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Ursa Major

'loving' Father, Grandfather?

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I received my shipment of gluten-free oats from Bob's Red Mill last week. Our oldest daughter, son-in-law and five children (all but dad gluten-free) were here for several days before Christmas, and moved on to the other grandparent's house for a week. They came back here on Tuesday, and left today after lunch.

Normally my husband likes to cook a big pot of porridge for the gang in the morning when he is home, because it is cheaper than other cereal. And they do like it.

But now they've been gluten-free for several months, and it is very obvious that most (maybe all) of them are gluten intolerant.

Fortunately (really), he was on a business trip from Thursday early morning until last night, and couldn't cook porridge for the kids (I don't eat porridge).

Well, this morning, he came down and announced that he would cook porridge. I took out the gluten-free oats, and asked him to cook the porridge with those. But he said, "No way, these are way too expensive! They were always fine with the other oats, and I will use those. The gluten-free ones are like gold!"

And that after I had explained to him in detail about the cross contamination of oats, and why it wasn't safe to use regular oats in North America.

The kid's dad was sitting right there (who refuses to try the gluten-free diet himself), and my husband asked him if it was okay to use regular oats, and he said that it didn't matter to him (I felt like punching him, he NEVER stands up to anybody, including my bossy and overbearing daughter, who unfortunately was in the basement at that time).

So, of course my husband then said, well, there you have it, if the dad says its okay, I'll use the regular oats. I was just fuming! I went upstairs for an hour to calm down, so I wouldn't say things in front of the kids they shouldn't hear.

Which shows that money is more important than the health of his children and grandchildren (my oldest and youngest daughters ate the porridge as well, and they are both gluten intolerant).

And while the children don't usually have your obvious symptoms, they do have them when glutened. The oldest girl, who is 7, will get awfully grumpy and pesky, and gets dark circles under her eyes. The five-year-old boy gets loose bowel movements (not watery D), and gets very emotional and clingy, with joint and muscle pains as well. His twin sister doesn't seem to have any obvious symptoms. But when she was younger she had that typical celiac disease shape, with that hard-as-a-rock distended, round belly, no bum and skinny arms and legs, and she is quite speech delayed (even though smart as a whip). She speaks no better than her three year old brother. Who truly doesn't show any symptoms. But the baby (16 months) will get an awful diaper rash from gluten.

My oldest daughter gets zapped of all her energy from gluten (not a good thing with five kids). And my youngest daughter gets D, stomach cramps, gets irritable and rude and gets rashes.

So, my 'dear husband' will risk for all of them to suffer those problems (plus internal damage of course), just for the sake of a couple of dollars saved. Nice, eh?

On the other hand, I made a fabulous apple crisp for dessert after lunch (we had our son with his wife and baby and our second-youngest daughter and her husband over for lunch as well), using those gluten-free oats.

And now I am feeling dreadful. I know I will soon have explosive D (I can feel it) and I have that awful heavy feeling under my breastbone and a stomach ache. Meaning that I simply can't tolerate oats, gluten-free or no. Rats.

Thankfully, everybody has left now. My oldest daughter (she is almost 28) and her big family is back in Ottawa, a six hour drive (she just called), which is nice, because she was driving me out of my mind. She is very bossy, and was getting worse every day, trying to tell me how to live and how to do things.

Not to mention that while, when I did the cooking, I tried my utmost to make sure everybody could eat the food. But when she cooked, twice I couldn't eat the food, and had to make myself something else while everybody else was eating.

Two days ago she made apple crisp, which we originally were going to eat that night. But then the kids got really tired, and she decided to put them to bed, and keep the dessert for the next day.

After putting the kids to bed, she asked me if I would mind if she and her husband were going to visit her sister, and leave me with the sleeping kids (my husband, as I said, was away, and my youngest daughter had gone out). Which was fine.

But she took enough dessert for the four of them, but then told me (yes, ordered me) to please only take a tiny bit of the apple crisp, since she wanted the rest for her kids for breakfast. Of course, we paid for all of the ingredients of everything the seven of them ate the whole time.

Well, I tried a little bit, but hated it. Everything she makes is so bland that I can't stand it.

