DEAR MARGO: My niece had always loved dolls as a little girl. I adore my niece, and a few years ago, when she was 8 or 9, I gave her two handmade dolls for her birthday.
I put a lot of time, energy, money and love into those dolls. A few weeks ago, her mother called to tell me they were having a garage sale, and that “Marilyn” had outgrown the dolls and they were going in the sale. My S-I-L (my niece’s mother) thought I might want the dolls back.
Although I was a little (OK, a lot) hurt that my niece didn’t value the dolls enough to keep them, I was, nevertheless, grateful that I was given the opportunity to get them back instead of having them sold to strangers.
However, when I went to pick up the dolls, I was told that since they’d easily bring $20 apiece in the garage sale, I should pay fair market value. (I paid at least $100 just for materials, but that isn’t the point.)
I forked over the $40 to get the dolls back, but I can’t get over this resentment. Please help me make sense of this. I don’t like this feeling I’m left with. — Raggedy Aunt
DEAR RAG: Two words come to mind: chintzy and insensitive. The mother, if not the kid, was kinda dense to ignore your feelings and the fact that the dolls were a labor of love. To nickel and dime a relative is pretty cheap, and I hope she got a lot for the extra 40 bucks she made.
One thing she lost was the good feeling between you, and should she notice the relationship is not what it once was, I would be open with her as to the reason. — Margo, disenchantedly
DEAR MARGO: I fainted about a month ago, hitting my head on the kitchen counter.This caused a major gash on my scalp. It bled quite a bit — more than a pint of blood.
My son, age 6, found me and had his 10-year-old sister call 911. I am fine now, but he keeps asking me if I am OK. He worries so very much. He won’t sleep in his own bed; he wants to sleep with me every night.
I am separated from his father, so he thinks he is the “man” of the house and has to take care of me when he is home from school. I am trying to get him back in his own room, but he always comes to mine in the middle of the night.
I had never fainted before, and the medical tests show I am fine. How do I tell him that Mom will be OK when he is not around? — Mom with a Concerned Son
DEAR MOM: It is not in the scheme of things that there be a 6-year-old man of the house, although the child’s concern for you is understandable. Had his father still lived at home and the little boy found you, he most likely would be responding in exactly the same way.
You have to reassure him, and it will take time, that the trauma he experienced was a one-time occurrence. When he asks whether you’ll be OK, reinforce the idea that your doctor said it was unlikely to happen again and that tests show you are healthy.
When he wanders into your room at night, walk him back to his bed and sit with him for a few minutes, telling him that now that he knows you are fine, he can go back to sleep.
Repetition of this routine, in time, will reassure him and diminish his need to check on you. His reaction is entirely normal for his age, and he sounds like a sweet little boy. — Margo, gradually
Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter.