You only have 1 child. He has 2 grandkids; you've asked for grandkids pretty much since he was about 18. You are retired. You decide to pick up and move house. You move from your home that takes 5 hours of flying across the continent, to somewhere that takes 3 hours of flying followed by 4 or 5 hours of driving. No good reason, no contacts or other reasons to move there- you may as well have picked it by throwing darts at a map of Queensland.
You remark on how odd it is that your friends have moved so they can be close to their grandkids. What an odd thing to do, you say, noting that your son doesn't come out and agree with you.
'I suppose they want to see more of their grandkids' he observes redundantly, resulting in cold silence over the phone.
You ignore all the advice you are offered in respect of selling the house, but then, when things predictably go pear shaped (selling a house isn't straightforward, who'd have thunk?) you constantly call to whinge about it.
Don't worry, plenty of time to devote to the topic, we're only having a son in case you didn't notice.
Taking 3 weeks to see pictures of your new grandson, because you can't organise yourselves to get to a net cafe as you're too busy unpacking (well, staying in a hotel by the beach while the settlement goes through can be surprisingly stressful, once again, who'd ever guess??) is a good way to show the love.
Then one of you gets organised to visit. As if to make up for being so slack about it, you decide, wait, why not go for 2 weeks instead of 1? Why not leave this to the last minute then ask said son to organise it all? It's not like he's busy making sense of a new job, looking after 2 kids, getting by on 5 hours of sleep a night which is about 1 hour more than his wife.
Because 2 weeks is what they'd be looking forward to. Especially after the last time you came for 2 weeks, and criticised Beloved's mothering, made disparaging comments about how much Bear was crying, her weight, her feeding- none of which was based on an ounce of rational evidence.
We didn't realise you could overfeed a newborn on the breast, thanks for that!
*throws out 10 scientific parenting manuals*
I'd love you to help make my wife feel like crap, that'll be a big help. Why don't you go back to your old ways of blaming me for everything my father does, while you're at it?
*gnash gnash gnash gnash*
Yesterday I bit the family guilt bullet and phoned to suggest that, perhaps, the dates could be changed and a week or so would be 'about right'. I'll never hear the end of it but I've got to draw the line somewhere.
My latest book piece - I am proud to announce that I have a chapter in the newly published book, Mothers at the Margins: Stories of Challenge, Resistance and Love, edited by Lisa...
12 hours ago