You know when you're so furious that you feel like your blood is actually simmering inside you, your face is flaming, tears are shooting out of the corners of your eyes, a scream is rising in your throat? That feeling?
That was me not an hour ago, trapped in the minivan with the whole family, the MIL, and extras. Me, at the last bitter end of my tether after suffering endless digs about my parenting for the last three days.
Well, I blew. But it wasn't righteous fire and articulate take-down, it was the most shameful angry girl-weeping. I am so mad at myself for giving in like that.
The comment that did it was so mild really. MIL commented that I let my daughter have too many sweets. This from a woman who gives me the hoodoo eye if I say no to an ice cream sundae. This from a woman who stocks her house to the gunwales with cake, cookies, chocolate, lollies etc etc till it seriously resembles the witch's house in Hansel and Gretel. It's like her house is fucking made of sweets. Hedgie wouldn't eat a piece of fruit or eat a carrot for ten days if it wasn't for me interceding. But that's neither here nor there--it is a visit to grandma's after all, and what's a visit to grandma's without a nice round of sugar shock. So the comment was unfair, but who gives a shit?
For me, though, it was the limit. I started out all dignified by saying, "Now it's on, lady!" Seriously, I said that. It promised to be a real fun little round, except that immediately I started crying. No battle, just tears of defeat and an inchoate "I do the best I can--sobsob--Hedgie's awesome--sobsob--stop picking on me--sobsob" I mean it wasn't loud sobbing or anything, just the pitiful wimpy kind of silent bereft sobbing like you do when you've lost all your dignity and you know you ain't getting it back so you might as well go out with a whimper.
Anyway, Sarge defended me (good ole Sarge) and MIL patted my arm placatingly and it all blew over. But not for me, of course.
I hate like heck that poor Hedgie was trapped in the van for this, but I literally couldn't help it. Eh, she's seen me crying before. Afterwards she and I composed ourselves in Target in the tampon aisle (I knew MIL wouldn't be coming there again in this lifetime) and Hedgie just rolled her eyes and said "well, grandma was picking on you!" I still wish I'd been a better role model and just said something mild like "quit picking on me old woman." But hey, there's always tomorrow.