Saturday, September 06, 2008

Part 3 - my parents are on probation

Oh boy, it's been a crazy week.

Noah is rocking kindergarten, btw! Go Noah!

Work is crazy and I only had a day and a half in the office because Kiel is sick and I had to pick him up early on Thursday.

Wednesday was back to school night, which we didn't find out about until Tuesday night. So a bit of a scramble to get a baby sitter for Kiel. Noah had soccer practice, so Rich took him to that and I went to back to school night. Then raced from there to visit my therapist.

Which brings us back to the topic of the week, which was also the topic of my therapy appointment. My uber-disappointing parents.

I've had a little over a week now to think through all that happened on our visit.

Oh, I never told you guys the rest of the story. Silly me.

The evening after I wrote the post (Tuesday) about Granny vs. Grandma we were sitting around the campfire at my parent's little "retreat." Noah had been having a pretty good day, some moments of course, but come on, he's five. It came time for Noah to take one of his medications which gets mixed in some juice. Unfortunately we forgot to take the juice that he likes, so it was mixed in with some that he doesn't care for. The night before we struggled a bit to get him to take it, but he finally did.

It's not unusual for Noah to throw a small tantrum when he doesn't like something, but he usually gets himself back under control and then handles what ever it is. That evening he threw his little fit about the juice and Rich dealt with him, like we usually do, and in the way we know that will deescalate things, especially since we were "in public."

Well, my Dad had to throw in his 27 cents worth, and made it clear that he didn't agree with how we were handling things. And then Noah stuck his tongue out at us, which we just ignore. My mother literally gasped when he did that. Apparently tongue stuckage is a major offence in her book.

I wish I could remember exactly what my dad said to me, but the gist was that we weren't tough enough on Noah, and he needed a stronger hand and higher fences.

I pretty much lost it and told him he had no clue what we dealt with every day and what we were doing to try and help Noah. And how dare he question my parenting skills. Then I told him if he thought he could do better he should spend a week with Noah and prove it. His response was something about one of them not making it out alive by the end of the week. And then he stormed off.

My mother just sat there and said nothing. So I asked her if she thought we were at fault for Noah's behavior too. She refused to answer. So then I broke down and told her how hurt I was that they hadn't had any contact with the boys since November and that they had no idea what we were dealing with. And how I was tired of always disappointing them. And something about my Dad being cold and at least my kids would know that they were loved.
There was more, oh so much more, but I'm not going to bore you with it all.

I probably went a little too far, but at the same time, I didn't even come close to saying what I really wanted to say.

I spent the rest of the night in the trailer and didn't see my dad again until the next morning. Nothing more was said about it by either of them.

Rich and I decided that evening that we would leave Thursday morning to come back home. We were headed back to my parents house that morning (Wednesday) and had plans to see some family friends that afternoon.

We left the next morning. My parents never questioned our leaving early. I think they were very relieved to see us go frankly. Other than the obligatory call to them to let them know we arrived home safely, there has been no contact. Not even for our anniversary, which was this past Tuesday.

Clearly I am on the shit list. They have an amazing ability to always turn it around to be my fault. thoughts so far? Fuck them! I'm not going to accept responsibility for this.

As far as I'm concerned they are now on probation. They are going to have to prove themselves as grandparents. No longer will I set myself and my boys up for disappointment.

The big question though...Do I tell them they are on probation? Or do I just have no contact with them.

I'm so sad and hurt by all of this.



  1. I'm sorry, girl. I have a friend with an autistic son who gets the same shit from the older "whip 'em 'til they bleed" crowd. You know your son, you have been fielding all the problems, so you know what is best for him. I know it is hard not to let this sort of thing get to you, especially coming from people whose opinion you really do care about, but you have enough to face without sweating this.

  2. It's so much easier to stand on the outside and say "YES! Tell them they suck it and that you're putting them on probation". But you have to weight whether or not your need for a relationship with them is worth what they're going to do to your child as he grows older. He doesn't need people who will hurt him and judge him, they need to get that.

    You are such an awesome mommy, WAY to stick up for him and your right to be the parent he needs, not the parent they "think" you should be.

  3. Katt,
    You did not go too far, you only did what you had to. You have gone through too much at their hands and were absolutely right in putting a stop to it. Your an adult and a parent who does an awesome job daily of raising both of those boys. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
    I vote for sending them a note of some sort - dont call them cause then your just putting yourself in the position of getting your feelings hurt again and your emotions are too raw right now. Send a note, letting them know how you feel and that your putting them on 'probation' and that the next step is up to them.
    Stay strong Katt - your a fantastic mom and you DO KNOW THAT!

  4. I think you should tell them they are on probation & tell them why. They seem like the sort of people, who, if you don't tell them, will assume you are shutting them out for no good reason. I don't know how large a family you have but in mine, they'd be telling all the relatives "Oh we'd love to see the grand kids but since our daughter never calls us we feel unwelcome" At least if you tell them everyone knows what is going on and what needs to be done to correct the situation. If they choose not to correct it then you have no guilt & are not left wondering "maybe if I let them know...."

  5. wow I wish I had some wise words of wisdom for you...I dont all I can say is I can sooooo relate.

    My mom I love hr but she was never really there for me as a child/teenager and I should have known that would be the same when i had children...I had expectations,hopes,dreams of this life my children would lead with their grandparents...sadly my husbands mom is more of a grandmother to my 3 children(2 of which arent even blood related to her) than my own mom is who lives not more than 10mins from me...

    I offer ((((((hugs)))))) and my email if you ever want to chat-it's hard I know...I no longer have expectations when it comes to my mom and her grandmothering practices

  6. I have struggled for years wondering why my parents have been lousy with their grandkids (mostly my mom). Too bad you can't make people feel the way you wish.

  7. That is certainly a lot to deal with....and I wish I had some advise for you. But really, you will know whats right.

    As for your children. Your husband and yourself are the parents. You will raise them as you see fit. Not one answer is the right's what's right for your family. But I do agree with you that for someone to but in when they have absolutely no idea of the facts can be really frustrating. When that person/s is your parents, it can really make your blood boil.