This weekend I had yet another parade of family members at my house. Ok, so it wasn’t exactly a parade. More like just my parents, but since in the past week and a half I’ve seen my mom, aunt, step-mom and dad, all who live at least two hours away, it seems like my house has developed a revolving door for everyone related to me. Plus my in-laws are coming to town next weekend, so it’s going to be a busy month.
Luckily since it was my family I didn’t feel compelled to go on the mad cleaning spree that always accompanies a visit from my in-laws. It’s not that I don’t want things to be nice for my parents, but they remember the chaotic mess I called a room in high school, so the small collection of papers and books littering most of my tables is a real improvement. Plus, I know they aren’t judging me. I’ve seen their houses, afterall, and I am pretty sure I have the tidiest house of the bunch. This is not true of my in-laws. My mother-in-law’s house is immaculate. I worry sometimes that my meer presence will sully it’s shiny veneer.
As usual my folks came bearing gifts. Most of them were for the baby (clothes), but this visit we got treats as well. My step-mom works for a trucking company and apparently a truck came back with a refused load. This has happened before. Last time we got a case of hoity-toity jams and Stelladora breadsticks. I didn’t care too much abou the jams, but those crispy little breadsticks were tasty. This time we got a 10 lb. bag of rigatoni, Ritz bits cheese cracker sandwiches and a dozen or so packs of Mott’s applesauce. If anyone has a taste for regular flavored apple sauce, I’ve got the hook up.
As is tradition with every visit from my parents, one afternoon was spent shopping. My husband jokes that several members of my family are stricken with a shopping bug. I laugh it off as I often benefit from these shopping adventures, but it is true. My step-mom loves to consume. Half the time she buys things just to buy them. Any time we go out together if I so much as mention something is cute or I’ve been thinking about purchasing an item, she tries to throw it in the cart and get it for me. For many this may seem like a dream, but as a grown adult I can’t help but feel guilty about it. I don’t really need a 5 lb. bag of the newest M&M flavor. Nor do I need the latest mop with some technology that will no doubt annoy me and I’ll stop using after a week or two. I certainly don’t need any more clothes, especially since I’m trying to lose my baby weight still. It’s sweet of her to offer though.
Usually I can talk her out of buying things for me. She realizes I’m a grown adult and I can rationalize why I don’t need the umpteenth bottle of shampoo, even if I love the smell. When it comes to things for her grandson though, there is no reasoning with the woman. Our recent foray into shopping world saw me carrying in five different bags. My baby now has five new toys, including a penguin bowling set, although I was able to convince her to take that one home, wrap it up and give it to him for Christmas. He also has a set of Colts’ sippy cups and a Colts’ fuzzy sleeper. These are in addition to the fuzzy lion sleeper, Thanksgiving sleeper and matching bib and t-shirt she bought him that says “I’m with the band.”* Not to mention the new bottle he can hold himself. She would have bought his baby food and diapers as well, but I got them on the conveyer belt first and was paying for them before she could stop me.
I don’t actually get annoyed with her. It’s not like she doesn’t think I can afford these things. She just wants to show her little Doodle how much she loves him. She’s an American and consumption is what she knows. She shows us she loves us by getting us things she thinks we’ll enjoy. It’s sweet. It really is. I keep trying to tell her he’ll be just as happy with a 59 cent jar of bubbles and time spent in her arms making faces at him. She holds him every chance she gets, so I guess I just have to be ok with the fact she wants to spoil him with gifts too.