So, last night I was starting to make apple crisp, using a converted to gluten-free Mennonite recipe. She came swooping into the kitchen as soon as she saw me getting out the ingredients and baking pan, checking what I was doing. I told her I was making apple crisp for Saturday's lunch.

Then she tried to convince me that I should make it her way, since it was so much more healthy without sugar, and just a little bit of oil instead of butter (I use lard, because of dairy intolerances).

I tried to be nice about it, and just said that I wanted to make it my way. Well, she insisted, and nagged and bugged me, telling me that her apple crisp was much better, and why wouldn't I make it like that?

Finally I told her that I didn't really like hers. I didn't say it was awful, just that I personally didn't really like it. She got really mad and huffy then, and terribly offended! And said that there was no need to tell her I didn't like her apple crisp.

I guess I finally sort of lost it, and told her I was getting very tired of her constantly trying to push me around and making me do things her way in my own house.

At which point she ran out of the kitchen and ran downstairs and went to bed.

Do you guys think it was my fault, and that I was wrong? She constantly criticizes everything I do, trying to change the way I eat, talk, clean, decorate, ................ well, changing who I am, really. It is very trying. That is why I am unable to ever visit them for more than three or four days, by which time I am so frazzled I have to get out or I will scream. It is too bad, because her kids are so sweet and I would like to see them more. Especially the baby is just a little doll.

Anyway, I guess I just needed to vent my frustration.

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I received my shipment of gluten-free oats from Bob's Red Mill last week. Our oldest daughter, son-in-law and five children (all but dad gluten-free) were here for several days before Christmas, and moved on to the other grandparent's house for a week. They came back here on Tuesday, and left today after lunch.

Normally my husband likes to cook a big pot of porridge for the gang in the morning when he is home, because it is cheaper than other cereal. And they do like it.

But now they've been gluten-free for several months, and it is very obvious that most (maybe all) of them are gluten intolerant.

Fortunately (really), he was on a business trip from Thursday early morning until last night, and couldn't cook porridge for the kids (I don't eat porridge).

Well, this morning, he came down and announced that he would cook porridge. I took out the gluten-free oats, and asked him to cook the porridge with those. But he said, "No way, these are way too expensive! They were always fine with the other oats, and I will use those. The gluten-free ones are like gold!"

And that after I had explained to him in detail about the cross contamination of oats, and why it wasn't safe to use regular oats in North America.

The kid's dad was sitting right there (who refuses to try the gluten-free diet himself), and my husband asked him if it was okay to use regular oats, and he said that it didn't matter to him (I felt like punching him, he NEVER stands up to anybody, including my bossy and overbearing daughter, who unfortunately was in the basement at that time).

So, of course my husband then said, well, there you have it, if the dad says its okay, I'll use the regular oats. I was just fuming! I went upstairs for an hour to calm down, so I wouldn't say things in front of the kids they shouldn't hear.

Which shows that money is more important than the health of his children and grandchildren (my oldest and youngest daughters ate the porridge as well, and they are both gluten intolerant).

And while the children don't usually have your obvious symptoms, they do have them when glutened. The oldest girl, who is 7, will get awfully grumpy and pesky, and gets dark circles under her eyes. The five-year-old boy gets loose bowel movements (not watery D), and gets very emotional and clingy, with joint and muscle pains as well. His twin sister doesn't seem to have any obvious symptoms. But when she was younger she had that typical celiac disease shape, with that hard-as-a-rock distended, round belly, no bum and skinny arms and legs, and she is quite speech delayed (even though smart as a whip). She speaks no better than her three year old brother. Who truly doesn't show any symptoms. But the baby (16 months) will get an awful diaper rash from gluten.

My oldest daughter gets zapped of all her energy from gluten (not a good thing with five kids). And my youngest daughter gets D, stomach cramps, gets irritable and rude and gets rashes.

So, my 'dear husband' will risk for all of them to suffer those problems (plus internal damage of course), just for the sake of a couple of dollars saved. Nice, eh?

On the other hand, I made a fabulous apple crisp for dessert after lunch (we had our son with his wife and baby and our second-youngest daughter and her husband over for lunch as well), using those gluten-free oats.

And now I am feeling dreadful. I know I will soon have explosive D (I can feel it) and I have that awful heavy feeling under my breastbone and a stomach ache. Meaning that I simply can't tolerate oats, gluten-free or no. Rats.

