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Talked with Mom today and in the course of the conversation she mentioned she is going to lunch this week with two of her friends. No matter that here in California we're in the worse spot vis a vis Covid with many hospitals in the area overwhelmed and having NO ICU space available. She went on to say it doesn't matter because she isn't getting the vaccine herself anyway.


The luncheon comment felt less like information sharing and more like a provocation. Like she expected me to launch into why I think she should not go, etc., etc., but when I didn't respond then she switched to commenting about the vaccine, which she knows my husband and I are planning to get when it becomes available.


We've been around this tree before and she knows how my husband and I are approaching all this (masks always when out/social distancing/social isolation, especially right now), so I decided to approach it differently this time. I said she had mentioned numerous times before that she wasn't getting the vaccine and I wondered why she was telling me again about it. She didn't respond so I asked if she thought I would forget that this was her desire. She said yes. I said, no worries, I've got it so there is no need to bring it up again, right? And she said okay.


I'm not a psychologist but I do wonder what the provocations are all about. And I don't think I'm being oversensitive here in calling them that. Any thoughts?

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Sounds like she is good at pushing your buttons, and that she enjoys in some weird way the way you respond to her when she does. You yourself have figured out the answer, when you said "so I decided to approach it differently this time". You will have to learn to approach her "differently" every time she pushes one of you hot buttons, if you want a different outcome. Good luck.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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Your mother is responsible for her own life & you're responsible for yours, right? Hopefully she will be fine, in spite of it all, and you won't be crying at her funeral one of these days.

My mother LOVES to provoke me; she's turned it into an art form, in fact. If she thinks I'm against something, she's all FOR it. If she thinks I'm for something, she's totally AGAINST it. Fact is, I don't care what she's 'for' or 'against', frankly.

If my mother throws out the hook & I take it, it's my own fault. I do sometimes...........and then live to regret it. Sigh. I'm glad you managed to play your cards the right way today!! GOOD JOB! :)
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Reply to lealonnie1
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bolers1 Dec 28, 2020
I think moms love to provoke.
Oh wait, I'm a mom.
Ok, I think I know moms love to provoke, cause I'm a mom.
Ok, so now, I think I'm sure I know moms love to provoke, cause my daughter's a mom.
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My mother used to like baiting me once in awhile , best response was no response
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Krisargent Dec 29, 2020
Yes! They cannot argue with silence. This advice is saving my sanity!!!
Thank you
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I have a relative who immensely enjoys provoking an argument. I learned long ago to be a good little fishy and just keep swimming past any bait that is put out. Sounds like your mom is fishing, and you’re learning to keep swimming
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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She apparently likes upsetting you. Not sure why you would go to lunch with someone who isn't wearing a mask and who enjoys upsetting you (lol), but you reacted properly.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Sounds like a 3 year old pretending to be hurt to get more of her parent's attention.
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bolers1 Dec 28, 2020
badume-bume-ptshhhh! ZippyZee.....party foul.
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Yes, I have a thought.
I don't think you're being oversensitive. I Think your mom's being provoking. I think it's perfectly natural for a child to sense, therefore be sensitive, even oversensitive to a parents teachings/trainings/provoking challenge. It appears that you both are doing the family gig in a healthy way all thru COVID.
If COVID was taken out of your equation, would you have a problem with your mom that would compel you to reach out here?
MomsOldest, I applaud you for seeing a red flag, a difference, an indicator. And I think you should always be alert and active to your observed indicators. Cause one day you'll see something else, an indicator, that will make you a much better care giver than most because you're watching and getting ready when it's due. Kudos
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Thanks for the feedback everyone! Sometimes I feel like it's all in my head, but my husband says I'm not making it up -- she does seem to intentionally throw those little pieces of bait out there. He's very direct so the passive-aggressive approach drives him nuts. It's very frustrating. I try NOT to be like that with my son, or anybody for that matter. Enough drama in the world these days without having it in the family IMHO!
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Reply to MomsOldest
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My mother-in-law is doing this too, but I wouldn't call it baiting per se. I think she'll get the vaccine, but she hasn't let Covid change her routine much and has declared that "I don't get viruses."

I think a lot of these older folks are a bit like teenage boys who like to take risks and think they're invincible. Old folks think they're a bit invincible if they've made it this far without getting polio, dying from measles, scarlet fever, or diphtheria, and I can't say I blame them. None of them think a virus is going to be the thing that takes them down.

That said, you can mention to your mother that you won't be able to see her if she continues to expose herself to Covid with her pals. I'm also in California, and I can't find a mortuary that will agree to take my mother who is on hospice care. That's how bad the situation is here, so you could always mention that she may be on ice for a while until a mortuary frees up a spot for her.

A little shock to the system might be what she needs if you feel the need to respond to her digs.
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Reply to MJ1929
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Am in CA, too. All our restaurants, cafes, etc., are not allowing sit down service. It’s take out only and don’t linger to eat anywhere near.

Will this be in someone’s home or socially distanced at a park.

I agree not to react. She’s goading you.
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