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#1 of 35 Old 04-04-2003, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my mom cannot stop giving me advice. She gives the same piece of advice, or asks the same question, over and over.

eg. #1: we must need a stroller to fly to visit my folks with a small baby

variation A: so-and-so told me that they flew with their baby and took a stroller

variation B: I was in the airport and saw a family with a stroller

etc. etc.

eg. #2: if you are breastfeeding, you should not eat chocolate or onions, because when I breastfed you, you were sensitive to chocolate and onions

variation A: I spoke with my friend Marge and she says she remembers her son had diarrhea as a baby when she ate certain things.

variation B: I asked your aunt and she said...

etc.

This isn't a new pattern, she's always done this. But it's gotten more annoying because she's calling every day to hear about the baby.

What do I do?

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#2 of 35 Old 04-04-2003, 07:14 PM
 
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You let it go in one ear and out the other.

Practice: "Uh huh..ok Mom..." and then don't give it another thought.
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#3 of 35 Old 04-04-2003, 07:28 PM
 
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If your mom is anything like mine then you just have to do what Nankay suggested. I hardly listen to her when she talks about raising children or politics.
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#4 of 35 Old 04-04-2003, 07:46 PM
 
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What???? My mother has a twin???

I have no helpful advice. On each issue I start out talking to her as a peer. Then I switch to the "uh huh" thing. Eventually, months down the road, I get ticked off and snap at her. Really useful advice, huh?:
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#5 of 35 Old 04-04-2003, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Shannon, that's it exactly. I start out treating her like a reasonable person, then I try to ignore her, then I lose my temper.

Anyway I'm glad that everyone else has this issue. My mom is very smart but somehow her brain shuts off when we get on the phone...

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#6 of 35 Old 04-04-2003, 09:27 PM
 
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If you think it would be handled well, you could say to her one time, "you know mom, I notice you keep making comments about us needing a stroller and I've told you that we'll get one when we feel we need it and I'd like to ask you to quit with the stroller comments".

If you think it will go in one ear and out the other, then just do what everyone else said. "uh huh" and change the subject.

my mother constantly makes comments to other people (when I'm standing right there with her) to the effect of:

"she's breastfeeding so I can't go anywhere with my granddaughter unless her mother is with her"

"she's breastfeeding so we have to hurry back to the baby before she gets hungry"

"she's breastfeeding so the baby is totally dependent on her"

UGH! Like this is helping to promote BFing! Anyways, I finally said to her one day that I wished she would stop making comments like that and to my surprise she apologized and hasn't made a comment like it since (mind you that was about a week ago so we'll see how long it lasts, lol).

q

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#7 of 35 Old 04-04-2003, 09:31 PM
 
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What do I do?
nod, then discard.
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#8 of 35 Old 04-04-2003, 11:11 PM
 
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There is a reason a person's ears are level and across from each other - in one, out the other. Uh huh works!
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#9 of 35 Old 04-05-2003, 11:23 PM
 
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I can't take the comments either. So when anyone starts in on me I just say, "Hmmm, gotta go!". I don't really have time to talk to my mom or mil anyway!
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#10 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 12:50 AM
 
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Oh my, you have just described at least half my relatives! LOL

Here's them:

Here's me:

Whatever.
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#11 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 03:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
"she's breastfeeding so the baby is totally dependent on her"
As if a bottlefed baby is all ready to move out at 6 months old or something! ALL babies are totally dependent! Sheesh. :

A friend of mine always suggests saying, "thank you for your concern, we're doing what works for us." Or something to that affect. Hopefully it will get the point across.
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#12 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 03:35 AM
 
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I'm lucky that my own mother is smart enough to keep her mouth shut unless I ask for advice, but I'm constantly hearing it from my MIL. I've found that smiling and nodding while pretending that she is a wealth of parenting information (meanwhile barely paying any attention to her) works well.
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#13 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 03:51 AM
 
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a friend of mine had this with her mother. she tried the nod technique, didn't work, cuz mother kept going on and on and on.

