I bet I come out of this entry looking like a huge jerk with no taste.

So, if you follow me on Twitter, you are very aware (well, assuming that you follow me and give a crap, which is not necessarily the case) that my mother had been visiting up until last night.

I mostly just rolled my eyes and gritted my teeth and let her hold the baby as much as she wanted to, but there was this one point where I just snapped and I don’t think my head went back on straight for the rest of the visit.

We were getting ready to leave to go to a baseball game, and I had been walking around packing Penny’s bag and gathering everything we needed for the evening. Phil said to me, “Do you have the tickets?”

And, since I did indeed have the tickets, I said, “Yes, I have the tickets.”

And my mom jumps in and says, “Where are they?”

Is it not enough that I said that I had them? She needs to know the exact location of where I had them?

OKAY THAT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE MUCH BUT YOU GUYS. IT WAS A LONG VISIT.

I was annoyed. I was very annoyed. I was annoyed with everything I did being double checked, with being reminded of appropriate care of Penny, with the raised eyebrow and repeated requests to do things the way she thought they should be done even when I refused.

We were at IKEA at one point, looking at some shelves, and she read the warning next to the shelf – something about using the proper mounting screws for the wall type. When we got home and showed everything to Phil, she reminded him that the SIGN SAID to use the proper screws for the wall type. And again the next day. And then again when we were talking about the fact that we would eventually hang the purchased shelves. “Just remember, the SIGN SAID –.”

As if we need her to continually remind us of the sign’s instructions to hang the shelves properly. AS IF WE EVEN NEED A SIGN to instruct us to not hang shelves in OUR BABY’S ROOM in such a manner that they might FALL ON HER HEAD.

After the ticket thing, I said to my mom, “Do you realize how many things like that you’ve said this week?”

And she replied, “I realize that you’re hypersensitive.”

Excuse me?

Nothing makes me angrier (that’s just a saying, a lot of things make me equally angry or possibly angrier) than being put in a position where I have to JUSTIFY feeling a certain way. Putting someone in a position where they have to defend the fact that they have FEELINGS is not right. You shouldn’t do that.

Ugh. I’m too annoyed to even say a complete 500 words about it all.

*****

You guys, the visit totally wasn’t all bad, or even mostly bad. Yes, I was irritated a lot. Yes, I snapped at her, repeatedly. But we did a lot of fun things and got a lot of work done on Pennysylvania as well.

Remember when I asked you about my repurchasey obligations when returning wedding gifts? Well, we took the pots back to Macy’s, and I figured I’d get a few bucks and maybe we’d find, I don’t know, a throw pillow or something for Pennysylvania.

Except, when they rang the pots back through, they gave me a much fatter gift card of store credit than I was expecting. Like, “Here, have the MSRP of the pots that no one actually ever charges, plus an extra 10% because why not, and on top of that, here’s a little ‘Sorry we sold you exploding pots’ consolation money. Go nuts!”

We looked through the baby section and weren’t especially into anything we saw, probably because Macy’s sells Carter’s and we’d already completely demolished not only Carter’s, but the Kohl’s Carter’s section as well the day before.

We did, however, go back to the furniture section and locate the perfect mattress for Penny’s floor bed. My mom was insistent on buying it, telling me that maybe I should look for it at another place for a better price, or that maybe another store would charge less for delivery. That turned out to not be the case, but regardless, I had a gift card and there wasn’t much else I really had a need for at Macy’s, so I felt like it made the most sense for me to buy it. Not that I don’t appreciate my mom’s offer to buy things for Penny – I totally do. I just don’t see a reason for either of us to spend money that doesn’t need to be spent, and a gift card is basically pretend money.

With delivery charge, I ended up paying $32 out of pocket for Penny’s floor bed mattress. I think that once it’s installed in her room, I’m going to call it Martha Stewart Exploding Pot Memorial Island.

We went to IKEA the next day and it wasn’t until I was hauling our self-serve furniture off of the shelves and arguing with my mom about who was paying that she said that she was paying because she wanted to buy the mattress. She followed that with, “I wanted to buy the crib. Your grandmother bought your crib.”

So, basically, I accidentally flaunted a tradition she had wanted to continue or establish, first by not having a crib and then by paying for the mattress myself.

