I found this post in my draft folder from October 2008, just over 3 years before my mother passed away. It is unfinished, and I think I will leave it that way.
My mother visited us for the weekend. Oh, boy, hold on to your hats.
The day before she arrived Krystal said, “I don’t really like Mimi”.
What I wanted to say to her was – I don’t either. But what I did say was some version of this: “It’s OK to feel that way as long as you don’t say it out loud as it would hurt her feelings. And you know, I didn’t much care for one of my grandmothers growing up, but came to appreciate her more as I got older.” Well, Krystal loved hearing that I didn’t like a grandmother too, and was aghast that I would ever think she would hurt someone’s feelings on purpose (hello?? do you not have a sister you are constantly hurting??).
My mother got here and durng dinner that first night Krystal whispered to me, “Sometimes she’s not so bad.” Well, a big “phew!” on that one and since I had to shush her with a promise we would talk later and that hasn’t happened yet, I’m not entirely sure what turned her around.
The good news is the kids seemed to do well with my mother. My mother is not that old chronologically (68), but she is a bit set in her ways and is attitudinally much older than her age. And it’s my belief this is why my kids sometimes have a hard time relating to her – she just doesn’t like small children very much. (Not suprisingly, it was her mother that I didn’t care for as a child, and she was much the same way. I did grow to like her very much later on, but I was in my 30’s at that point and I doubt my kids have that much time with my mother. Anyway!). I even got to do some things that needed doing (mow the lawn), and some things that wanted doing (a wine tasting on Saturday night, and a run on Sunday morning) that would not have been possible otherwise. Those are the good things. Got that?
The not-so-good is that I was left feeling very battered with respect to my parenting skills.