Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Life with grandma

It’s not always easy living with Anna’s mum. The other evening, Bernie had boiled some custard over in the microwave and forgotten to clear it up. Grandma arrived in her dressing gown, wanting to make her evening Horlicks and found the thing a mess. Instead of either calling for Bernie, or or Anna or me, or simply getting on with it, she got herself in a real stew. She did clear it up, with bad grace, but then stormed into the drawing room in a state to ask (or demand) that Anna put the glass dish back in the machine as she ‘couldn’t possibly reach. And it was a bit much expecting her to clear up all that mess...’ As we hadn’t known about the mess, that felt a little OTT, and then when Bernie appeared and tried to apologise she wouldn’t listen. She said goodnight to us and slammed the door - leaving me wondering who is the child in all this... and also whether I should address her bad behaviour, which had escalated a minor misdemeanour that had upset her into a situation when Bernie, Anna, and I - as well as she - felt thoroughly disgruntled.

9 comments:

Elizabeth from Sussex said...

Age doesn't always equate to anger management! It may be she has something else on her mind and the microwave was just the focus point?

Ben Trovato said...

A perceptive comment: I think you are right and that the microwave was just a trigger for her to vent her frustration at the fact we don't run the house or the family the way she would...

Ttony said...

However, it may be worth everybody starting to get their minds around the fact that Grandma is getting old: it may be that Grandma will say and do things we'd rather she didn't; Grandma might upset us badly without even trying; and we'll offer it all up because she's Grandma.

(Background: Once as a child, once as a grandchild.)

Ben Trovato said...

Ttony, you are quite right. And one of the (many) reasons we are happy to have her with us is because it's important for the kids (and us) to learn that all love worthy of the name is sacrificial and unconditional.

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Ben Trovato said...

I did in fact post your letter about 5 posts ago...

Ttony said...

Do pray a lot - all of this can be very, very, hard indeed. My mother talked to me once about caring for her mother and her mother in law: "it's like looking after children but without any of the fun". Then it happened with her.

One of the reasons I've never really got to grips with the story of Mary and Martha is that you absolutely have to be Martha if you are going to honour your Father or Mother at this stage of their lives. (That's probably me not understanding.)

Ben Trovato said...

Ttony, it sounds as though you are speaking from a wealth of experience, so I do appreciate your comments. It is a bit scary realising that things are likely to get increasingly difficult from now on; and I do need to remember that it must be much more scary for her than for me...

Ttony said...

My e-mail address is available from my profile if you ever want to go through this more deeply. I don't claim any wisdom, but enough experience to be able to say "brace yourself!" and offer a few thoughts about how one set of people have approached this situation.