she then realized that her mother was not so much not listening to *her*, but the mother was resisting the "parenting books" and AP style that my friend was defending all the time.

so the next time this happened, she told her mother that *she* felt uncomfortable with the baby in a stroller, cuz she could react so much quicker to the baby's needs when carried, that her arms were aching when *not* holding the baby, ...
it was much more from a personal point of view. so now the mother didn't have much leg to stand on regarding the parenting style, for any resistance would mean that she wasn't listening to *her daughter's personal pov*.

perhaps that is something that helps? that *you* are uncomfortable with baby not being close? that *you* notice that your babe doesn't react to certain foods, but that you are alert to the fact that baby *might* react to foods in the future, thanks for your concern mom?
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#14 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 04:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
my mother constantly makes comments to other people (when I'm standing right there with her)
AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!

My mother does this all the time. With everything, about everyone. I think she gets frustrated with me because I don't tell her anything that I want to keep private, and even when she comes to visit I have a hard time really letting her do anything because I know she'll talk about me behind my back (or in front of my face).

She used to discuss my grandma's incontinence and occasional dementia in front of complete strangers and me, in grandma's presence. When I was a teenager she humiliated me telling stories about my hygiene and the times I spotted through my clothing (when caught without a pad...I wasn't very regular). She seems to get off on interjecting private information into every conversation she has.

And she thought she was going to the hospital with us when I had my daughter. She still slings barbs my way about that, and about how we should move closer to her and dad.

I've tried to talk to her about why all those things bother me, but then she screams at me or claims I'm calling her a bad person, which makes me angry and want to do that very thing. ;> So I'm definitely of the "ignore" crowd.
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#15 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 01:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tigerchild
or claims I'm calling her a bad person
: : : : :

Ugh. Yesterday my mother told me she's "walking on eggshells" and never knows what she is "allowed" to say to me or my dd. Well, IMO, it's COMMON SENSE what I am asking her. The reason I keep having to tell her things is because she has no common sense!

The other day she was pinching (playfully) my dd's naked butt. DD told her to stop and M told dd that if she had pants on, she wouldn't get pinched and kept doing it (I stopped her). Well, I very politely explained to M that *she* was being rude and that if someone tells you to stop touching them you stop. I also explained a bit about healthy body boundaries and please don't teach my dd that it's her fault she's being touched in a way she doesn't like because of what she's wearing. My M has done this before, along with the "that didn't hurt you" comments when she playfully "pats" someone on the butt and they complain it was too hard (which it is - I know because she's done it to me too).

So my dd (who is four by the way!) brings it up again yesterday and my mom the martyr refers to it as my dd "tattling" and asks how long she is going to be "punished" for what she has done I wasn't so polite at that point : I told her I can't STAND when she pulls the guilt trip thing and says she's being "punished" and DO NOT pull that &%^$ with me or my kids. I also made it very clear that I WANT my kids to tell their parents if someone does something they don't like and she better the hell not stand in the way of that. With my mom if you bring up ANYTHING that EVER happened in the past it's her being punished and us not letting go of the past. Though, of course, she can talk for hours about her parents and how awful they were to her and that's ok (and they were awful to her but still!!!).

UGH. I love my mom but she really is a messed up woman. Her childhood was a bad one and she's in therapy but sometimes it's SO HARD to deal with this crap from her. It was one thing when it was me getting the guilt trips and everything but now that I have kids I can't help but be mama bear and protect them.

(ok this turned into a vent : )
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#16 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Some of my resentment of my mom's advice comes from how she brought me up. She was a yeller and a hitter, she obviously favored my younger sister, she swore at me, she was belittling. She also was obviously trying not to treat me that way...it was like she couldn't help repeating bad things her parents did with her? And I figured that out relatively young. There's a good reason I didn't have a baby until I was in my 30s.

Not that she was a bad mom to me when I was a baby. I think she was very affectionate then. I also don't think she would yell at my child if I left them alone. Not like your mom, Shannon! I'm really sorry she has no sense.

