Won't let Grandpa drive — The Bump
April 2016 Moms

Won't let Grandpa drive

Please tell me if you think I'm being a crazy mom! 

My dad stops at green lights, does 10 mph under the speed limit, takes 3-5 miles after pulling onto the highway or interstate to get up to 10 mph under the speed limit, and tends to cross over the painted lines on the road more times than he even realizes. I'm not worried about him hitting someone, but rather someone not paying attention to him and hitting him. He also takes a lot of pills because of a back problem (his spine is basically slowly fusing to his hip) and he literally had a pump surgically inserted into his body that pumps morphine into his spine...so to say that he is driving under the influence is an understatement, but at the same time he doesn't act like he is doped out of his mind. (I'm sure his motor skills are impaired however). I've been telling him, my mom, my brother, and husband that his driving is a problem now for the last couple years. 

Today after church, my mom offered to take my daughter home with her and my dad while I taught Sunday school. I said yes, but told her that she had to drive because I'm concerned with my dads driving. He lost it and told me it was the most hurtful thing anyone has ever said to him. Skip to 2 hours later when I got home from church to find a message on my voicemail from my dad telling me to call that we need to talk. I called and he was crying so he asked me to come over. I drove the 30 minutes back to their place and he went from crying to screaming at me. I tried to explain to him my reasons above and he screamed some more, told me that my mom doesn't think his driving is a problem (I just talked to my mom about his driving on Monday and she agreed with me at that time, but today acted like it was all new information to her, which irks me but that's for another day), said that this came out of nowhere (I've only been telling him for the past 2 years that his driving worries me)and then proceeded to yell at me and tell me that I was being crazy. 

My dad and I have had our fair share of issues in the past, but I honestly feel that I'm doing what is in the best interest of my daughter. Am I out of bounds in not allowing him to drive her around? My mom sided with my dad this afternoon, so I'm seriously starting to feel like I'm being overly protective, but my gut is telling me to never let my daughter get in a car with him. I feel like I'm living in the twilight zone and everything that I've discussed with my family (other than my husband) about my dads driving never really happened. Am I being an overly protective mama bear??? 

Re: Won't let Grandpa drive

  • You are in such a tough spot but I really think you need to listen to your mama instincts on this one. I don't think you are being crazy at all. Imagine if he got in an accident and something happened to your little one? You would never forgive yourself. It's really hard that he isn't seeing where you are doing from but usually when someone is telling you the truth, it makes you get your back up, which I think might be what is happening with your dad. As far as your mom not backing you up today, it's annoying and maybe even hurtful for you but ultimately she is the one that has to live with him so it might just have to be enough that she agrees with you in private. For what it's worth, I would do exactly what you are doing if it were my daughter. I think you are such a good mom for sticking to your guns. 
    redseligrunningwildivyvines6
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  • No, you are not overreacting one bit. Your concerns are valid.

    Being under the influence of morphine 24/7 qualifies as impaired driving, IMO. I'm sure somewhere on his prescription print out, it discourages driving because of the side effects. Morphine delays an individual's reaction time. 

    Whether it's Nyquil or Morphine, no one would be allowed to transport my child from Point A to Point B.

    Tell your mom that she needs to drive or your child will have to wait until you can drop them off yourself for a visit.

    bean_2016runningwild
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  • Thank you ladies! I think I hurt his pride and/or ego more than anything else. Hopefully he will cool down and we will be able to talk again before we see each other at church on Sunday. 

    bean_2016
  • I agree with PP. You definitely aren't out of line here. You have to do what you feel is best for your daughter even if family members don't agree with you. It can be really difficult, but you have to stick with your gut. 
    runningwildlinzoirv
  • I certainly agree with you on not letting him drive. It doesn't sound safe.

    But I do think you need to all sit down together and talk about it before he is asking to drive your kid somewhere. I can see how hard it must be for a grandparent to lose that ability and I am sure it is a huge blow to the ego. So maybe share your concerns at a time where you can all discuss your them rationally.

    I am sorry you have to make this decision but it sounds like it is the best one for your child.
  • The loss of ability, driving privilege, and overall mobility can be deeply personal to a senior. It's a reminder of their mortality. The reaction he had, going from crying to yelling, is totally normal. I'm sure his ego was wounded. As others have mentioned, you have to look out for your little one, and it sounds like this is just the reality of what's best. Maybe you can give him other important responsibilities in the baby's life, to help him feel very relevant and not as if his abilities and usefulness are diminishing. I'm sure there are many grandpa/baby activities that can be exclusively theirs. 
    redseligsarahufllinzoirv
  • He still isn't talking to me, so sitting down hasn't been an option yet. I thought about talking to him about it before the opportunity of him driving dd somewhere came around, but I figured he was somewhat aware from the comments I had been making on his driving...especially in the past year now. He is either going to get over it and move on or shut me out for a long time, which he has done before when I have hurt his ego/pride. Either way, I will continue to do what I can try to make him feel valued and wanted. Thank you all for your input! 
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