8 Oct 2007


If interested, there are a few new paintings by me here


Have you ever noticed that there is a big difference between visiting your son or daughter or if they visit you ?

First you usually don't have a key to his/her's home. When you arrive you want to behave as descreet as possible and make yourself to a little mouse not to disturb your child's household. You ask politely where you can sleep and start each sentence with "may I" "or "where may I" or "do you have " ? when you need something out of the fridge, a little space in the wardrobe, or you need something to drink. You ask if you could use the phone, if you could help, where you can sit at table or on the sofa. You support without a complainingly word the heat or the cold in the rooms.

You bravely listen to a music which sounds to you like notes played from the end to the beginning, you watch movies with a lot of shooting, fighting, kickboxing or other Walker's methods, or shows about "how can I become a beauty" or "who is who" etc. It would never come into your mind to ask for watching your favourite shows. Unless of course you belong to the super mums who don't visit their children but move in armed with suitcases and packets, taking possession of the whole house including the kitchen. They know everything better of course and they also have to cook and iron because they know that so much better having so many years of practice behind them.

But when your child is visiting you, it of cours still has the keys of your home. So don't get a heart attack when suddenly while you are busy with something it suddenly pops in and stands in front of you. It will take immediately possession of its old room even if it had been transformed meanwhile to some other purposes than a teenage room and have to listen to the reproachfull statements "why did you change that" "why did you throw this away" and "why were there no track of it's posters anymore". After five minutes your child spent in this room, you notice that you don't recognize it anymore. Suddenly a lot of things unknown to you are spread around, mostly on the floor. Misterious things happen, your house is bewitched. You are suddenly freezing although it is not cold outside and realize that the thermostat has put itself on "aircondition" or you start sweating because the temperature has suddenly raised a lot without your interfering and your thermostat shows 28° (82). The fridge you just had filled in is suddenly empty like a desert or drinks you just had bought had changed themselves into empty bottles.

Your TV program has changed, the remote control found another owner, you just sit there a little surprised. Your telephone is ringing but there is no track of your handset which you finally find under a pile of magazines.

You miss clothes in your wardrobe and can't find any track of them but once your guest is gone if you are lucky you will find the missed piece wrinkled in a corner of the ex teenage room. Your husband accuses you of course because you misplaced his T-shirts and he cannot find the one he wants to wear it would never come into his mind that his son who is now a guest has served himself in his wardrobe.

After becoming a sort of FBI agent to track back all the disappeared things you finally ask in a timidly voice to please keep in mind that he/she is not living in this house anymore and that he/she should ask first if they may take something or at least tell what they took. This of course will cause a shock to the beloved child. It hasn't done anything wrong in its opinion. It just felt home ! It will look at you with big astonished eyes as if you suddenly had become mad, because its home is still with you and in its mind that hasn't changed at all.

And when it finally leaves and your house is empty again and you have tracked down all the so misteriously disappeared things, you fall in your armchair and feel guilty. Did the poor child enjoy it's stay ? Or had you been on the wrong track ?


Ian said...

Sheesh...having a rough time with the younguns, are you? I try to be very polite whenever I visit my parents, and certainly don't walk all over them. Heck, without them, I wouldn't be here. The least I can do is to be a polite guest when I stop in.


Anonymous said...

what a great post. I never thought about that but I guess it is different for the parents to be the "guest" in their child's home. What en enlightening post. have a great Monday.

MaR said...

You mean the floor is still closet space even when they are over 25???? I thought I had hope, but reality can be very cruel...
I can imagine that!! it's hard to keep your inner peace when a tornado comes in! don't worry, if your son shows up unexpectedly is because he still feels that is his home, which is true. When you as a parent visit your child/children, it is another environment, not a familiar one... Children are kings :)
Thanks for your nice wishes on my bday, Gattina, thank you very much. It was a much dreaded day but I survived!! and feel wonderful :)

maryt/theteach said...

Gattina, I wish you luck with the kids...it never changes I don't think! :)

Come visit me at my MM post!

Maribeth said...

I either did it very right or very wrong. My daughter is a wonderful guest. She is helpful and doesn't rock my world in a bad way.
When I stay with her I act the same. She is a big girl and can take of herself.
Sometimes I wish she needed me more, but then, that would get old fast, wouldn't it?

Melli said...

ROFL! Soooooo IMAGINE when they MOVE BACK IN!!! You think they have grown up, and learned about taking care of themselves, and so you say "oh yes, of course you can come back" ... after all - you have visited THEIR home and know they keep it tidy... right? But... 5 minutes after they are IN YOUR door you think "My God! What have I done???" They definitely DO feel MORE at home at YOUR house than they do at their own!!!

Jenny McB said...

What an interesting concept you bring up...the adult who becomes a child the minute they come home. It's weird enough with one in college who questions our home decisions to which we respond, "but you really don't live here".

Come over and check out my Manic Monday, I think that you will enjoy it!

Julie said...

Hmmm I've visited my kids on campus or in their apartments shared by numerous co-horts in crime and NEVER thought of this stuff before!

So very interesting!

Durward Discussion said...

I'm amazed you managed to get them to move out!

Anonymous said...

For me....first off.....I would NOT go to either of my kids homes. Both are pig pens!! I would discreetly get a hotel room close by. I would take them out to eat. I can't see myself eating in their homes with the rats and cockroaches crawling around. Not to mention sheets that are not changed but monthly!!


And if they come to my house they're not any better than company...they have a strict mom, and they respect what I have.

They know better. I'm sure when I pass on to the other side, and the kids are near by---they'll probably smear cat poop on the cupboards just to get even with me.

[rofl....well, the cockroaches may not show up nor the mice....but the fact is, they both work and our daughter has two small kids...they're not into housework. Hence, the hotel room for me, thank you very much.]


Pamela said...

fun perspective...