You know what, I’m going to say it, not all old people are nice and sweet. In fact some are the opposite, like this guy:
Ya, ya, he looks all cute and harmless, and like he’s taken a few falls this week (he has, two in fact). But man can this guy get on my nerves. Yesterday I wanted to go over there and check on him because the day before he had fallen. And I hate to say it, but really it was his own fault. We have been trying to get him to pull his service cord when he needs help, but the guy refuses. So when he spilled a whole container of Boost (he got boosted he said) he went about cleaning it up himself. From there he ended up face planted to the floor, and struggled for a half hour to get to cord to get help up. I do feel bad about that. I would hate to be so weak, and not be able to do anything myself. But I think there has to be a point where you ask people for help. Instead he falls or hurts himself and we have to go over there double time, and I’m getting a bit bitter about because of what he said to me yesterday.
I told Bj we should head over there to check on him, hang out a bit, Bj suggested bringing him a milkshake, so we did and went over after lunch. The night before I had talked grandpa into taking a pain pill and he had actually slept through the night, which I was happy about. But his mood was still sour. I was sitting next to his bed and Bj was sitting on his walker talking to him when grandpa said to him,
"And you, you better watch her, she’s gaining weight."
Bj: "Grandpa, she’s pregnant!"
Grandpa: "Well I know, but I’m serious you don’t want her to gain to much."
Me: "Grandpa you shouldn’t say mean things to people."
Grandpa: "So you’re fat, that’s not mean, you are fat."
Me: "Saying mean things is your favorite pastime."
Grandpa: "I don’t say mean things (turns and looks at Bj with a smile), not to their faces."
Ok yes, it was funny for a few seconds, and Bj was cracking up. But the more I thought about it the more upset I got. We were in his room, but he has no problem saying things like this to me in public, which I hate. I actually did say I would kick him while he was down yesterday. So there, you can’t all think I’m a saint now for taking care of him. Argh! We went on to have this conversation. It started out because Bj was wearing flip flops and grandpa just now noticed how large his feet are:
Grandpa: "God you have big feet. I don’t trust em. Damn your big toe is almost longer than my foot."
He started to ask Bj if he swam, he doesn’t. And I couldn’t help but interject that I could beat him in a race. Bj said, "ya, Amber was a lifeguard and everything."
Grandpa: "You were a certified life guard? Was that for a kiddy pool?"
No I told him it wasn’t. That I went through he regular training. That I had to be paired up with the biggest guy in my class since I was the smallest. To which grandpa said, "And you’re not near as big as you are now." AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
We changed the subject and Bj started pulling out clothes for his doctor’s appointment. He grabbed the shorts from last year (it’s hot here):
And grandpa said, "No I’m not wearing those, I don’t want them to see my shape. I’d have girls lined up."
He pulled out a pair of pants, "how about these?"
Grandpa, "Sure that’s fine, as long as I’m not hanging out everywhere."
That guy, he thinks he’s like gods gift to women. Still at 88. You have got to be kidding me. The guy drives me mad. And don’t tell me he doesn’t know what he saying. He totally does. He doesn’t have any mental or memory problems. I think that’s an excuse people use. I feel like he should have to take responsibility for his words, but I just can’t seem to convey this to him. And it’s like he knows he can just keep doing it. What am I going to do, not take him to the doctor? I have to. I just am about at my wits end with this guy. A baby is going to seem so easy to take care of after this. I’ve logged thousands of hours watching infants, and like zero (before grandpa) watching old people. And you know what, a year an half later, I still don’t get this guy!
p.s. when he was complaining about his back I told him to look up karma in the dictionary. Was that mean?
Totally not mean.
Give him a taste of his own medicine and if he doesn’t catch a clue, at least you might feel a little better having snapped back at him. The man needs a hobby other than punching Amber in the face.
They’ve got to have DVD of entire baseball seasons…? Thank God for TV.
When I was pregnant my mother in law said I didn’t look pregnant, I just looked fat…and somehow it was supposed to be a compliment. It’s ok now. That baby is 18 years old and just went to visit the inlaws. The day he left to come back home, my mother in law called me and spent no less than 20 minutes telling me what an amazing young man he is and what a wonderful mother I was and that she gives me all the credit and that she’s sorry we didn’t get along better in the beginning and…and… and… I soaked in every stinking word!!!
What if you just get up and leave whenever he’s mean? Obviously you can’t leave him somewhere, but you don’t have to sit with him or chat with him. If he wants company, he may change his tune.
The Karma thing was very funny.
Perhaps he’s just embarrassed about having to be looked after. I mean, he’s really trying to be independent still, even when he just can’t manage it. I know I personally hate having to have help with something and it makes me snappy. I dunno…perhaps you could ask for his help in some thing he knows more about and let him make a contribution.
And…keep trucking…just rise above it. If you say mean things back you’ll still be upset he’s saying them, AND you’ll be upset with yourself. (That’s ever so easy for me to say sitting here self-righteously on the other side of the planet).
And what’s an English Pram? [see post of a couple of days ago]
No. The karma comment was not rude.
We were just talking about this last night in reference to my own grandpa (not nearly a rude as BJ’s). . . being old is not an excuse for being rude. They’re old – not children – they know better.
Love your blog, Amber! I’ve look forward to checking it every few days after I stumbled across it in a Google search for design inspiration (I’m a graphic designer).
My great-grandma, who is 93, was just like your grandpa not too long ago. You see, after her husband passed away about 15 years ago her comments slowly began to be more blunt and rude. Our family realized she’s always been this person, but for about 70 years my grandpa kept her in line! When I lived near her during college I’d visit every other weekend to clean her house, take her out to eat and to shop at “Wal-Marts” (all stores end in “s” when you get old). When she made rude comments about my weight or my long straight hair (apparently she’s always hated long straight hair), it would hurt my feelings but I’d try to chalk it up to her being a sassy old spitfire. I’ll never forget when I kicked her butt playing rummy and she smiled, tossed her cards down and said, “You little shit pot!” Ha ha, I laughed so hard! What’s the heck’s a shit pot?
Anyway, she’s mellowed out quite a bit now because she realized that people don’t like to visit mean old ladies at the nursing home. When we visit her now, we talk about what everyone’s been up to, her health, who’s been to visit, blah, blah, blah… I actually miss her spunk and how she would criticize us in old-timey ways that would make us laugh!
So while I completely understand how you feel, remember that your grandpa may not stay spunky forever and you may find yourself wishing he would joke about the ladies swooning over him in his plaid shorts.
not mean at ALL. poor thing, you don’t look fat that that was plain rude!
I read your blog because of your grandpa stories, it makes me feel a little better to know someone else is dealing with a cantankerous grandparent. When dealing with my 86-year old gramma I have to remind myself to put on my Teflon coating to help the remarks roll off! Hang in there 🙂
Not rude at all, very funny actually!! I think it’s perfectly ok to give him a dose of his own medicine every now and then (probably more than you have been). Especially since he knows that what he says is mean. I agree with what Dawn said, to maybe just get up and leave when he says mean things. Actually, BJ should step up to the plate and say “grandpa, I can’t let you say those mean things to my wife anymore” then leave. Come on, BJ, stick up for your woman! (not that you can’t handle it yourself Amber, but it’s HIS grandfather!)
I stumbled upon your blog through a website for scrapbooking and I looooove your grandpa stories. He sounds like a hoot!
Leave a comment