mother-in-laws: can't live with'em and you can't... well, you don't really have a choice

man-o-man-o-man. my mother-in-law... whew... gotta love her.

i don't mean that from a logistical standpoint either. ie. because i'm married to her daughter i have to love her. i mean it from a this-woman-is-crazy-as-i-shake-my-head-at-her-humph-you-gotta-love-her standpoint. look, it would be easy to dismiss her (i'm pretty sure she thinks that's how i approach her anyway) and just say hello and goodbye and let that be it. but we have a pretty good relationship and every once in a while she'll throw an opinion out there (believe me she can throw'em) that it'll make me think. this type of rare occurrence happened the last time she was in town. twice.

(ok, i'm using my thick south-east texas twang because her's is amusingly thick)

1) "now, you know i was 32 when i had my youngest, right? you're behind."

this statement was in reference to my wife and the fact that she is now thirty and only has 1 child. so, according to my mother-in-law's math we should be knee deep in our second round of poop diapers, recycling baby #1 clothes with thoughts of the 3rd getting us giddy. but my wife and i decided we would wait till our first was at least 3 or 4 before we considered #2. we didn't want to be changing diapers for two babies and we figured if one could actually tell us what was wrong with'em we'd be that much further ahead of the curve. as one would imagine, this type of response went no where. no matter how i try to spin it, we're always going to be behind. but we're sticking to our guns on this one and we feel pretty good about it. i do however, get that ache when i see someone holding a tiny baby. i really miss those days. there's something comforting and warm about that. again, something i swore i would never say when i had kids... bleh.

(again with the thick south-east texas twang because her's is amusingly thick)

2) "i think you're different for the sake of being different."

this particular jewel was one of many interior decorating comments bestowed upon me by one said in-law.

ok, so, i hung this window pane in our study which i got from my folks house. an idea that both my sister and i stole from our mother. now, my mom and sister hung a wreath on theirs but i didn't. (insert in-law) according to my mother-in-law, if i did this, it would allow the white pane to not get so lost on the white wall. i told her: i didn't want to copy what they did-and-that i didn't understand why people would want to in the first place-and-that it looked absolutely fabulous as is-and-i'm always right. she said children take on certain traits (like decorating) from their parents because they're comfortable and familiar and that i just like being different. ok fair enough. i can see that and it made me step back for a moment. i have always been this way. from a very early age. but i haven't wanted to stand out or be different i just didn't want to be the same. who knows why or what any of this means i just know it's too easy to "go with flow". and truthfully, it really doesn't matter. but i guess i should be happy that i have someone to keep me thinking... right? in the end i did agree that something hanging on it would add a nice touch but i prefer things like that to be there for a reason. so we decided i would get a hat from her father and hang it on the corner. i thought that would make for a nice story if anyone ever asked. i like decorative items to be discussions pieces also or at least have meaning other than i got that at pottery barn.

seriously though, can i really trust the opinions of someone who still drinks tab soda?

reader: what did you just say?

me: yes, they still make tab soda.

time out: man's greatest accomplishment to date

the era of time out has begun.

as i mentioned before, the "terrible twos" have set in and the limits of my abilities as a parent are being tested. and when i say tested i'm talking final-chapter-of-any-harry-potter-book-where-voldemort-is-about-2-seconds-from-ending-h. potter-as-we-know-it tested. specifically my abilities to keep my cool and not flip out when i have to tell her for the 37th time not get on the stairs or not stand on the car or not walk on the books or not pull the dog's tail or not --this really could go on for days. so in order to keep sanity in place we have introduced time out.

holy shit! the greatest invention since the wheel sandwich on sliced bread!

my wife used it for the first time on sunday and after two 1 minute stints in t/o she got the idea. when i stayed home with her on monday i threw it out a couple of times and you'd think i was threatening to take her out in the middle of west texas only to leave her to fend for herself till the end of time. she immediately stopped what she was doing wrong to go carry on a conversation with some sorta stuffed whatever that obviously served as a better playmate then me. i couldn't believe it.

hell yeah! t/o kicks ass!