I'm actually not a doctrinaire AP mama. I just like some things about AP. I get really offended when my mom puts it down, because of the "gentle discipline" issue. The other piece is that she is suddenly being really affectionate with me, kind of petting me and stuff when she sees me. Not like her! She really wanted to be a grandmother, and since her own mom died before I was born I think she didn't think she'd make it.

What's ridiculous is that we have a stroller and we even use it! I just don't want to shlep it on the airplane, I want to use the baby carrier in the airport. The plane ride could be tough and it will help the baby to be close to me or his dad when we get off. We aren't constant baby-wearers, probably lots of people here would think we barely wear him at all. We try to do what keeps him happiest.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#17 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 01:38 PM
 
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OK this thread reminded me of my mom. My mom said that dd was still too dependant on me at 8 or 9 months, and that I should wean her and make her sleep in her room before, because she needs to be forced to be independant.

Dh says, "Yeah, tell her to get off her ass and find a job so she can start pulling her weight around here!"

Shut my mom up quickly!

LOL
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#18 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 03:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShannonCC
Ugh. Yesterday my mother told me she's "walking on eggshells" and never knows what she is "allowed" to say to me or my dd.
I've gotten that "walking on eggshells" comment from my mother too. It wasn't about parenting though, thank goodness. She's been pretty good since DS was born.
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#19 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 04:55 PM
 
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What works with my mom is to say "I am so glad you are so concerned about the girls. i will definitely look into that. "

In the stroller situation are you going to see her? If so let her get you a stroller (if she doens't want to get you one that may stop it right there) they are great for putting your stuff in.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#20 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 06:04 PM
 
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As far as the stroller goes, I'd say, "Mom, when you see how much stuff we have to lug with us just for the baby, you'll understand why we're not bringing the stroller."

Maybe, when she sees you wearing him and how mobile you are that way, it'll click and it can be dropped. I think my mom sort of thought I was trying to be some kind of hippie with my sling, but we just spent the weekend visiting family and I used my sling a lot. She said this afternoon, "I don't know what you would have done without that this weekend."

WOOHOO! Success.

As far as the breastfeeding goes, I'd try saying "he's got guts of steel, this kid." If that doesn't work..."I love it how he screams and farts when I've eaten onions. I'm eating a whole one right now. TV is boring tonight...I need the entertainment."

I handle a lot of issues with sarcasm. It's probably not healthy...but it works.

If all else fails, yell.
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#21 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 06:09 PM
 
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And in all seriousness, I have to add:

Our mothers are often looking for validation. Maybe Mom wasn't the greatest, but you can give her this much, "Mom, I'm not a serial killer. You did your job. You can trust you did a good enough job with me that I'll do a good job with my own."

I don't think our mothers fear our incompetence...they fear their own. kwim?

In the case with Mom's mom dying when you were tiny...perhaps Mom wished she'd had advice and someone to talk to every day. What she didn't learn is how horrible it really can be. (My mom's mother was like yours...we nearly had to drag my mother to the hospital to visit. She didn't want to be meddling like her mom. LOL I'm surprised she didn't leave the country to get out of my way!)
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#22 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 07:50 PM
 
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We took our stroller the last time we flew. It was great for stacking all of our carryon luggage and the car seat on. The baby was in the sling the whole time. Then we checked it at the gate so it would be there again when we switched planes. We never had any intention of putting either of the kids in it, but it made a great luggage carrier -- tee hee.
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#23 of 35 Old 04-06-2003, 08:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by famousmockngbrd
Oh my, you have just described at least half my relatives! LOL

Here's them:

Here's me:

Whatever.
:LOL

Thanks for the laugh, Jen That's the way I try to handle it, also.

Someone had a good suggestion about letting/asking them to buy something if they feel so strongly about it...my mom was always saying we needed a crib, we need this, needed that. I politely said, that's very sweet, if you would like to gift us with such and such, I'm sure we would appreciate it. She actually did get us some things, like a co-sleeper Which was great for diaper changes and holding the books I was reading : And then, I sold it on ebay when my dd was 6 months (since you aren't suppose to use it after baby can sit up). My mom asked if she was going to get the money from it. Ummm...No! It was a gift remember? I did turn the paypal money around and bought more diapers, which she thoughgt was a grand idea.

