Monday, November 13, 2006

back off with that baby, beeyatch

it's a well-known fact that my mother is awesome.

sure, when young people at her work started calling her "mom," i bristled a little bit. she's a sweetheart to nearly everyone and so damn loveable. however, they don't have to deal with her high expectations or her bitter disappointment. they don't have to fight against her reluctance to see the doctor when something's wrong or her rigidly low tolerance for ineptitude. and the guilt. don't get me started on the GUILT. they get all her sage advice, listen to her laugh and sample her fabulous cooking, all without fielding one iota of guilt. they get 8 hours a day with her, when all i get at best is a ten-minute phonecall because of our schedules. but i've made my peace with that. i've come to accept that aside from my brother, there are a dozen or so people who lovingly call the woman by our name for her. and it irritates me only slightly.

but this past week, one of those hangers-on crossed the line.

she came to our house and brought her handsome, well-behaved boyfriend, who wanted to ask my mom about India to gear up for his study abroad trip there. he came bringing cake and offering to do the dishes-- obviously well-trained. she also brought her handsome, well-behaved 2-year-old to eat neatly, play with his dumptruck on the kitchen floor quietly and sit in her lap adoringly. which was also fine by me at that point in the story. because i know this girl. she and i were lab partners freshman year of high school. and though our paths split then and went in opposite directions, somehow she's back in my life, calling my mother mom. which is okay, i guess.

what i do take issue with is the fact that she also has the kid calling my mother "grandma."

it's no secret that my mom would gladly trade two legs and a duodenum to have somebody of her very own to call her grandma. and that i've been taught, as oldest and as daughter, that it's my cultural obligation to have given her one like five years ago. but i haven't. because in some twisted form of logic, i believe that one should only produce grandchildren when one has found a suitable partner and only then if both parties are good and ready. but that doesn't stop my mom from hinting at how jealous she is of her friends who have them and it certainly hasn't put a damper on the one-woman babyblanket knitting factory she's running out of the living room.

don't get me wrong, i know what kind of pressure my mother's under. she's got the entire auntie patrol slyly insinuating that there must be something wrong with me, that i may in fact be expired in some way. and that it's such a shame. i'm well aware. and i'm sure she's only allowing this breach of namecalling ethics because she's just that nice. what's she going to say? "no, you can't call me that because my daughter will be jealous and bitter?" i understand that. but why confuse this poor 2-year-old? he's got a perfectly great grandma in his own house.

i know there's nothing i can do about this, save for going out and getting the woman what she wants myself. but that's just not the right thing to do at this time, nor the right reason. i've come to terms with sharing my mother, but i will be DAMNED if i will allow the children who are now just a sparkle in my eye to have to share their grandmother with ANYONE not bound by the law. i am not suffering the torture of guilt for nothing.


Radioactive Jam said...

This has all the earmarks of a true no-win situation, at least in the relative short term. No pun intended.

And what exactly does 'earmarks' mean, anyway? I have no idea, though I suspect answers await via the big G. Hundreds, maybe thousands of answers.

And what about the boy's bio-legal grandmother(s)? Probably they'd feel much the same as you, though for different reasons. Hey! That might be your solution: just casually mention to one of them, "Oh, [friend] had [boy] calling my mom 'grandma.' Don't you think that's the cutest thing? So watch out now, you've got competition ha-ha!"

I bet the boy's grandma will be happy to set mommy straight.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I'd feel if people I don't really know started calling my mother "Mom", or if they started coming to her to get involved in their lives in the Mom role. The Mom relationship is special. Grandma's special, too, but your kids would have to share her with your brother's kids, so it's already a bit diluted. But you're right, no kid should have to share grandma even farther than that.

Don't let the pressure get to you, though. Take your time and wait till your ready. And no matter how many other people come into your mother's life, I know that when the time comes, your kids will get the full measure of their Grandma's love.

Ale said...

you should get the kid a little t-shirt with your mom's picture on it and underneath write "this woman is NOT your grandma"

jazz said...

i would be PISSED

i'm possessive like that sometimes...

Anonymous said...

whatever. that's grade a horsecrap. your mom probably doesn't like it either, and is just too nice to saything to the lab-partner-mom-mooch.

but seriously, that's messed up.

Modern Viking said...

Not cool. November should be National Don't Mooch My Mom Month.


Anonymous said...

Ok, that would tick me off too. You and your children are related to your mother and therefore, have the right to call her "mom" and "grandma." What is this person doing? I would be very angry about that!

Syar said...

that's skeevy. blood really does entitle you to be a bit possesive and you have first dibs on your mom. seems like she's muscling in on somebody else's family. this is mean, but it seems a tad parasitical (which is probably not a word but totally applicable). your annoyance is justified.

cadiz12 said...

thanks, guys. i think i'll just get the t-shirt with her picture and that tagline and the NaDoMooMyMoMo logo on the back.

oh, and just to clarify, if this girl didn't have a perfectly great mom herself, i wouldn't be as bitter.

Guyana-Gyal said...

hee hee hee hee hee hee

My mother is exactly like yours. And all our friends call her 'mums'. I have the guilt thing too.

One day, she phoned me while I was at my desk in Jamaica struggling to write an ad. She moaned about her lack of grandchildren. I told her, "Well mummy, I can produce one for you without a husband if you want."

She said, "You must be mad!"

Fortunately, my siblings produced. Fortunately, they're all married.

ML said...

I would be quite miffed if other people started calling my mother Mom or grandma. In fact, I think I would come uncorked.