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Holiday season meditation on parenting.

It's that part of the season.  Again.  My mom is coming to town.

Just the other day I asked for strength.  I asked for the gods to give me strength not to strangle that woman on sight.

It happened during a phone conversation with a friend, while I was checking on mother's flight status.
- Whom are you talking about? - inquired my friend.
- Mother, of course.
- Oh, just imagine grandma babysitting your children, fetching the kids hot cocoa and sweets, while you and your husband take a stroll in mid-winter's manhattan and luxuriate in some nice french restaurant with a view.
I was sipping a latte when she said that.  And for the next couple of minutes my life was dangerously close to its tragic and abrupt end, as i bravely fought laughter and hot coffee in the windpipes.

Mother giving the kids sweets willingly?  Ha Ha Ha.  She has been known for prying the sweets away from those little grabby hands, yes.  She has a reputation of reminding three year old girls about the negative effects of sweet indulgence on one's waist size and subsequent marital prospects.  And believe you me, no amount of crying seems to affect her.

Oh, dear, your nose becomes red wnen you cry, - she told my daughter last cristmas, - and no man wants to marry a red nosed woman.  May be Rudolph, but we both know he is a deer.  And deers smell, you know.

Mother volunteering to babysit more than one kid for more than an hour is less likely than winning a lottery.  She agrees to babysit one of my three children only after substantive begging and only with substantive evidence of my future return.   Leaving my passport as a deposit helps, but clear demarcation of time boundaries is also required.  And mind you, she never does it for free.

Mother will clean my house to such level of sparkliness that is routinely found in the households of other obsessive compulsive chlorox maniacs.  She will launder and iron, soak pots and pans, discover sets of socks in far forgotten places and even wash the ceiling with chlorox.  But babysitting?  No way.

Mother does not cook.  Coffee, toast and unscrewing the top of the whiskey bottle is pretty much the height of her culinary capacity.  Mother does not do cuddly, abhors soft toys and little dogs.  She takes her coffee black with two sugars, she smokes like a chimney and she tells a lot of dirty jokes.  During her last year's Christmas visit she taught two of my daughters, 5 and 2 year old, how to wiggle their hips to attract boys.  This year, I'm sure she will check on their progress.

Six years ago, surviving mother's monthly visit after my now eldest daughter was born, my husband said - Hey, I did not know you were raised in a bordello.  A really really clean one.

I was not, but you would not know it from meeting my mother.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
mad_crab
Dec. 2nd, 2012 08:10 am (UTC)
Oh my!
nmuffles
Dec. 2nd, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
Man! I almost chocked on my coffee, from laughter!
meromneia
Dec. 2nd, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
I guess it is no wonder I'm overcompensating on cooking, baking and all things homey? 8-))
But she is actually a fun person to observe. Just not up close.
nmuffles
Dec. 2nd, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC)
A colorful person, too, i think.
When is your mom coming?
meromneia
Dec. 3rd, 2012 01:13 pm (UTC)
Она уже здесь (плачет, и нервно жует плюшку).
Со вчерашнего дня у меня генеральная уборка. Сегодня, пять ноль семь утра все в доме проснулись от грохота отодвигаемого холодильника. На вопрос что это, и зачем, - она сказала что жить в ужасном свинарнике, где есть пыль за холодильником ни минутой дольше не желает.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )