Christmas of 2010 was a blast. We had a beautiful little girl to enjoy and only a few days prior to Christmas, welcomed our little guy into the world. There was no drama, only love, happiness, and excitement. Even though DD was only one year old, she totally understood the concept of presents, and it was a lot of fun watching her rip into them on Christmas morning. DH and I drank our coffee, snuggled with our little man, and watched her wiggle with delight as she opened her presents. My Christmases growing up were spectacular - my parents did a wonderful job giving us the happiest holiday memories - but watching our daughter really took the cake for me. When I told my mom how amazing it was to see her excitement on Christmas, she said, "It only gets better!"
We went to my parent's house Christmas day and saw my family. We started some new traditions. It was peaceful, beautiful, and drama-free, which is exactly how the holidays are supposed to be. With no nonsense from DH's FOO, the day was just perfect. Neither DH nor I can remember if his parents even called to wish us a Merry Christmas that day, but we don't really care. If either of them called, it was not important enough to stand out from the rest of the day.
We didn't hear from NMIL until about a week after Christmas. He and I had agreed not to invite her over for any sort of Christmas visit unless she called. So when she did, DH offered her Saturday of the following week. Again, neither of us remember much of the details of the conversation, except to say that NMIL agreed to come on the specified day, and that she wasn't sure SIL would be able to come because she might have to work that day. When DH expressed his thought that he hoped SIL would come, he added, "Is she right there? Can you ask her if she can take the day off from work, if she wants to come and visit? I'd like to see her too."
His mother said, "Uh, yes, she's here. I'm sure she can get the day off." I thought it was odd though, that SIL may have been standing right there and NMIL did not relay the message right then. Fishy. Fishy. When DH had hung up the phone and explained what his mother said, I got that funny feeling in the pit of my stomach that said NMIL was up to something. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I knew it had something to do with the fact that she wouldn't just ask SIL outright, with DH on the phone, if she was interested in visiting her brother for Christmas. Personally, I think it is because she wanted to tell (or not tell) SIL the plans on her own time. Perhaps, Dear Reader, she never told her at all.
The day of the visit came.
Guess who called up, weeping?
If you guessed NMIL, then you're right. The conversation between her and my DH went something like this:
She sounded like she had already been crying for some time.
DH said, "What's the matter mom? What's going on?" Unfortunately, he had accepted the responsibility she gave him. She said with her actions, "I'm sad. It's your fault. Make it better. Do what I want." DH, with his beautiful and kind soul, said "I'll try."
She said, "We're having a bad day. Your sister and I were talking today and we're having a bad day. It's hard."
DH asked, "Well can you explain it to me?"
True to form, NMIL answered in only vague generalities about the "rough day." She mentioned some garbage about talking with SIL about "emotional stuff."
DH asked, "What do you mean?"
NMIL said, "Your sister doesn't feel like you care about her. Can you come here and spend a day with her? Like next weekend?"
DH said, "A day mom? No that's not possible. Maybe I could come up for an hour or two, but not right now. I mean, not any time soon." Then he asked her what all this meant for her visit. He asked her if she wanted to reschedule.
I was walking around with DD, so I was only hearing snippets of the conversation. The moment I heard him ask about rescheduling, I knew she had pulled one of his guilt strings. I cringed.
Then she pulled another one. She asked, "What time does DD go to bed?"
DH told her.
"Well, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize you aren't giving me a lot of time with the babies." She said.
He continued to speak with her for a few minutes, as she requested that we reschedule for a different day the following week. DH told her he would discuss with me and call her back.
Oh, did we discuss.
DH asked me if we could reschedule. I said, "Absolutely not. If she thinks she can call here the day of her visit and BLAME YOU for her having a BAD DAY, than she is choosing to forfeit her right to a visit. If she thinks she can get us to budge by pulling her strings, than she is forfeiting her right to a visit. If she thinks she can cancel and reschedule, at the inconvenience of your wife who just had a baby two weeks ago, than she is forfeiting her right to a visit. If she thinks she can get you alone to work her evil voodoo on you without me, than she is forfeiting her right to visit. If she thinks she can use our children to make you feel guilty, than she is forfeiting her right to visit."
Then, I touched on that subject - our babies - the subject she should have stayed far the fuck away from. "Yes," I told DH. "Of course we are giving her limited time with our babies." He and I had made that decision on purpose. I told him I was not comfortable with giving her much more than a half hour with them. And she was damn lucky to even get that much time, considering that I would have been happy giving her none at all. When he and I had originally discussed what time we wanted his NM to visit for Christmas, our baby's bed times had been the deciding factor. He was okay with giving her limited time, as long as she got some. And giving her any time at all with them was my concession to DH. So it was one half hour.
But, he had not been prepared for her to let the mask slip. Underneath her perfectly coiffed exterior, she is venomous. I pictured her saying, "It doesn't take a brain surgeon" while spitting and snarling at him. She was nastiness, pure and simple, and DH wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I did. If she wanted to pull that card, if she wanted to try and use our babies against DH, then she had no idea what she was getting herself into. She had effectively dug her own grave the moment she mentioned our children. There was no room in that woman for love or caring, and she didn't love or care about our children. If we had let her, she would have used them as stepping stones to get to DH, and eventually would have used them as a source of NS as well.
Not even over my dead body, bitch. I'll come back and haunt you to protect my children from beyond the grave if I have to.
We discussed some more. I had a very real problem with NMIL calling our house and trying to get DH to promise to spend any amount of time, let alone a full day, up there with NMIL and SIL, without his FOC. NMIL didn't have to say it, Dear Reader, she made it known, with all of her crocodile tears and blaming, that it was only DH she wanted. She wanted to get him alone. She wanted to exert her control. She wanted to get him to budge in some way. I explained to him that if we did, she would know that she had won and that this particular tactic worked. If she won, she would do it again, over something even bigger.
I told DH that his mother's "bad feelings" were not his responsibility to fix. I said the same of his sister's.
"You can't help them, DH," I said. "You can't fix them. And you are not responsible for their bad day, no matter how much your fucked up mother wants that to be true."
The visit was supposed to be about Christmas. It was supposed to be an opportunity for her to see our children, in whatever limited time she was to have with them. She should have recognized, yet again, what a golden opportunity this was for her. She should have realized that her time was running out. She should have stopped pissing on every opportunity.
But she couldn't, and she wouldn't.
DH called her back and left a message saying that she could not come that day, after all, and perhaps we should reschedule.
We never did.
About a month passed. In true controlling form, NMIL fed-exed us a huge box with three gift cards in it, from Naunt that were to our children for Christmas, along with a cheap book and tiny stuffed animal that was supposedly from SIL for DD. It was a show. Naunt could have put all three cards in an envelope and stuck them in the mail. NMIL was just using it as an opportunity to manipulate. She included a note card that said, "I'm going to hold on to your Christmas gifts. Still hoping to see you guys in person to give them to you!"
It's been six months. No Christmas presents. She has enough money, she could have sent that shit.
DH is betting she never bought them anyway, and that if we had ever given in to her overt demands and changed the date of our visit, she would have run out the morning of and bought a bunch of huge toys that day to bring for the babies. I think he may be right.
What a fucking cunt.