Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Vacation Recap, Part 2: Nemesis
Every mom dreads her. She's the woman in your family you thinks she knows better than you do how to take care of your kid, so much better that you're pretty sure if given the chance, she'd take over for you completely. The one who is full of advice, loves to butt in, and cannot let your kid take a step without commenting on how you should be supervising that step.
No, she's not my mom.
No, she's not my stepmom.
No, she's not my mother-in-law.
The most galling thing about That Woman in my life is that she is my cousin's nine-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. That's right. The adorable, freckle-faced girl who wants nothing more than to play with Jack drove me absolutely batty during our vacation. Yes, I realize this makes me slightly insane.
Elizabeth did her very best to spend every minute of vacation on top of Jack. She asked him to laugh like Ernie so many times that I was ready for him to snap and tell her that he was not her dancing monkey. Jack eats better if you hand him a fork and leave him alone, but Elizabeth was right there feeding him and fretting about whether or not the pieces of food were too big and if he was eating enough. Every time he fussed or fell down, she'd swoop in and be all over him, saying he scared her to death and covering him with hugs and kisses. You know, the kind of thing that actually encourages a kid to make a big deal out of a teeny bump or scrape. She narrated every single thing he did -- just a running patter of, "Do you want another bite, Jack-Jack? Oh, that was a big bite!" She was far more protective of him than I have ever been. If he dropped his binky, instead of letting him pick it up himself, she'd pick it up for him. It was just overwhelming, and it was constant.
To make matters worse, Steve thought it was adorable and kept praising her for being a big help. I know, she's a kid, and I know, she meant well. But the position of Jack's mother has been filled, and I do not need an assistant.
My dad came up with the best solution for this, so I don't wind up strangling Elizabeth at Thanksgiving when I see her next: This kid needs a kitten, badly.