To be fairly pissed off with my mother?(103 Posts)
Ok, maybe I am. Feel free to tell me I'm a bad tempered cow.
Ma and Pa, healthy, retired, comfortably off, seem to think that DH and I have lots of lovely time on our hands. And we could do all sorts of little jobs for them - far too frequently. Every couple of weeks Ma will ring and say, 'Oh - could you ask DH if he could pop down this weekend and do x,y,z for us?'
We have 5 DCs and both work full time. I'm a teacher - out the house from 7.45 am- 6.00pm and then marking/planning in evening. DH is up at 5.00am - 2 hour drive, 10 hours on building site, 2 hour drive home - gets in at 7.00pm, absolutely fucked. He has worked the last 3 Saturdays and is working tomorrow. So only has Sunday off. I meanwhile, have the joy of knowing that I haven't shoved a hoover round all week, bathrooms need cleaning, there is a week's worth of dirty washing (for 7) and that I need to do a bloody Tesco shop for practically everything.
Ma rang this evening to say could we pop round this weekend and put together 2 flat pack bookcases they bought today - oh, and could DH bring his drill and put up a curtain pole, and I could return a lamp they'd bought from Argos when I did my shopping, couldn't I?
Well yeah - I could. But I don't fucking want to. Ma will expect me to drive 6 miles in one direction to her house to collect the lamp. Tesco is on the edge of town 20 miles away in the opposite direction. Argos is right in the middle of town - so it means driving in, finding somewhere to park, walking there, queueing, etc, etc. A lot more fucking hassle. And I don't want to spend 3 hours putting book cases together. And I really don't want DH to spend his only day off doing jobs for my mother.
If the bugger's going to spend his day off doing jobs I've got a bloody long list - starting with things I've been waiting about 18 months for; like the leaking shower, the broken cupboard door, the wall in DDs room that needs re-plastering, the entire skirting board in the hallway that has been leaning against the wall for 4 years now waiting to be fixed onto it...
I know that DH will say, 'Aye, nae bother,' and go down and do it for them. And I will trail sulkily along as his helper. And if I moan he will say, 'Och well, it's no' a problem'. Well it is for me. I fucking, fucking resent the fact that my mother makes these frequent requests and expects it done that weekend - which means it is yet another weekend that we don't get the stuff done that we need to.
Being a gobby cow I have frequently told her I'm pissed off that she asks DH to do stuff - that she knows he is obliging and will say yes - and that she also knows what long hours he works, and that we have loads of stuff that needs doing. She just gives a merry laugh and says, 'Oh dear - men always do things for other people, don't they?' and then will be on the fucking phone about a fortnight later wanting something else.
(Dad, BTW, couldn't replace a lightbulb. Highly academic, completely impractical man)
Stop doing it. They are being thoughtless but they aren't helpless. They have money - they can pay a local handy person who needs the money. Talk to DH, tell him no, make sure you screen their calls so DH doesn't speak to them for a while.
Just say no. Practise in the mirror first. NO. NO. See? It's easy
If she's asking you why don't you just say "no he can't" end of conversation.
Every time they make a demand, hit them back with a demand for babysitting or something else?
I think my blood pressure has gone up just reading that.
How do you not shout 'fuck off you entitled cow, you've money and time - we have neither'
<steam comes out of ears>
It's really cheeky of them to buy the bookcases obviously thinking that your DH will put them up.
Your DH is wrong that it's 'nae bother' because it's impacting on your lives when they take advantage so much.
It's also not on for your mum to brush how you feel off either, apart from getting all the jobs round the house done for free (could you suggest an odd job worker? No? Didn't think so) why would she do that to you?
Both of them need to listen to you.
Be more gobby?
Say 'fine, we'll do it'.
'By the way, we need you on *day to come over and child sit so we can do x, y z.'
Although, Tbh I'd be having to sit them down and letting them know how things actually are for you.
YADNBU. Your parents are being thoughtless at best.Make it plain to them how heavy your workloads are,how tired you at after a long week and that you need your weekends to do things for yourselves and your children.
Definitely be more assertive and say you have not got time, and don't go and get the lamp. "No Mother, I have not got time to get the lamp", I have seven loads of washing, a full shop ontop of my school work".
Just say NO. She is being unfair.
Why do you keep saying yes?!! Start saying no and claiming back your own well deserved time. Just tell them you don't have the time.
YANBU. Just keep refusing any requests you feel are unreasonable, given your & their situation & responsibilities. They will get the message.
Out of curiosity, do they ever return the favour? babysitting for example?
