Dear Abby: I’d like to babysit grandchild, but her mom makes it hard

The child’s mother insists on time-consuming preparation that is impossible for the extremely busy grandma.

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DEAR ABBY: My daughter is pregnant with her second child. Her first, my granddaughter, is 2, and the light of my life. I lovingly offered to take care of her when it’s time for my daughter to have the baby. She’s having a C-section, so she may be in the hospital for a couple days.

My daughter wants me to come to her house one day out of every weekend to learn my granddaughter’s routine. I have spent several weekends at her house doing this, but not every weekend, as I work full time from home and also have a full-time rental business (30 rental units) that I manage with my fiance.

Recently, my fiance has taken ill and is bedridden. Everything, including his care, has fallen on me. When I called my daughter to tell her I wouldn’t be able to come for the weekends because of his illness and my other responsibilities, she lost it and became hateful and confrontational. I tried explaining that this is, hopefully, a temporary situation and that I will still be able to do what I promised, to no avail. Nothing I said appeased her. We are not talking, and I really cannot endure another confrontation with her. I am at a loss as to what to do. — SIDELINED IN FLORIDA

DEAR SIDELINED: Give your pregnant, possibly hormonal daughter time to cool off, and then contact her again. See if the two of you can work out an arrangement that’s sensible. You already have your hands full, and the additional responsibilities because of your fiance’s illness may prevent you from caring for your grandchild as you had planned. If she unloads on you again, tell her you know she’s disappointed and so are you, but you can’t handle another abusive confrontation and end the conversation. She will manage. Trust me.

DEAR ABBY: My friend was telling me about the delicious dinner he had last night at a local restaurant. His meal cost $8, and he raved to the waitress about how the food melted in his mouth and how incredible it tasted. He compared it favorably to the $70 dinner he’d had at another restaurant the night before. He then informed me he was “in and out of that restaurant for only $10.”

My response was, “Are you telling me you left a $2 tip for the delicious meal you just ate?” He replied that he gave her a 25% tip and thought it was fair. I told him I thought he was cheap, and he could have given her more money at the very least for her effort in serving him. He said I should write you and ask, so here I am.

I realize a 20% to 25% tip is generally generous, but considering these times of pandemic and slower business, I think he could have done better. What do you think? — FLABBERGASTED IN OHIO

DEAR FLABBERGASTED: Truthfully, those who can afford to do so should give more. The restaurant business has been decimated because of the extended COVID quarantines, and staff members have been hit hard in the pocketbook. That said, however, my suggestion would have been that your friend should have added a generous tip for the COOK sweating in the kitchen, who produced that memorable meal.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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