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May 7, 2008 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Why It’s Mother’s Day, and not Mother-In-Law’s Day (Part I)

I can’t do it anymore.  I can’t hold back this story.  I apologize to anyone who will think “oh, you shouldn’t blog about that stuff” but the satisfaction of writing this down and getting it OUT OUT OUT is more important than that.  Plus, I am just not a good enough person to keep this kind of stuff in the shadows, where it belongs.  To quote my first barracks-mate at Lejeune (Cpl. Quayim, from Chicago):  “I ain’no fridge…I don’t keep stuff.”

Before I start the story I want to make it clear that I have two mothers-in-law.  My step-mother in law is a gem.  The other one is coated in crazy.  So please make sure you don’t mix them up.  Also, my husband gets the biggest kudos of them all for having to grow up under what could only have been constant duress.  He is, for all intents and purposes, quite normal. 

“Oh sure,” you might be thinking.  “All of our mothers in law are ‘crazy’.  Aren’t you being a little harsh?”

You would be incorrect.  Mine is a few bulbs short of a chandelier, the nuttiest fruitcake of them all, looney as a tune…whatever.  The crazy part really comes in to play at the end of the story.  I will also be the first to admit that writing this down has been very theraputic, as I am extremely traumatized from being in her presence for an extended period of time. 

I actually started writing the story a couple of months ago, because some things were so ridiculous that I had to write them down.  It’s going to take a few posts to get it all out…but be sure to tune in for the exciting conclusion.  Hint:  I don’t kill myself.  (It’s a surprise ending!)

MILfH = “Mother in Law From Hell”

April 4, 2008

We’re in the process of moving a household to Bozeman, MT.  Somehow I okayed my mother in law to come stay with us and help out the kids.  She doesn’t work, and we are paying her to make sure the children are supervised and fed while we do all the zillions of things it takes to move to another state.  She’s been with us two weeks now and I’m ready to burst through the wall, leaving a Maleesha-shaped hole.
I should have known I was doomed from the beginning.  I had a job interview in Bozeman three weeks ago.  I flew up on Thursday, and Wasband left to meet me in his vehicle so he could see the town.  This meant our kids needed to be watched Thurs-Sunday.  My step-mother in law could take them Friday through Sunday, but we had to rely on the MILfH to watch them overnight on Thursday.  This gave me incredible anxiety and worry, but it had to be done.  Why worry?  Even though we had lived near her for years, she’s never really bothered to visit, or invite us to visit her.  She chooses to focus 100% of her attention on her husband and his children.  Plus, she used to run a daycare in KCMO and lost her license due to allegations of child abuse.  Concerned?  Me?  Hell yes.  My husband insisted it would be okay.  What choice did I have? 

I asked MILfH what I should leave for dinner on Thursday night, so she wouldn’t have to cook.  Did she want me to make something beforehand?  Did she prefer to cook?  Should I leave a Stouffer’s lasagna?
“I could just bring some leftover pork roast from home,” she said.
“Okay,” I agreed.  “AJ likes pork roast, so that should be okay.”
“Oh, that’s right,” she said.  “I forgot about AJ.”
WTF?  Did you think I was asking you what you wanted for dinner?  Did you forget the purpose of your stay?  Who cares what you eat.  You’re an adult, hell-O.  Argh!

When I called to check on them Thursday after my interview, there was much crying and screaming in the background, but maybe it was just a coincidence.

Then when I picked them up at my step-MIL’s on Sunday, step-MIL informed me that Macy, my dear tiny Macy, was not strapped into her car seat upon delivery by MILfH.  I hit the roof.  What the hell was she thinking?  My husband lectured her and she swears she “didn’t know.”  Yet AJ was buckled in.  She was buckled in.  Did it not occur to hear that those buckles in the car seat had an effing purpose?  That they weren’t some elaborate car seat decoration featuring buckles

If something would have happened to my kid, they would have never found her body.  So she is lucky.  I don’t believe that BS about not knowing, because as I mentioned, she ran a daycare for several years, and it was not before car seats were invented. 

Then the day of the move came, and we loaded into the multiple vehicles it would take to get us there.  I asked my friend Sharon to come with me, and she being some kind of saint, took the time off work to come help me move.  MILfH would follow us in her own vehicle.  I won’t lie.  I was not disappointed that I didn’t have to spend the next nine hundred miles with my MILfH. 

There was a ton of snow the morning we moved, and we didn’t make it very far before we had to stop.  We went into a gas station/sandwich shop and ordered food for lunch.  Macy needed a diaper, so I said that I would run out to the car to get one.  Sharon was feeding Macy and I told AJ to stay with MILfH.  MILfH nodded that she would watch him.  I went outside and started digging through my car. 

The next thing I know, I hear the voice of a lady saying “Little one?  Little one?  Are you supposed to be out here?  Where’s your mommy?”

