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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I have a tendency to unconsciously appropriate other peoples' affectations, leading me to say things like y'all.

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

This is not about my mother

Really. It isn't. I'm actually asking for advice. I'm assuming that most of y'all reading my blog are decent, intelligent, good people who may have hit up against some of the tribulations recorded here. So now I'm looking for your input. Here's the deal:

My mother has called twice to talk to Sophie. The first time, last Thursday, I put Sophie on the phone even though she really didn't want to talk (she felt tired and was groggy from sleeping on the train...not to mention that she was finishing dinner) and had her tell my mom that she didn't feel like talking. I figured it would be better if Sophie said so directly.*

Today, even though I specified week days on which my mother should call Sophie (in two separate emails), she's called again and, once again, Sophie doesn't want to talk. She stayed up too late last night with her babysitter and is tired this morning.

So what do I do? I mean, I know that my mother is going to assume that I'm somehow manipulating Sophie into avoiding her grandparents**, but I can't really force the child to talk on the phone if she doesn't feel like it.

I'd love to hear some suggestions on this one.

*Um, at which point my mom actually asked her 4 year old granddaughter whether she didn't feel like talking because she "didn't like mimi anymore?".

**which couldn't be further from the truth considering I'm now in a position to talk and/or think about my parents for the sake of their relationship with Sophie even though I'd rather not deal with them anymore at all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is very important that your daugter gets a relationship with her grandmother, even if your relationsip with your mother is hard or barely existent. I'm sure you agree.

This is probably why you chose to establish time for Sophie to talk with grandma on the phone every week. However, there seems to be a strong control element here. You are setting the times, an dI wonder if you were not just a little bit pleased (depsite your best intentions) when Sophie did not want to come to the phone at an unscheduled time.

Also, she is four years old. Right now, might it not be importnt for her to learn the skill of making time for those we love? In other words, perhaps guarantee grandma a call or two from S. each week, but if she calls off schedule, I think you should encourage Sophie to take a couple moments to talk.

That said, if she calls during a mealtime again, I think it's fine to say it's not the right time and suggest she call back at a better time.

9:30 PM  

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