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GrampsX9

The Two-And-A-Half-Generation Household

387 posts in this topic

Rose, I think with elderly parents both the parent and the AC  are responsible to schedule to make Drs appointments work. We did try to work doctor appointments around our schedules, but it doesn't always work out.  I had to work around 2 teenage boys and an aging dad.  I did have one luxury that GP's son doesn't have in that I have a sister.  Still, there are 2 parents here.  I had a husband that helped.  I'm not saying this is on the DIL.  OP has a son.

So, Yes we tried to schedule appointments that wouldn't conflict and inconvenience.  But that is not always possible.  You just might once in a while be inconvenienced through no fault of GP.  I think one of the reasons GP agreed to the living situation was that son and DIL would be there for him when he had health issues.   So not only does he not get the closeness he invisioned, it sounds to me like he is not guaranteed help if he does need it.   Of course GP is not me because he thinks DIL saying this is reasonable, I don't. 

Edited by skipped
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5 hours ago, missmm said:

Gramps, there is an "ignore" function you can use to ignore certain posters if you wish. Just click on your user name at the top of the page, go to "Ignore Users" on the drop down list and then you won't see those posts at all.

Thanks for pointing this out.  I haven't reached that point quite yet, at least reading the opinions of the photography 'experts' shows me how my son left the road of love and saw my photos as hate.

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3 hours ago, missmm said:

What in some people is "right fighting" can be a part of autism. An autistic person learns a rule and then will fight to follow that rule and that others follow that rule. It causes problems because there are other unspoken rules that govern our relationships that come first. If you are autistic anywhere on the spectrum it is hard to understand that. Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory comes to mind as an extreme example. And while it's funny on a comedy show it can be painful in real life. Early on I think Gramps himself mentioned his autism as contributing to his problems and I feel this issue with the photos is a good example. You can be wrong even if you are right. When it comes to anything personal such a photos of yourself or your minor children then the only thing that counts is what the parents want in this circumstance. This rule comes before any other rule on photography. So apologize.

 

My #2GS is on the spectrum....and he wants what he wants the way he wants it. Natural born right fighter right there. This is remarkably common among those with autism. He's only 10 and is being taught that he needs to consider others' needs & feelings. It will be an uphill battle. He is most successful when he understands what's going to happen, preferably with its sequence. Routine is important. He comes from a family of "men of few words", so sometimes its hard to tell if the autism keeping him silent or the quirks of his personality. 

Gramps did mention his autism. That's why I suggested counseling & a life coach. Taking responsibility for your own issues makes dealing with someone else's baggage easier. 

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Have you considered inviting them to your apartment for a home cooked meal? 

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33 minutes ago, PattyGram said:

Have you considered inviting them to your apartment for a home cooked meal? 

Hadn't thought of that, maybe I could hire a cook.  But I think my next move is to take my big box of chess books out to the back patio (shared by all) and spread them out on a table.  The 12yo GS is into chess, and he can have any of the books he wants.  I played chess many years ago, but I'm afraid he would beat me now.

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11 minutes ago, GrampsX9 said:

Hadn't thought of that, maybe I could hire a cook.  But I think my next move is to take my big box of chess books out to the back patio (shared by all) and spread them out on a table.  The 12yo GS is into chess, and he can have any of the books he wants.  I played chess many years ago, but I'm afraid he would beat me now.

It won't matter who wins or loses....it's the engagement that's important here. Take advantage of this opportunity

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Posters are missing the point. GrampsX9 lives in a separate complete apartment with NO NEED to share spaces. 

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12 minutes ago, PattyGram said:

Posters are missing the point. GrampsX9 lives in a separate complete apartment with NO NEED to share spaces. 

No one has missed the point, Patty. The point is that Gramps wants a more shared living situation with his DS/family. And that's what his expectation was at the outset and has discovered seriously mismatched expectations. 

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Mame, I can't quote or link. Two pages back posters were posting Gramps needed shared spaces and a kitchen; as if he didn't have a complete apt of his own. 

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My understanding is gramps "wants" shared spaces while DS doesn't.

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What he (Gramps) appears to need, to me, is a healthy relationship with his family- There's something almost inhumane regarding the lack of effort to communicate to resolve existing problems not to mention the way in which the relationship shifted from one that practiced compassion to one that now practices dominance and isolation- <redacted> - But the son is viewed as a family man with a wife and kids, now burdened with the task of living with his dad who furnished him and his family with a place to live via the assistance of his wife and others affiliated with the church they attend- One has to wonder if they received a commission for the sale-

Edited by RoseRed135
according to GP.com guidelines and precedent
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4 hours ago, SueSTx said:

My understanding is gramps "wants" shared spaces while DS doesn't.

