This is going to be long. Sorry. And I don?t know what I?m looking for ? advice, an outsiders perspective, or just to vent. I?m also sure I?ll forget to tell you some key piece of info that takes the post down the totally wrong path.
Anyhow ? my MIL had a kidney transplant 9 years ago. This was after a number of other health issues, including breast cancer. While it was supposed to be a new lease on life, it really hasn?t been. She?s developed diabetes, she now has arthritis, and the biggest kicker- we know she?s suffering from depression even though she won?t get help for it. She?s 72.
Needless to say, her personality has changed drastically. She just wants to sit at home and watch old movies. She doesn?t like to go out, SAYS she wants to travel, but now actually has come to the point that she even gets out of going on family related trips (for weddings, etc). FIL will go by himself. For my baby shower, she got a stomach bug the night before and couldn?t come. This ?excuse? has been used a few times, including my wedding shower too (which I don?t care about ? just an example of how she doesn?t like to go out and what she does to get out of it).
More info ? for a number of reasons, we don?t feel comfortable w/ them watching DS. Largely physical on both her part and FIL?s part, but also partially mental reasons too. FIL expresses disappointment in this, of course. MIL talks the talk of being jealous that my parents watch DS, but to be perfectly honest, I don?t think she really is all that upset to not watch him. I think she?s more in love w/ the IDEA of a grandson than w/ her actual grandson. And I think a lot of this is due to the depression.
Unrelated to all of that, DH and I largely try to avoid doing big group dinners out (meaning w/ my family too). Primarily because his parents tend to be horribly late. One year it happened so many times in a short time frame, that we both agreed going out w/ them just wasn?t a good idea. I felt it was very rude to my family, and bottom line- we try to host at home as much as possible.
So, this past Monday we went out to dinner w/ both sets of parents for FIL?s 75th b-day. (DS was w/ a sitter). We went to a very nice, upscale restaurant. Surprisingly, they were on time. All is good.
While at dinner, MIL starts to tell us (as she does EVERY time we see her) how when they go out to eat, she?ll go up to tables of total strangers and show them DS?s pics and how ?isn?t my grandson SO adorable!??. Everyone agrees w/ her, and sometimes other grandparents will pull out their grandkids pics to show her too.
Honestly, this whole thing kind of horrifies DH and I. We find it inappropriate for many reasons. I KNOW her attitude is ?I?m 72 years old and I can do whatever I want!?, and I also think it?s her trying to make an attempt to say ?Look at how much I LOVE DS!?.
Well, she?s telling us this because she wants to do this w/ a table of 14 people. DH and I were like ?no ? do not do that.?. FIL is sitting there and kind of chuckles and is like ?Oh- she does this everywhere we go!?. Then also says ?Oh, honey, you?re going to embarrass your son!? ? again w/ a chuckle.
She starts to get a little more forceful about it, picks out 2 pictures, and says ?I?m going over to that table!?. DH was like ?NO, mom, that?s not appropriate. ? and in the end, got her to chill out and not go over.
I don?t find this appropriate at any restaurant, much less at an upscale, fancy restaurant.
Then the other thing that happened ? well, let me preface this by saying that later DH was like ?She can?t have more than 2 drinks? because anything past that gets her drunk. While at dinner, one of the servers brought her a drink she ordered. For some reason, this became equivalent to the girl finding world peace based on MIL?s response. As we?re all getting ready to leave and are near the front door, the girl is at a register. MIL gets $5 from FIL, goes and gives it to the girl and is basically telling her how WONDERFUL she is for getting her a drink, and then HUGS the girl. I could see the girl was like ?WTF is this woman doing??. This ends. Then a minute later, MIL is over there again, holding the girls arm, going on about how wonderful she is, CARESSES her face and then hugs her again! I looked at DH and then at his mom, and at this point he leans over to his mom and is like ?o.k. mom, it?s time to go. This needs to end. Come on, lets go.?.
Even as I write this, I?m kind of dumbfounded. Is this her just being drunk, depressed whacky old lady, or should we be pushing his dad to get her some help? It was just all so over the top and uncomfortable.
Lateness aside, now I REALLY don?t ever want to go out w/ them again to a restaurant if this is what is going to happen. Just total levels of inappropriateness and a seeming lack of understanding what is normal behavior in public.
Oh, the other thing is that w/ every course that came out, she was like ?what did I order? I ordered this??. At the time, I was kind of chalking it up to her just not wanting to think anymore. I really do believe she?s gotten lazy. Looking at a menu seems to overwhelm her, and then to ?forget? every course? I do believe it is laziness, but again ? is it more? Is there more we should be trying to do? This aspect comes through in other ways too. She hardly takes part in conversations anymore, can never speak to present news issues going on, present TV shows, etc. At Thanksgiving, she now gets up and goes and picks up a coffee table book that she is like ?oh- this is wonderful! I love this book. It?s so pretty.? ? and she did the same thing w/ the same book at Mothers Day and at thanksgiving the year before. Just a lot of repetitive behavior and telling the same stories over and over.
Blah. So fricking long. Sorry, and thanks for reading it all if you actually did. Again- don?t know exactly what I?m looking for, but? please, if you have any thoughts or insight, I?d like to hear.
One last thing- to a certain degree, we think FIL kind of feels beaten down. I think he know she needs help, at least w/ the depression. But I think it's hard on him because she can become very beligerent and rude too. However, the chuckling over the picture thing - is that him giving up, or does he really think it's funny and is basically enabling the behavior?