Having great grandchildren isn’t always so ‘great’

My sister, who is 17 years older than me, is a great grandmother, times four. All four children are the grandchildren of my niece who has been gone for five years now, struck down by ovarian cancer at age 53. My sister, trying to fill in for her missing daughter,  often babysits three of the great grandchildren and dotes heavily on them, as you can imagine. A new granddaughter, born to another grandson, came into the world about six weeks ago. My sister was so happy to have another girl on which to dote.

However, there seems to be a glitch in seeing this particular child. The first three ‘great-grands’ belong to my sister’s oldest grandson; the new baby belongs to the second grandson and it seems that his wife is not very cooperative in letting my sister see her new great grandchild. My sister had seen the baby when she was born and was wanting to see the baby now, a month later. The family lives about 40 minutes away, in a foothill community, and I offered to drive my sister for a visit some day this week. Figured that way I too could see the newest member of the family. You know, take a small gift from the great-great aunt. How many kids have a great-great aunt? Or even a great grandmother, for that matter?

The new mother said no. It wasn’t a good time this week to visit. No other time offered. My sister was pretty devastated. I was miffed. We aren’t planning on staying long. Just pop in and see the baby. Let my sister get her grandchild fix. I told my sister to call me when they decided to let her come see the baby. Hopefully it will be at a time I can take her and see the baby, too. My sister’s  title of great, and in my case, great-great, may not be so great after all.


13 responses to “Having great grandchildren isn’t always so ‘great’

  1. Well. That’s kind of rude. As a mother, I understand when there are times that just aren’t good for visitors (though I almost never turn family away for a period of time such as a whole week, but whatever). Still, I would think that she would offer other times. I’m sad for you and your sister :-(. I wish my grandma and great-aunt lived closer so they could see their greats and great-greats more often; they are about 700 miles away.

    • It’s really sad because my sister is still grieving the loss of her daughter, the grandmother of this new baby. It would give her such joy to see this baby, which is a connection to her daughter.

  2. gosh that’s how family is sometimes…unfortunate.

  3. Now that’s just plain mean, if you ask me. She seems unwilling to see the value in family. 😦

    • I don’t think the grandson’s new wife understands how my sister feels. She wasn’t in the picture when my niece was diagnosed with cancer and suffered and died.

  4. Reading your last response makes sense to me. I’m wondering about the child’s father, your sister’s grandson…He must be in a tough spot. Maybe time will heal. ..postpartum can be a witchy time.

  5. Well, I would simply be patient and understand the mother’s fatigue from nightly feedings.

    • I’m not too sure about that, Gigi…the fatigue thing. I have seen pictures of other visitors (her family) and I’ve seen photos of events mother and new baby have attended, sans dad. Facebook gives you some marvelous insights into people’s lives.

  6. My daughter was like this new mother when she had her first child. And I was the grandmother. My daughter changed her tune over time, but it hurt when it happened. We discussed this episode the other week and my daughter said she just didn’t want to share at the time. I think it’s hormonal. Go with the flow. Suggest your sister she should enjoy the other three kids. Sooner or later the attitude will change on the new Mom’s part.

  7. My youngest daughter and her husband didn’t want to share at first, either, when my first granddaughter was born. The young marrieds actually lived in the house with us but were so afraid that we were going to “take over” their baby that we went through one three-day period when we didn’t even see the infant who was living in our house. That standoff soon end–very soon–and my patience was rewarded by having a very special relationship with this now 13-year-old granddaughter. That good ending doesn’t happen for everyone, of course, but their in initial reaction was more a product of the insecurity of these new young parents than it was anything else. When they realized that I had been there and done that with parenting my own children and had no interest in taking over anyone else’s, they relaxed. I hope that your sister can wait it out and that the change in attitude happens in your sister’s case, too.

  8. I shouldn’t write long posts at the end of the day. Neither my typing nor my proofreading skills are up to par at that time of day.

  9. I’d love to have extended family near enough to visit. Our family is spread worldwide, so our kids won’t get the chance to really know any of them 😦

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