I think Sue identified the problem/issue in this thread: wants vs needs.

We live in a housing nightmare, I get it. I know in our home we need privacy, quiet and house-sitting, we want a clean kitchen, and we need ODD to have privacy, a safe space to raise her kids. We thought hard about putting in a separate kitchen for ODD and the kids, but the layout of our foundation, the plumbing, and our well/septic system - all made it just way too expensive and frankly an addition would be ugly. So, we made logical rules that must be followed about the kitchen and informal eating area (blessedly our only joint use area). The kitchen has to be clean always, my husband and I load the dw to my exacting specs (alone, unless it's holiday/big family dinner). The hour before breakfast, while my husband makes coffee/breakfast and I make lunches - the kitchen has to be silent and ours alone. The refrigerator needs to be tidy inside and out. And all crumbs, smudges, spills must be cleaned as soon as is humanly possible.

ETA: We're a bit OCD about kitchens, we know and admit that, everybody puts up/shuts up on the topic.

We're not blessed with 2 kitchens. We make do as best 6 people, who should not have to live together, possibly can under very difficult circumstance. How we make do is by respecting privacy needs and praying.

ETA: I deal/have dealt with a lot of senior living and assisted living situations, in several states. None of them have required estate assets willed to that corporation. Some do require buy-in and some are monthly rent, all have/had small additional monthly costs for meals and services. I'd ask around to be sure how senior living works in the area one plans to live.

Edited by JanelleK

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3 hours ago, SueSTx said:

My understanding is gramps "wants" shared spaces while DS doesn't.

Exactly.  And the back patio won't do it, they hardly ever come out back.  I want, to the point of needing, a "Grandpa's corner", or a chair, where family life can swirl around me, I can hear the children playing, I can hear what's going on.  And maybe even, God forbid, chat with someone.  Compare this to living in a dark basement with footsteps thudding and indistinct voices and water running above me.

If I get to talk to DS this Sunday, one of my points will be: If you truly want a landlord-tenant relationship, I have the rights to do periodic inspections and raise your rent and complain about noise.  I will see a lawyer about this if our relationship doesn't improve.

BTW, all three children are gifted.  The oldest, a 15 year old, is attending a college where he takes both high school and college courses.

Edited by GrampsX9
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I think Gramps is looking for an extended family arrangement with his DS/DIL/GK, and they are not.    It doesn't make Gramps a bad person for wanting more family inclusion.  It doesn't make DS a bad person for wanting more separation and autonomy, but it does make this living arrangement incompatible.  I do think that DS seized the opportunity to get Gramps to pay for his living expenses, as afterall he was conditioned to Gramps treating him like a man-child by paying his bills even before this fiasco of a living arrangement.

As I said it is time for Gramps to cut the financial umbilical cord and release his DS into the world so he can be a responsible adult who takes care of himself and his family.  It is the greatest gift you will give this man in training.  Give DS notice that you are selling the place, so he can find housing that he can afford with the money he and DIL make, sell the place and move to a place that accommodates your needs, such as an over 55 living community that offers transportation to dr appts, etc. and be free of this.  After the dusts settles as there will be quite a dust up from these changes and new boundaries, you both will be in better places.

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Interesting ideas, BSW, but....

But I would take a huge financial hit doing that, and I hate dealing with moving companies.

I've heard (correctly?) that living communities require willing of all your financial assets to them.

Your first paragraph is right on the mark.

Edited by GrampsX9
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25 minutes ago, GrampsX9 said:

Exactly.  And the back patio won't do it, they hardly ever come out back.  I want, to the point of needing, a "Grandpa's corner", or a chair, where family life can swirl around me, I can hear the children playing, I can hear what's going on.  And maybe even, God forbid, chat with someone.  Compare this to living in a dark basement with footsteps thudding and indistinct voices and water running above me.

If I get to talk to DS this Sunday, one of my points will be: If you truly want a landlord-tenant relationship, I have the rights to do periodic inspections and raise your rent and complain about noise.  I will see a lawyer about this if our relationship doesn't improve.

BTW, all three children are gifted.  The oldest, a 15 year old, is attending a college where he takes both high school and college courses.

