Abby 8/4

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“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

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#1
Aug 4, 2013
 
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 60-year-old grandmother of eight wonderful grandchildren, ranging in age from 2 to 24. My question is about baby-sitting.

I believe my children think we owe them baby-sitting duties. I don't mind baby-sitting once in a while, when I feel like it. But I don't feel like it when the parents want to go out and party, or they tell me at the last minute, "little Susie needs some Grandma time," or they want to go to the gym because they don't want to give up the freedom they had before their children came along.

What are your thoughts on boundaries for this generation of parents-who-want-it-all at the expense of my generation who, back in the day, if a neighbor kid couldn't baby-sit, we just stayed home? I know I should have set some rules at the beginning, but I'm starting to feel resentful of their expectations.-- WANTS SOME FREEDOM, TOO, IN MINNESOTA

DEAR WANTS SOME FREEDOM, TOO: There is truth to the saying that "good fences make good neighbors," and the philosophy applies to many circumstances. Setting clear boundaries makes for healthier relationships. Keep in mind that many grandparents would love to have your "problem." But as you stated, your problem was in not setting ground rules from the beginning.

Because you feel resentful, it's time to have a frank talk with your children and say that as much as the grandkids may "need" Grandma time, Grandma also needs Grandma time. And when you do, be firm -- because unless you stand your ground, nothing will change.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 62 years old and a widower. My wife passed away in July 2011. It has taken me a while to get over losing her. I realize how much she did for me as I have been learning how to be a house husband without a wife.

My wife told me this was the first house she lived in that had a dishwasher. She was so proud of it! I could never understand why she would wash the dishes before putting them into the dishwasher. Now I have to do it myself, I understand why. My question is, is there a detergent that will actually clean the dishes?

Also, do you have any cute readers who would like to teach an old man how to clean house?-- FENDING FOR MYSELF

DEAR FENDING: I'm sorry I can't print your name or location because if I did, you might be crushed in the stampede. If you and your late wife were married 20 or 30 years and the dishwasher was already installed in the house when you moved in, it is now practically an antique. Because you have tried several brands of detergent and your dishes aren't getting clean, you probably need a new dishwasher.(And I do not mean a cute, young one.)

DEAR ABBY: I am not happy. No matter what I do, I am filled with emptiness and loneliness every minute of every single day. Being near friends and family lifts my spirits, but only for a little while. Then I am reminded once more of my loneliness and emptiness.

I feel like I am being consumed by misery, and I don't want to feel like this anymore. Please tell me what to do.-- SEARCHING FOR HAPPINESS

DEAR SEARCHING FOR HAPPINESS: The feelings you describe can be symptoms of chronic depression, which is a treatable illness. That's why I'm urging you to discuss them with a physician. A combination of medication and talk therapy can help you feel better again, so don't put it off.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#2
Aug 4, 2013
 
1- You're 60 and have a 24 yr old GRANDCHILD?? Did your daughter get knocked up at 13? Doesn't sound like you've EVER set boundaries. Good luck trying now.

2- If you're loading the dishwasher with plates full of globbed dried food, no detergent in the world will get them clean. Rinse the plates off right after use. And won't your wife be proud? You're pining for young cuties to do your housework. Perv.

3- Get a dog and quit feeling sorry for yourself.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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#3
Aug 4, 2013
 

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LW1 - Learn to say, "Sorry, not on such a short notice." And I am with edog here (except it may have been the son who became a dad): a 24-year-old GRANDCHILD when you are 60? You became a GRANDMA at age 36???? Wow.

LW2 - Really? You want cuties to teach you how to clean your house? You are revolting.

LW3 - See your doctor and get on an antidepressant ASAP. See a therapist too.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#4
Aug 4, 2013
 
Cass wrote:
LW1 - Learn to say, "Sorry, not on such a short notice." And I am with edog here (except it may have been the son who became a dad): a 24-year-old GRANDCHILD when you are 60? You became a GRANDMA at age 36???? Wow.
LW2 - Really? You want cuties to teach you how to clean your house? You are revolting.
LW3 - See your doctor and get on an antidepressant ASAP. See a therapist too.
If she was 18 when she had a kid and that kid in turn was 18 when their first child was born. My mom was barely 18 when I was born and was married so it is not unreasonable. There are some segments of society where out of wedlock early births are the norm although this LW doesn't sound like she falls into that group.

Or, it could be a step grandchild which the LW chooses not to label as a step (props to her if that is the case)

Condition the kids that you have other things to do. Cheerily announce you have signed up for feng shui courses or a MOOC for credit and have run across Betty and Adele and Sue and restarted your bridge club on Saturday from 1-9 so you can regretfully tell your kid you are not available .

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#5
Aug 4, 2013
 

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L1 is a crotchety old bitch who expects her grandkids to live parental life according to her rules.

If they ask you on too short notice, you say you are unable to change your plans and can't do it. Don't expect that their life is perfectly scheduled and every need for babysitting they have is known well in advance. Sometimes things come up last minute and so they have to scramble last minute to find child care. If you can do it without giving them an attitude, then do it. If not simply say no.

And then you throw out this nonsense about going to a party or the gym. Really? So in your mind, they should simply not be able to go anywhere once they are parents because that's the way it was for you when you were a parent? FU. You remind me of the PITA I used to work with who seemed personally offended that my MIL happily watched our kids for us so we could do stuff as a couple. Since she did not have that luxury, that's how it should be for everyone. Resentful old crank.