Tell her that you'd love to take the lamp back whilst she hoovers, cleans bathrooms, does laundry for all 7 of you then pops to Trscos to do weekly shop.
No... We all want you to say no!
A) say no
B) say ok no problem but can you please help us out by doing x,y,z etc next weekend?
Laugh lightly and say "No, we don't have time." Repeat ad nauseam until she gets the message.
Alternatively, "Awa' an' bile yer heid, ye daft besom."
Which part of "No" do you not understand?
Sorry, but I am just totally amazed by all the family problems that get posted - yes, you love them but you don't have to suck up all of this shit.
They are being really mean and selfish.
Don't take the bloody lamp back for her.
Tell her you have other plans for the weekend so cannot fit in doing the shelves.
Practice saying 'no, sorry' out loud, many times over.
Good God, if you don't put a stop to this, they will be 10 times worse if they become infirm.
They should pay a local handyman.
Good Luck with them!
My blood is boiling on your behalf now, just reading that! Seriously....
Yy to telling your dh firmly that next time he is to refuse, yy to telling them they need to get a handyman and yy to sitting them down and listing everything that had to be squeezed into your household in a weekend. (Hats off to you, by the way, you sound like you're both proper grafters.)
"No, we have plans."
Those plans can be... a lie in, doing DIY at your own home, a family day out, whatever. But you have plans.
Tell them no and keep saying until they stop asking. Why on earth would you actually agree to do these things. Tell the lazy fuckers to do it themselves or pay someone to come and do it.
I am anticipating MIL doing this when she moves. Considering the struggle I have in getting DH to do stuff in our house, it will happen over my dead body. Luckily though, DH does agree with me on that one (the fact that he won't do it, nothing to do with my dead body ).
Just tell them you are too busy.
I understand the resentment.. I am not under pressure that you are with commute/children at all but my mother likes the control of giving me jobs. Like tomorrow to drive 15 miles to her house to get a prescription for her (3 miles from her!! - she drives for fuck sake) even though she flies up and down the road to friends, shopping etc... My DH is here on a Friday night fixing all her fashion jewellery.
Could you not let on to your husband but tell your mother he is doing overtime for the next 3-4 weeks.. white lie???
The wisest advice I ever had was from my Health Visitor. She told me to get an ansaphone that allowed me to call screen. Screen my mother in particular, actually.
It is a sanity saver.
. Thank you all! The thing is, I'm very good at saying 'No' and even 'Fuck off' to everyone else.
And no, 50 shades she doesn't ever return the favour. It would be far too much for her to babysit. DH and I have just had a conversation about how many times Ma has babysat for us in the last 14 years. He reckons about 6. I reckon 4. She claims her 'child raising days are over!' To be fair to the woman I have 7 siblings - but we pretty much raised ourselves/each other in feral style. None of us remember her doing anything other than stirring something on the stove whilst reading a paperback book in the other hand...
I was brought up in a huge family where everyone just mucked in and did what needed doing, so it's become automatic that when a family member says, 'give us a hand with this, will you?' I say, 'Go on then'.
I suspect Ma misses her army of helpers and I'm the nearest left!
aaaaaaaaagh....blood pressure spiralling just reading how much you have to do in your own lives. 'I'm afraid that won't be possible' and crucially, a FULL STOP at the end of that sentence. Please my arteries can't take it...
Well obviously you have plenty time and energy as you're a teacher. You work 9am to 3pm so you'll be home by half three and can get all the housework done and the dinner on for DH coming in, so there's nothing left for him to do therefore his weekends are free. You get loads of holidays so you can't be tired.
Does your DM maybe view your lives this way? Does she have any idea of the hours you both put in?
But Euphemia Mother was a teacher - and was always too busy to have anything much to do with all of her own offspring!
Oh Jeez. Is she viewing the past through rose-tinted specs; she coped with a career and umpteen kids so anyone else should be able to?
DM: My child rearing days are over so I aren't babysitting for you. Oh by the way, I need you to stop your child rearing to do eleventy million jobs for me.
I really hate this attitude. My DM also asks me/DH to help out with DIY and lifts to places, but the difference is that she also helps me out too with babysitting for my 3dc and the odd bit of ironing/cleaning etc.
Ha! I am convinced. I'll probably go and put the fucking book cases together for her because I said I would, but I'm not getting DH to do it on Sunday, or her curtain pole and I'm not going to take the damn lamp back. She trotted off and bought it today - so she can trot off and take it back next week whilst I'm working.
And I shall be telling her 'Right, this is the last sodding thing I do for a very long time, Ma. Get a handyman in future - or one of the other offspring'. (We learnt a long time ago it's every man for himself in our family).