I don't think you want to the point of needing- I think that according to all that you've thus far expressed that you do need interaction- There is nothing the matter with admitting that -- should you be willing to stand up for your personal needs- Otherwise I would understand a reluctance to admit as much- 

In a post above, Janelle indicates that she needs privacy for her daughter, yet the overall consensus of this thread for whatever odd reason, is leaning towards you wanting interaction instead of needing it- Think about that a minute ..

Edited by Komorebi

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9 minutes ago, GrampsX9 said:

Exactly.  And the back patio won't do it, they hardly ever come out back.  I want, to the point of needing, a "Grandpa's corner", or a chair, where family life can swirl around me, I can hear the children playing, I can hear what's going on.  And maybe even, God forbid, chat with someone.  Compare this to living in a dark basement with footsteps thudding and indistinct voices and water running above me.

If I get to talk to DS this Sunday, one of my points will be: If you truly want a landlord-tenant relationship, I have the rights to do periodic inspections and raise your rent and complain about noise.  I will see a lawyer about this if our relationship doesn't improve.

BTW, all three children are gifted.  The oldest, a 15 year old, is attending a college where he takes both high school and college courses.

I think I would start by stating what you need, grandpa corner or chair, family small talk daily. If DS balks and says he that's too much for them, that he wants more separate like a landlord/tenant, then point out that being owner of the property makes you the landlord and you aren't happy with the arrangements. See what you can negotiate, ask DS to be flexible and that you will be flexible also. Start looking into what it would take to move. I understand dreading the process and how hard it would be to start over again but it doesn't have to happen immediately. It will take time to explore all your options. You don't have to stay in DS's town if you like somewhere else better. Keep in mind that the grandkids are getting older and will be moving on themselves in a few short years.  Maybe if your DS sees you are seriously unhappy he will make some changes. Just a question, is your DS autistic too? It sounds like both of you have a difficult time communicating and DS comes across as a somewhat rigid personality in your posts. (Thinking of how the photos and mail conflicts were handled).

I do agree with BSW though. If your DS had invited you to live with his family out of love and not out of financial need then it would be a very different situation. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our children is to stand back and not help. Trust them to figure it out on their own no matter how much they protest or how much it hurts to watch them struggle. Maybe all the money you are spending on DS would be better spent on the grandchildrens's education. Meanwhile consider ways to get interaction with other people in the community. Join a club, community organization, volunteer, just to get out and be around other people. You could eventually make friends and not be so dependent on DS's family. It would also give you something interesting to talk about with the DS and his family. Go on and get the chess set out and ask grandson to show you some moves or whatever chess involves. It doesn't matter who plays best, who teaches who, just that you share an activity. Watch the other grandkids and think about their interests and if there is something you can do with them.  I think you are going to have to take the lead here and invite them to come downstairs for whatever activity you come up with (or even better, ask them what they would like). Maybe have afterschool snacks and homework time with you.  Mame's suggestion of getting some help for yourself might lead to some suggestions on how to interact with the GC so that they want to spend time with you. Even if you can't move now doesn't mean you can't improve the situation you are in.

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43 minutes ago, GrampsX9 said:

Interesting ideas, BSW, but....

But I would take a huge financial hit doing that, and I hate dealing with moving companies.

I've heard (correctly?) that living communities require willing of all your financial assets to them.

Your first paragraph is right on the mark.

I don't think that is accurate Re: having to deed all your financial assets to them.  Ask a senior resource director in your area about these communities.  Whether you decide to move or not, getting informed and exploring your options then weighing the costs would be a very smart move on your part. 

P.S.  I don't know one person who likes moving companies.  It's just something you deal with like getting your teeth cleaned or getting a colonoscopy done.

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1 hour ago, BSW said:

I do think that DS seized the opportunity to get Gramps to pay for his living expenses, as afterall he was conditioned to Gramps treating him like a man-child by paying his bills even before this fiasco of a living arrangement.

I said that this is "right on the mark", and it still is, but I hasten to add that DS is a very hard worker.  He works two jobs.  He has to, to be able to pay 10% tithing.

Thanks for the great posts above.  I think I am homing in on the right path.  I could at least threaten to explore those options.  (This is not an implied threat, it is a "could threaten".)