Then I heard a familiar voice say “I don’t know.”

I ran out into the parking lot and there was AJ, standing there behind a Ford F-250, in the middle of a busy gas station.  Cars were everywhere.  I dashed to him and grabbed him up and yelled “AJ!  What are you doing out here?!”  I yanked him back to the gas station.  I stormed inside.  Sharon was still feeding Macy, she was turned toward the sandwich shop. 

But the keeper of AJ, MILfH, was shopping for gas station souvenirs.  “AJ was in the effing parking lot,” I shouted.  People turned to stare.  Sharon, who was already taking care of a kid, apologized profusely.  “It’s not your fault,” I said.  I turned to MILfH, who said “Oh my gosh, that’s terrible.”  She looked mildly concerned, and then held up a bag of potato chips.  “Have you ever tried these?” 

Did I mention I had to pay for her gas the entire trip?  And food?  And probably somehow I am paying for those stupid trinkets too.

It was several hundred miles before I calmed down.

Later on we stopped in Sheridan, Wyoming.  Wasband sprang for a really nice suite for Sharon, myself, MILfH and the kiddos.  I had a million things to do to manage the kids.  I asked MILfH, very directly, if she would be in charge of AJ for the hotel experience.  After all, we were paying her well to HELP us take care of the kids. Sharon was already helping a ton with Macy, and I was overseeing the total kid health experience as well as the entire caravan’s care and feeding.  MILfH nodded and said “AJ, you are my kid this weekend.” 

Great.  Finally.

After dinner in the hotel restaurant, kids needed to be fed and washed and put to bed.  I was preparing food for the crying children when MILfH walked into the suite and declared that she was going to take a pill and go to bed.  Sharon and I got the kids to sleep eventually. 

The next morning, MILfH woke up (last, I might mention) and said she was going to look for some coffee.  She offered to bring back some coffee for us, “as long as she could find free coffee.”

AJ asked if he could go with MILfH.  “Okay,” I said.  “But stay with Gramma.”  MILfH said “Don’t worry.  He will.”

About half an hour later, MILfH comes back to the hotel room.  Without my son. 

The adrenaline kicked in.  “Where’s AJ?”  I asked. 

“Oh, he found his Uncle Mike and decided to go with him,” she said.

“You left him with his Uncle Mike?”  I said in an increasingly pissed off tone.  “Does Uncle Mike realize you left AJ with him?  Does he know you left?”

“I think so,” she said. 

Holy fuckballs.  I ran down to the lobby, the last known location of my three-year-old son.  No where to be found.  I sprinted through the halls back to the elevator, muttering “I’m going to kill you” under my breath.  “And I’m going to make it painful,” I added.  Apparently we were paying her to be on effing vacation. 

No AJ in the room.  No Gramma, either.  Apparently she realized the error of her ways and went to go look for him.  I called my husband in his hotel room, where Uncle Mike was staying.  “Please tell me AJ is with you,” I pleaded.

“WHAT?” He shouted.  “He’s supposed to be with YOU.”


Finally MILfH returns.  AJ is with her, red-faced and tear streaked.  Kind of like a lost child would look.  “He was in the video game room,” she said.  “Was he with Uncle Mike?” I asked.  She didn’t give me an answer, and changed the subject.  “I couldn’t find any free coffee,” she said.  “Sorry.”  She was carrying a cup of delicious smelling coffee.

Strike two, I thought.  First you let him dart into a busy parking lot.  Then you lose him in a hotel in Wyoming.  Why are you still alive?  Why have I not squeezed your neck until your head popped off?  These were some of the various thoughts that were passing through my head. 

Sharon and I had an agreement that we would take care of the children the rest of the way.  I told Sharon that if I ever struck it rich, I would owe her a million dollars.

Part Two



Leave a Comment
  1. wpm1955 / May 11 2008 8:23 am

    Well, this is the “helper from Hell.” I think you could have done better on your own!

    My friend told my daughter, “If you don’t help someone the WAY THEY WANT to be helped, then YOU’RE NOT HELPING THEM AT ALL.” So whenever I repeat these words to my daughter, she wishes my friend had never said it!!!

    I can hardly wait to read Part Two…

    Madame Monet
    Writing, Painting, Music, and Wine

  2. Christine / May 10 2008 9:34 am

    I’m just glad AJ was ok!

  3. Allison / May 9 2008 1:29 am

    Double OMG. How in the hell did your husband make it to adulthood?

  4. Cherikooka / May 8 2008 2:14 pm

    I would really love a million dollars.

  5. maleesha / May 8 2008 6:49 am

    But wait…there’s more!

  6. Ian Thomas Healy / May 8 2008 5:05 am

    Oh. My. God.

    Did you know for the low low price of ten grand you can have someone professionally rubbed-out?

    I’d be considering it by now if I were you.



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