DEAR ABBY: My daughter and her husband are divorced, and I take care of their twin daughters after school. I love the girls and treasure the time I get to spend with them.
Their parents' combined income is more than $120,000. I am on a fixed income and ask for only $10 per day (plus $10 a week for gas) so I can take the girls places like the zoo or an occasional movie (which usually costs more than I am given). I feed them one meal a day on this budget as well.
Whenever discussions about money occur, the ex-husband repeatedly tells my daughter he thinks it's "offensive" that a grandparent charges money to watch the grandchildren. He uses it as a tactic to threaten to not pay for other needed expenses. How do I tell him I think he's out of line for making me feel bad for requesting the money? -- STUNNED AND HURT IN TEMPE, ARIZ.
DEAR STUNNED AND HURT: Your former son-in-law may have some bitterness because of the divorce. Whatever his reason, his children should not suffer for it. Frankly, he should be ashamed of himself.
If he raises the subject of being "offended" with you, remind him in plain English that you are on a limited income, food is expensive and if the money wasn't NEEDED you wouldn't ask for it. It's the truth. It's nothing to be ashamed of and certainly not offensive.
Let's do the math: Your granddaughters go to school five days a week; that's $50, plus $10 a week for gas. That's $60! If they were in day care instead of being looked after by you, the cost would be many times that amount.