Friday, December 15, 2006

Ungrateful whelps: Getting along with grown-up children is hard work!

Dealing with grown-up children is harder than dealing with toddlers. I swear. All I can say is that I am truly thankful that three out of four of my grown-up children now have jobs and none of them are still sleeping on my front-room couch.

My oldest child became a hermit. I hear from her regularly -- once every three years.

My second child went to a shrink -- and you know how that goes. "All of your problems are your mother's fault." Honorable Second Daughter then became so convinced that I was the Wicked Witch of the West that now she won't even let me see my own granddaughter.

However, when my father died eight years ago and left me $56,000, that didn't stop Honorable Second Daughter from begging me for the money. "Please," she said, nice as pie. "I need that money for a down-payment on my house." The money went directly from the probate judge to her bank account. Ha! Then she used the money to hire that shrink, the one who said, "All of your problems are your mother's fault...."

My third child, my only son, is a joy -- the kind of guy you want to hang out with and who is into interesting things and has a good heart, is handsome, talented and does good deeds on a regular basis. But unfortunately he is too busy to have time for me. "Sorry, Ma. I gotta hang up now. Gotta go." That's how our average phone conversation ends -- after approximately the first two minutes. Plus he always uses that special tone of voice with me that indicates he is only talking to me out of politeness. How do I know? I used to use that exact same tone of voice on MY mother! And of course I am always the one who initiates our calls. However, I don't dare just spontaneously sit down and dial him up on the spur of the moment -- for fear that he'll think that I'm not giving him enough space. I now time myself between calls. Once a month. That's it.

Then there's my youngest daughter, my baby. After learning all my mothering skills the hard way on the first three, with the youngest one I finally got all of it right. She and I were as close as mother and daughter could be. Enter the sleazy boyfriend. "You've got to choose between college and me," he began. Then it was, "It's either me or your job. One or the other has got to go." Next it was, "Me or your friends. That's final!" I think you know what's coming next. "It's either me or your mother." And I haven't seen my youngest daughter since.

I have always said, "The real reason for having children is so that you will have someone to come and visit you in the old folks' home." Yeah right. It looks like I'm gonna be eating the Jello and shuffling around in the walker all by myself.

I gave birth to those children. They should be kissing my feet. Ungrateful whelps.