I've asked my mom and MIL many times at the last minute because of some unexpected need. Sometimes they can, sometimes they can't. That's life. I'm not resentful when they can't, and they're not resentful of me asking.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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#6
Aug 4, 2013
 

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PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
If she was 18 when she had a kid and that kid in turn was 18 when their first child was born. My mom was barely 18 when I was born and was married so it is not unreasonable. There are some segments of society where out of wedlock early births are the norm although this LW doesn't sound like she falls into that group.
Or, it could be a step grandchild which the LW chooses not to label as a step (props to her if that is the case)
Condition the kids that you have other things to do. Cheerily announce you have signed up for feng shui courses or a MOOC for credit and have run across Betty and Adele and Sue and restarted your bridge club on Saturday from 1-9 so you can regretfully tell your kid you are not available .
I still say it's a wow. I know, some people get married and have kids early, but 18 - in my book - is way, way, way too early to become a parent, irrespective of the marital status. I am not saying that 18 year olds automatically make bad parents, but I don't think the vast majority of 18-year-olds are mature enough to raise children, even if they try and do the best job they can of it. Of course, it's my own perspective. I had my first baby at 35.

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

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#7
Aug 4, 2013
 
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
If she was 18 when she had a kid and that kid in turn was 18 when their first child was born. My mom was barely 18 when I was born and was married so it is not unreasonable. There are some segments of society where out of wedlock early births are the norm although this LW doesn't sound like she falls into that group.
Or, it could be a step grandchild which the LW chooses not to label as a step (props to her if that is the case)
Condition the kids that you have other things to do. Cheerily announce you have signed up for feng shui courses or a MOOC for credit and have run across Betty and Adele and Sue and restarted your bridge club on Saturday from 1-9 so you can regretfully tell your kid you are not available .
Exactly, brilliant minds, PE. I was thinking almost the same thing.
Not everyone at 18 is immature, especially 24 and more years ago.

My mom got a job when my kids were small and told me she couldn't babysit as often, especially on weeknights which is when I usually needed her. We laughed about it because she told me she lied about her age and I threatened to call the co. and tell them. Of course, I didn't, I just didn't go out or I got a babysitter.

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

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#8
Aug 4, 2013
 
L2: Shouldn't his question re soap be written to "Hints from Heloise"? But without his silly joke at the end.

It's probably an old dishwasher.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

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#9
Aug 4, 2013
 
1: I don't think parents should automatically assume grandparents will watch the kids, and the grandparents should have the right to say no anytime...BUT...granny whined about they stayed IF they couldn't find a neighbor kid. That's babysitting. If these parents use a grandparent instead of a complete stranger, how is it any different? Would she watch if she got paid? Should they pay a stranger instead?
2: Dude, it's called google. Sheesh.
3: Screw Big Pharma drugs. Go volunteer in Africa and return a blessed person.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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#10
Aug 4, 2013
 
cheluzal wrote:
3: Screw Big Pharma drugs. Go volunteer in Africa and return a blessed person.
A study done in 1983 found that the leading causes of death among Peace Corps volunteers were motorcycle accidents and suicide. I don't remember the citation, but I do remember that they looked at a very small number of deaths: something like 30 or 35 over a period of several years.

Having been married to a man struggling with clinical depression for 17 years, I have to say that I doubt that doing good can serve as a cure for a genuine organic illness.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

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#11
Aug 4, 2013
 
LW2: Purchase a product called Lemi Shine for your dishwasher. You probably have hard water in your area.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#12
Aug 4, 2013
 
Kuuipo wrote:
LW2: Purchase a product called Lemi Shine for your dishwasher. You probably have hard water in your area.
This.

FWIW, Cheluzal in central FL told me about this. I am just north of Chicago and I use it. But you still have to scrape and rinse before putting the dishes in the dishwasher.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

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#13
Aug 5, 2013
 
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
This.
FWIW, Cheluzal in central FL told me about this. I am just north of Chicago and I use it. But you still have to scrape and rinse before putting the dishes in the dishwasher.
LOL, you found it!! I have it, but it's harder to find.:)
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#14
Aug 5, 2013
 
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
This.
FWIW, Cheluzal in central FL told me about this. I am just north of Chicago and I use it. But you still have to scrape and rinse before putting the dishes in the dishwasher.
I have SUPER hard water here in West FL, too, and used Lemi-Shine when I had a dishwasher! It was driving me nuts because my glasses were cloudy and everything had a film on it. I founf lemi-shie and LOVED it! Oh, and I also put a ball of tin foil in my utensil rack (an in-law from Germany taught me that - you just change it out periodically) to help keep utensils shiny and I periodically ran a cycle with vinegar.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#15
Aug 5, 2013
 
And, alas, I no longer have a dishwasher. SO I use Solo cups a lot.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

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#16
Aug 5, 2013
 
cheluzal wrote:
<quoted text>
LOL, you found it!! I have it, but it's harder to find.:)
Wal-Mart sells it, and it is on Amazon, but Amazon charges a riduculous amount for it. Still, this product saved me from buying a new dishwasher.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

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#17
Aug 5, 2013
 
How does tin goil work??

Yes, vinegar is the best natural cleaner around....I do laundry loads infrequently with it, disposal (or a cute lemon), vinegar water in microwave before cleaning, etc...
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#18
Aug 5, 2013
 
Kuuipo wrote:
<quoted text>
Wal-Mart sells it, and it is on Amazon, but Amazon charges a riduculous amount for it. Still, this product saved me from buying a new dishwasher.
Publix also carries it, Chel.

I am not sure how the tin foil works (she told me, but I forget), but it did help!!!
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

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#19
Aug 6, 2013
 
Coolio! Will check.

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