There is no explanation for so many consecutive nights of full sleep then up at 3 AM wide awake. Maybe it’s my daughter-in-law bringing the baby today, now two years old. We had an agreement I’d watch him regularly at three months while she returned to work, just as I did with the other two.
But she failed to train the baby to accept a bottle, even bringing a can of formula that day opening it for the first time. So I’m left with a crying infant for 7 hours that is so very hungry.
Handing her the baby with tears in my eyes she said, “Oh, he missed me,” immediately pulling him to her breast as he suckled furiously.
“He can’t come back until he takes a bottle,” I told her gruffly as she was leaving.
Looking surprised she repeated in a huff, “Well, I know he missed me!”
He never did come back. She quit the job and stayed home. My punishment was to never see him since, nor did she make any effort to acclimate him to me. When we were all together, and I tried to play with him or pick him up, she made nasty noises giving me a sideways look while taking him from me.
It was made clear to stay away. The story became about my incompetence, and it must have been the story used for friends, family, and the job she left.
But he is coming today. Whatever was in her that made her keep him so closely to her has changed. This odd behavior is one of many I have struggled with her over. With no family to back me, much has occurred that should not have because she fully understands I have no one on my side.
Knowing today I eat crow and smile past the anger must be what kept me up. It takes every ounce of strength I have to move past such preposterous unfairness. Blowing up at her would be disastrous. Even my one sentence caused two years of retaliation.
A letter she read to me after they first married, with my son at her side and my husband sitting quietly next to me thanking her when they left, and on the same day my mother went into the hospital for the last time before dying, was a very long letter annihilating my character which included this statement, “Seeing grand-children is a privilege not a right.”
I believe the opposite, and that she has done this child a disservice. But the dam of her resistance has broken. I mean to take full advantage of this opportunity to finally get to know this adorable grand-child looking so much like my own sons at this age.