Maybe there’s a parasite living in my keyboard. The “m” is fine now.
Not much going on, besides the usual mayhem. Rain. Sleeping baby (!!). No dissertation work – I’ve decided that I’m taking time off until I get my home routine/life/persona settled. Until I do that, I’m just spinning my wheels on work. I did take the plunge, though, and requested permission from the department grad secretary for next Fall’s diss credits – the ones I’m planning to use the rebate on, since I burned through all six semesters of the cheap diss credits with nothing to show for it. Now that it’ll be costing more money, I need to either cough up the work or quit once and for all.
I’m also mentally preparing for our trip to the in-laws next month. They loved seeing MM last time, and M. says he thinks they’ll get a kick out of her and C. this time, but I worry that her love of performance (she doesn’t exist if there’s not an audience to appreciate her) will come off to them as overly precocious or something. I love watching her do her things (actually, I tend to egg her on – the songs, in particular, are pretty funny), but maybe it won’t be “cute” to them.
I’m also trying to figure out how to be appropriately daughter-in-law-y. I’m a crap cook – hate doing it, don’t do it especially well when I do – but one of the comments M. got from his mom two visits ago was something to the effect of “She doesn’t cook much, does she?” I’m all about the cleaning, though – that was how I got through that visit (and M. seemed to think that helped) – so I’m trying to figure out what to clean and prepare a plan of action. It may sound silly, but cleaning keeps me occupied, productive, and there’s usually something to show for it. Since M. generally goes home, sits, and grows sullen when we visit (long-standing issues there), and since they’ll want to see the kids (C. is immobile – pretty low maintenance – and MM is increasingly able to do stuff on her own), I’ve got to have something to do.
And last time we visited, the kitchen/family room floor (vinyl) was very dirty and needed some love. It’s understandable; they’re in their 70s and pretty much doing everything for themselves – M.’s sisters get there when they can, I think, but they’ve both got families of their own. M.’s mom had a stroke about a decade ago, so she doesn’t get around well, and M.’s dad is no spring chicken himself. So things get dirty. Last time we were there I took a Swiffer to the floor, but it wasn’t much of a match. If I had a scrub brush and, I’m thinking, just vinegar and water, I might be able to make a dent…
Anyway, that’s where my mind is right now. I tend to fret about our visits there: when I was a kid, my mom had an especially bad relationship with my dad’s mother, and it culminated in one especially traumatic (to an 11 year old, anyway) evening that’s always defined in-law relationships for me, so I tend to arrive there with a hair trigger. I’m always on the lookout for problems, and it tends to make for a stressful week. To date, nothing bad has happened there, but you never know. So I’m just trying to find ways of being useful and unobtrusive – at the end of the day, we’re there so they can see the kids and their own son. I’m along for the ride, and I’m good with that. But it doesn’t make it any less stressful.
Weirdly, we actually get more grief from – believe it or not – our dry cleaners than we do from M.’s parents. The dry cleaner is Korean – a husband and wife – and they fell in love with MM sometime in 2006. I always brought her in when I dropped off shirts, and we got to talking (first in very broken English, and later in much smoother Japanese when it turned out that the husband speaks it pretty well) and they learned that she’s part Korean. That seemed to seal the matter, and she’s been their adopted granddaughter ever since – to the point that, if we don’t bring her in when we’re picking up shirts, we get chewed out. Seriously. We gave them a Christmas card this year with all of us – including C., who they haven’t met yet – and they framed it and hung it on the wall of the shop, near the cash register.
We’ve had M.’s shirts there for two weeks now…and haven’t had the guts to pick them up yet, because it hasn’t worked out where we could take MM with us. We’re both a little afraid of going in without her these days…