Sigh ... I feel you . My sister ( who lives with my parents ) treats everyone
in my family like a child . She has none of her own so feel free to do the armchair analysis yourself
I am a 54 year old woman who does not need instructions on life's most basic functions . Examples of her compulsion to parent :
Every time I exit a bathroom , she asks me if I washed my hands .
When I am brushing my teeth before bed , she will make it a point to walk by and sing-song "Don't forget to floss !"
When shaving my legs one day , she stood outside the bathroom door and instructed me to use hot water and rinse the razor frequently .
Offers a running commentary on how I need to eat more vegetables , including a litany of what kind , how much and how often .
Delivers a safety lecture every time
I go out for the evening , assuming ( incorrectly ) that I'm going to drink the bar dry until last call , merrily stagger out to the car for the drive home and in the process , kill myself and others in a drunken black-out .
I have a 2 drink limit fer Pete's sake - any more than that makes me ill . She knows this . She also waits up to " inspect me " through narrowed eyes and offer her own assessment on my appearance of sobriety , then demand an accounting of what , when and how much I had to drink . At the end of this grilling , I receive a grudging " Well , you seem to be OK..." and a list of things I need to do to prevent a hangover . A hangover from what ? A glass of wine with dinner ?
Any attempt I make to avoid this ordeal is proof that I am indeed drunk as a Lord and trying to "sneak by her ".
Will hover around me whenever I use a knife or the stove and machine-gun me with " be careful ! " comments and step-by step instuctions on how to use said appliance .
Still , this is a cakewalk compared to how she treats my elderly mother ( who is not allowed to use a knife , BTW . ) For the record , Mom is in no way feeble , disabled or dull-witted . She's just 80 . Things take her a little longer perhaps , but she is an intelligent , articulate and capable woman . She has long ago come to terms with the fact that my sister has a burning need to parent and she simply lets it go in one ear and out the other .
Dad fights back , but has pretty much given up trying to assert his status as a grown man and now avoids her as best he can .
It has taken me longer to acheive this state of grace...it still eludes me on occasion , but I have employed the art of Bean Dip with great success . Thankfully , I only spend about 3 weeks a year there .
For the record , I understand why she is like this . It doesn't make it any easier to listen to , but the understanding of it takes away the resentment and annoyance that used to cause huge blow-outs between us . In truth , she is also a warm and caring person who would give you her last dollar if you needed it . I love her dearly and I make sure she knows it .
I can now calmly say :
" I have been doing _____ for years and do not need instuctions ."
She grumbles a bit , but usually leaves me alone . This is 1000 times more effective than any of the snappy come-backs that I used in the past .