Home > motherhood, my mom > Conversations with my mother — part III

Conversations with my mother — part III

Possibly part V, but really, it’s just the same old song, over and over again.

A month ago, almost to the day, my mother hosted The Child’s birthday party. We went down early and stayed late so she could get special alone time with Her Only Grandchild. This just two weeks after we came and stayed for a post-Christmas party. The Husband’s family hasn’t seen nearly as much of her as my family has.

And yet, every conversation with my mother for the past three weeks has included the phrase, “I want to see my baby! I miss my baby!” and variations there of. At first, in response, I said, in a calm and rational voice, “Mom, we’ve had a busy month or so, what with Christmas, the surgery, the birthday parties. We’re tired. We need some weekends to ourselves.”

“I know,” she responded, “but I want to see my baby!”

After several weeks of this, I just responded by saying, “So, did you see that the Sox pitchers and catchers report to spring training next week?”

She got pissed at that and the rest of our conversation was clipped, cold, and quickly cut off.

She didn’t call for four days. I said a small prayer of Thanksgiving to the Goddess of beleaguered daughters and went about my day without any emotional bullying.

Then she got sneaky. She sicced my dad on me.

Last night, right after The Child was asleep, he called. “Hey, Mandy Pie, how you doing?” Good. “How’s the family?” Good. “Whatcha doing this weekend?” Nothing much — breakfast with friends, maybe some housework. “How about I buy you lunch on Sunday?” Really! You’re going to be in the area? That would be lovely! “No. Well, your mother wants to see her granddaughter so we thought we’d meet you halfway, maybe in Wooster or Sturbridge, and buy lunch.”

I tried, patiently, for the fifth time in the past six months, to explain why it’s awkward and difficult to shove a child into a car for an hour, especially right around lunch time, have her fall asleep, wake her up only half-way through her usual nap time, have her sit in a restaurant (one that isn’t particularly child friendly), then put her back in the car, where she is likely fall asleep just as we were pulling into the city, wake her up again, and that it totally ruins our day. “You’re welcome to come up, though. We’d love to have you.”

“Why don’t you get back to me tomorrow?”

Okaaaaaay, I get it. He doesn’t want to be the one to tell my mom that I won’t meet her halfway.

So I call back. And get mom. And I explain that while we really can’t make the drive (never mentioning that it winds up being more than $25 in gas which we really don’t want to spend), they are welcome to come up here.

“I thought that your father said that we would meet you halfway.”

“Well, Mom, I think I’ve explained before that it’s really hard for us to drive to Sturbridge because of her nap schedule,” I stayed calm and reasonable. “But we’d love to have you.” A polite fiction. I had plans for Sunday afternoon — I was going to clean my pantry. Yes, I’d rather clean my pantry than see my mom.

“Well,” with a sniff and clipped tone, “I guess if that’s the only way to see my baby. I will call you to tell you when we’re coming up.”

“We’ve got breakfast — –”

“Goodbye.” Click.

I never did get out that we’re having breakfast with friends. I’m not too worried since Mom and Dad couldn’t get here before noon for love or money. They almost always arrive just at noon, which is when The Child takes her nap, and has for over a year now, and then they complain that they don’t get to see her very much and they leave at 4. I’m hoping they will have the good sense to actually come up at 2 and stay for dinner.

I haven’t heard from them yet. Mom is clearly pissed as hell at me. And I don’t know how to fix this. I want to — I love my mother, for all that I want to beat her with a fry pan — but I’m exhausted by the fact that she has the expectations and then gets pissed at me when I won’t jump through hoops to meet them.

The Husband points out that nothing I do would make her happy, outside of moving back to Connecticut, within the Farmington Valley by preference. Hell, next door to her, by preference. But the fact remains that she’s essentially asking me to choose between doing what will make me and my family happy, which will piss her off, and making us miserable to do what would make her happy.

If I don’t, she bullies, badgers, and pouts. God, I’m sick of this.

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