The News-Times

Grandma is no longer fit to babysit

- Jeanne Phillips Write to Dear Abby at P.O. Box 96440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 or

Dear Abby: How do you know when a grandparen­t is no longer capable of babysittin­g? Recently, my mother-in-law came to visit and, as usual, she babysat our toddler while I ran errands, went to the gym, etc.

When I returned, it was immediatel­y obvious that my son had soiled his diaper, so I changed him. I could tell it had been some time since he had relieved himself. His water bottle and milk were out of his reach because she “didn’t want him to spill it,” so it had been hours since he had a sip of anything. There were smaller issues as well. I spoke with my husband about it, but he downplayed the situation.

Am I overreacti­ng, or is my husband in denial about his mom’s diminishin­g capabiliti­es? She’s planning another visit with us again soon, and I’m sure she expects solo babysittin­g time. Is this safe? Should I say something? If so, what? Of course I appreciate free babysittin­g and a loving grandmothe­r, but not to the detriment of my son.

Very Worried Mom

in Colorado

Dear Mom: Ideally, you should have asked your mother-in-law why the diaper hadn’t been changed when you got home and realized it hadn’t been.

Having concerns about leaving your son alone with her is not “going overboard.” During her next visit, stay close to home and quietly monitor what she is — and isn’t — doing. If she is indeed slipping, she needs to be evaluated by a geriatrici­an, and may need supervisio­n for herself.

Dear Abby: Three weeks after I met my love, he proposed. We were married four months later. We hadn’t discussed finances, but he did know my income was higher than his. (We are both retired and were widowed when we met.)

After nine months of marriage, we got into some financial problems, and instead of sitting down to discuss it with him, I did what I usually do when I get scared: I bolted. I asked him to leave and filed for divorce.

Since then, I have realized that I still love him and want him in the last chapter of my life. I know I hurt him, and I want to make it up to him, but he’s afraid I’ll ask him to leave again. I also love his family and miss them all very much. I would never hurt him again. We have been talking, and he has a girlfriend and doesn’t want to hurt her. Advice?

Another Chance in Florida

Dear Another Chance: You blew it. Your former husband has moved on since the divorce. Learn from his example and move on with yours, because it doesn’t appear he will be coming back anytime soon — if ever.

Dear Readers: Today we celebrate the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the visionary civil rights leader who was assassinat­ed in 1968.

So many of his words ring as true today as when they were first spoken: “All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face-to-face with another problem.” (This applies to many aspects of life today.) — Love, Abby

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