I just spent the whole day with my mum today, and it was hard - but not in the way I expected.
She's been staying with my brother, having just got out of hospital for an angioplasty; she's now on new meds and we didn't want her to be on her own while she's testing them out. To help out, I offered to entertain Mum during the day while he's at work (his family's away up the coast for a few days), then get her back to his place in time to cook him dinner.
Anyway, I was a bit nervous about spending all day with Mum, because she has a tendency to tell me how to run my life. Even a couple of hours with her could result in high blood pressure and an urgent wish for the boy to transfer to another country.
But it didn't happen that way.
Her critiques on my child-rearing, dress sense and housekeeping ability were minimal. What did bother me was that I ended up sweltering in oven-roasting temperatures all day because my mum is a human popsicle. She was snuggled up in three layers of polar fleece, and still wanting me to turn the heat up. I was stripped down to a (supportive) singlet and rolled-up jeans and still having one long, hot flush.
And of course, she warned me several times that I ought to put on a sweatshirt because it's cold out and she didn't want me to catch a chill.