I'd respond to every with request by saying 'no problem, as long as you can babysit while I do it'. Or invoice them for your DH's time Could you find them a local recommended tradesman to help with DIY stuff?
They are taking the piss and you need to either say no, or make it easier to do it themselves -- or find some other mug--.
'I'll add that to my to do list' might work. Stop doing everything so quickly, drag it out for a few weeks.
Or just say 'No, DH wants to spend his one day off with his 5 DC'.
You are really not getting this assertiveness thing at all.
1. You pick up the phone and dial your mum. At this juncture, you can take a deep breath
2. 'Mum, you know those bookcases. I said yes because i have been conditioned to say yes. But actually I do not want to do it. I have a full-time job and 5 children and no spare time. You are well able to put a book case together. If you are truly incapable of doing it, then you can find someone handy to do it'.
3. 'And Mum, the lamp exchange is not happening. You seem not to listen when I am complaining that I have too much to do and too many people to care for. So listen to me now. The lamp thing IS NOT HAPPENING
4. And finally Mum, I do love you but you are taking advantage and I AM SAYING NO. DH IS SAYING NO AS WELL>
I'm so irritated that I am prepared to make the call for you, if you like.
O.M.G! How's the mirror practice going? No, No, No, I'm busy, we are busy. No.
Not that it really matters, but did I miss where you said how old they are? They probably have some money, introduce them to the adage 'get someone in'
Especially with taking the lamp back . Do they drive?
YANBU. Get a local handyman round next time she asks for jobs to be done and they can pay for him. And she can return her own tat to Argos the lazy cow!
me too! New MN call service, at your service
YADNBU I'd be fuming if my parents did this to me. Luckily they hav the common sense to get a handy man out for whenever they have bit and bobs like that which need doing.
Out of curiosity how far away do they live from. Although to me it wouldn't make any difference if they lived 2 hours or 5mins away, Just that the further away they live the more of a cheek they have.
You have 5 kids? The eldest of which is 14? Surely you are busy taxiing them around everywhere on a Sunday anyway. In which case your answer is:-
"yes - that's fine - although while we are doing it we'll need you to drop Susie at ballet, the pick David up from swimming, then drop Peter off at Karate, then it's just Susie from swimming (have to admit that one is a teeny tad tight for time but it's fine as long as you drive at 97 m.p.h and ignore the silly red traffic lights), then Peter from Karate. Don't worry about Fred - he's at cub camp. Although he will need picking up. At 5pm. It's in Wiltshire. But don't worry - I'll give you some old bin bags for the back seat - and you get used to the smell after a while."
Then barricade yourself in with the flat pack and spend the entire day reading books / drinking wine / bonking each other silly.
I'd ignore the advice about bonking one another silly. If you still have so much enthusiasm after so many years and so many children, I'd suggest you bonk one another sensible and use a condom. After all, you don't have time for another child. You have bookcases to put together and lamps to return.
You call that assertive?
I really don't understand how you've managed to get into a habit of doing this regularly. It's hugely hugely selfish of them. They have all this free time - why aren't they doing more for themselves? What do they do while you and your DH are running ragged after them? For some reason I picture them relaxing in a garden.
1 They are 74 and 76
2 They are very healthy - Dad still plays golf and Ma goes line dancing, keep fit, anything else she feels like. They walk miles.
3 They are comfortably enough off to have 2 or 3 foreign holidays a year. And do.
4 They live about 6 miles away, which admittedly is only 10 mins drive for me as we're rural.
I've Skyped one of my sisters to moan about Ma and she agreed with you lot and said, 'Serves you right for being a fucking prat, kid. Ring the old trout tomorrow morning and say 'Actually, on further thought I've realised I can't this weekend. I'm up to my neck in it. And next weekend. If you want to wait a month or so I can probably get round to it at some point'.
She knows my Ma very well. Ma will not wait. Ma will say briskly, 'Oh that's not good enough - I need it done before then,' and will promptly find someone else.
I will ring her and say I'm not doing anything for her this weekend.
Ask them to do stuff for you. I never heard the likes of it. I really haven't
PMSL at your sis, I'll make her right. Don't know how you and your dh can't see it for yourselves
Oops. Nope, sorry. DH and I have been together 14 years. 3 DCs from first marriage. DCs are aged 21 - 7, so I don't really need babysitters. But yes, lots of weekend is often ferrying one teenager or another about. (Only 1 drives and can't afford car insurance - uni student).
