Assvice Open Season

What is it about babies that makes people's mouths runneth over with passive-agressive comments and thinly veiled judgement? No one would enter your kitchen and say, "You know, this yellow color you picked out is nice and all, but I think blue would look fabulous in here." Likewise, no one would tell you, "You're killing your plants by having them near a southern-facing window. I hope you can live with yourself."

But where babies are concerned? Dear God, everyone is an authority.

Before I go any further, I love my grandma dearly. She practically raised me. I spent every weekend sleeping over her house when I was young, and she and I have always had a very close relatonship. And she showers Isabella with a level of love and attention that makes me smile every time I see them together.

There's only one problem. I do believe grandma thinks I'm the worst mother imaginable.

We've been here before, if you remember. But here are just a few of the things she's said and done in recent weeks.

"You know, Kris. She really needs a warmer jacket and hat on than the one you've got her in."
(It was 72 degrees and sunny out that day.)

"Her bibs are hurting her neck."
(Okay, I won't put a bib on her at all, and instead I'll add 72 weekly loads of wash to my to-do list.)

"You know, making all of Isabella's baby food is a lot of work, and I think it's stressing you out. The jarred stuff is just as good."
(Say it with me, "Just because your choices are not my choices does not make them wrong.")

Grandma pulled her stroller backwards down the driveway so the sun wouldn't get in her eyes. Then she called me a "mean mommy" when I told her Isabella has to get used to having a little sun in her eyes because I can't exactly pull the car over and wait until the sun sets everytime we're driving somewhere on a sunny day.

Grandma thinks I should hand-feed Isabella her finger foods because she was taking several tries to get them into her mouth.
(I told grandma that ain't happening, because I didn't want to be spoon-feeding a 10 year old one day.)

She's told me that taking Isabella to baby storytime and playtime at the library is silly because she doesn't know or understand where she is anyway.
(I believe this harkens back to her belief that babies should not leave the house, like, ever. )

And then there's my personal favorite:

"Her socks are cutting off her circulation!"

I know she doesn't mean to come across as malicious with her comments. She comes from a completely different child-rearing age, where there was no such thing as the Internet, there was one book for parents to use for advice (Dr. Spock), and pediatricians only dealt with the medical aspects of your child's life. They didn't dispense advice on sleep habits, feeding schedules, or cognitive development.

And I'm sure she expected me to use her as my lone source of parenting advice, as my mother did before me. After all, she raised five children, and has 11 grandchildren. She knows her way around babies!

But the thing is, a lot has changed in the pediatric field since she was raising her kids, and even her grandkids (think rice cereal in the bottle, whiskey on teething gums, stomach-sleeping, and formula versus breastfeeding).

And I'm a pretty independant thinker. If I have a question about Isabella's health, or behavior, or diet, I'm going to either call her pediatrician, research it online, post it here on my blog, so one of my knowledgeable readers can offer help, or ask one of my friends if they've encountered something similar. And when all else fails, I'm going to go with my gut in doing what I think is right. I didn't necessarily trust my parenting skills when I first brought home my newborn baby, but I've gained confidence as the months have gone by and my little baby is not-so-little anymore.

I love my grandma to pieces, but lately, she's been driving me a little crazy.

Wait until she hears I'm getting Isabella's tongue pierced as soon as she finishes breastfeeding. That will really send her over the edge.

14 Responses to “Assvice Open Season”

  1. # Blogger Marie

    I want to be a fly on the wall for the tongue-piercing conversation!

    This would drive me batty too. Have you thought of saying something to her? She can dish it out, so I assume she can take it... ;-) I'm not talking harsh, just frank.

    You're doing a great job Kristi & you are right to go with your gut. Obviously Isabella's thriving, in spite of her great grandma's disapproval of your decisions!  

  2. # Blogger M

    OMG!! My grandmother thought I should have been feeding Maddy mashed potatoes and chicken noodle soup at 3 months, because after all I was eating those things when I was that little.
    And whiskey on gums-- classic. Perhaps that's why I don't drink whiskey, ever.
    You will hear lots of great stories from me when my inlaws arrive in 2 weeks. God help me.  

  3. # Blogger Christine

    I'm sure she doesn't mean to belittle your decisions...it probably just gives her something to say that makes her feel like she's being useful to you.

    I'll have you know at around 6 months I had my first drunken experience due to some whiskey rubbed on my gums. I guess the alcoholism was just a given. ;)

    Isabella seems to be doing great!  

  4. # Blogger kenju

    I have no advice for you in the grandma or great-grandma dept. I am sure I said some of the same things, although I hope I was more moderate.....LOL

    She thinks she's being helpful. I would ignore it as best you can.  

  5. # Blogger Editorgirl

    Ah everyone has one. My grandmother used to tell my mom not to let my brother and I eat cucumbers because (are you ready for this?) they make you stupid! Turns out she was wrong. We both love them and we are both pretty damn intelligent. Keep up your own good work and try not to let it get to you. On the other hand it makes for a hysterical blog post :-)  

  6. # Blogger Damselfly

    Tongue pierced, heh!

    For me, it's my mother. And she only visits a few times a year, thank goodness. But while she's here, it's all kinds of why-don't-you this or that. And then -- and then! -- she drips high-fructose-corn-syrup-sweetened iced tea through a straw into my baby's mouth, aaaahhh!  

  7. # Blogger My Wombinations

    Yikes. Grandma must chill. I can't stand hearing that kind of stuff. It makes a new mom insecure and who wants that? Would talking to her help?  

  8. # Blogger Shannon

    Don't ya just love family... but my ped doc told me to put one spoonfull of rice ceral to Lore's bottles once she was 4ms but that was to help with the acid reflux... hehehe... but how about getting a cake that says I love you but bite me lol...  

  9. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Tongue pierced????? I guess I'm with Grandma on this one.  

  10. # Anonymous catdoggg

    lol- we can all relate.
    my ass-vice (if you can stand anymore) is to just smile sweetly, 'mmm, or uh huh' and do whatever it is she is commenting on exactly as if nothing were said at all.
    in one ear and out the other is how i get by  

  11. # Blogger M

    Tagged you over at my blog  

  12. # Anonymous sher

    Oh, I just love reading your posts! The line about her socks cutting off her circulation is priceless! Too bad you don't have time to needlepoint that onto a pillow! :)  

  13. # Blogger sunShine

    When my granny gives advice, I try so very hard to ignore her. Thank goodness she doesn't feel the need to give me advice that often. I think it would drive me insane.

    You are doing a wonderful job and your child is happy and healthy, that is all that matters!  

  14. # Blogger Andrew

    Well my mom said my grandmother's advice was to never cut a baby's fingernails with clippers before they're a year old. If you do, it'll make them a thief! She said you should bite them instead.

    That kind of explains me a little, doesn't it? ;)  

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