Thankfully, everybody has left now. My oldest daughter (she is almost 28) and her big family is back in Ottawa, a six hour drive (she just called), which is nice, because she was driving me out of my mind. She is very bossy, and was getting worse every day, trying to tell me how to live and how to do things.

Not to mention that while, when I did the cooking, I tried my utmost to make sure everybody could eat the food. But when she cooked, twice I couldn't eat the food, and had to make myself something else while everybody else was eating.

Two days ago she made apple crisp, which we originally were going to eat that night. But then the kids got really tired, and she decided to put them to bed, and keep the dessert for the next day.

After putting the kids to bed, she asked me if I would mind if she and her husband were going to visit her sister, and leave me with the sleeping kids (my husband, as I said, was away, and my youngest daughter had gone out). Which was fine.

But she took enough dessert for the four of them, but then told me (yes, ordered me) to please only take a tiny bit of the apple crisp, since she wanted the rest for her kids for breakfast. Of course, we paid for all of the ingredients of everything the seven of them ate the whole time.

Well, I tried a little bit, but hated it. Everything she makes is so bland that I can't stand it.

So, last night I was starting to make apple crisp, using a converted to gluten-free Mennonite recipe. She came swooping into the kitchen as soon as she saw me getting out the ingredients and baking pan, checking what I was doing. I told her I was making apple crisp for Saturday's lunch.

Then she tried to convince me that I should make it her way, since it was so much more healthy without sugar, and just a little bit of oil instead of butter (I use lard, because of dairy intolerances).

I tried to be nice about it, and just said that I wanted to make it my way. Well, she insisted, and nagged and bugged me, telling me that her apple crisp was much better, and why wouldn't I make it like that?

Finally I told her that I didn't really like hers. I didn't say it was awful, just that I personally didn't really like it. She got really mad and huffy then, and terribly offended! And said that there was no need to tell her I didn't like her apple crisp.

I guess I finally sort of lost it, and told her I was getting very tired of her constantly trying to push me around and making me do things her way in my own house.

At which point she ran out of the kitchen and ran downstairs and went to bed.

Do you guys think it was my fault, and that I was wrong? She constantly criticizes everything I do, trying to change the way I eat, talk, clean, decorate, ................ well, changing who I am, really. It is very trying. That is why I am unable to ever visit them for more than three or four days, by which time I am so frazzled I have to get out or I will scream. It is too bad, because her kids are so sweet and I would like to see them more. Especially the baby is just a little doll.

Anyway, I guess I just needed to vent my frustration.

I'm so sorry for all your difficulties, Ursa. And I'm sorry you have to contend with so many difficult personalities. As a Christian, I believe that honoring your parents is an extremely important thing to God. Honoring in my opinion would mean treating them kindly, sacrificially caring for their needs when they cannot (like they have certainly done for you), showing them respect at all times and before marriage or before living outside their home, obeying them. I believe that these commands even count when your parents may be less than perfect. Imagine that! I am sorry that your daughter finds it necessary to take authority over you. Although she is a married woman and no longer must obey you, she still should show you the utmost respect and kindness, especially while in your own home. My parents are very old. But aside from something that would honestly constitute a danger to them, I let them do and be whatever they want. I hope my children will do the same for me. I pray that your daughter will realize the error of her behavior and let you be you. But regardless, please do not allow her to disrespect you. I don't advocate unkindness, but your position as her mother allows you the privilege of her respect, if nothing else. Your graciousness, wisdom and maturity will ultimately prevail. Hang in there.

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Ursa, sounds very frustrating!

I wonder if you and your daughter might be a little bit alike? Perhaps what affects you as her bossiness and overbearing-ness about "her way" (no sugar, no lard, etc.) is simply her way of trying to convince you of what she feels is obviously best. In the same way, you are trying to convince them that gluten-free oats (and gluten-free everything!) is obviously the best.The way you describe it, you sound perfectly reasonable--on paper.

I certainly do think that she might have a bit more respect for you in your own house! But maybe coming back to your house (and your husband) stresses her out, or makes her feel like she is not in control somehow, so she resorts to being bossy and overbearing?

