Our recent discovery of DS's multiple food allergies and my FOO's response to the situation has, once again, gotten me thinking about how narcissistic individuals respond so inappropriately in situations such as this. I've read umpteen articles written by frazzled parents from all over the internet who's own parents or spouse's parents simply refuse to accept or abide by the needs of their grandchildren, even in life-threatening situations. And, whenever we're dealing with allergies, there is always the possibility that a reaction could be life-threatening, even in children who's reactions typically tend to be less severe.
Here's what it should like:
My mother has been slowly but surely stocking her pantry with foods that are are both safe and appealing for DS. She's found everything from pasta to cookies and even wants to keep his special milk on hand for when we come over. She's offered to bring jello jigglers to every function we attend together, just so that DS has a guaranteed special treat when snacks come out. She gave me her bread machine so that I can experiment with making DS fresh bread everyday. (His is far to expensive to buy at the store, costing over five dollars a loaf). When the first bread machine didn't work, she gave me the new one that she just purchased for herself. She makes sure to cook pasta whenever we come over for dinner that's the same shape as DS's so that he won't think everyone else has something different or better than what he has.
She has offered to help us pay for a new family room sofa because we can't afford one and we think the cat dander in it may still be affecting his skin. (Even though we recently found a loving home for our cat, the old sofa we have is still covered in ever-elusive cat dander, which I've read may take up to two years to be gone completely). She gave us her old (but still functioning) air purifier. She's always the first person I call when I need to ask advice about how to alleviate DS's itchy skin, and she comes over to babysit for nearly every doctor's visit. I never have to worry that she won't read a label or that she'll give something to DS that could harm him.
For the record, my parents are not even close to being rich. They're about as middle-class as they come, and don't have much more money to spend than we do. When I told my mother we would pay her back for buying us a new couch, she said no. I told her we couldn't accept unless we paid for it. She said we could pay for some of it. (We're paying for all of it, she just doesn't know it yet.) When I said, "That's too expensive, Mom." She said, "Jonsi, it's not for you, it's for DS. If I can help out, then I will." She doesn't have any more money than we do, and buying specialty foods to keep on hand for our son is very expensive.
Just yesterday, when we were discussing the purchase of a new couch, she advised me not to wait for DS's next check-up with the allergist if I think that he's uncomfortable. (He's started breaking out all over his body again, and spends a good deal of time scratching wherever he can reach). She's genuinely concerned for his well-being, in fact, she's as concerned as we are. And that's the way it's supposed to be.
Narcissists, on the other hand, spend their time either exploiting their grandchildrens' allergies to make themselves appear more loving/special/interesting (etc.) or else completely denying that there is anything wrong at all and do little but disregard the parents' requests concerning their child's specialty diet. In short, Narcissists are nothing but a bunch of fucking nut jobs, handing out nuts to the most allergic kids they know, just because they don't give a shit what happens to them.