DEAR ABBY: I had a baby girl seven weeks ago. Her name is "Madison." My mother-in-law is here visiting from another country to help me. My problem is she insists on taking Madison into her bed with her at night so I can sleep.
I prefer that our daughter sleep in her bassinet, because my mother-in-law weighs between 350 and 375 pounds, and I'm afraid she could accidentally roll over on the baby. When I asked her the other night to please use the bassinet, she waved her hand at me in a very disrespectful gesture, and then stomped into her room with Madison.
I told my husband to tell her that I wanted my daughter in the bassinet, and she told him to tell me to come in and get her.
Am I being ridiculous to be afraid? I never have Madison in my bed, because I'm afraid of rolling over on her. -- SCARED NEW MOM IN FLORIDA
DEAR SCARED: You are not ridiculous; you are a conscientious new mother, and your concerns are valid. Stick to your guns, and if it means getting less help from your mother-in-law -- so be it. And stop asking your husband to intercede for you. This is between you and your mother-in-law. If she waves her hand at you again, wave this item back at her and hand her her plane ticket home.
DEAR ABBY: I need advice. A former co-worker has invited me to her wedding. It's between her and her girlfriend. If I go, I'll have to take my 4-year-old son because I don't have a sitter.
Part of me thinks I should go and take him because they're a nice couple who have been together for seven years. They love each other, and it would be good for my son to learn that it's OK to be different. However, the other part of me thinks, "How am I going to answer the inevitable question, 'Mummy, why is that girl kissing the other girl?'" I know I could answer it with, "Because they love each other," but I think it's a bit of a leap for a 4-year-old. Then again, I'm thinking if I don't take him, I am breeding intolerance and hate -- and that is not my aim.
Should I go, or just send a gift and my best wishes? -- HELP! IN JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
DEAR HELP!: Whether to take him or not depends on whether there will be other children at the wedding. If he's the only child there, he could be bored. If other children are included, he will probably regard it as a nice party and nothing more. Should he ask why one person is kissing the other, tell the truth -- because they love each other. You don't have to deliver a 15-minute lecture on tolerance. Besides, by the time the wedding cake is served, he'll be more interested in dessert and playing with his contemporaries than any life lesson. Trust me on that.
DEAR ABBY: When an invitation to a party states, "No gifts, please," do people really mean it?
I have heard people mention how much they got after such parties, who gave what, and how cheap "so-and-so" was. I thought "no gifts" really meant no gifts.
If you come giftless, are you in the wrong? -- CONFUSED PARTYGOER IN MICHIGAN
DEAR CONFUSED: "No gifts" means exactly what it says. People who describe their guests as "cheap" and complain that what was given to them wasn't good enough are petty gossips whose parties you should avoid.
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