a big bag of sweets. She intended to keep these for herself, my daughter asked to share the sweets which she was reluctant about.

Queue a Mrs F rant "MUM! They were her books that we gave away!"...

So a few laps before the end of my perfect view of the the first Indy car superspeedway race of the year (cheese sandwich with pickle in hand) they both burst in in major rant mode ... "bloody selfish, stupid"... "she does my head in everytime" etc.

One of life's little trials in my household and one I feel uncomfortable with. Part of me hugely agrees with my wife that my mother-in-law opens her mouth far too often without engaging her brain, her attitude on many issues really clashes with my principles and indeed my son's which really causes friction with his relationship with her and she is very selfish and rarely enquires about activities the kids or us have been involved with and if she does it's normally after a very one directional discussion about her stuff. The other part is however that she is my wifes Mum, she's lost a lot in life (2 kids and 1 husband etc.) and also my wife is lucky she still has her Mum about... so I think we should show a little more patience, or try to show her less confrontationally how her behaviour, views etc. upset us at times.


  1. There is always two sides to everything isn't there? My (ex to be)mother in law sounds very similar to yours, I used to waver between ranting and feeling sorry for her too. When I felt rational (not often!!) I reminded myself that the 'frontal lobe' deteriorates first in the brain. This is the 'empathy bit' apparently, hence the lack of seeing other peoples point of view and not sharing!!! I tried to remember this in trying times!

    Thanks for your comment on time, if only we could revisit good times and sometimes stay longer. Let me know when your son has explained the finer points!!

  2. First of all, I finally got round to ordering Stuart, a Life Backwards yesterday and it arrived today. (Excellent ebay service!). I'd tried in a few shops and they hadn't had it in stock and I kept putting it off, but it's here now and next on my list to read, stepping over several already in the queue.

    Mothers-in-law. I'm lucky in that mine lives in Derby! Good luck with yours.

  3. Stumbled on to your blogg.

    Is she computer literate?Set her up her own Blogg. . .i bet it would be interesting and entertaining to read.

    Yes great patience and understanding of the Rhyme and reasons behind do help.

    Try changing the routine in her life if possible. For the sake of your family especially, so they dont dread the visits but look forward to instead. Its not easy that they have lost their 'life partner' sooner than they both planned no doubt let alone children too.


    ness x

  4. @ness - computer literate!!!! ROFL!! Er.. no definitely not... we've had panic call outs as "the remote isn't working"... "you haven't had the batteries out" "NO!"... go down there and one of the batteries is in wrong... "can't imagine how that happened"... And her mobile phone we thought a good idea... don't start on the level of assisteance we have to give there... :-)

    Indeed - she herself nearly died a few months before her husband was taken, she just wasn't prepared for it at all. And yes to lose a child under a year, then another at 21 is not easy surely. As I say I try to give room to her but it's the tension with the others now that is the main issue.