Fixed the air-conditioner, dear!
Ever have your husband say to you, “Oh honey, I’ve taken care of it. X-issue will never come up again. Don’t even worry about it!”
Ever think, immediately upon hearing those words, that X-issue will most CERTAINLY come up again because your husband doesn’t “take care of things” as well as he thinks he does?
Oh John… *shakes head with playful reproach* I fell victim to his version of “taking care of things” this weekend.
Several months ago, John’s mother had been hinting at the prospect of John and I having more children. Obviously her intention was not to shove a sword through my heart, but given the nature of my current fertility predicament, that’s exactly what ended up happening.
And really, that’s partly my fault. Never wanting to make her feel bad for desiring more grandchildren from us, I did my best to keep my emotions under control. I never let her see anything more than the carefully concocted façade that masked my deepest, most crushing grief.
After this happened in December (and it was December, I just couldn’t bring myself to post about it until February), John took the initiative and assured me he had spoken to his mother in an attempt to head-off similar situations. When I pressed him to find out how, exactly, he’d handled the conversation, I could tell that he wasn't very thorough because he didn’t want to have a heart-to-heart with his mother about why he, himself, didn’t want any more children. He didn’t want to admit that to his mom because he knew she wouldn’t let the conversation end there.
But I didn’t press the issue further because I figured I’d find out, myself, through future interactions with my MIL.
This weekend was my reckoning.
John and I took Vincent down the shore to stay with my mother and father-in-law. They were babysitting our niece, Alliya.
As I was getting Vince ready for the beach in the bedroom, John watched his mother braid Alliya’s hair in the living room. Alliya didn’t like that, so John asked his mom why she was forcing Alliya (who has Rapunzel-length hair) to sit still while she braided it.
My MIL responded with, “It’ll get too tangled if I don’t braid it.”
Things might’ve been okay for me had the conversation stopped there. It didn’t, and here’s where my husband’s brilliant version of “handling things” came into play.
My MIL continued, “Why are you asking, John? Prepping for a little girl of your own?”
Cue John’s brilliant response – instead of responding to her, he simply ignores her and walks away.
That’s right... he walked away.
I’m actually laughing as I think about that. I have little doubt he thought he was making a very good, obvious point to his mother. He probably even thought he was deftly handling the situation and “punishing” her with the cold shoulder by ignoring the comment and walking away.
But no. His mother thought he was just teasing. So when she relayed the story back to me on the beach while John was on the boardwalk with Vincent, she had absolutely no idea that she was treading on dangerous waters.
Continue to Part II: Dangerous Waters
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