There is nothing a new mom – delirious from the thirteen consecutive sleepless nights – appreciates more than the onslaught of a mother-in-law’s unsolicited tips and detailed baby-tending instructions. Just ask Janice Tierney who, after giving birth to a colicky baby girl after thirty-seven hours of labor, can tell you.
Mrs. Tierney’s mother-in-law, Ellen Tierney, who volunteered to take up residence on the family sofa the day the couple brought little Abby home from the hospital, is also a former teacher, ensuring that her helpful advice and vast general knowledge will continue well into her granddaughter’s life.
“Oh, it really has been an embarrassment of riches…to have Ellen here to snicker at the things I’m doing wrong…to roll her eyes when I do something slightly different than she might have done back in the 1800′s. I really really really love it, you know, just SO much. It’s been super great,” said Janice.
“Why, just the other night as I was changing Abby’s diaper, Ellen said, ‘Oh, that’s so cute…the way you fastened that diaper.’ I said, ‘What do you mean, Ellen? What exactly is funny about this? And then, without answering me at all, she just took over and did it her way while shaking her head from side to side and laughing under her breath. What I really appreciated was her unwillingness to answer my reasonable question and just go ahead and do it for me because, as everyone knows, I’m just a stupid silly girl!”
Ellen’s son and first-time dad, Kyle Tierney, had this to say about the situation: “Well, what I really like about how this has all played out is that I get to be in the middle of my wife and mom’s drama. So, sometimes I get to act as a sort of information-ninja and pass along my mom’s ‘suggestions’ to Janice, which of course are not really suggestions at all. And then other times I’m asked to kick my mom out of the house or just murder her. I never know what it will be! This way, I get to have excitement and no sleep. It is wonderful.”