Saturday, April 02, 2005

Library Sale, Dogfighting, the Usual

So the sale closed about ten minutes after I got there... But I power-browsed and came away with a vintage L.M.M. Montgomery, an Anne Lamott, Margaret Cho's I'm the One That I Want, and three children's books: Blitz, about a fire-station horse, a copy of which I had as a child, and two Pippi Longstocking titles. All for four dollars and fifty cents.

Tomorrow J's family descends upon us for post-Easter Eastering. Everyone was too sick/newly born/something to come on Easter, so we are having the whole shebang tomorrow. J's Mom has been threatening to either come stay the night at either our or Shannon's house, thereby creating drama by complaining about the accomodations and spreading her crap out all over the kitchen, or arriving at our house at 10am for a 2pm gathering so as to "help" get everything ready, i.e. create drama by being in the way, the aforementioned spreading out of the crap, perhaps bringing her nasty little barking dog with her, chain smoking on the back patio in the rain and complaining and telling us what we "oughta" do, such as get at least an umbrella if not cover the patio altogether (effectively eliminating all the delicious sunshine which is one of the family room's finest redeeming features).

She's insisted on bringing the ham (probably freezer-burned, and missing a chunk already as I understand it) as well as potato salad. How do you tell someone you don't want them to bring their nasty dried up ham? Without hurting their feelings, that is. I'm pretty well versed in how to do it the ugly way. But is there a tactful way?!

She likes to tell everyone what they "oughta" do, such as name one's children some other name more appealling to her than the one chosen which, she is sure to announce, she doesn't like. When confronted by one of J's sisters on this habit of telling people that she doesn't like the name they have lovingly hand-picked for their precious bundle of joy, she appeared truly confused and said that she had to tell them how she feels, doesn't she? As if she had no choice in the matter.

I'm sure that if this is the extent of my complaints about her, that she is loud and likes to create drama and is unhelpful and annoying, I have it pretty easy by many people's standards when it comes to their in-laws. She's accepted me into the family and treats our daughter no differently than any of the other grandkids, i.e. lavishes gifts on her at every turn and will no doubt teach her to beg for M&M's like the others as soon as she can walk over and open her mouth on command. So perhaps I "oughta" cut her a break... She's over 60 and not in the best of health. I don't want to regret saying bad things and being less than gracious... Although grace is frequently not one of my stronger features.

Well, I should run. J has gone to the store for the last-minute purchases vital to all family gatherings, plus Neosporin and that spongy elastic wrap for the dog. The dogs have lost their spectator privileges in the dining room by having a huge snarly snappy bitey fight as we were having dinner. The like to hang out under the highchair and wait for snippets of whatever Delia's eating. Liked, I should say. Hope has a pretty comprehensive bite on her front leg that will be looked at tomorrow by J's sister the vet, and Ollie has one on her ear that goes to the cartilage. From now on they will spend our mealtimes in their beds with the door shut. I worry what will happen one day when Delia is old enough to eat at the table in a regular chair. What if she gets down and is wandering around with food? I don't think the dogs would attack her, but they will attack each other and what if Delia got in the middle of it? It's too horrible to think about. I know we will be very careful but we are human, accidents happen, mistakes are made... I don't want Delia to pay for a little lapse of attention.

Clearly I worry a lot. Recently we discovered she has kind of a slight bulge, or bump, on the top of her head, right where the growth plates come together in the front, and I literally could not sleep until it was looked at. In the blacker parts of my imagination I practically had the kid in major reconstructive surgery and badly disfigured by a skull deformity -- My beautiful girl! My precious angel! -- in the two days that went by until the doctor's appointment. Of course the doctor said it didn't look like anything to be worried about and just to keep an eye, and now it seems less prominent than it did, and I'm just an overprotective first-time parent. But it ruled my life for a couple of days and I found myself getting all sobby and weird in the car on the way home from the pool the night before the appointment.

Parenthood is fraught with genuine reasons for worry. Perhaps I should work on not making them up as well.

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