Spill It! Tea and Advice with Auntie Alice

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Ask Auntie Alice, March 29th 2017 Image va Alice Brown

You want advice? I got advice so good it will burn the roof off the top of your mouth. So blow on it first, ok? Today: acid trips and annoying moms.

Welcome back to Spill it! I brought enough side eye to share with the class. Let’s go!

Hi Aunt Alice,

For the past 10 or so years, my dad has been dating “Linda” and together they’ve been a constant presence in my life, my husband’s life, and now the life of my three-year-old daughter. Linda is basically a grandma figure to her. But…my dad and Linda just broke up. This is sad, as we were all pretty close, but it’s been especially hard on my three-year-old. She keeps asking about Linda, where Linda is, when we will see Linda, etc. I’ve been deflecting, saying Linda’s on a trip, but she hasn’t forgotten about her and it’s been 2 months. I know three-year-olds don’t have the world’s best memories, and she’ll forget eventually, but I don’t know if I should be honest or keep deflecting or what.

Any ideas?

Puzzled Parent


Tell her the truth. We often remember the ways in which our parents tried to deflect simple but uncomfortable truths from us when we were children, unkindly as adults. “Linda and Grandpa don’t live together anymore.” If she asks why, you can explain that sometimes people who love each other and live together, stop living together. You don’t have to go into the gory details of the breakup  but there is no reason to hide it.

There are lots of awkward things you will have to explain to your kids, that is one of the reason parents exist. To answer the questions about life that puzzle us. What are deposit slips for? Why does Auntie Jessie carry a flask in her purse? Consider this practice for what lies ahead.

Now, you say that you and Linda were close, and your daughter is asking for her. Why don’t you visit Linda or invite her over? Regardless of how her relationship with your father has ended (the level at which that is none of your business is suuuuuuuuper high) you had your own relationship with her. And y’all didn’t break up. And your kidlet certainly didn’t sign up for the “Forget Linda Ever Happened” victory tour.

She was a close part of your family for over 10 years. Reach out to her and see if she would like to visit you. Either way, you won’t know until you talk to her.

*You know good and darn well that I am putting a caveat here in case of emergencies and whatnot. If your kid is a secret prince who is being chased by telepathic vampires then I suppose you may be allowed to lie to him about his identity for his own good and for the future of his kingdom.