But I think she ought to respect your taste buds--and you hers. If she is now accustomed to a no-sugar diet, her apple crisp probably does taste better to her taste buds. And even though it is your house, I can see that she might have felt offended that you decided to make apple crisp your way even though there was leftovers of her apple crisp. Perhaps she felt that your making it your way was an unspoken way to criticize hers? We daughters tend to feel very easily criticized by our mothers, especially when we return to their houses! :rolleyes: And it is so easy to take the feeling of "what you are doing is not good enough" one step away to "YOU are not good enough." I do think it works both ways, too--mothers can feel that their daughters are using criticism to reject them.

Any way you and your daughter can sit down and reassure each other that you are not trying to change each other's ways? That you love each other even if you disagree on each other's decisions?

I've been puzzling about oats myself. It seems perfectly clear to me that oats (not gluten-free oats, but regular old oats) must have a high risk of cc--yet Scott has several articles on celiac.com saying that oats are safe. (http://www.celiac.com/articles/202/1/Oats-Produce-No-Adverse-Immunologic-Effects-in-Patients-With-Celiac-Disease/Page1.html

So if I find it confusing, I can see why someone less sympathetic to the gluten issue would not be convinced.

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I certainly feel your frustration, only mine is with my MIL. I have dealt with her negativity for 26 years now. We live within walking distance from her and when my boys were small, she would carry food over and if I was already feeding them, she would push my food away and tell them to eat hers b/c it was better. She would also tell them frequently that I was dumb and she even told me to my face a couple of times. If I was preparing food when she came over, she would turn her nose up every time no matter what I was fixing. To this day, she still tells people that I didn't feed my sons or make them take a bath when they were little (they're now 22 and 21). It is very hard for me to be around her. :(

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Thank you, girls, for your encouraging words.

Alison, my daughter treats me the same way when I am in HER house. Where I do my utmost to respect her way of doing things and wouldn't dream of trying to get her doing things my way. I've never tried reorganizing her kitchen, or tried fixing the way she cooks, or changing her rules (many of which drive me insane, they are so odd). I feel like walking on eggs in her house, as I can't do anything right in her eyes. It is very exhausting and frustrating for me.

Visiting her is never a holiday. It is tiring to have to be on guard with everything you say or do. When I visit other relatives, I can relax, because they accept me for who I am. My daughter is so much like my mother-in-law, who is an overbearing, selfish and often mean woman, who has hated me for many years, and now still dislikes me, even though now she has started to treat me a little more civil.

There was none of Sarah's apple crisp left, as I said, her kids ate it for breakfast the next morning. And she knows perfectly well that usually I don't ever use sugar in anything, but rather maple syrup. But this was a dessert for having guests over, and I wanted everybody to like it.

I have tried to talk to her about her constant criticism before. And in her house it is a bit better than it was. But here she constantly reorganizes everything, or will plan with my husband on changing our house, making suggestions on taking walls out. Everybody knows that I hate open style houses with a passion (as in, the downstairs pretty much being one room and open without any privacy no matter where you are), I can't live like that.

Sarah's house is open plan on the bottom and she loves it. Which is fine, I am glad she likes her house. But I don't, and I resent my kids and husband trying to make me conform to their tastes and likes all the time, ganging up on me about it!

I have asked my husband for years and years to put a door into the doorway between the hall and the kitchen, because I absolutely hate people being able to come in the front door and seeing right through my whole house. And instead, he and the kids (all of the four oldest ones, who don't even live here any more) are planning, over my head, to take walls out instead. And telling me how foolish I am, and how much nicer it will be. And that I will like it once it is done. Which I know I won't.

My daughter doesn't really believe in cc, and isn't careful about it. I have explained it to her to no avail. Fortunately, she homeschools all her kids, so they aren't going to school. And her husband mostly eats his gluten foods at work. She sort of believes that regular oats are a risk, and is on the fence about it. And to be honest, I am not sure, either. But since I have the gluten-free oats in the house, they might as well be used, to be absolutely safe, as far as I am concerned.

I don't think my daughter is much like me. But she is like my mother-in-law and quite a bit like my husband. Who both think I need fixing badly. I am not good enough the way I am, and she is trying to 'help' me become a better person. I really love her, her husband and the children. It is too bad that I am always so glad when they are gone. It usually takes me weeks to emotionally and physically recover from their visits.

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