Saturday, December 16, 2006

On the Job Training - Motherhood : The Grandmother

When we went to CA, we left our daughter with my parents. They get to spend time bonding and we get a chance to be on our own. Total win-win situation!

Anyway, I was unpacking the bags since we had taken at least 4-5 bags for my daughter to take there filled with clothes, books, dolls, shoes and whatever she needed for a few days. I was unpacking her bag and figured I'd toss everything into the laundry.

Lo and behold, mom did her laundry! I was so happy to find washed and folded clothes in her bag.

Then, there a small bag of gumdrops and candy in there. Annika was delighted with the treat.

I looked further and found a small necklace and earrings that my mom had given to Annika. When I showed it to Annika, she said there should be one more flower earring.

I felt good and thought this is what going to your grandmother's is all about. I didn't have a chance to build a relationship with my grandmothers since they lived in India and died by the time I was 14. I feel closer to my grandfather with whom I kept up an airmail correspondence when I was in high school until his death when I was 18. So, in my opinion, I value the grandparent and grandchild relationship because it's something I did not know. Even though my mother-in-law is in India, Annika will have a stronger relationship with her through pictures, emails, phone cards and frequent flier miles.

Anyway, I felt all warm and fuzzy and called my mom to thank her. She said not to mention it because they are thrilled when Annika comes to visit.

Then, I got a 10-minute verbal lashing about "neglecting" my daughter's health! How she's "malnourished", smaller than other American kids, I need to feed her banana & egg milkshakes every day, give cod liver oil vitamins and if I sell Annika the idea she can grow tall and healthy, she'll agree to do everything I ask her.


Yes, she had good suggestions and I asked her what foods Annika actually ate there. It takes this 5 year old at least 1 hour to eat a cheese sandwich. She just loves to talk, but also likes certain foods only. I'm not worried about her right now - just the wasted time that goes into every meal reminding her to eat.

I think she'll eventually eat everything. I refused to eat tomatoes until I was 11. Healthwise, she has her growth spurts so I know she's growing well.

AND I know my mom is telling me this for our own good -- really, if your mom doesn't tell you something, who else in the world will care to? BUT, you can't help but feel your mom doesn't think you're a good mother. My father, on the other hand, gave me compliments on the way Annika is being raised and he could see certain things that I've taught her.

I think it's that whole mother-daughter communication gap. One says something and the other hears something totally different.

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