I am back from 5 days at my Mother's cottage. It was just my Mother, my sister and my two young kids. For the most part it was good. My sister is a bit tightly wound and was worrying about stuff that is beyond her control. It can be hard to relax when you are with a whirling top. All this pointless grind. On the other hand she was playing with the kids and I got in a few adult conversations.
The worst part of the whole event was the end. My mother is having the cottage painted. So it turned out that after my sister left we had to empty the closets and stuff like that. We talked and I told her what we had time to do before we left. I understood that she wanted to do more purging while going through the closets, but I wanted to leave so that we could do the 3 hour drive in daylight and in rhythm with the 4 hour cycles of my nine month old. Now mother has a very bad back, degenerative disks, and cannot do a lot of physical work. So I have to do all of the heavy work and keep and eye on the kids.
At 2 I tell her, "Mum we have to go now." She agrees with me, but keeps doing chores. This repeats a few more times. Finally, at 3 pm I have a very upset baby who has been in the car seat a while and the car is NOT MOVING and she is still puttering about. I was unhappy. Okay, I raised my voice a bit at my 78 yr old mother and told her we had to go. The word "please" was used, but it was a bit more emphatic than polite. Now lets be clear that she has always been like this and is not likely to change, but the passive aggressive, do one thing and say another is hard to take. It left a bad taste in my mouth. What can you do? You cannot pick your family.
Oh, an update on the wiping of the bottom. The lure of the toys finally won. My husband promised him a Playmobil Police Station if he wiped his own bum for a week. My oldest has now wiped his bottom two days in a row. Yippee!