I was on the phone today with my mother.
We live 70 miles away from each other (because I CHOSE to move out of the city) and we don’t get to see each other often. I used to make the trip once a week – sometimes even more-so. However, since my children started school and participating in every sport under the sun, it has become more difficult to visit.
We try to talk on the phone – but she is impossible to have a phone conversation with. WHY???
Well, for starters she interrupts herself constantly – HERSELF! not even me! She will talk to other people in the room or talk to herself. STOP LAUGHING – it is true! It is also frustrating – so today since I am PMS-ing it irritated the s*#t out of me! Usually, it does not! I am usually very mild mannered when it comes to this. NOT TODAY!
To add to this problem, my sister is living at my parent’s home with her husband and her three children while they are doing renovations to their own house – GOOD NEWS – they are almost done and ready to move back in. Bad news – my mother has no patience – had none when we were growing up and definitely has none as a grandmother (she is not your typical – “let’s spoil the children” – “anything they want” – grandmother; which this in itself is both good and bad. Good that they respect you as a parent and abide by the rules – you say no soda – by golly those children are not getting a sip of soda! I like that – but then on the flip side she acts too much like a second mother – they already have one, they need a little wink here and a wink there and something passed to them with a “don’t tell your mom” maybe once in a while!
But seriously, I bring myself to the fact that the twins wanted to go outside. MY father’s yard is more like a museum than an area where children can roam around free. Therefore, my mother is a bit uptight about them going outside! FRESH AIR – it is this unique thing that is free – not many children use it these days since the dawn of central air and video games. If the children want to go out – I say open the doors and don’t let it slam them on the behinds on the way out! But it became an ordeal! The twins were begging – yes begging – my mother to take them out so they can color! Color! You know with crayons and paper! They weren’t going to play ball or ruin the yard – well they may miss the paper and write on the table! Did I mention they are 6! One is a girl the other a boy!
OK – so while I am on the phone, my nephew is answering my mother by yelling everything. Short tempered as I already was, I got annoyed with him and asked to speak to him.
“Heeelllooo”, a sweet voice answers.
“Why are you yelling at grandma.” is the stern voice he hears back.
“Because she never listens to what I say.” strikes a chord with me but I am too furious to realize it.
“Well, too bad. I don’t like to hear you yell at grandma – she is older than you and you need to give her more respect than that. Do you hear me?” I pause. “Did you hear me? Are you there? OK so now since I told you not to yell, you won’t even talk – put grandma back on the phone.”
“Here, grandma.” back to a sweet voice.
I was so mad. All during my conversation with my mother I heard her telling them, “one more minute”, “grandma just needs to take the clothes out of the dryer”, “just wait until grandma folds the laundry!”, “go outside, I will be there in a minute”, etc. You get the point!
After a few more things were said and I got annoyed with comments my mother made to me (sorry I get a little defensive when we discuss arrangements for visiting one another – oops sorry for me to visit her.) I told her to hang up and spend time with the kids. Enough was enough torturing them. Stop talking to me and we will talk at a later time. Those poor kids were STARVING for attention and what do I do – I yell at my nephew instead of making him feel better. Shame on me.
I will now call him and apologize – Aunt Elaine is the fun aunt, the happy-go-lucky aunt who invites them every year to spend a week and have fun together. I am the aunt that acts like a grandma *wink*wink*. But I never give them anything that mom or dad disagree with – but I spoil them with love and attention. I never tell them to go away or later. But today – I failed and I feel bad.