Annie's Mailbox: Mom worried about obsessive in-law

Dear Annie: My husband and I have a year-old baby boy. He is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to us.

However, my husband’s family almost makes me regret having a child.

His stepmom didn’t like me before I got pregnant, but as soon as I gave birth, there was a complete turnaround. She is obsessed with babies.

I wanted my husband’s family to be a part of my son’s life, so I allowed her to get closer, but the situation has become ridiculous.

We visit once a week, but she constantly bugs us to bring the baby over more often. She keeps asking to be alone with him.

She repeatedly tells me that my husband and I need a romantic getaway and we should let her babysit.

She even jokes about kidnapping him, which I really don’t appreciate. Her latest request was to take him on a vacation with her family, without us.

I am a stay-at-home mom and have no need for a babysitter. On the weekends, my husband wants to be only with us.

Her demands to have the baby are really bothering me. I don’t understand why she wants to be alone with my child, but my husband doesn’t want either of us to say anything that might upset her.

I am actually scared that she may try to take our child.

Am I overreacting?

— Waiting for Disaster

Dear Waiting: Stepmom isn’t likely to kidnap your baby, but like some obsessed grandparents, she would love to displace you as the object of your child’s affection.

That isn’t going to happen, so stop worrying about it. Your baby is too young to go on vacation without you, and you should say so.

When she demands that the child be brought over more often, reply as sweetly as possible, “We can’t manage that, but we’ll try to see you on Sunday.”

Repeat as needed, and ignore the rest.

Her behavior is irritating, but not threatening. Rest assured, as your baby gets older, her fixation will lessen.

Dear Annie: Whenever my husband writes, he mixes uppercase and lowercase letters within his words.

I have explained that it makes him look uneducated, but he disagrees.

I am embarrassed for him. His writing is seen by many people in his office, as well as by clients. I am hoping that if he sees this in print, he may pay attention.

— To Cap or Not To Cap

Dear Cap: It is correct to capitalize only the first letter of a sentence and to leave the remaining letters in lowercase.

However, with all the texting and e-mail these days, few people care about proper sentence structure.

And there is some degree of personal preference allowed in handwriting. We’d leave this alone.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Worried Mom in the Midwest,” whose son thinks a “D” is an OK grade. Your advice for him to get a job or travel is right on.

I, too, was OK with D’s in high school. In fact, my motto was: “D” equals Diploma.

I worked a retail job for several years after high school before I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.

To get there, I needed a degree. I am now in my third year of college as a full-time student and am on the Dean’s List.

I simply needed time to grow up and set my own goals.

College may never be something her son wants to do, and that should be accepted. Many well-paying jobs do not require a college education.

I have seen too many of my fellow students drop out or get kicked out of college because Mom or Dad pushed them into attending.

“Worried” should ask her son what his goals are instead of picking his career for him.

— Hobart, Ind.

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