Saturday, February 07, 2004


I need a little mantra to get me through the next few days. Or maybe I'll just never leave my room again. My mother is here and she is driving me crazy and Brian crazy too. Mom is trying to live up to some imaginary Norman Rockwellish grandmother ideal, complete with baking cookies and making chicken soup with dumplings from scratch. As Brian said last night, "someone needs to tell her where her strengths lie." Because they do not lie in meal preparation. But she sees it as her purpose here, in part, to feed us all, and frankly I'm tired and unwilling to fight her over it. I'm not the world's greatest cook, and I haven't been much into meal preparation at this point in my pregnancy, but at least I can put something on the table with flavor. Sigh.

Should I shut up about my mother already? Do you hate these ungrateful, adolescent posts of mine? I do. But too bad, I need a place to vent.

What's really getting to me is the baby talk/coddling. Diapers are "dipes," hands are "hanny-hands," I won't share the bathroom words for you, but she has those too. She is SPOON FEEDING my 4 and 6-year-olds, even after repeatedly being asked to stop. She will ask them 5 times over if they want more food. She will grab Eli and take him into the kitchen after a meal to wipe him down, instead of letting him go and wash his own face and hands. She even asked him today if he needed help going to the bathroom. Um, NO. All of our hard-won efforts at getting them to say please and thank you, clear their plates, push in their chairs, pick up their toys, brush their teeth etc., etc. are quietly being undermined by her willingness to just go ahead and do things for them in order to keep the peace and move things along.

And to top it all off she's crippled. Her ankle is so badly swollen from rheumatoid arthritis that she can hardly handle the stairs. She can barely carry the baby, or physically manage him when he squirms during a diaper change. Her hands hurt. She tires easily and has to take naps every day. Last week her heart went into major fibrillation and there was talk of going to the hospital (it ended up resolving on its own, finally). And this is the woman who wanted to add yet another week to her trip to come take care of us! She doesn't seem to get it that she's 73 years old. I think this is the last time I will let her stay for more than a week.

In a way I'm glad the babies haven't come yet, because it will just add more stress to this stressful situation of having her here.

I know, bitch bitch bitch, moan moan moan. I'm lucky she's still alive, lucky my kids have their grandma around, lucky she loves me as much as she does, I know. God forgive me, though, she gets on my nerves. At least she's (mostly) leaving Brian alone, not talking of moving to Texas, not giving me too much grief about my life. At least.

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