Edited by GrampsX9
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On 10/2/2017 at 1:59 PM, skipped said:

Rose, I think with elderly parents both the parent and the AC  are responsible to schedule to make Drs appointments work. We did try to work doctor appointments around our schedules, but it doesn't always work out.  I had to work around 2 teenage boys and an aging dad.  I did have one luxury that GP's son doesn't have in that I have a sister.  Still, there are 2 parents here.  I had a husband that helped.  I'm not saying this is on the DIL.  OP has a son.

So, Yes we tried to schedule appointments that wouldn't conflict and inconvenience.  But that is not always possible.  You just might once in a while be inconvenienced through no fault of GP.  I think one of the reasons GP agreed to the living situation was that son and DIL would be there for him when he had health issues.   So not only does he not get the closeness he invisioned, it sounds to me like he is not guaranteed help if he does need it.   Of course GP is not me because he thinks DIL saying this is reasonable, I don't. 

I didn't mean to sound as if this is all on DIL either. You're right, Gramps also has DS. And sometimes, DS could take Gramps to an appointment - or take a child to an activity, so that DIL could take Gramps, etc.

But sometimes, both kids have activities, as I'm sure you recall (you mention working around "2 teenage boys," etc.). So that would mean 3 people needing transportation w/ only 2 people, apparently, being looked upon to take care of it all.

Still, no doubt, it can, usually, be worked out w/ a little advance planning. Not all the time, I know, but usually.

So, as long as DS does some of the chauffeuring, too (if he does), then I don't think DIL's comment is all that much to worry about.

ETA: Actually, I realize since DS works 2 jobs. he's probably not available to do much chauffeuring, either for Gramps or the kids. That means it's all on DIL. Maybe saying, "If I'm available" is just a way of protecting her sanity.

Edited by RoseRed135

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2 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

BTW, all three children are gifted.  The oldest, a 15 year old, is attending a college where he takes both high school and college courses.

Awesome! Congratulations to all!

No doubt, they're doing some very interesting learning activities. No doubt, also, though, they have very demanding and sometimes stressful coursework. That must keep them (and sometimes, their parents) very busy during the schoolyear.

 

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15 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

I didn't mean to sound as if this is all on DIL either. You're right, Gramps also has DS. And sometimes, DS could take Gramps to an appointment - or take a child to an activity, so that DIL could take Gramps, etc.

But sometimes, both kids have activities, as I'm sure you recall (you mention working around "2 teenage boys," etc.). So that would mean 3 people needing transportation w/ only 2 people, apparently, being looked upon to take care of it all.

Still, no doubt, it can, usually, be worked out w/ a little advance planning. Not all the time, I know, but usually.

So, as long as DS does some of the chauffeuring, too (if he does), then I don't think DIL's comment is all that much to worry about. If DS doesn't, well, then, that's an issue in itself, IMO.

I think it can be worked out.  And it sounds to me like someone who makes an  agreement to help only "if I'm available" isn't even thinking about making it work.  You've already set your mind to "if I'm available"  like you are afraid of making any type of guarantees.  Really if things are that bad, in an emergency situation, there is always a way.  They have to know parents of other classmates that can assist in an emergency to provide rides home.  I've done it for my son's activities numerous times.  It sounds like  there are "church people" around to help.  They help with the move..  .   Maybe I read into that comment, but it really sounded to me like, I don't want to be inconvenienced.   Don't count on me 100%.

Edited by skipped

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Regarding having to deed financial assets to retirement communities.  I would say in general they are pricey.    But so what (assuming you can pay for it) If you need care, you need care.  Your DIL has already told you that she would help you if it didn't inconvenience her.  That doesn't sound like a statement that would make me trust that I would be taken care of if I needed it.   I wouldn't worry about spending down MY assets for My care. 

My children have the option- you don't have to take care of me, but I hope you ensure that I am being taken care of.  I have the money for a retirement community.  If they are the caregivers they get the money.  If they don't want to be the care givers the retirement community gets the money.  It doesn't work both ways. 

My parents inherited money because they did the work to keep their parents out of a facility.  As of now, I will probably inherit money, but that is because my sister and I have managed to work together to keep my mother out of a facility.  That means we are inconvenienced at times to keep my mother at home.   In a way people do work for their inheritance. 

The money I have made in my lifetime is mine, if there is any left, my children will inherit it.   If they keep me out of a facility it's just plain logical that they will inherit more.

 

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Rose, I agree, these 3 teens must be in a demanding learning situation.

DS has 2 jobs. DIL is busy and needs help with the house.

One visit a week sounds like too many, maybe instead of ask for more gramps should give DS grace and ask for less? 

