Today I was reading on someone’s blog about how her parents helped her move out of the house. It reminded me of one of my moves, except that my parents weren’t that helpful. Many years ago, I bought a house. At that point in time, Mom and Dad liked to “help”. It was their way of feeling somehow involved in my life. Dad’s helping consisted of actual helpful things, like bringing his truck and letting us use it. Mom, on the other hand, pretty much just always got in the way while insisting on doing things her way.
As I’ve gotten older (and because of a variety of issues), I have come to look at my parents more as adults rather than as my parents. In most cases now, I am the parent and they are the children. Some may see it as a bit sad, but it is highly practical and has helped me preserve my sanity while maintaining a tolerable relationship with them.
When I moved from my rented house into my new house, I used the knowledge of my parents' behavior to my advantage. Anticipating that Mom would want to do things her way, I devised a plan: distraction. She does this with my friends' kids, why not use it on her? Everything was packed so that she couldn’t pack things in the "creative" way she tends to do. When she wanted to carry things outside, I made sure they were unbreakable things like pillows (she drops things and trips a lot). When we got to the new house, I put her to work in the kitchen. She had this bee in her bonnet about giving me shelf paper. I do not like shelf paper, especially the sticky kind with grandma patterns on them. She found some paper that was plain and not sticky, so I pretended that it was a great thing, but, “Oh, I don’t know when I will have time to do it. I sure wish I could get it on the shelves before I moved everything in….” etc. You know where this is leading. Mom insisted on putting in all the shelf paper. This killed many birds with one stone: she was “helping”, she was busy (i.e. out of my hair), and got to do things her way. Plus, shelf paper is not breakable.
Oh, and I hid the crystal.