Grandma and I have such a love hate relationship.
She loves it when I agree with her on certain issues such as the fact that MIL should definitely go to the doctors more often when her face gets swollen and she can't move. (Surprisingly I'm often the only one in Grandma's corner, everyone says things like, "You're going a bit senile Obaachan, it's OK!") But she hates it when I don't do things her way, read old school Japanese way.
On my side, on the whole, I love her. I don't have a Grandma of my own, never have had so she's the closest I'm ever going to get and when she's not annoying the shit out of me, she's not so bad. I would genuinely be upset if she did happen to kick the bucket any time soon. (Although unlikely, she's a tough old bird.)
But..... There are a few things that really really do make me want to take one of her Grandma slippers and bop her on the head sometimes, not really hard, just a little slap.
Take for instance, the broom. Let's call it the 'broom of doom' just for dramatic effect shall we. Like most domestic goddesses in Japan, I sweep out my genkan quite regularly, this morning among the general shoe dust, a small plastic beetle, several receipts and a tampon wrapper (WTF!?) had made their way into the genkan too. Not the nicest welcoming present when guests come in, so like most days I went to sweep.
I went to get the broom and it wasn't where I left it, right outside the door, but I knew exactly where it would be because Grandma moves it EVERY. FUCKING. TIME! Why she feels the need to move it from where I've put it is really beyond me, and I could be mature and just put it in 'her' spot, (a hook around the corner) but why would I walk a few more steps than I have to in bastard heat?? Gaijin laziness perhaps?? I'm guessing it's because there is a specific hook for the broom in Grandma's spot, where as I just lean it up against the little wall thingey. Who knows, but after I'd finished sweeping this morning I put it in my spot, and I swear to god, not 10 minutes later she'd stealthed in and moved the fucker. Leave my fucking broom alone woman!!!!
Another sore point with Grandma and I is the daily struggle of getting Ash to willingly get in the bike to go to kindy in the mornings. Now, for a 1 and a half year old, Grandma's house is just like one big toy, beetles, bikes, various toys with his name scribbled on them. Just generally a haven for small boys. So I get that he doesn't really want to leave in the morning, hell I wouldn't either if I was him, but Grandma feels the best way to stop him crying is to give him various toys to take with him. This is bad for a few reasons:
1) There has been more than one occasion where he has gotten bored of the toy on the way to kindy and chucked it away, this has resulted in one time where I went arse over trying to pick up the damn pink shovel off the road and balance bike and small child at the same time, AND another time where he biffed a toy car straight into a rice paddy. It was then that I decided that toys and bicycles do not mix well.
2) If the toy makes it to kindy, he doesn't want to let it go as he goes into protective mode from all the other kids. This causes the teachers to give me disapproving looks at the outside toy being brought in to their germ-free environment AND yesterday he was clutching a dog ornament covered in soil, not good for clean carpets.
I have tried to explain these things to Grandma on numerous occasions but she simply "Shushes" me with a few rounds of "Kawaisouuuuuu" That fucking word is the thorn in my big gaijin side I tell you!
So, today I made the decision to have no toys with us on the way to kindy? Harsh? Perhaps but he is going from one toy filled place to another, I'm not exactly Hitler right!
I'm sure Grandma will have much to say on the issue but she can shove the toy and the broom up her clacker if she doesn't like it... Oooooo gaijin got balls, threatening an 82 year old hunched over woman....