When the going gets tough, the tough get blonder highlights
I got into a thing with my mother and felt pretty crappy and churned up over it, mostly because it’s an old pattern of her doing stuff I don’t want her to do, ask her not to do, and she does anyway. And it’s with our child. And I love her but I wish wish wish she’d respect our wishes for our child simply because they are our wishes and it’s our child. She doesn’t understand that from my perspective she doesn’t need to understand or agree with us for that to be the right thing to do. And I totally get that from her perspective she is the grandma and it’s fun to give him treats and toys all the time, because he likes treats and toys. I’ve explained that our belief is it’s not doing him any favors to get treats (aka: sugar poison) and toys (aka: plastic imagination-killers/materialism trainers) with such regularity and frequency. It’s damaging.
I’ve explained that it’s upsetting to me that when she has him over, even immediately after I’ve requested she not give him treats or toys on this visit, she still gives him treats and toys.
It puts me in a crappy bind: Serenity prayer-wise my mother and what she does are squarely in section one: stuff I can’t control. So now I’m left with section two: the courage to change the things I can. Section two can be kind of rough. If I really care about his sugar intake and toy-getting and I can’t control my mom’s giving him those things then my initial choices seem to be to limit her visits with him or supervise their visits and play interventionist. Neither of those seems appealing. The easy choice would be to not care so much about the sugar and the toys. But I do.
And I care about her getting that our son will love her and want to be with her without sugar and toys. That I believe he will feel safer if he feels that all the adults in his life are on the same page when it comes to these kinds of values. That he doesn’t need to come home and confess, “Kiki gave me a cookie,” looking at my face trying to figure out why that was okay even though he’s been told cookies are not healthy for him.
It would be different if she were a twice-a-year grandma, or even a once-a-month grandma, but she’s with him more than that. We moved here when we were thinking of starting a family to be closer to her, to have that living-near-grandma experience. And we’ve stayed living here despite a lot of pulls elsewhere, work pulls, other family pulls, interest pulls, and she’s a lot of the reason why. So it sucks when it’s not how I want it to be.
And yes yes yes I am lucky, we are lucky, extremely lucky, that my main gripe with my mother is she gives our son too much sugar and toys. We are lucky. She is wonderful. And I wish she didn’t do those things. And I don’t know what I’m going to do, if anything, about it. And I am a little torn up.
So I made a hair appointment, because it’s time and because even though I can’t control my mother I can control my hairstyle, somewhat. And I went grocery shopping to make a big veggie baked ziti with brown rice pasta thing for dinner tonight at drum set friends’ house where there will be minimal processed sugar and plastic toys. And Mike is coming home from conferencing all week, and we will all keep going, breathing. And I will keep asking for help being patient, kind, and loving to my child, to myself, and to my mother.