Saturday 28 November 2009

My love hate grandma

Today it's hate.
Like hate as in I want to take that little old lady scarf you're wearing and wring your wrinkly neck with it woman.
Of course tonight when we go into Osaka to get on the piss it will be love when I leave her looking after my monster for the evening until I stumble in.
Naughty gaijin mother that I am and all.

This morning reeeaaaallllllyyyy pissed me off. Now, I'm not by any means a good parent. I don't read parenting books, I don't have any real parenting plan, I'll probably be the lazy cow who sleeps in when there's a PTA meeting and will encourage Ash to skip the club activities because I just can't be arsed going to freakin baseball games on a Sunday morning. So when I actually decide to do some parenting, I guess I don't really have much ground to stand on.

There are no dividing doors between our kitchen and the area where ash plays, which is ridiculous because there were doors there originally but they looked too 'Japanese' for Ryota's liking, which is ironic, seeing as though, err, he's Japanese and we live in Japan? Anyhow, our kitchen also has a big kitchen table with storage shelves which is gold in the land of no storage space, but a disaster when little hands can get to things like breadcrumbs which get in every. fucking. corner of the damn kitchen.
I've tried blocking with chairs, distracting with TV, toys, bribing with food, nothing works. Little bastard always ends up in the kitchen touching something that's going to cut or burn off a body part.
Sooooo, this is why we invested in the play pen. Resembles a brightly coloured animal cage, but I'm all for it. Filled with toys and keeps the monster away from my kitchen. Now we only have two problems with the pen. 1) Ash screams the minute he's locked in. 2) The chorus of "Kawaaaaiiiiisssoooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuu's" that follow from the various in-laws scattered around the perimeter of my house.
I can deal with crying, as long as he's safe and nothing is actually wrong, howl away buddy, Mama will make her coffee in (some sort of) peace without the fear that you aren't going to come and dump the kettle on top of your head.

So this morning, I was doing something in the kitchen, and sure enough, Ash came and pulled a stack of bowls off the shelf and one shattered, which is not only a pain in the arse to clean up, but also dangerous for little hands. I was well pissed and decided to put him in the pen while I made brekky. Following putting him in the pen, which I might add is full of toys and actually quite big, he then proceeded to howl the place down for a good 5 minutes. I immediately heard the kawaisou chant begin from Obaachan and did the appropriate eye rolling and muttering of English obscenities under my breath as she opened the front door and shuffled in.
She then pulled him out of the pen and told him how bad it was he'd been put in the pen. Great, I'm trying to teach the stubborn little bugger he can't always get his own way and then he's being told he can cry and some sympathetic old J-lady will come and rescue him in any situation.

But it didn't end there, I'd made his breakfast by then and she stayed THE WHOLE TIME while I tried to feed him. Now usually he eats his toast like a pro with great motor skills, but as he was distracted by Obaachan playing with him he wasn't eating properly. She started on about how the toast was too big and the poor thing couldn't eat it when I wanted to say, well of course he can't concentrate and eat it with you all up in his grill! (Is the gangster grill even spelt like that or am I referring to a cooking appliance...??)
She also turned the chair around so he could watch the TV (which I'm not keen on getting him into the habit of doing), and tried to get him out of the chair so she could hold him while I fed him, but I drew the line there and told her I didn't want him to get into the habit of not eating in his chair. She brushed me off and told me he's only a baby and that wouldn't happen but unlucky for Obaachan, she's not strong enough to lift him out of the chair. (Look at me bitching about a feeble old woman!!!)

I thought that was going to be it but I didn't escape a lecture on hanging clothes out and that I was doing it the wrong way. Apparently peg placement is very important in the world of a Japanese house wife

OK, I'm off to measure how many millimetres apart my pegs are placed on my knickers...


  1. How annoying! It must be hard with other family members critisize how you raise your kid or do the opposite of what you are doing with him- honestly I would of been so pissed off as well.

    Especially with the whole taking him from the play pen and also turning him to face the tv- these are two things you are trying to enforce and she just goes and screws them up.

    Peg placement- HAHAHAHA! Hope you got that one sorted out.

  2. hisashiburi!
    I understand you. All grandma and great grandma are meddler. Most of them have a lot of free time.In your case, you are their gaijin daugher in low, worse than us(me?)
    I'm sorry.
    One of the sloving way is having more kids:-)
    They don't have many hands and bodies.

  3. How annoying. I would tell her to shove it. Does she live with you or something or she next door? Have you thought about locking the door or getting one put on? That would so cross my mind..

  4. oooh not nice..gotta hate meddlers. But of course, grandma, MIL, anyone off the street is always right..theres no way they would think their way is wrong or undermining your way of thinking. GA!
    Maybe sneak across to her washing and move the pegs around and see if she notices ;)

  5. Ok silly question time but I have to ask as I'm a bit like a cat and curiosity is getting me. What about the little plastic child locks for cabinets and drawers to keep him out of them? or a child gate to just keep him out of the kitchen?

  6. I liked Kelly's idea of locking the doors while you are at home!! At least that way you could keep her meddling down to the times when you allow her to visit.... gah, how annoying!! I think you deserve a medal or something though because there is no way I would be able to live so close to my inlaws with a young child!! It would be world war 3 every single day. I have yet to master my angry but not showing it at all poker face yet!!

  7. Just catching up! Congrats on the marathon and I am so happy all is well over there. I feel for you and being so close to the in-laws. But imagine it does have it's perks. I really miss being close to the in-laws but don't miss the parenting advice from them. Hope it all works out!

  8. I'd lock the woman out too. Unfortunately I can't do that with Granny K and we had a similar instant this morning when I had made Shou some toast (per his request) and gave it to him to take to Granny's room as we were heading out the door early. Granny came in as I was making it and said he would prefer nato and rice. Fuckin nato and rice you woman - if he ASKS for toast he gets it. I am all for my kids getting used to a breakfast they can start preparing for themself from the age of five.

    Washing advice - tis a miracle of god my three children didn't all die in the womb from cord stangulation what with the way I hang out my washing!!