DEAR ABBY: I am a 30-year-old woman with a baby due in June. This will be my parents' first grandchild, and they are over the moon.
I have a full-time job, but I live with them because I go to school part-time. After paying tuition and other bills, I can't afford to live on my own. Moving out is not an option right now.
The problem is my father's drinking. He starts early in the afternoon and continues until bedtime. He is retired and doesn't think he has a problem.
I mentioned to my mother tonight that if he thinks I will let him hold my child after he's been drinking, he has another think coming. Mom informed me that it is none of my business! When I said it is my child and that makes it my business, she just nodded. She doesn't know what to do about it, and I don't either.
I love my dad, but I have to be a responsible parent, and that means putting my child's welfare first. I want Dad to be a part of my child's life, but not when he is in a stupor every night. How do I tell him that his drinking will affect his role as a grandparent? -- EXPECTANT MOM IN WISCONSIN
DEAR EXPECTANT MOM: You tell him in plain English, preferably in the morning while he's still sober, and do not allow yourself to be dissuaded. If necessary, make outside arrangements for child care if you cannot be present to supervise because it appears your mother has no influence over your father's actions. I'm sure you are a good daughter, but in your new role as a parent you MUST protect your child because he or she will be completely dependent on you.
Both you and your mother could benefit by joining Al-Anon, an offshoot of Alcoholics Anonymous that supports friends and families who are affected by a loved one with a drinking problem. It is listed in most telephone directories or can be contacted through � HYPERLINK "http://www.al-anon.alateen.org" ��www.al-anon.alateen.org� for the location of the nearest chapter. Please don't wait. Because your dad is in denial, you are going to need all of the support you can get.
DEAR ABBY: My father has always been a caring parent. Even after he and Mom divorced, he was there for my sister and me.
A few months ago, I found out that we may have a half-brother from an affair Dad had with a married woman. Rumor has it that the guy is a dead ringer for my father.
Would it be wrong to approach Dad and ask about this potential half-brother, or should I just let sleeping dogs lie? -- OLDER SISTER IN MAINE
DEAR OLDER SISTER: I see no reason why you shouldn't tell your father what you heard and ask if it's true. Not all rumors are true -- and he may be as surprised as you to hear the news if his married girlfriend didn't tell him she had conceived his child.
DEAR ABBY: How do you refer to someone who is in your family through marriage, but is not your in-law? If I'm talking about "my son's wife's mother," is there a quicker way to say it? -- MAGGIE IN NEW YORK CITY
DEAR MAGGIE: Definitely! Refer to her as "my daughter-in-law's mother."
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)