Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 8:00 pm
Dear Annie: I’m a 58-year-old woman, and I’m concerned about my year-old granddaughter.
When she was merely 4 months old, my son-in-law would toss her up in the air and then catch her. Her head was completely unsupported. When she was 5 months old and the temperature outside was in the 40s and rainy, he refused to put a coat on her. When she was 6 months old, he put her on his shoulders and bounced her around the grocery instead of securing her in the car seat. When she was 11 months old, he admitted that he had tossed her on their bed so she would “bounce.”
Last Sunday, I was gently pushing her in a swing when he said, “You’re not swinging her high enough,” and proceeded to push her aggressively and to a point where I felt it was unsafe for a child her age.
My daughter has told me that he does things that make her heart stop. I believe he enjoys the attention and likes to upset my daughter. I consider him to be somewhat unbalanced.
Would this be considered child endangerment? I had composed a letter to her pediatrician, but friends and family urged me not to send it for fear that child protective services will be called. Yet, if I know these things and do nothing, I’m as guilty as he is. I don’t want to lose my granddaughter or my daughter. Am I overreacting? — Concerned Grandma
Dear Grandma: Your son-in-law’s behavior is questionable, but we don’t believe it’s enough to call CPS. The problem is, he doesn’t seem to understand the boundaries of acceptable risk. First talk to your daughter. She should make it clear to her husband that he must be more careful. Please tell her also to discuss this with her pediatrician, and you should not hesitate to let the doctor know about your concerns. Perhaps a professional can talk some sense into her husband before he unintentionally causes irreparable harm.
Dear Annie: My husband recently passed away. My sisters and one of my closest friends never particularly liked him, so now they are all suddenly my best friends. The biggest problem is my friend “Fran,” who thinks she knows everything about my life and won’t allow me to make any decisions of my own. Trying to assert myself around her is mentally exhausting. She wants to know about my budget, what I’m cooking for dinner, what I’m doing for the weekend. Every weekend.
I was a social bug until I lost my husband. Now, not so much. I attend church, go to work and go home. I have two teenagers who miss their father terribly. I think I’m still grieving and do not want anyone’s help if it has to be so suffocating. Does that make sense at all? — Stressing in Kansas
Dear Kansas: Your response to this smothering attention is perfectly natural. You are indeed still grieving, and Fran’s oppressive concern is provoking some resentment, not least because she did not get along with your husband. Tell Fran you need her to back off for a while, and then please consider some grief counseling. Your doctor or the local hospital can refer you.
Dear Annie: I am sure “D.B. M.D, Loma Linda, Calif.” meant well to inform us how to better entice our men and put out more.
I work in a salon, and we talk about sex in detail. The women with loving husbands who are shown respect are happy to give their men plenty of sexual activity. The men who aren’t getting the sex life they want are probably not as kind, loving, respectful or attentive to their women.
Please help men understand that women like sex to start in the kitchen or living room, an hour before it actually happens in the bedroom. And if it does, sex will be enjoyed by both partners for longer than 12 minutes. — W.B.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.30.12