Monday, August 14, 2006

It's not about you....

Yesterday, Kenzie and I met my mother at a local Cracker Barrel. It was filled to capacity, with lots of clanging dishes, loud kids, and people yelling over each other just to try to hear each other over the din every one else was creating.

During all this, my mother was practically falling asleep at the table. Literally, the only thing that woke her up was her head falling forward as if it were going to fall right onto the table.

We all agreed to meet at my mother's sister's house after lunch. Mom went straight there. I had to take a short detour back to our house and pick up Kenzie's Elmo. Once she had it (she loves her Elmo) we scooted on over to Aunt Annetta's so we could visit with her. Annetta has had a mild stroke, has heart problems, and recently had a biopsy (supposedly to find out more about why she had a stroke). She is in her mid 80's and is as spunky as they come. She's always been one of my favorite aunts.

The whole time we were there, Mom kept dozing off in the chair.

Kenzie made a huge breakthrough, though. She has always been extremely afraid of dogs. She loves them - wants to pet them - but has been very frightened by their quick movements, and the fact that they jump up on her. Plus, even a small dog looks big to her.

Well, Annetta has a little dog named Tippy. He is part Dachsund, part Chihuahua, and part Pekinese. He stayed rather docile this time, laying down. Kenzie finally overcame her fears and began to pet Tippy, and brush him, and play with him, throwing his toys for him to fetch. I was in awe over her slow progress in trusting Tippy and learning how to pet him. It is progress, and she was so excited that she was able to pet and play with him.

When it was time to leave, Kenzie and I were to go up to my mother's house to continue the visit. My mother wanted to take Kenzie in her car.

O-KAAAAAAAYYYY.... NO way that was happening. When I told mom that Kenzie would not be going with her, but would instead be riding with me, she was offended.

I told her that I felt it was unsafe at this point to let Kenzie ride with her, since she was so tired and dozing off not only at Annetta's, but at the restaurant as well. Her rebuttal? Kenzie was her granddaughter, and she should be able to take her if she wanted to. She wasn't tired. And since Kenzie wanted to go with her, she should be able to go in her car.

I have to thank GOD that I am not one of those wimpy women who will put their child's safety at risk just to please her mother. Yes, mom, Kenzie is your granddaughter. But she's my daughter, and that gives me not only the right, but the responsibility to see that she is not put in harm's way unnecessarily - not if I can help it. And yes, you ARE tired, or you wouldn't be falling asleep in a noisy restaurant. And just because Kenzie wants to do something, that doesn't make it okay. Kenzie is not even 4 years old yet - what would make anyone think that a child would know better than an adult as to what is safe or okay to do... C'mon mom - you used to be a better parent than that. What has happened to your judgement?

As we were driving up to mom's house, I felt that my decision was more than justified. Once on the highway, I put the truck on cruise control, set at the speed limit. My mother? At first, she was riding on my tail. Then, she sped on past us and left us waaaaaaay behind. I'm so glad I didn't let Kenzie go with her. I love her, but her judgement has been severly impaired. I just don't understand it.

All I had to do was take one look at this precious child and know that I was given the most awesome gift - and I don't want to take it for granted.

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