But this is Japan where nobody will outright tell you they're cheesed off with you, so I can't be sure.
We live VERY close to our in-laws, as in 2 leaps away, however I do have quite long legs so I'm going to say 4 steps. Those of you who live in Japan will understand how close houses can be, in Aussie terms the only way I can describe it is like a block of townhouses where the one directly in front of ours is the in-law's house. (I'll try and take a photo and put it up here)
I was very worried at first, but seeing as though we are paying only 30,000 yen a month for quite a nice two-storey house, we really couldn't pass on it.
It has good and bad points, the good usually outweighing the bad, for example, as I type this I am munching on 'happy town' snacks and sipping coffee, Ashton boy is off with MIL on a shopping trip, so having them so close by is a big help to me. It's also good if i run out of something or need to borrow something, things like that.
My MIL really isn't the interfering type and is not old school medalling at all but we do have our differences.
In the past, whenever we have been out in public she refuses to let anyone else hold Ash, even when she's busy filling out forms or whatever, probably just grandchild pride but does irritate me a bit. Another thing that irks me a little is the fact that if Ash is crying, (as babies will do) Grandma-in-law will be over to our house in a flash asking what's wrong with him....Err, he's a baby...? hehe But overall, they are great and I like living so close, I'd probably get lonely otherwise.
So I think I may have pissed MIL off a bit with the issue of giving Ash a bottle. From the beginning I made it clear I wanted to exclusively breastfeed until he was about 6 months old but be up for starting solids/other liquids from about 4 months or if he seemed ready. From when I came back to Japan, (Ash was 6 weeks old) MIL would subtly slip in how much easier it would be to give him formula, how I could sleep better blah blah blah. I smiled and nodded, then got my boobies out.
I'm very happy I'm still able to breastfeed, I have nothing against bottle feeding but it was just what I wanted to do.
As soon as I got back to Japan, MIL brought over some of those little mugi-cha for babies drinks. What is mugi-cha?? Does it have caffeine?? Because as far as I know, in Aussie, tea is a no no for babies. I told her this and even though it says they can drink it from 1 month on, I pretty much told her straight out that I didn't think he needed any other liquids yet. All good, mugi-cha goes in the cupboard.
Not much mentioned, until the other day when the mugi-cha came out again. It's been quite hot lately and I was thinking of giving Ash a bottle of water, so I agreed to try him with the mugi-cha but I really wasn't all that keen and the look on my face probably showed that.
Ash took the bottle no problem, but as soon as he started drinking his face screwed up with a 'this isn't freakin warm, sweet milk!!' look. I must say, I got a bit of satisfaction knowing that he didn't like it, if he had gulped it down MIL would have had an oppourtunity to shove other stuff down his throat, and there's a nice warm fuzzy feeling from your son needing you and only you. After Ash showed he clearly didn't like it I wanted to stop but MIL kept persisting until I said in a pretty shrill voice, "Stop it, we don't give kids tea in Australia!!" I really didn't mean to come out the way it did and I think MIL was alittle bit shocked, I'm not usually so straight.
Anyway, after that day she was a little bit distant...funny, I don't know, just not usual, so she might have been pissed off. I'm not that bothered though, it's really the only issue we have had so far so I think we're doing pretty good! I am a bit concerned about the future though when Ash is eating solids, I can see him eating all kinds of stuff I don't want him to when he's over there, I'll just have to put my foot down I think.
Another thing I found funny with the in-laws was the whole, 'I can't fight with my family' thing. Recently my SIL and BIL went to Thailand and stayed with a friend of the family who owns a guest house there. SIL got offended at something that was said and basically went mental at the friend in Thailand (friend is Japanese). I was really shocked at this, SIL is always very polite and quiet, I didn't expect it. She told me that she can be angry at friends no problem becasue she can just wipe them from her life, but she can't be angry with family because you can never get rid of them!
haha I thought that was funny, and realised my family is kind of the opposite, I can fight with my mum, dad and sister because I know we'll forgive each other, but I'm more reserved with friends, I'm not really sure why! Maybe because I know I can lose them quite easily???
Anyway, we're having dinner over there tonight so MIL couldn't have been too angry with me! On the driving front, I've now driven the nice smooth family car, been scootering like an Osaka Obachan pro and even been out AND parked the big whale of a land cruiser. Driving here isn't that hard eh! Everyone goes much slower and is much more forgiving when changing lanes etc. So I'm getting pretty confident! (Scooter will take a while though!!)
I best go collect my son, MIL might be giving him black coffee or vodka shots or something!