Friday, May 18, 2007

A Day with Grandmom

It starts off with lunch. Our monthly lunch that was her Christmas present. This time I am going to have to be tactful and very careful about what I say - neither of which is a strong point.

My uncle was gonna throw away all the stuff in her house. I rescued a lot of it, both because I wanted some memories, and because a lot of it could be sold. No one else bothered to help or was interested. They said - you want it, YOU do all the work. So I did.

Of course, they didnt tell her they were gonna throw everything out. They didnt tell her that they decided together that anything she gave them they would accept and then throw out. But when she had a fit they told her I was putting stuff in storage, acting like I was doing it for her rather than for me (and to save it from the trashman). So she keeps telling me "When you get a chance, get the ---- out of storage and give it to so and so."

So I now have to walk a fine line. Ill be happy to give anything to anyone in the family who wants it but I am not gonna give stuff to people so they can throw it out. They pay her own money and pretend it is for stuff they gave to their friends. So now I have to either lie, be really careful about what I say, or start some family trouble that will blow everything wide open.

So no more just for fun lunches.

At lunch she hands me coupons that are no good so I ask the waitress to pretend they are and pay her the difference. She gets upset with me because I dont dip the french fries in ketchup before letting Face have them.

She wants to go to Boscovs to shop. In three minutes she has 3 shirts. I discover my son is a dreaded "runner" - a kid who runs the second you put him down in public.

"You going to try those on?" I ask.

"Nah, I know my size."

She tells me she doesnt have her checkbook and could I pay and she'll pay me back. I pay by credit card and we leave. As we walk out, she asks "Can I return these if there's something wrong with them?"

"Dont worry," I reply, foolishly thinking the fact that I paid on my credit card was her concern, "I'll take you if there's a problem."

We are not out of the parking lot when she pulls out her blouses ($80 for 3!). "I wonder what these are made of" she muses "Cotton? Nobody wears cotton anymore! I dont want to iron anything."

I say nothing. Really, what's the upside of freaking?

As we drive home she points to a driveway three lanes over and 10 feet away ' - "Oh I have to go there!"

I pull in, no doubt pissing off plenty of people. She tells me that this store is selling a cane she wants.

At this point Ill mention that I damaged my hand cleaning out her house. I was really scared I did something permanent. I have no insurance and I need my hand. My right hand. Whatever I did meant I couldnt use it to pick Face up, I had to use my wrist and my left hand. Compensating for an injury is tiresome. Making me even less happy.

I find the cane for her. It is the MOST hideous thing Ive ever seen.

"Now no one will confuse it with theirs." she says. As if that was some huge problem. Hid-e-ous, people. No one would steal this, nevermind pay for it.

We get up to the counter. I push the cart with Face past the cashier - grandmom is in line with her cane and a small duck holding jellbeans. She places the duck on the belt. A few minutes later she turns to the man behind her and says something I cant hear. He shakes his head. She turns to the cashier and says "Why did you take my cane? It was mine, not hers!" (points to the lady walking out the door)

"Ma'am, it's in your hand."

No apologies from gram! The man behind her is very nice "I do that all the time" he says.

The cashier rings my grandmom up and when my gram starts to put the cane into the man's cart she says "That's not yours."

"I just paid for it!" Snaps gram.

"The CART isn't yours."

Gram starts toward me as I thank the genes I dont blush. We are 5 feet away when, no doubt thinking she couldnt be heard, my grandmom says "That cashier is so grumpy! She always has been, every time I come here."

I am soooo glad I dont embarass easy.

On the way home, I feel bad about how Im feeling and ask her if she'd like to come to my house for Mother's Day (my parents went out of town and my uncle would never). "Let's see what other offers I get," she replies.


I take her up to her room and as she is writing me a check for her blouses I look around. You have to understand that she has two sons - my dad and uncle. Who she calls "Jimmy and MyBobby". Really. I used to think that was his name. Mybobby.

In her room there are pictures everywhere. Of Herbobby. His 3 grown kids. Her 3rd great-grandchild by one of Herbobby's kids. Multpile pictures. Everywhere. Not one of my dad, my mom, me, or any of my sibs. And one pic of the 2 great-grandkids I gave her. Together, of course, lest she have to waste another frame.

I saw her write the check. But she never gave it to me. She thought she did and I let her think it cause I already know we will be taking the stuff back so Ill just float her the money until then.

Of course this meant I had to borrow gas money but whatever.

Turned out it wasnt my grandmom but the universe that day. As I was telling my woes to J on the phone as I drove (yeah, yeah). Face was wailing, as is his wont, everytime he wanted to be given another jellybean.

So I pull up to the light and this 20 year old guy is hanging out of the passenger side of a van.

"Lady, is your baby crying?"

"He was crying a minute ago." I said. "Why?"

"I just think it's a shame. Your baby is crying and you're on the phone."

God, if there is a God, has some 'splainin to do!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hello Old Friends

I was forced to close my Diaryland blog due to overwhelming spamming. Diaryland was no help. They still haven't even answered my request for help.

Eventually, I guess I'm going to have to copy all my posts to keep or to put on this site. Sigh.

I really should call my blog It's On My List.

So for all you fans who wondered where I went (many are my legions). I went home. At the same time I was being spammed there was a big brouhaha at work. I allowed myself to be laid off, and now I'm home.

Of course, home just wouldn't be home without The Face. He was sick for 9 weeks. 9 weeks straight. 9 weeks in-and-out of the hospital. First, the dreaded RSV. That was 3 weeks. Then RSV (reprise in G minor), para influenza and an ear infection. All together. On the fourth day he was being treated for all 3 things, with breathing treatments every 4 hours and 27 doses of medicine 11 different times a day he woke up - with pink eye!

Seriously, are you kidding me?

Only my kid could be on a ton of antibiotics and steroids and still come down with pink eye.

By the way, one of the more fun things in life is to administer eye drops to a toddler. Right up there with bone marrow extraction.

In April, after months of telling me everything was under control, my parents finally asked for help cleaning out my grandparents house. I went there to find pretty much not a damn thing done. My grandmother, a QVC junkie hoarder, had more possessions than 17 people. Unopened boxes of appliances I didn't even know existed. ( An appliance that makes toast & eggs at the same time!!!)

My uncle proposed we pay the new owners to keep everything. He wasn't kidding. I guess I have a New England soul because I rebelled against giving away (paying for!) all of this stuff that could be sold for a profit. Of course, I have neither the time nor the ability right now to sell it. My uncle said - you have three weeks.

So three weeks of backbreaking, hauling, and moving later I sent a ton of stuff to the trash, a ton to Goodwill and another ton into my storage space. I found a painting that could be worth a lot of money. Funny how everyone cares about her stuff now that Ive done all the actual, like, work. On the bright side, Ive lost 10% of the weight I need to lose.

Now it's May and I gotta tell you - I was never cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. At least not for just one kid.

So Ive decided I have to make time to blog everyday to keep me from going slowly insane. Not that insane is a bad thing - you just need the right kind of insane.

Having a tic - bad
Making mud pie with your kids - good

In this, the stay at home phase, I am trying to find another child to watch. I'm also preparing to go to school in the fall. And maybe 1 summer course. And trying to get a grant to pay for school.

And dealing with medical bills, and a sick kid. And an 8th grade graduation party and a 2nd birthday party and losing 80 pounds and buying a house in July and looking through a million houses and starting to pack and oh yeah - did I mention Face is going to have his 4th open heart surgery sometime in the next 4 weeks?

Basically, I'm saying it's same old same hold here at Girl's house.