Now, if only I could get her to think an elemental buzfuz set was a necessity :LOL
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#24 of 35 Old 04-09-2003, 11:51 PM
 
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It sounds like my mom should invite all of your moms to her
bunco (sp?) group.

When my oldest ds was 2 months old, she said, "He's so
attached to your breast, you're going to have to live in the
dorm with him when he goes to college."

It's gotten steadily worse since then. Now, she cites numerous and endless examples of my sisters - superior, traditional moms. (They are good mothers. I agree with my mom totally.) Of course, everything I do is wrong, but only expressed to me passive-aggressively.

The hard thing now is that she HATES homeschooling. She makes little snipes at it all the time. What's toughest for me is that my sisters get to share stories about their children, but I'm not allowed to because we homeschool. My mom now always goes on and on about the wonderful cousins in front of my two children. She rarely engages them.

SO, I try to listen to my dh who reminds me that my mom is
just jealous of me and has always been hyper-critical of me. Nothing I ever did was right. She made fun of me for quitting my job as an engineer to be a SAHM. But before that, she made fun of me for going to graduate school. When she wasn't making fun of me for that, she was working me over about my hair. She picks on my furniture, cooking, ... you name it.

Where I draw THE LINE is when she belittles my children. I STOP her right there, and I am ALWAYS ready to drive the 1 1/2 hours right home. I even correct her a bit (huge step for me, heart hammering, beating out of my body). I'll say, "That's Okay, (ds's name), I'm listening to your story. What you say is important." I correct any of her inappropriate/mean/evil observations or witticisms or jokes about my children this way. When she made fun of my son's body, I just said that I'm amazed at how beautiful he is, and I can't believe how lucky I am. If I'm really over the edge with seething at her, I MIGHT even invoke God.

Thanks for this thread. It helps to know that I'm not alone. One last thing, it has helped me to secretly adopt other older mom(s). I had a neighbor where we used to live who I got a lot of good mothering warmth from. I have a friend about my mom's age who lives far away, but it helps just to know that she's there.
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#25 of 35 Old 04-10-2003, 10:18 AM
 
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My mother???? : I have several issues here. When dd was a babe (starting after she came off the heart monitor at 4 months old) I would let my mom watch her. She was her first grand child and would call me and ask if dd could come over. Well I found out that she was letting dd ride IN HER LAP to my grandmother's house and when I confronted her about it her reply was "well, it's only two minutes down the road" (Not that an accident couldn't happen in two minutes) I put a stop to that (very, very loudly) .

Then, when dd was about 5-6 yrs old mom started asking me when I was going to let her take swimming lessons at the local pool. When I told her that I WOULD NEVER let my dd anywhere near a body of water without me around her response was "well, your brother and sister go. There are lifeguards there" Exactly how many lifeguards? How many children did each of these lifeguards have? I went to check it out and I don't think any of these people were over the age of 18. Yeah, I'm leavin my kid with them, right - WRONG.

Then, just last week, my dd (who is now 7 1/2) asked me if she could go to Carowinds (for those of you not familiar, this is a place like Busch Gardens or a much smaller version of Disney World with ride and rollercoasters). I asked who was going and she said "Megan (my sister who is 13)", Libby (Megan's friend, who is 13), Charles Keith (who is 10) and two of his friends (who are both 10). " I asked her what adult was going and she said "Megan". I told her that no, she could not go with them, that we (dh and I) would take her a couple of weeks from now. My mother asked me "Exactly how old do you think she needs to be before you 'cut the cord'" EXCUSE ME?? I AM NOT GOING TO ALLOW MY 7 1/2 YEAR OLD CHILD GO TO SOME PEDIOFILE FREAK FEST" . I told her that I felt Megan was too young to go without supervison. 13 year olds are being kidnapped everday.

