Mothers and Daughters
Now at twenty-six the child cannot stand her maternal-grandmother. No, they are not on speaking terms. Supposedly the child has grown, has seen the light, she now knows how her grandmother just likes to make people helpless, helpless so they will be trapped, trapped around her so she will not be alone, because without anyone needing her for beer or cigarette or crack money or a ride, no one would be around her, because, she never allows herself to be anything but the dominating caregiver, or in other terms, the enforcer and enabler of co-dependency. “Mama, mama, how does it feel knowing that two of your sons, one almost fifty and the other on the other side of forty have never left home?” “When I’m dead maybe yall will appreciate me then you ungrateful bastards.”
Now she is with her other grandmother, the paternal-grandmother and again ma-ma is a horrible person. Ma-ma knew she was taking the baby boy to see the doctor, how could she go twelve whole hours and not call and see how the appointment went. So of course come the thirteenth hour when the absentee grandmother calls, she is scolded and told how horrible of a grandmother she is, how could she wait so long to see how the appointment went? Doesn’t she want to know if the doctor gave him lollipops in two flavours? But Ma-ma lost her temper and cursed her daughter out. This rude reception was just too much to bear after begging the child to bring the little one to visit his grandmother so they can sing the “The Wheels On the Bus” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and go to beach while his ma-ma catches a break. How ungrateful! Moreover, the grandmother was even willing to pay for the tickets, before the price of gas increased the fares. “No, no, I’m not sure. You sound like you want to take my baby from me the way grandmother did you with your baby girl (me).” “I assure you I don’t want to take your baby away. You say you have not had a break in two and half years. I simply want to give you a break. You can come too! You are welcome too! I want you here as much as I want him here. I will be glad to have you. I have clean sheets and soft pillows just for you. I will cook for you while I sing him the “Winnie the Pooh” (and swing my booty the way that makes all the kids laugh) song. I will make you all the things you like to eat.” “Not now, not now, I have things to do, but you are a horrible grandmother nonetheless.”
So it has been about six days now and nothing. We both know what is really going on. She does not want to go back to school, but she does want to go, but it is scary and she has to prepare herself and she is afraid to admit it, afraid to tell me she is not ready to go back, so instead of saying it, realising it, she finds a reason to be angry with me, then she does not have to talk to me and risk me asking about how all the paperwork is going that I ask about all the time.
The second child is a bit lighter, easier, and her anger has since subsided. She was disappointed in her mother. We were watching some television show. A reality like show where people have dogs and are of course are in or out. Someone’s dog was playing outside and had gotten hurt. The owner heard a yelp. Dramatically, the owner rushed to the dog, scooped the limp beast up, demanded a car and whisked off toward the veterinarian. Cameras maliciously focused on the blood on the owner’s shirt, the film sped. The veterinarian quickly rushed the injured dog to the operating table. The diagnosis, a small, very small, a flesh wound to the ear, not the inner ear, but the tip, perhaps a feral cat gave him a swipe, or a wire fence. A flesh wound. A fucking flesh wound. I did not laugh yet. No, I did not fall into uncontrollable laughter until I saw the big ass battlefield bandage they put on the dog’s ear. The dog received no stitches. The laughter almost died down, but then the cameras followed the owner back to the house (Where they are all holed up: the natural way for reality shows) and showed how other owners started to cry because it could very well have been their little dog. That is when I could not stop laughing. Oh, she was angry, she was mad, she stomped upstairs (but first seeing what channel the show was on so she could watch it alone in her room). After she calmed down she asked me politely to explain what I thought was so funny. I tried to make my case. But, when I looked in her sad little hurt eyes I decided it was best just to apoloise and admit that I’m crazy sometimes. “I’m sorry pooh bear. I was wrong. I will never laugh at a poor little puppy again. Can you forgive me?” Of course she did and we hugged for thirty minutes.