Home > grandmothers, my mom > Mothers and daughters redux

Mothers and daughters redux

So I just got off the phone with my mother.

It’s the first time we’ve spoken since last week’s little dust up. But I did speak to my brother earlier in the week. According to him, her version of the story is this: “The Child hit Amanda in the head with a book. Then she threw a tennis ball at my head.”


There are two major things going on in this version of the story. One, she disavows (and probably doesn’t even remember) her attack on me. Mom often claims that I don’t remember what really happened or that I’m simply imagining things. But I’ve got witnesses this time! Two, she assumes she can accurately state my intentions. I didn’t throw the ball at her — I thought about it for half a second, but deliberately I came no where near her. Instead, I did it as punctuation. (Mom often regards any strong or emphatic statement of an emotion to be an attack on her. Once I was railing about my GYN, during pregrnancy, and she snapped, “Don’t raise your voice at me, Amanda!”)

I was so incensed at this version (via my brother, who is the nicest guy in the universe. He said, “Yeah, I figured there had to be something more to it than that,” when I told him my side)  that I decided against calling mom. I wasn’t capable of an intellegent, rational conversation because I was angry and sleep deprived. (Why was yesterday’s post so short? Cause the Child woke up after 35 minutes, naturally.)

So when she called today — left a message on the ansaphone, ostensibly checking on The Husband’s post-surgery recovery — I sighed and really debated not calling back. The Child slept last night — all the way until 1:30! — but I am still tired and frazzled and pissed. But filial duty kicked in and I called but tentatively decided against mentioning it to her.

Being my mom, she of course attacked from a different avenue.

“So, it’s your birthday this weekend.”

“Yes, I know.”

“We were thinking that on Saturday, we could meet in Sturbridge,” a small Mass. town about half-way between her house and mine, “and have lunch. How does that sound?”

“Actually, that’s really awkward for us. The Baby sleeps two hours for her nap so the hour-long drive to Sturbridge would be just enough time for her to fall asleep, then she’d wake up, be fussy all through lunch becasue she hadn’t napped, then jsut as she was settling down, we’d put her back in the car and she’d scream half-way home and fall asleep just as we were pulling back into Boston. Do you see?”

“There’s a restaurant in Storrs,” a small Conn. town that’s a little closer to her place than Sturbridge, “that is all organic, on a farm. These two lawyers did a career change and it’s supposed to be very nice.”

“Yes, but do you see my point about The Child and her nap? It’s just really awkward and she really hasn’t been sleeping well so I don’t want to dis–”

“You father doesn’t want to drive up there,” she clipped out her words. “He’s very tired.”

“I’m sorry about that.” My father is tired? The man who regularly drives 90 minutes each way to a new fishing hole? “I don’t know if we can come down, like I said last week. The Husband will be starting p.t. this week and we don’t know what his shedule is going to be. Plus, sitting in the car for four hours is uncomfortable for him, either way.”

“Well, I wasnted to see you on your birthday but now I just don’t see how.”

“I’d like to see you, too, but we’re really going to be busy with my party on Sunday afternoon.”

“I didn’t know you were having a party.”

“My birthday falls on a weekend this year, so I get a party.”

“I see. Well, I’ve got to go, I love you,” all in a tight, cool voice. Followed by, in a bouncy cheerful voice, “Give my baby kisses! Goodbye.”

This is, as close as I can recall, pretty much word for word.

Maybe I am being irrational. Maybe I should totally disrupt The Child’s sleep schedule so that I can meet my mother half-way. Maybe it’s totally nuts to want to not spend my birthday in the car — either going to see my parents or meeting them in Storrs. Maybe I’m selfish for wanting to spend some downtime after a rough three weeks. Maybe I’m a terrible daughter because I’m looking for a little alone time after spending 10 of the past 15 weekends with family. (To be totally fair, The Husband’s family has been included in there, too.)

But you know what? I don’t think so. I don’t think I’m awful. I think I’m being reasonable and rational. Do you?

Categories: grandmothers, my mom
  1. karriew
    August 5, 2007 at 1:15 am

    Eh, The Child is still so small. It is not like she was six or seven,and regularly sleeping 12 hours a night ya know?

    Happy birthday Amanda!


  2. August 6, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Your mom is the irrational one. Why should you be put out on your own birthday? And on top of that have to deal with a cranky kid and make your injured husband spend the day in the car?

    My mom insisted on taking me out for my 30th birthday. I had the same nap issues plus early bedtime issues. And I was pregnant, so I NEEDED NG to take a nap. So we met for breakfast instead. Worked out great.

    Oh and Happy Birthday! Hope you have some fun.

  3. August 26, 2007 at 2:42 am

    Actually, I am wondering if your mom was hurt that you didn’t invite her to the party. I bet she was–I would be. If it’s just for friends, maybe you should let her know that.

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