The other day I was telling my Mom not to shout across the house because “you sound just like Grandma” and I know my mom doesn’t like the way my Grandma did that too. I hope this is not true but I feel my Mom is becoming a younger version of grandma. Although she hasn’t recognized the resemblance, I could tell it straight to her whenever she behaves like grandma.
Today, Mom took me to Grandma’s house to prepare for the reunion dinner and I’ve got some learnings from my observation.
1. Grandma rants a lot. I’m not sure if ranting helps her relieve any stress she was feeling but i didn’t interfere and kept silent. However, to someone who had to consistently listen to the rants a.k.a Mom and Uncle, they didn’t want to entertain those. Sometimes, they would just try to fire back or confront Grandma “why do you keep saying that?”. Of cos, that is a wrong move, cos that’s when Grandma has a reason to continue.
2. Grandma is OCD with oiliness. She can’t stand merely one oil drop on the floor. I didn’t argue with her when she complained my fingers are oily, I just washed my hands immediately.
3. Grandma’s expectation is something far from my expectation. My Mom told her: I’m gonna do everything. So she did exactly that. My mom cooked everything and when we brought the food to my Grandma’s house, the only thing I had to do it heating everything up. To my grandma’s expectation, “doing everything” literally is not inclusive of heating things up or arranging the food. She expects everything to be ready and she literally didn’t have to touch any single thing.
So during the whole 2 hours helping my Grandma prepare for the dinner, I was triggered with a question: how to make Grandma happy, which would make everyone else happy? This is kind of cool because I could find an answer to help my Mom if I could help my Grandma. (I know this is tricky but at least i’m trying to look into this)
To answer the above question, ask “Why isn’t she happy?” or “What is making her unhappy” instead.
Let’s list the points out:
– Grandma thinks she is doing everything on her own. Cooking, cleaning, taking care of a family, etc … In fact, she is doing that all alone, at the moment.
– Grandma needs someone to help out. We tried to get maids to help her out zillion times. However, Grandma’s micro-management and OCD failed them all.
– Grandma thinks she has the most miserale life on earth. This thought might be applicable only to her own perspective, however people with different points of view find it hard to understand. And even if we know it’s not true, how could we make it cross to her?
– Grandma wants to micro manage every single little things. It’s not only that she wants to know and see things done. Worse, she doesn’t entrust anything to anybody. Say, if I’m supposed to fry some rolls, she would want to make sure she placed the pot properly on the cooker, enough oil has been poured and no oil drop on the floor.
– Grandma is a menticulous person. Every details count for her.
– Grandma has OCD.
– Grandma has issues with her bone-system (sorry, no scientific term for this), which gives her pain and discomfort when she moves around.
– Grandma needs rest, lots of rest. However, with all the aforementioned, she doesn’t simply let go of things.
– Grandma needs someone to cheer her up. Apparently, noone is available for her now. When she kept saying how desperately she needs that someone, i couldn’t help but feeling so upset.
– Grandma is upset with her expectations not met. This is not only about cleanliness, i feel this could also be from other people’s treatment around her.
With these points already listed out, how I could change and move things to make my Grandma (and subsequently my Mom) happier? I would bring this thought to the new year and contemplate that till i see a light bulb.
‘Till then, Happy Lunar New Year and wish everyone health and happiness.