Dear Annie: I am a 68-year-old widow with two grown children, both married, both living nearby. I dearly love babies and baby-sit as much as possible. My son and his wife had my first grandson over the summer. My son called me the morning after to invite me to see him, so I did for a few minutes. Then, a few weeks later and a few weeks after that, my son invited me to their home to see the baby again. So I went. When I didn't see the baby for several weeks, I texted my daughter-in-law to ask whether I could see the baby but got no response. I knew she would be going back to work soon, so I asked again. No response. The next thing I knew, my son told me to leave them alone -- that they wanted their privacy. I cried and cried but don't know what happened. He told me to not text or call.
This happened around Thanksgiving, when, for the time ever, we didn't spend the holiday together. Tonight I texted him and asked him to pick up three gifts my friends sent. He was so ticked off that I wasn't giving them the "space" they need that I think I will either mail him the gifts before the baby outgrows them or return them to my friends.
He is upset that I have some mild memory problems, mainly repeating myself and not realizing it. I have been to a doctor for this and am taking medication for it. My friends say the medication seems to be helping. I think this problem could also apply to my not realizing I had previously texted him the same thing.
What can I do about my son and his wife? Everybody I know seems to really love me. I had many invitations to Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas get-togethers, but I am so sad! I have wanted a grandchild for years. -- New Grandma
Dear New Grandma: I'd encourage you to get a second opinion on your memory problems. (And no, your friends' opinions don't count.) Investigate the issue from every angle, because it sounds pretty serious from what you've described -- not remembering recent conversations you've had or text messages you've sent. Ask your son to accompany you to a doctor's visit so your physician can explain the situation to him. If your son understands that this is a medical condition and outside your control, he should be more sympathetic when you repeat yourself or are confused. It will be impossible to help take care of your grandchildren if you're not first and foremost taking care of yourself.
Dear Annie: This is in response to "Weird, Stupid or Selfish?" -- who keeps having to hide decorative candy from her husband because he eats it. I had the same problem with my husband. Our three fun-loving teenage daughters decided to put some doggy candy in a beautiful crystal dish. Needless to say, it was irresistible to their father. It tasted so bad he had to try two! That sure slowed down the emptying of the candy dishes. -- Carol
Dear Carol: Now why didn't I think of that? Please tell your daughters that they take first place at creative problem-solving this week.