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While baby-sitting for my 4-month-old, my mother-in-law took the liberty of giving him some banana before he’d started any kind of solids. I heard about it after the fact, and I’m peeved that she took that memory from me. Shouldn’t I be the one to feed him his first solid foods, with camera ready? This is not the first such instance. None of them seem like a big enough deal to warrant a sit-down, as she never did anything dangerous. How should I deal with this?
Your irritation is understandable. Like most mothers, you want to be present at your child’s key moments. However, your mother-in-law’s infractions represent irritations rather than true offenses, and your reluctance to make a big deal about this issue is also understandable.
In order to address this problem, you must tread delicately.
Start by approaching your husband. After all, this is his mother, and she will probably accept criticism from him more easily than from you. If he agrees that his mother has taken undue liberties with your son, engage his help to talk to her. If he either hasn’t seen the activities or doesn’t see them as a problem, try to explain your concerns. Let him know that you appreciate his mother’s willingness to involve herself in the care of your son, but that important child-rearing decisions should fall to the parents, not the grandmother.
If you cannot convince your husband to get involved, then your next step depends on your relationship with your mother-in-law. If the two of you get along well, sit down and talk to her. Don’t be confrontational, and keep your temper under control. But do voice your concerns. She may not realize how much her conduct bothers you.
If, after a talk with your mother-in-law, you have not resolved the issue, you have two more possible options.
First, lessen your dependence on your mother-in-law for child care. Either watch the boy yourself more often, or draw on others for assistance. Give the woman fewer chances to steal your thunder.
Second, and this represents good advice regardless of how your talk with your mother-in-law progresses, stop taking things so seriously. Feed your son some solid food, take a picture, and put it in your album with pride. Seriously, he’ll never notice the difference, and you’ll still have a memory to treasure.
Yes, your mother-in-law did it first. But you are and always will be the boy’s mother. Perform your motherly duties with gladness. Don’t sweat the invisible milestones, and instead cherish the real-life memories you forge with your son.
An ultrasound of my 4-year-old’s kidney found a lobular contour versus mild focal cortical thinning involving the posterior aspect of the mid to lower pole. She has blood and protein in her urine. The doctor ordered a DMSA scan and is sending us to a nephrologist. What kind of doctor is this? What does this mean? What does the blood and protein in the urine mean?
I can tell you what it means in simple terms. It means you need to ask this question of a professional. Whatever you do, you cannot afford to trust a medical opinion given by someone without a medical degree.
I could look up lobular contours and cortical thinning on the Internet and give you a decent layman’s definition. But you don’t need a laymen’s definition. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV.
However, I can tell you one thing. A nephrologist is a physician who specializes in ailments of the kidney. And in my untrained opinion, your doctor acted wisely in referring your daughter to such a specialist. If you want useful and understandable answers to your questions, I suggest you ask your nephrologist. And don’t give much credence to information you receive from anyone not qualified to put an “M.D.” after his name.
Thank you for reading today’s Q&A. Check back here tomorrow for another installment of the Ask The Dad advice column. If you’d like to submit an Ask The Dad question, send it to email@example.com.