Posted by: Kate | November 11, 2004

The Mac & Cheese Incident

Oh, if the rest of my weekend continues like this I’ll be checking myself into the nearest locked psychiatric ward on Monday.

My husband had the day off, so we started off the morning by doing a total overhaul on our basement – our house is a split-level, and we used to use the basement as a playroom and an office, but they had over time morphed to large storage rooms for boxes, blankets, dust bunnies and cat hair. So we decided to move stuff and throw stuff out and run the vacuum cleaner 15 times, and generally convert it all into a playroom and a guest room in preparation for the onslaught of family that will descend upon my house at Christmastime.

Wow, more information than you needed, huh? I’ve spent the past 4 hours being alternately ignored and interrupted, so I’m taking blatant advantage of the fact that you can’t interrupt me. Ignore me, sure, but I’ll never know! Ignorance is bliss!

Anyway… so I spent the morning alternating between manual labor and nursing and sneezing and stepping on the cat. But the basement looks GREAT and I didn’t have to do it all by myself, so YAY. AND we have at least a dozen boxes already packed in preparation for our move in the spring.

So noontime rolls around and it’s lunchtime. Emily wants mac and cheese. Sure, why not? We don’t need nutrition here, we have a few dust bunnies leftover downstairs! You can have that with a cat-hair chaser, life will be fine. Warm it up in the microwave, open the door, and then my day gets ugly. I somehow flip the bowl over on its way out, and suddenly I am briefly hip-deep in noodles and orange cheeselike substance. I swear there were 8 pounds of mac and cheese in there, I don’t know how, must have multiplied while the door was closed. (In our house, this mysterious multiplying phenomenon is called the Brita pitcher effect. Can you guess why??)

And to make this even more fun, Jacob’s bucket-carseat was on the floor just in front of the microwave, so it caught a few pounds of noodles itself. There was mac and cheese inside the little slots where the seat belts go, on the canopy, on the floor, stuck to the wall, stuck to the inside of the microwave door… as you can imagine, I could scarcely contain my glee.

And have you ever had to pick mac and cheese up off a linoleum floor? It’s just sticky enough to stick like glue, but not sticky enough to wipe up with a paper towel. And you have to understand, there were literally handfuls of this stuff everywhere. Très gross. I understand why some haunted houses have you put your hands in a bowl of noodles and tell you it’s brains, I really do.

So, fine, we got through that. My mother-in-law showed up an hour earlier than planned, (“Oh, I didn’t think you’d mind, so I didn’t bother to call.”) so Jacob and I were in the shower and my husband was at the dentist. I get dressed and come out to find her just burying my 4-year-old in gifts. It’s not the gift-giving that bugs me (okay, it bugs me a little, since Emily already owns every toy ever), it’s the twisted lying…”I got this on sale, it was only two dollars, I couldn’t say no.” It’s a full outfit plus shoes, it did NOT cost $2! And you’re rich, don’t brag to me about saving a few cents at Target when you just spent 3 weeks in Italy on vacation.
Fantastic.

She looks up at me and says, “Oh, Jacob’s gotten so big! And hi, Kate. Looks like you’re having more trouble dropping the pregnancy weight this time, huh?”

Yeah.

What’s the phrase I’m looking for? Hmm… oh, yeah. Bite me.

Since then it has just continued to be awkward and uncomfortable. She acts like she’s never been around children or babies before, asks me how to do the simplest things, then rolls her eyes and sighs when I answer her. She interrupts my husband and I all the time in order to distract Emily or give her another present or generally encourage snottiness, rudeness or entitlement in my daughter. She also LOVES to ask a question and then not bother to listen to the answer.

So fun.

Okay, have to go start the bedtime routine here. One last chance for some more child-rearing-related eye-rolling before we go have a forced, awkward, disinterested conversation.

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