Censor myself????............. Commence with the maniacal laughter ........... What was I THINKING???
The great thing about having Cousin J come to monkeysit a few days a week is that I get a different perspective on the family gossip. J's great-grandmother is Normal Olathe Grandma’s sister so it's been pretty cool getting information coming down a different familial branch and it often comes with a different slant than how my own grandma delivers the news - it’s like hearing everything in Surround Sound. Furthermore, J is a high-schooler and isn't yet quite schooled in the fine arts of "knowing what she should not say" - to my benefit, no doubt. So, yesterday she mentions that the family was talking about how spoiled Arun is and how I should send him to my sister’s for some discipline. I suspected my Mothering Stereotype was going in this vein, so I wasn’t surprised. However, since I am in my 30s, I am certainly not devastated (in my 20s? I’d be a piled up in a ball of weepy mush right now). After all, I have spent my 20s, watching all my cousins mess THEIR kids up royally, right?? Anyway, the REAL irony is that 1) Arun is FOUR months old and 2) my sister has been criticized for being TOO HARD on her own kids. Bah. Whatever.
Are all families like this? My family seems particularly bad in this area and the summary judgements are primarily directed at the MOTHERS. The fathers only get criticized when delivered in terms of “they” (i.e. “They” let that kid run around too much. “They” don’t feed that kid enough.) Specific criticisms are always directed at the mothers.
Okay, on the funner side of family..............I finally went to visit my great-Aunt P yesterday in the nursing home. I have not been there for awhile because Normal Olathe Grandma kept telling me of dire diseases percolating in the halls. When I questioned my Aunt P on everything going on, she looked at me blankly. I suspect my grandma may have exaggerated the situation “just in case”. Besides, I “run my kid around too much” anyway, right? One thing I noticed, going through a nursing home with a baby in your arms must be what it feels like to stride through a casino with a rockstar. It’s hard enough to get through the grocery store and Target without getting stopped by all the Baby Stalkers, but the nursing home? I had to tell more than one person “I am sorry, but we are in a hurry”. It was very sweet, but we actually were in a time crunch. I may have to limit Arun’s visits there lest he get a major ego.
Eek, I had more on the Family Front, but I must head out the door.