SETTING: Carolina home, present time over the course of a week
A mother-in-law visits. She is well-meaning and the visit is nice. She takes many photographs of her grandson, and promptly changes all her Facebook everything to use those pictures. This is to the chagrin of her daughter-in-law, the baby’s mother, because the grandmother receives outpouring of congratulations on how awesome the grandmother looks with the baby, and demands for more pictures. The baby’s mother is annoyed that people feel they can demand unlimited pictures for Facebook. Also, she is likely annoyed by the implication that she has the time to take pictures because clearly babies are easy and all you need to do is throw them at the wall like pasta and a well-cooked picture magically appears.
Our intrepid mother takes her not-yet-3-months-old son to the DMV in order to re-title and register a car, along with getting new plates. This is done early in the morning, in an attempt to beat the lines. The son has ideas other than cooperation, resulting in embarrassment and frustration for the mother, and annoyance for everyone else because they’re already at the DMV, an uncharted circle of Hell, and now there is a crabby baby in Hell with them.
Wherein our mother and baby are besieged by a father-in-law. This man detests their mother-in-law/grandmother, and is an otherwise pushy and obnoxious fellow. The heroine of this saga, our young mother, tolerates him with forbearance while making absolutely certain this man will never be involved in caring for the baby. Perhaps this is unjust, holding a baby as hostage for good behavior, but the mother does not care. Someone who believes that everything is about him and is older than 3 does not have sufficient empathy for being around the baby. Until the father-in-law establishes a pattern of repeated, respectful behavior with no derogatory comments toward the father of the baby, our young mother has no interest in pursuing a relationship and therefore the baby shall have none either. This visit culminates in tension and the father-in-law’s departure is met with a sigh of relief and thanks to Odin (because this is a SAGA, and those are all Norse if the literature are to be believed…and I like thinking of myself as a Valkyrie).