Friday, January 11, 2008

Complications & Jo's Milestones

The complications:
This story about my mom and driving, the complications around it are not to be believed.
a) We just found out that my uncle, my mother's younger brother, is dying. (I might write more about this. I'm kind of numb.) It's not a good time to upset her. Yet, this issue has come up now because of Jo's naming.
b) My mom has offered my sister a ride to our city because my sister will not drive to our city. She is afraid to drive here, and her husband isn't coming, he has to work. Sis could tell Mom she prefers Amtr@k, but Mom won't believe her. Neither would I.
c) Sis and Mom live in a car-culture place. You have to get in a car to get anywhere. So telling Mom she won't be allowed to drive Nephew S. places is a huge deal (in a way it wouldn't be with Jo, because our city is not a car-culture place). She won't be able to do anything alone with Nephew S. if she can't drive him. And that really does put a cramp in the Grandmom style. To make matters worse, Nephew S's other grandma (who you may remember if you keep up with my vituperations; she is pure evil) lives nearby as well, and already has a carseat in her car for her other, older grandson. My sister is definitely not sensitive enough to keep S. from being driven around by Evil Grandma. E.G. is most likely a better driver. But still.
d) If Sis does bring this up with Mom (and it's likely she'll be forced to) it'll be five to seven seconds before Mom is on the phone with me. Which means I need to decide how to respond. I am not as worried about my mom's driving as my sister is, partially because I really haven't noticed a problem to the degree Sis has (it's not like Mom gets in accidents all the time) and partially because it isn't going to be an issue for us because of our awesome walking/public transport city. I don't want to gang up on Mom. I don't want to betray Sis. I really hate this triangle (it's so not the first time our triad has become awkward).


Anyway, enough of that. If you read this far, I'm honored, and I reward you with...
Jo's one month milestones!!
Possibly, this is Proud Mama blithering of the worst kind, and now you're really not reading, but I'm going to keep on.
According to this website, at one month Jo should be doing the following things (he was 4 weeks yesterday; my technical Co says he will not be one month until Sunday, since he was born on the 13th):
*Lifts head momentarily: Check. More than momentarily!
*Turns head from side to side : Check
*Looks and follows object moving in front of him: All the time, and in fact, he's noticed the mobile that hangs over his changing table
*Sees black and white patterns: Um, how would we know?
*Cries to express displeasure: Yes. Yes, he is very good at this one.
*Quiets when a voice is heard: Yes, especially his mommies; though not always, see above.
*Looks intently at parents when they talk to him: It is absolutely adorable, the intense, pensive look he gets on his face.
*Makes throaty sounds: He makes this grunty pig noise. Who knew it was a milestone?

Dr. Rightwing adds:
*Fleeting smiles: His smiles are so, so sweet. I cannot wait for the social smile.
*Sleeps, wakes, feeds erratically: A world of yes.

This picture is a good example of his pensive, looking-at-a-mom look. My cousin D. took it:
Intense Boy

Here's the best picture I have of his smile (it's still so fleeting, it proves difficult to catch on camera). This is a close-up of his face when he was sitting on my sister's lap.


fostermama said...

Has Co never been driven anywhere by your mom? I'm curious her impressions. You saying that your sister is more sensitive to it makes some sense, but it IS really bad. Frequent and severe difficulties staying in her lane on the highway is the one I remember the most vividly.

I guess what I'm saying is that I think you should back your sister up, completely. It's not about "ganging up on" your mom. You can both be sensitive to her as you both explain that you don't want your kids driven around by her. You can point out to her that for Jo it won't be a big deal, and that might soften the blow. But I don't think you should compromise your sister's position at all and I also think it'll be to your benefit that she's being forced to deal with this because it's not like it'll *never* come up with Jo.

I wonder if it would be at all possible for your mom to learn to drive better.

Erika said...

You HAVE to back your sister up on this one. It is NOT about "ganging up" on your mom, but about PROTECTING YOUR CHILDREN. As a mother, it is your FIRST and FOREMOST responsibility to protect your kid, regardless of other people's feelings. You CANNOT sit back and watch on this issue. You have to take a stand, NOW.

Would you rather have your mom's feelings hurt, or potentially have to go see him in a PICU or morgue because he was in a really bad crash? Would it be easier to face your mother after telling her no or after she has hurt your child?

Think about it...

Anonymous said...

Big hugs over BOTH of the family situations. I'm so, so sorry to hear about your uncle. As far as the Sis-Mom-Lo triangle: blech. What a tough place to be. I would think that there's some way of gently explaining to your mother the concerns over her driving, acknowledging that this doesn't make her any less of a grandmother/person/etc. But that it is of concern and really isn't an issue that you/Sis is willing to compromise on at this point. Still, though, blech.

As for the happy, fun stuff in your post, your little guy is just getting cuter every day (I know, how is that possible?). Love the fleeting smile - so easy to see why it would melt your heart :)

amarilla said...

I've been thinking a lot about your mom's driving. I guess it's an issue that gets under my skin, I've often had dreams of trying to drive well and not being able to control the car. In one I was driving down a dark street and kept winding up on the curb. My daughter was in the backseat and calmly said "mom, just slow down." I know what this means: try to slow down and be present, stop living in the future or the past.

But enough about your mom such a bad driver that she is a threat to herself and other people on the road? If so, maybe some kind of intervention is called for. It could be humiliating perhaps but maybe intimate and loving depending on how it was done.

Maybe it would involve challenging a modus operandi that derives from an unwillingness to live in the present moment. (My apologies if
I am projecting my issues onto your mom, that would be annoying.) From personal experience, I can tell you that things that yank me out of the moment are often disturbing and painful things, fear, worries, humiliations, feelings of inadequacy, guilt, sadness... if any of that is the case, it requires tremendous courage or desperation to wake up.

Anyway, I should let you know that these words come from someone too fearful to drive her own kids on the highway, but I'm comfortable enough on these one way streets of Brooklyn. And happier still when we can take the subway.