I feel kind of bad about that, I really do. I understand what she wanted to do now, but I don’t know that if I had known that to begin with, I would have done anything any differently. The floor bed is right for us, and the pots-I-don’t-use in exchange for a mattress scheme really saved a lot of money. My money, her money – whatever, money saved.

I’d like to think it turned out okay in the end, though, because she did buy out almost the entirety of IKEA and even though she was paying, she stuck very closely to my vision (over the top) and tastes (poor) for the room. She did draw the line at the carpet with the broccoli on it, but nothing is really stopping me from going back to get it.

Here’s a small taste of what is being installed into Pennysylvania over the next week or so:

Additionally, we got several different sets of shelves. There are some picture rails that we’re putting at low-ish points around the walls, to display board books within Penny’s (eventual) reach. Also, three plain square LACK shelves that will be hung high above the changing table, in view of the bed. I’m planning on putting some large photos of the dogs and Phil and I on those.

We grabbed another kind of shelf unit thingie that has six cubes of space in it (MY DESCRIPTIVE POWERS ARE VAST!), and that will either be hung low or placed on the floor and anchored to the wall. Small, safe toys and other items will be placed in the cube to help keep her room organized and give her a sense of everything having its own place. We’ll rotate a few toys in and out of those areas.

OH, and another thing – a clothes hanger in the shape of an octopus, like to hang a bunch of clothes to dry instead of a clothes line. I’m going to hang that from fishing line above her bed and use it to make a mobile. I’m not especially crafty, so it will probably consist of six pictures of Phil doing thumbs, a spoon, and some marker pictures drawn on toilet paper squares. I don’t know. I’m a big picture person, not a details lady. Let me know if you have any ideas about what to hang.

We also hit Target and got some deep purple sheets for her bed, as well as a sort of floor-rocker. One of those kid’s video game chairs, kind of? It’s like a rocking chair with no arms or legs. For now, we’ll keep it next to her floor bed for us to sit on to read to her or, more likely, read Twitter on our phones while occasionally insisting she fall asleep RIGHT THIS INSTANT. My mom snagged an owl-shaped pillow, and I grabbed another carpet – a rag rug that I’d been looking at every time we went to Target. I don’t have any place in mind to put it yet, but it was on clearance for $7.50. So. It was almost silly not to buy it.

I tried to put it on the floor in the living room, but Sheldon laid on it for a while and then tried to carry it away.

So. Construction of Pennysylvania is underway. Let me know if you have any fun ideas in obnoxious colors.

*****

Hey, remember when I said we went to a baseball game?

LOOKIT MY BIG FAT BABY, YOU GUYS.

Oh, the baseball game. Penny won the “My Parents are HUGE IDIOTS” Award for that one.

How did I forget how LOUD a professional sporting event is? You guys, she screamed and cried in terror every time the crowd roared, or they played walk up music, or ANYTHING HAPPENED AT ALL. We were looking for the exits by the second inning. And then? She fell asleep. She fell asleep and slept through a good inning or so of the game, and when she woke up, she was normal. Completely unbothered. As if the whole start of the game had never happened. A total 180. That didn’t stop us from leaving at the top of the seventh, though (the Diamondbacks had clinched all that needed clinching the night before, so it wasn’t especially suspenseful). Good thing we left when we did, as there was a power outage just minutes after we got there, followed by the Diamondbacks laying down a 15-1 asswhupping on the Giants, which would be totally awesome if I gave half a crap about either team at all.

*****

Anyway. Good visit. Good progress made on Penny actually having a space in our house, instead of just laying wherever we find room to put her down, with her belongings scattered willy nilly about the place. Good baseball game (courtesy of Operation Homefront AZ and Sanderson Ford Seats for Soldiers). Good… diet soda I just finished drinking. Good thing I’m going to the doctor this afternoon to attempt to start the process of addressing incredibly difficult post-partum anxiety. Good… uh… hey, I got into Pottermore! That’s pretty good.

*****

OH, I remembered what I wanted to ask you! Can you recommend some prints to go in Pennysylvania? I mean, it might be tough for you to match my discerning and elevated sense of style and decor preferences, but I have faith in you, Internet. I am looking for some awesomeness for the upper walls. Have you seen anything? Ideas for things to hang from the octopus tentacles to make an acceptable baby-stimulating mobile are also welcomed.

*****

PS. Penny has a tooth. A tooth-let. A harbinger of tooth.

