I knew coming back to San Francisco with the baby would be annoying. I just didn’t really think about exactly how it would be annoying in the weeks leading up to the trip. I had already asked one of my best friends if I could borrow her kid’s Pack and Play, which was sitting in storage unused at her mom’s place in anticipation of baby number 2. This would give Kaia a safe place to sleep at my parents’ place. I already told my mom that I’d arranged this, but she didn’t listen. She claims that her “friend” is giving her a “like brand new” crib, plus a high chair. She wouldn’t share the name of this friend, nor how or why this person had a high chair or crib to begin with. That’s how I knew that these were both sourced from a random Craigslist person. My dad is addicted to Craigslist and getting free crap off of it. It’s like his one hobby that he actually follows through on because he rarely follows through on doing anything he says he will.
She called late last week, telling me to disregard my friend’s Pack and Play. “Tell her you don’t need it anymore,” she insisted. “This one is better. It’s like brand new. You can’t trust Rebecca. How do you know she kept hers clean?”
Seriously? She’s going to trust a random person off Craigslist over my best friend? I tried hard to remember what I learned from the Maturity Awareness Approach in the Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents book: 1) express, then let go, 2) manage, don’t engage. I calmly told her that I had already arranged to borrow my friend’s Pack and Play, and that we were still going to use it. She’s my best friend, and I trust her to keep things clean, especially things she’s allowing my baby to borrow. My mom denied this was true and tried to fight me on it, but I kept my cool and simply restated what I already said.. We are going to use the Pack and Play… in the exact same words. I was not going to engage with her bullshit.
“You don’t want the highchair?” my mom said, trying to change the subject.
“We are talking about the crib,” I said to her in a monotone. “We do not need your crib.”
“Okay, you’re in a bad mood right now, so we don’t have to talk,” she said, clearly mad. And then she hung up.
The truth was that I didn’t even get worked up. Was it annoying? Of course. But because I already expected her to try to exert control, I didn’t feel any need to change her mind or engage her and felt pretty calm the whole time. This is my baby, and my baby is going to have what I want for her, not what her deranged grandmother wants for her.