I have really started to live my dream. With spring around the corner I am getting our garden ready, and already I am planting plants. This is so much a part of what I had hoped my being at home could be about. Together with home baked meals and a child safe, child centred home.
Every day finds me out digging and clearing and pulling out weeds and filling up a good 20 bags of garden refuse. In the 2 years that we have lived here, the garden has not had such a thourough going over…. loving it. That DS is happy to play independently in the garden while I am working has me very happy for two reasons. One, he is learning about his world, two, he does not need me as much and I can actually get something done.
I also have had two more interactions with my IL’s, each on their favorite pet subject.
MIL wants to buy a plastic educational toy from a quality company and has suggested Fisher Price. I am really angry, again. I have said before that I do not want DS playing with plastic toys. MIL just cannot accept my reasons and keeps trying to prove to me that my reasoning is impaired. I also would object to a wooden ‘educational toy’. It is not just about the material, it is also about the purpose.
DH is trying to help me see that not everyone thinks too much about what they buy and why and that she doesn’t have an agenda. But it annoyes me when she says : “of course you don’t like that car (hand-made simple wooden one) – it’s not colourful” to DS. In her understanding of little children, it seems that only bright colourful plastic things are what is needed. And I beg to differ. And this has *her* annoyed.
It is so complicated. As both of us have our opinions and both of us are quite attached to them. I think what gets me angry is when, MIL assumes that she has the right to question and influence my choices and forgets that I am my childs mother – I (together with my DH) make the decisions. Not her. I am trying my best to make informed choices when it comes to the nutrition, health, safety and happiness of my child. MIL isn’t trying to make informed choices – she is trying to keep her status quo.
For my part, I see this as further evidence that I am not supported and essentially not wanted in the family. If I weren’t there, people could be left to do what they wanted without challenging any assumptions they make when they choose. And the thing is, I would never dream of telling my MIL that her health and weight issues are directly connected to her diet and lifestyle. I would never assume to question her thinking and reasoning when it comes to the choices she does make. That is her business. And yet, she feels very comfortable questioning me and telling me that *I* have it wrong.
Anyway, there are definitly two stories happening together (at least). One, I do not want toys that are not part of my value system. Two, MIL and I are having a battle of wills and ego over who has the power to decide what will and will not be part of my very little sons life. I see it as essentially coming down to a conflict of culture. Two cultures which just cannot co-exist seemingly. And the fact that my wishes are not being respected or supported. I am sure there is something that I am not seeing right now, but right now I am pissed and want to be left alone.
Enter second scenario. DH was told by his father (and his step mother) we have to vaccinate DS prior to our trip to South Africa. Because, get this, there is polio in SA. Yeah, the last case of wild polio was in 1989 and the last case of confirmed polio was in 1992 (which if it were not wild polio, I have to assume is an OPV side effect). So, yeah, in 2009 this is definitly as issue…. because, why? Remind me again? Oh yeah, polio is a very scary and serious disease and how can you as a parent take such a risk with your child’s life? You get polio and die or nearly die. Everyone knows that…. again, whatever. Our trip to SA is not the reason why he would need to be vaccinated against polio. And it makes me angry that DH’s father and step mother feel so confident peddling misinformation to try and scare us into doing what they beleive needs to be done.
I am just having a crappy day. Essentially life is really good for me until DH’s family poke thier noses in and try and mess it all up. Well, it is not all brilliant. I am often very very tired and wish that DS would go to sleep already and wish that I had more of a community around me who value a simpler life. But right now, that is pure fantasy for me…. getting there though. I am sure it will happen.