Saturday, October 4, 2008

Thinking Triggers

Most of my visitors have come and gone. Sister was here last weekend. MIL was here until Friday. We have our daily visits from Church folks bringing food (they are still feeding us and will through next Saturday - I LOVE my church !!!) I have a few friends that are giving me a few weeks before visiting. The only "big" visitor yet to come is my mother. Sigh....

Before Baby got here, Mom told me that she couldn't come that present week, and didn't have 2 days off in a row this past week. So she'd have to wait until the next. Her days off are Wed-Thurs each week. The first week Toilet was having heart surgery. The second week she was supposed to cover for someone. It worked out extraordinarily well. Baby came at a perfect time. Sister was able to come on the spur of the moment. Then MIL - and mom could wait. Then this past week, Mom announced that she didn't have to cover for someone. She hinted that she ought to be allowed to come visit - hinting I should tell MIL, who had already been here to keep Daughter when we were having baby, should wait. I didn't take the bait. Nope - I'll take my MIL over my mom any day. So I just kept my mouth shut.

So Mom is coming this week. She's started calling every day or two now that the baby is here. She is also whining about how she is sore and aching from working in her garden all week. That didn't make sense at first, until my Sister told me that Mom was afraid I was going to make her sleep on the floor. My in-laws choose to sleep on our air mattress sometimes. They would rather their son (my BIL who is autistic) take the bed and they don't like us giving up our room (we didn't insist they take it while I was pregnant). Anyway, Mom thought I might make her sleep on the air mattress. Actually I'm putting her in Daughter's room and Daughter will be on her air mattress on the floor in there - or in our room. Probably in our room. Not sure I can handle the thought of Daughter sleeping in there with Mom.

Daughter has been asking a lot about how people are related. She does, after all, have a whole new vocabulary - Sister, Brother, Son, etc. She wanted to know who Mom's husband was the other day. I guess I mentioned he was like a "stranger." So today in the car, Daughter asks, out of the blue, "Know what I'm thinking about?"

"No," I say, readying my ear for one of her stories.

"Well," she says, "I was thinking that I was at Walmart and Grandma's Husband came and wanted me to go with him. And Grandma had taken me there to meet him -- because he can't come to our house because he's a stranger and not nice. So she took me there and told me not to tell."

"WHAT?" I got very panicky and anxious and mumbled, "And THAT is why you'll never go anywhere with Grandma alone."

My husband, thank goodness, kept his cool and told Daughter that "Grandma is never to take you anywhere alone. If you ever do meet her husband, do you know what you do?" He reviewed stranger instructions - run to a store clerk, find a policeperson, etc.

I have no idea where that has come from. Daughter has also mentioned that the "Grandma who smells funny" is coming to visit. My mom smokes - a lot. It is in her clothes. I worry about Baby cuddling up with her to all that smoke. Mom also snores and has undiagnosed (because she won't get help) emphysema. She coughs all the time. Yet another reason Daughter won't sleep with her.

So between the comments on "smelling funny" and her "not nice, stranger husband" the conversations between Daughter and Mom ought to be fun........

Just because triggering me once wasn't enough, later on Daughter and I were playing Barbies. She was joking about Barbie's belly shirt and I told her that if she pulled her shirt up like that I'd blow air bubbles on her belly. So I did and she giggled. Then did the same to me. Then said, "now I'll get your ear." And before I could stop her, she did. I shuddered and told her "Don't do that - Mommy doesn't like it." She asked, "How come? What made you not like it?" I blew her off and changed the subject. Somehow I don't think...well Toilet used to.....was a good topic for her.

And because triggers come in 3s, I was thinking about today and realized it was the 4th. Toilet's two oldest daughters celebrate their birthdays today. One is seven days younger than me and the other is 2 years younger. I wonder where they are, what they are doing, and how they are coping with their memories. I wonder if, when Toilet or my Mom die, we'll somehow end up back in touch and compare our knowledge.

So, 4 days until Mom day - we also have a pediatrician appt that day. I am going to manage alone for Wed. Then keep Daughter home from school Thurs. Church isn't bringing a meal Wed....hmm wonder if Mom will cook. No -- it would be too much on her. Forget about her helping out by throwing in laundry or cleaning.


dm said...

nothing profound just wanted to let you know we're praying for you

Angel said...

That is very interesting, what your dd said. Your h did great handling it, as did you for not jumping at it.

I hope the visit from your mother goes okay. She should only be there a day or two, right? (Her off days being Wed & Thursday.) Feel free to tell her that you aren't feeling well or whatever you feel comfortable saying if you want her to not stay at all. She can turn around and drive home that day, if you decide it's a bad idea.

keepers said...

Dear Enola

Just wanted to say Hi and let you know we are thinking of you and will especially keep you in our thoughts while M is there.

peace and blessings


Lynn said...

You don't have to let her come, Enola. You call the shots. No one with any sense would blame you if told her not to come.

Beautiful Dreamer said...

How's that sweet little boy doing?

I can totally understand the trepidation you feel about your mother's impending visit. That's how I used to feel whenever I knew my mother was about to make an appearance.

It's up to you to decide if you even want her to come or not. If you decide to go ahead with the visit, just keep in mind that you really do have the right to bring it to an end early if she is causing any kind of trouble, or if having her there is just plain too triggering for you.

She and Toilet called all the shots when you were growing up, but now you are the one calling the shots.

Strong and determined said...


I'm going to go with what everyone else has already mentioned. You really don't have to let her come. You can be direct with her, or make something up.

I told my mother I had enough help when my DD was born, and she didn't come at all. It was SO much better. I knew if she came, it would not only be triggering, but I would also have one more child to take care of who needed something from me constantly. Maybe your mom is more nurturing, but from your post - it sounds like she might not be.

Take'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Kahless said...

Hi Enola.