Because seriously, nothing else is happening in my life right now other than keeping this woman happy (sarcasm. Much, much sarcasm).
On Friday my dad’s girlfriend texted me asking if I had been to the big children’s clothing consignment sale in town. I told her I had been to one a few months ago of a different group, but I hadn’t been to the one she’s referring. She said that her and her daughter (who we can call A) go every time and though they had already been, they wouldn’t mind going again and picking up a few more things if I wanted to tag along.
Here’s some truth-I like saving a buck, but these sales are NUTS. Seriously. I never want to go to one again. BUT, B is making an effort and I appreciate that. I told her that I wouldn’t mind going, but I work everyday but Saturday so I didn’t want them to wait on account of me, because Saturday is the last day and it will probably be a) busy and b) picked over. It’s also half price day. I’m already banging my head up against something.
But again, she’s trying, and that’s sweet. So I agreed to go.
Now, I didn’t mention this to my mother. Even a little bit. Because up until Friday at 6:00 pm I didn’t know I was going. I haven’t talked to my mom all weekend. But this morning as SOON as I walked into the law firm, she said “So, did you go to that big consignment sale yet?”
Which is sort of an odd thing to ask at random, because she knows how much I hated the last one. Which means that dad told K that I was going with B, and K told my mom that I was going with B, so now my mom is insecure.
So I said back “No, I’m going on Saturday.” and my mom said “Oh.” With a very weight pause. Then I said “Actually, B asked me if I wanted to go with her and A, and as much as I hate those sales she’s making an effort, so I said I would.”
Then she said “Well, she’s certainly becoming very involved in your pregnancy, isn’t she?”
And I said “Well….this is really the first thing we’re doing together in regards to my pregnancy. And her and her daughter are giving me a bunch of hand me downs that are in really good condition. They’re even checking them against the recall list for me and sanitizing them before they pass them on, so I’m appreciative for any help they want to give me.”
And she just said “Oh. Okay” and walked away.
Then the next few times she walked by my office she didn’t look at me. Finally I said “Mom, can you come in here for a minute?”
When she came in I said “Does me going to this sale with B really bother you? Because I’m getting that vibe”
She said that it did, because she doesn’t think B is involved enough with dad’s life to be involved in mine. I asked her why she thought that and she said that was just the impression she’s gotten from “us girls” meaning me and K. I really try to stay out of my parents business. As I’ve said, I do think B and my dad’s relationship is a little one sided, but my dad is very happy with her, so who am I to judge? Also, my mom is the one who left my dad and doesn’t like my dad even in the slightest, so I seriously doubt this is about defensiveness over my dad. I fully believe this is jealousy over B having anything to do with my mom’s grandchild.
And I think I handled it pretty well. I said (and I had rehearsed this in my head, so it’s pretty easy for me to remember it verbatim):
“Mom, B is not going to replace you. And I don’t think that’s her goal. I think that by supporting me she’s supporting dad. And just like we would never tell step-dad that he doesn’t get to be involved, I’m not going to tell B that. I think Charlie can use all the grandparents she can get. The more the merrier. And quite honestly, this last week has been very, very hard for me, so any support I can get at this point is welcomed.”
She completely ignored me saying that I was still struggling after the Sunday night debacle. No mention of that. She just said a few more things about how she’d “try to deal” with it but that she thought that B was only becoming involved because she just likes babies and that she’s afraid she’ll be overbearing about it. To which I replied, maybe a little pointedly:
“I’m not going to let anybody be overbearing with Charlie. She’s my baby, so I make the calls” (and Chief too of course, that’s implied).
This effectively ended the conversation.
The fact of the matter is, B has two grand kids, and B’s daughter, A, has narcolepsy and transverse mylitis. Two diseases that are very debilitating. B has been almost as much a mother to her grandkids as their own mother has. So to a certain extent, she does have more knowledge about raising kids, ONLY because she’s done it more recently. Does that mean I’m going to flock to her instead of my own mother when I need something? Absolutely not. Am I going to turn down her offers to give me things and help me out? Absolutely not. I’m not playing that game. Just as I accept my step-dad as a presence in Charlie’s life, I accept B as well. Her and my dad have been together for a few years now-I don’t consider her a passing ship.
I’m telling you, becoming a mother has forced me to grow a backbone. I’m having lunch with my dad tomorrow to hash out some things in person, and I’m actually sort of looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be emotional because I’ve been doing some research, and I think this article really highlights a lot of what I’ve been through and am going through. I know that neither of my parents will want to hear that I feel like I was abused as a child by my sister, and that that has had a legitimate, lasting effect on me as an adult. But I think it’s the truth. And I am thinking about going back into therapy. I just have to find the time quite honestly.
So there’s another fun family update. I did call my OB to report what happened Friday with the cramps and the medical exchange. I haven’t heard back yet, but I expect to this afternoon. Stay tuned.