It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from “Worried Mom” who was concerned that her MIL may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s after she giving her grandbaby a dirty cup to drink from while babysitting recently. Keep reading for an update.
First, thanks so much for your advice. I actually called the Alzheimer’s hotline and discussed my concerns in length with a lady there. She did agree that the cup incident could be a warning sign, but that it wasn’t clear cut. My MIL has gotten increasingly more forgetful and easily confused, which is why I was worried.
I appreciate the advice about finding additional babysitters. We live in a small town and haven’t met many people yet. I have put up ads, but haven’t gotten responses. The daycares here require a weekly deposit to hold your child’s spot, and my mother-in-law has told us before that she would be offended if she were not asked to watch our kids. Your advice has lit a fire under me, though, and I will try harder to find someone.
As an update, my father-in-law told my husband that my MIL discussed it with him and told him I was angry with her. I absolutely was not. I have no idea where she got that idea. She also told him a completely different story which didn’t make sense either. (She said that she knowingly used the dirty cup because there were no clean ones. There were several clean ones in the cupboard).
So today I called her just to check on her and apologize if I had given her the impression that I was upset. At first she was a little prickly, but, after I assured her that I wasn’t mad and that the baby was fine, she was more friendly. She said that my husband had told my FIL that she should have known better and washed the cup. I know this didn’t happen. I was standing beside my husband while they were on the phone. Just to be sure, I asked my husband, and he confirmed that he didn’t say that. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions while talking to her, so I haven’t addressed that… I am not sure if I even should. I kind of think it’s best to just drop it.
I have no idea what is going on, though. I don’t think she would knowingly lie. Now, though, my FIL seems to think we are out to get her, so I don’t know if he will take our concerns seriously.
Also, I seem to have stirred up a debate in your comments section. So, here’s the deal: The dirty dishes in the sink were our breakfast dishes from that morning plus one stock pot that had soaked over night.
As for the dirty cup that had been there all week, I try to salvage things if I can. I am not wasteful–probably to a fault. Never fear, though! That cup is in the trash now!
And last, I technically DO work from home, though my income is paltry at best. I have a hard time calling myself a “work at home mom” when my income is so little.
Feel free to judge. I am aware that I have faults, but my kids are happy and well-loved! That is what is important to me.
In the future, I certainly will do my best to load the dishwasher BEFORE I leave for appointments, because I think you are right. That will help anyone who is watching them.
Thanks, again. I am grateful that you have this site.
Thanks for the update. As for finding a sitter, have you tried word of mouth (asking other neighborhood moms for recommendations)? Or, do you have a neighborhood listserv or Yahoo group or Facebook page where you could put out some feelers? Honestly, it shouldn’t be that hard to find a few additional sitters to add to your roster. Now finding one who is actually available when you need one and doesn’t cancel at the last minute — that could be challenge from time to time.
As for the cup incident and the whole “her story vs. your story,” I’d just drop it at this point. Consider it a warning sign if you want, but I wouldn’t address it further or you really will seem like you’re out to embarrass your MIL, which probably isn’t a wise move.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.