I haven't had any problems with my ds yet, but he is only 8 weeks old and goes NOWHERE without me!
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#26 of 35 Old 04-10-2003, 10:55 AM
 
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WOW, I'm getting mad at my mom just reading this thread! she does many of the things mentioned. . . It's at the point where I speak to her for less than a minute before passing her off to the children, b/c she has such anger in her voice towards me. Why the anger? because she's "walking on eggshells" with me and "will not be attacked any more".

It's so bad that when I was on bedrest with my baby, we were at my mom's house, and I was in the other room and mom was feeding the girls. She made some comment to the effet of "you eat just fine at my house, I don't know what your mother expects you to eat at home" (mom gives them hot dogs at each meal. I stopped arguing b/c I really needed the help, yk?) My dd, who was 4 at the time stood up with her fists balled at her hips and said "Nammy, my mother is the best mother in the world and she loves us and takes care of us. you shouldn't say bad things about her." Great kid, but I'm sorry she felt driven to that point, yk?

sigh. I think it's going to be time for another "conversation" with mom. . . they'll be here in two weeks, and I'm not prepared yet. . .

hmm, no advice here, just comisseration. . .
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#27 of 35 Old 04-10-2003, 11:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mamazee
Dh says, "Yeah, tell her to get off her ass and find a job so she can start pulling her weight around here!"

Shut my mom up quickly!

LOL

:LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL
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#28 of 35 Old 04-10-2003, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I made two decisions about how to handle my mom.

The first was to limit the number of phone calls per week. I told her that I didn't want to talk with her every night because I felt criticized by her constant discussion of every aspect of our parenting. (My mom is not coming out and criticizing everything, she's just ENDLESSLY discussing it, reporting what other people say, etc.) She was okay about not talking every night. She was even okay about how I defended our parenting. I told her things were going very well, and gave some examples.

The problem is that my mom cannot behave in a way that is consistent with her values. She believes that I am the mom and get to make the decisions, but that doesn't mean she can stop herself from constant worry about everything I'm doing. As I said in the original post, my whole life has been shaped by her anxiety, which she expresses as criticism. Even after she agreed that I was a good parent, she made a point of "reminding" me to bring "nice clothes" for the formal photograph we'll have taken on my upcoming visit. I'm 37 years old! Can you believe my mom is telling me what to wear? There is no aspect of my life about which she can just leave me alone to do my own thing.

So now I just have to decide which two times are good times to talk to my mom. I'd cut her down to one time, but I think it will make her too anxious.

The other thing I decided this morning: before our upcoming visit, I'm going to make a list of things that I anticipate she will criticize (directly or indirectly). I'll give myself a point for every time I'm right, and then a prize for the number of points! That way, every time she says something obnoxious, I'll be all happy about it.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#29 of 35 Old 04-11-2003, 08:49 AM
 
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Ah, a creative and reasonable solution! I love it.

We do a similar thing with my gamble-holic, sorta nutty grandmother. We're slightly disappointed when a visit goes well because we don't have anything to laugh about when it's over.

Good for you, captain. I hope you have a nice visit with her. Let us know how high you score.
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#30 of 35 Old 04-11-2003, 11:36 AM
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My hands down, best way to deal with my mother is to tell her to put her money where her mouth is; if Super Materialisitic S-i-l says this is the best whatever, please feel free to buy me the best whatever and I'll try it. Hey, no skin of my back.

{Side Note: SM S-i-l CATERED A PARTY FOR 100 people for SM Baby's 1rst Birthday!}

It usually sucks, and I e bay or barter or consign or give the thing away..........hey......pass the love on! Gives me cash to buy the things I WANT my kids to have, wooden toys, water colour paper, whatever.

If it's something emotional (as opposed to materialisitic) I listen till I can't stand it and then say, "Yanno, I was discussing the VERY same thing the other day with the shrink whose helping me deal with MY childhood and she said, {whatever I want her to hear}." Never fails to shut her up. (I don't have a shrink, but hey, I can dream, right?)

Gradually, she's getting the drift.

Edited to add: Look, she's passed on her gift for passive aggressiveness! Whoohoooo, my first little bit of inheiritance!
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