Sunday, January 24, 2010

Should I give her detention?

I got a call from a principal about misbehavior Friday and my kids are not even 2.


No, what happened is that I got a call from my mom's assisted living facility telling me she was misbehaving, believe it or not. I'm not sure what they expected me to say but here's how it went:

"Hi Mira, this is E from Rhoda Goldman calling regarding your mother. We are having a hard time getting your mother to cooperate with us regarding her illness. We have asked that she stay in her apartment so as to not spread her infection with the other residents and today she went for a walk in the rain. The other residents are concerned, also, when she is coughing while eating her meals in the cafeteria."

Who, MY mother? Couldn't be.

Why she's the most thoughtful, respectful, never would think of herself first, cooperative resident ever. My mother would never show up at my house on Wednesday, wherein reside three toddlers who just spent 2 months sick with colds and various bugs and a highly pregnant lady who might give birth at any moment to a fragile infant, and share her news that she was sick again and had asked her doctor for antibiotics because she was coughing. The next day, when I had gotten my full anger on, she would never listen to me explain that she was not to come to my house when she was sick again because she needed to consider the consequences of making me and my three toddlers sick and then deny that she was really sick despite having contacted her doctor the day before asking for medicine.

Oh yes she did say this: "Well no one has actually declared that I am sick."

Excuse me? Then why did you contact the doctor for meds? I think that would be YOU declaring that you are sick. But, naturally, wouldn't you say whatever it took to not be kept from visiting my children?

But I digress. So, after laughing a bit about my mom being such a pain in the ass to the administrator I asked what the real consequences of mom's misbehavior were. I mean, could she get herself kicked out of this place and force me to find her yet another facility to live in and move her for a 4th time? Um, yes. It hasn't gotten to that point yet but it's a possibility. So I put on my good mom face and told Ms. E that I would talk to my mother about behaving herself better and following the rules. E asked me what they should do if my mom went walking in the rain again while sick and did I want them to call me. I pretty much said that if my mom wants to kill herself by doing stupid things while sick there wasn't much I could do about it so, no, please don't call me. Just shake your head and cluck to yourself.

I then called mom up. "Hi mom, sounds like you've been getting in trouble again." Her response? "Oh these people are just crazy here I tell you." You know I had to say "I told you so" right? I mean I told her she was moving into a facility that was going to be far more up in her business than the last one. I had no idea they would put her in isolation for a cold but what can I say, it's pretty funny that I was right. But I let her know that she was not to get herself kicked out of that place and if I had to move her again there would be suffering on both of our parts, capiche? She gets all "Oh Mira don't talk to me like that, they've been talking to me like that all day."

Well, perhaps, young lady, if you started acting like a grown up people might talk to you like one?

I mean it's like having a teenager already. Do you think I might be prepared by the time one of mine actually is one?

Honestly people, if she gets herself kicked out of that place? I can not be responsible for my actions. If I have to find her another place to live I might remind you that there are many definitions of "place to live." The next place is likely to be a full lockdown mental ward.

For me.

I don't know, it just seems like she is determined to keep stirring things up. Even if I was able to relax in the rest of my life she'd keep finding new ways to throw me for a loop. Now, in the back of my mind, I will have this little niggling worry about whether she's going to behave in such a way that I really will have to move her again this year. With a newborn and triplet toddlers and trying to move and find a new house of our own and so on.

Not that it's not predictable. My mother is a maelstrom. Life is always chaos around her. Those who come into contact? Likely to be sucked into the crazy. This is why I have been in therapy for years. Years my friends. Years.

And apparently I have years left to go....


  1. Mira, can you please email me your email so I can add you! Thanks!

  2. I'm so sorry; you certainly don't need this stress with your pregnancy and your other young children that need your attention so much more. Your mom's behavior reminds me so much of my daughter's behavior; always on the edge, always stirring up situations, etc. Sadly, I'm not sure how much your mom is going to want to change at her age and I'm not sure what you can do about it, but you need to do what you can to protect yourself and your family so that she won't cause you all chaos at the worst (and even the best of times). Such a sad situation; I feel for you


  3. Isn't it a shame that we cannot divorce our parents? Why is this cantankerous old woman your responsibility? Simply by an act of history.

    So sorry.

    But honestly, I'd tell her she is on thin ice, and that you will not take her in. Maybe she needs to be jarred, just a bit.