PPS. I know you don’t think I went all week without some new diapers coming in to this house. Also, this one is on the way. Fun diaper stuff coming soon, if you’re into that kind of thing! Lame-ass diaper stuff coming soon, if you’re not into that kind of thing!

PPPS. OH ONE MORE THING ABOUT MY MOM. I would make baby observations, like “She isn’t rolling yet,” or maybe we’d see a baby walking around and I’d say, “I can’t wait until Penny can walk,” and my mom would jump in to DEFEND PENNY, going, “She will!” As if I’m maligning my dud of a baby. I KNOW SHE WILL. She’s not going to go to college unable to do anything but put her face into the carpet and shriek out her indignation. I’m just SAYING.

85 thoughts on “I bet I come out of this entry looking like a huge jerk with no taste.

  1. Tracy

    My mother was by all accounts, not a good mother (alcoholism! affairs!) and YET she tries to give me parenting tips that make me homicidal… We took my son to the city pool and my husband was across the pool playing with him while my mom and I were relaxing on the other side of the pool. My husband was maybe 5 feet from where my son was playing and jumping (he is 5) and my Mom asked me “Do you think he is OK?” meaning my son…now I know that seems tiny BUT the implication is that there is something wrong with what is happening and my husband (who by ALL accounts is a great father)would just let our kid get hurt or drown while 5 feet away…I told her that No, he probably wasn’t OK, I was pretty sure our kid was probably drowing and my husband just couldn’t be bothered.

  2. Sherry

    Look to http://www.pinterest.com for ideas on prints.

    My mom always harped on me about putting shoes on my baby boy. “He needs shoes on!” No, he’s a baby. He doesn’t walk. One day when I knew she was coming for a visit, I put shoes on him just to keep her quiet. Not five minutes after she got there, she exclaimed, “His feet are hot!” and took his damn shoes off. My head almost exploded.

  3. thanks management

    I can totally relate!! I have a very similar Mother to the type you have… Was something in the well water they grew up on? I was on vacation for a week with my parents, while I Appreciate the vacation… well I like your words.. Annoyed/Irritated, I’m sure it was written all over my eye rolling face as I walked away several times, or the ‘will you relax’ I must have said daily! They become helicopters, I don’t remember all that hovering when I was young, it is like magnified 1,000% (not out of proportion Maury Povich 1,000% either, scientifically measured percentages!) when they have grand kids I guess! No one cared about rusty nails or cracking paneling when I was small!!
    You just got to let them have their way every say 3-4 months! I think you did alright on compromising in shopping!!.. My P’s (parents)currently have my son on a 900 mi road trip to NEPA for 10 LONG LONG days, I’m slowly dieing! But when you don’t move back home to the snow.. every so many months you got to give your kid to them… That is what my life has become anyway… I could honestly keep typing, and It would certainly be therapeutic, but I’ll save you, I’m sure you can figure it out!.. Thanks for this post, glad to know I’m not the only daughter whose mother does the same types of things!!

  4. Lin

    Just had to say – Totally jealous of your Nala’s Fluffy Bum diaper. That is my “absolutely next store to buy from” list in terms of diapers.

    (Do you have any NiteOwl Dipes? I adore those.)

    TJ Reply:

    Nala’s is stocking at the Little Star Congo on HyenaCart tomorrow – Halloween diapers!

    It’s my 5th Nala’s. I love them. Love. I haven’t tried Nite Owl, but they’re stocking on the same congo tomorrow.

    Lin Reply:

    Ugh, I did see! I’m melting, but low on extraneous funds my husband thinks should be spent on cloth diapers. So I’ll probably have to wait until the next regular stocking or the one after.

    Also, I recently found your blog and cannot wait for the ever promised cloth diaper post you keep promising/threatening. :D

  5. Sarah in Ottawa

    I am way late to this (I blame “The Good Wife”; I’ve been blowing through all episodes for days and neglecting the internets) but HOLY COW. I think our mothers were separated at birth. I totally sympathize. I will share some fun stories in Austin.

  6. Lora

    How about some Amish Hex signs for Pennysylvania? They are popular here in Pennsylvania, and aren’t really hexes. They are PA Dutch folk art, and go awesome with Ikea stuff. You can probably even make some all by yourself, they aren’t hard. Google Amish Hex and tons of images come up.

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