Sunday, April 5, 2009

The conversation went something like this....

We've been giving Daughter #2 rides to/from church Wednesdays and Sundays so that she can babysit (paid position). This generally requires us to take 2 vehicles (the SUV and the "little car" - not my mustang because no way is the car-seat working in the back seat).

Today on the way from church to her home, Precious G-son dropped his juice bottle. It landed on the floor (backseat) amidst the empty and half-empty water bottles.

D#2: "You and dad have are bad about collecting half-empty water bottles."

Me: "Why do you say that?"

D#2: "Because the truck and car always have a bunch of half-empty water bottles."

Me: "So why are you assuming I'm a contributor? Have you checked the mustang for half-empty water bottles?"

D#2: "Well, I notice there are always half-empty water bottles around the house, too."

{Side note - last week she asked me about my relaxation practices because she claimed I never relax. She cited my doing e-mail while watching TV as an example. The computer and TV are in different rooms. I mention this because, while we DO have a lot of empty and half-empty water bottles in the car, we do NOT have "a bunch of half-empty bottles" around the house.}

Me: "So why are you assuming I'm a contributor? Your logic is flawed. I'm not saying whether or not I *am* a contributor, just that you're leaping from an observation to a conclusion."

D#2: "Oh, I see. I guess it would be like my accusing my husband of leaving his dirty dishes laying around, even though some of the dirty dishes are mine."

Me: "Actually, it would be more like my coming over to your apartment and saying 'You have a bad habit of leaving your dirty dishes laying around' even though there are 3 of you living there. My comment might be based on the observation that you're the only person I ever see there and therefore I'd incorrectly assume that you're the person leaving the dirty dishes laying around. You are a very logical person so I'm trying to help you see the fallacy in your conclusion."

D#2: "Oh, I see. Well, it was just an observation."

Me: "Well, your observation sounded a lot like a criticism."

D#2: "Are you okay?"

Me: "Yes, I'm just wondering if you realize how you come across sometimes."

I'm not sure if I'm okay or not. I'm not sure if my feedback was loving or harsh. Maybe I was just being defensive. Personally, I don't think the collection of 6-7 bottles in the back of the car is any of D#2's business, especially since we're going out of our way to ferry her to and from church twice a week.


Heidi said...

It sounds like you're feeling frustrated. Don't be hard on yourself. You're a good and kind person. Family...especially family can drive us to the edge.

you gotta wonder said...

Thank you, Heidi. Hubby and I are talking about intervention with D#2. She's brought some skewed versions of history up and we're starting to wonder what is *really* on her mind.

I am frustrated and I am definitely trying to figure out the "right" course with these almost grown children. {sigh}

dallasdiva said...

I say beat them all. Ok, fine, if that doesn't work perhaps in a loving and kind way you can bring of the various things that have been going on and ask in a kind and loving way WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT???

Anonymous said...

I've not been very helpful here the past week; sorry, Ladies. (Hope that term does not offend.)

I don't know if I can do any better today. (One of my kitties is unusually on my lap, begging attention.)

First I will agree with H and dd. Except, not beating - did you already read the next post here, dd? I DO appreciate the substitute for that other common expletive.

I think it a useful technique to respond to an uncomfortable remark with a question like you did. The subsequent exchange was informative to #2 if not satisfying in the moment. Also averted an argumentative escalation. By asking her the question, you treated her as an adult. Also good technique.

So, good job all in all, ygw. Barbara