Sunday, April 29, 2012

Adam is a naughty boy tonight.

Whenever I hear people around me complain about their mothers-in-law, I secretly feel lucky that I do not have a MIL from hell. Though she is not the best MIL in the whole wide world, she has treated me well and even help us look after our son without any complaints.
Sometimes, I think the way she brings up my child is the polar opposites of how my Aunt/ parents brought us up, but I accept that she is my husband's mother and whatever discrepencies I feel, I make it a point to discuss with Andy instead of quarreling with my MIL.

Tonight, we went for dinner with Andy's parents and brother as per any other weekend, but unlike the usual dinners, Adam was exceptionally impossible tonight.

He misbehaved himself at the table. He wouldn't stop banging the utensils and plate, and basically he did the exact things we told him not to, and this tested Andy's and my patience.

There was a family seated just behind us, with a toddler who looked about Adam's age, and he was totally well-behaved and oblivious to the whole ordeal because he was concentrating on an iPhone.
We were EMBARRASSED out of our wits!!! and I think that family must've felt sorry for us and thanked almighty heavens for a well-behaved child.
We told Adam nicely, we scolded him, we threatened him but nothing worked and his bad behaviour continued, which made Andy lose his temper and smacked Adam on his hand.
The smacking made Adam cry.

At that instant, Andy's mum immediately stood up and rushed over to Adam's side and wanted to whisk him away. Mind you, Adam was seated in between Andy & I.

Furious, I told her not to interfere when we are disciplining our child, and I said to her "Is he our child or your child?!" those were my exact words to her.
As I was already very stressed by the whole dinner affair gone awry and the embarrassment of everyone at the coffeeshop staring at us, I flared up and didn't bother to keep my voice down so I think everybody around us heard me scolding my MIL. My FIL, being the sole-breadwinner, chauvinistic kind of man, glared at me.
Well, to make things clear - this is not the first time my MIL is rushing to Adam's rescue everytime he cries/ fusses. She doesn't even bother to ask us to stop scolding/ smacking Adam, she just takes it upon herself to barge in between us and whisk our son away! And everytime, it's Right at the moment when we discipline him.

In the end, my dear husband had to ask his parents and brother to go home once they were done eating and leave us (Andy, Adam & I) alone to deal with it as a family (our nuclear family).

The moment we got home, I called Aunt LY and texted my Dad and brother to tell them what happened and seeked their opinions. Was I in the wrong??
Their answers were - all of them thinks my MIL is wrong in interfering with our child-disciplining, but Aunt LY thinks I was also in the wrong for having talked to my MIL in such a rude manner in public. My Dad and brother think I didn't mince my words but they thought getting my true feelings across to my MIL was the right thing to do otherwise more negative feelings will be harboured .

As for my dear Hubby?? After I tucked Adam to bed, I had a talk with him regarding my behaviour tonight and he said matter-of-factly that I should probably apologise to his mom and at the same time reinforce to her that she had no business interfering with how we discipline Adam, now and in future.
While I am truly grateful to her for helping us look after our child, on top of cooking and washing and all the chores without the help of a maid, I would really appreciate if she left the parenting as that - to our child's parents. ie. US.

What happened tonight made me develop a newfound admiration for my Husband - for standing firm on his belief, for being the man I need in my family, and for taking "right" sides on this matter.

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