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On 10/2/2017 at 2:25 PM, RoseRed135 said:

@ImpishMom - I believe the word "you" here was intended as "you-general?" Or perhaps it referred to Gramps, who you quoted in the same post? But I don't think it referred to Komo, specifically. Am I correct?

I can see why Komo might think it did though. Please be more careful about that.

@Komorebi Since Imp was replying to a quote of Gramps' in the same post, I take it that the family she was thinking of was Gramps' DS' family unit. And that definitely includes "minor children."

As for her tone, please remember there are no specific rules about "tone" on this site. Of course, you don't have to like another poster's tone - or rather, what you perceive to be their tone (since we can't actually hear it).

 

Yes, it was a general 'you', then was addressing Gramps situation in particular.

5 hours ago, GrampsX9 said:

Exactly.  And the back patio won't do it, they hardly ever come out back.  I want, to the point of needing, a "Grandpa's corner", or a chair, where family life can swirl around me, I can hear the children playing, I can hear what's going on.  And maybe even, God forbid, chat with someone.  Compare this to living in a dark basement with footsteps thudding and indistinct voices and water running above me.

If I get to talk to DS this Sunday, one of my points will be: If you truly want a landlord-tenant relationship, I have the rights to do periodic inspections and raise your rent and complain about noise.  I will see a lawyer about this if our relationship doesn't improve.

BTW, all three children are gifted.  The oldest, a 15 year old, is attending a college where he takes both high school and college courses.

So, it's not being 'above ground' as skipped and I mentioned earlier, it's the interaction. In which case, you sitting in the living room, while they kept to other parts of the house would not fulfill your need.

I suspect this is going to be a heck of a thing. Your ds works two jobs. Your gc are gifted, and likely have intense schedules. You want a far more intense relationship than they've ever had with you, given the distance apart, and it will cost them a lot, in terms of privacy, independence and boundaries. I guess it's going to boil down to what ds values more: cheaper living arrangements, or his family's boundaries, b/c I'm just not seeing a whole lot of room for compromise.

I feel bad for the DIL in all of this, honestly. If they're devout Mormon, it's a patriarchal set up. Which means her dh gets final say, and she's following along. If her dh decides Gramps gets a 'Grandpa's corner', she's obligated, via her faith, to follow along, regardless of what she actually wants. Which may or may not include moving in to the house to start with. I really hope, that whatever solution ends up happening, it doesn't negatively impact their marriage, if for no other reason than they have three children involved.

ETA: Something else I just thought of: your ds works 2 jobs, and you guys lived long distance until the last year or so. I wonder if part of the issue is simply that your DIL doesn't feel comfortable hosting you alone? A lot of folks don't enjoy hosting their inlaws when their spouse isn't home, and if you've been long distance until recently, she probably doesn't know you terribly well either. Plus, w/her dh working 2 jobs, she's wrangling the 3 kids and all their stuff on her own the majority of the time, so she also may feel like she genuinely can't handle one more thing on her plate w/out her dh helping out.

2 hours ago, skipped said:

I think it can be worked out.  And it sounds to me like someone who makes an  agreement to help only "if I'm available" isn't even thinking about making it work.  You've already set your mind to "if I'm available"  like you are afraid of making any type of guarantees.  Really if things are that bad, in an emergency situation, there is always a way.  They have to know parents of other classmates that can assist in an emergency to provide rides home.  I've done it for my son's activities numerous times.  It sounds like  there are "church people" around to help.  They help with the move..  .   Maybe I read into that comment, but it really sounded to me like, I don't want to be inconvenienced.   Don't count on me 100%.

I disagree. "If I'm available" to me means just that. There are times I simply cannot shuffle things around, and I refuse to commit to anything blindly, giving a blanket, open ended promise. Example: I was going to enrol dd11 in Tae Kwon Do yesterday. But, we got a call that ds 5 had a spot for dental surgery yesterday. TKD was off the table, b/c I couldn't say no to finally getting the time slot for the surgery.

I realize that's a bit of an extreme example, but such is life w/kids and juggling family appointments. You can't always drop and run, or reschedule. In some cases, like ds surgery, it's just not doable. In other cases, it's not fair. Ds 12 has Cadets once a week. It wouldn't be fair to make him miss a week b/c someone else needed a ride, if whatever errand/appt could be rescheduled.

And, 'if I'm available' also means, 'ask first'. Nobody enjoys being 'volun-told'.

Edited by ImpishMom

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