My mother-in-law came to visit the other day. Regular readers will know that she can’t help but interfere. Probably with the best of intentions, but still.
In this instance what attracted her criticism was the BabyBoy and BabyGirl did not seem to like the quiche I’d made for their lunch. I wasn’t concerned – they were eating other things – and we have been doing baby-led weaning so I’m keen to let them choose foods.
Nothing would do but for mother-in-law to make another dish for BabyBoy and BabyGirl. It most certainly was not necessary and I didn’t want her to but I decided to be polite and let her get on with it. Whatever.
Now my mother-in-law cannot speak much English. I also know that her views on child-rearing are different from ours. So I asked Multidaddy to remind her not to put salt in the food.
Multidaddy relays the message. She seems to understand. Then as the kitchen door begins to swing shut as he makes his way back to the table I hear the words ‘just a little bit’ in her language.
Now I can’t speak much of her language, but I was pretty sure about what I’d overheard. I was livid that, yet again, she was directly overriding our wishes with respect to our children.
‘No,’ I called to Multidaddy from the dining room. ‘No salt at all.’
I tasted the dish when she brought it out before offering it to the children. It had no salt in it. But why why why does she have to be forced to listen to our decisions? Even when her own son asks her specifically not to do something.
And I was a little bit glad that BabyBoy and BabyGirl did not want to eat her food. Not nice, I know, but it does show that I am quite capable of planning my children’s meals.