She only came to help, to watch the grandkids for a few days while Son and Daughter-in-law (henceforth referred to as THEY or THEM) enjoyed a time away.
She didn’t mean to mess up things, it just happened.
It began with the dishwasher, or rather the dishwasher soap. Mother-in-law (MIL) uses powdered soap in her machine. THEY use little packets of soap wrapped in plastic.
“Just pop one of the packets into the soap container,” THEY said. So MIL did, every night before running the dishwasher. Then she noticed a strange thing. The plastic didn’t fully dissolve, which left a lot of soap unused. MIL decided something must be wrong with the dishwasher.
She showed THEM one of the half-dissolved packets on their arrival home. After an incredulous stare, THEY burst out laughing, and patiently explained that it’s important to remove the plastic before using.
Nothing else was said, but MIL noticed a new dishwasher in place on her next visit. Oops!
On another Grandkid Watch, MIL carefully wrote down THEY’s instructions to find the approved TV shows for the grandkids. Although MIL knows how to use her own DVD player and TV, she doesn’t have cable, or Netflix, or anything else. THEY have it all. And it all seemed simple enough as THEY explained it.
Then THEY left for several days. That afternoon, MIL turned on the TV and changed the channel. As least she thought that’s what she did. TV snow and noise filled the giant flat screen.
Eventually she managed to find the grandkids’ Netflix shows, complete with picture and sound. Relief! But from that moment on, the TV setting only had snow and noise. MIL only hoped THEY could figure out what happened and fix it.
And yes, she explain the problem to THEM on their arrival home.
On MIL’s most recent Grandkid Watch, she decided to cook pierogies for supper. After dropping the stuffed noodles into boiling water, she hunted for a slatted spoon – unsuccessfully. A good improviser, she decided to use a slatted spatula instead.
While stirring the pierogies, she realized part of the spatula was gone and the food smelled a bit strange. Had that piece of the spatula melted? She fished around in the pan for a blob of plastic, but found nothing.
MIL couldn’t feed the grandkids pierogies cooked with melted whatever-spatulas-are-made-of. The food made an unplanned trip to the garage disposal. Now, not only did she have to come up with another side dish for supper, but she needed to replace the melted utensil as well.
THEY arrived home before MIL could buy a new spatula. After explaining what happened, she found out the utensil had been cracked. Maybe the piece simply fell off and she couldn’t find it in the boiling water. Maybe it did melt. Either way, THEY said not to get another spatula, THEY had a spare.
Even though all the mishaps…and yes there are more, THEY keep asking MIL to come for a Grandkid Watch. And that’s good news, because I am MIL.