Fuck it - I'm not putting bookcases together. I might even manage sex. I probably have time for it without the fucking flat pack .
Okay, good, that's a step in the right direction
But only a very small step and not very much improvement. You see, you said I will ring her and say I'm not doing anything for her this weekend.
That is not setting boundaries. That is simply opening yourself up for next weekend. And the weekend after and the weekend after that.
On my next attempt, I am going to post a photo of a spine to help you out
Another volunteer here - I'll make the call for you!
Your post made me feel tired on your behalf.
My DH's parents used to do this. It was a way of getting to spend time with him.
Is your Ma my grandma? No, she only has four kids, but she is the same way.
She runs my aunt ragged with requests for rides, help, picking her up a pack of cigs every other day, etc etc. My Auntie has six children, the youngest with SN and diabetes that needs careful monitoring, and three jobs. Ffs.
I feel like like Im reading the broons.
And I can say that because I am from Glasgow. Tell her to get to fck
Good! Now stick to that, and every time they ring for a favour, unless it's something you actually want to do, say no.
Ignoring the point of this thread, I love the way your husband speaks. The Scottish accent is wonderful.
The thing is that you are actually working at the weekend, too. If your mother doesn't interestingly, bother you during the week, when you are "at work", and you wouldn't dream of helping her then, either, you should now get it established that Saturday and Sunday are wirking days for you and DH, too.
She's the opposite if the Dowager Lady Grantham, isn't she? "Er... what is a week end?"
That emoticon ended up in entirely the wrong place!
Here is the "what is a weekend" bit.
Absolutely LOVE your sister, and your DH is obviously a sweetie.
Come on now, get your assertive bra on and say STOP IT!!
I feel like like Im reading the broons.
Oldest child is 21? Surely one of them could do the jobs? Isn't that what kids/ grandkids are for? Let them practice their DIY skills on their grandma's house before they get their own place.
OP, are you Maw Broon and DH is Paw? We never get to see Maw's parents - presumably they're away sunning themselves somewhere while Maw cleans up after Hen, Joe, Daphne, Maggie, Horace, The Twins and The Bairn, then pops round their house to fix the roof, lay new carpeting, etc.
Sounds like our parents, both sides!
I say no to every other request. Regardless. Nobody has noticed I do it. It's mad but they haven't.
I say no to anything requiring plumbing, electricity, ladders. Every time. He's my dh not a performing monkey and he's shite at that stuff.
Wow- I have a busy job and only two children and really wouldn't want my only day off in the entire week to be round at theirs putting up bookcases, and your husband must be pretty tired too. I would not mind too much though at some point, as my family help me out an enormous amount, but to demand it on a certain day when you have so much on your plate is so out of order. The advice you have received is excellent- no, I can't do that this weekend, too much on, sorry.
And- if they really wanted to see you, they would have invited you all over for a lovely sunday lunch, or asked to come over. They clearly do just want the job doing.
Explain to ma that in flat pack comes instructions on how to put furniture together. She's an educated woman so shouldn't be too difficult to follow instructions. If it's too difficult, she can always hire a handy person to do that, the curtain pole and anything else.
The lamp she has 14 days to return, could be more I forget. So she has ample time to return item.. And for future reference, before she leave shop, check she likes item/it works.
I am not a naturally assertive person, but when it come to my in laws I have had to force myself to be. I have seen how they (well, MIL really) have encroached on my partner's brother and his family and am not going to let that happen to me.
It seems like your parents have free time and money, and have forgotten what it is like to be tired from a day at work. You have little spare time, I don't think you are being at all unreasonable in not wanting to run around and go out of your way. The Argos thing would do my head in as your mum must realise the distance between your houses and that you were going to Tesco which is not near Argos.
Sorry haven't read the whole thread, I will do now, so don't know if you have mentioned if your parents drive.
See my spine!
Ginty knows my Ma so well! I rang this morning and said, 'Actually, I can't do your bookcases/curtain pole this weekend. I can't imagine what I was thinking when I vaguely agreed - I must have been mad! There's no way I can fit it in. And DH is at work. Leave it a month or so and we might manage to get round to it'. Ma promptly did say briskly 'Oh that's hopeless, darling. We've got visitors coming in another week. I'll have to get someone else!'
I've been to Tesco and when I got back DD2 had put a couple of loads of washing on and her bf has hoovered. (Good lad!) DD1 cleaned the bathroom and has gone to work. Someone has vaguely tidied the kitchen. (Possibly DS2 as it looks to 12 yo boy levels). And that will probably bloody do me, TBH. (I have low standards of housekeeping).
I am sitting on my arse now - and that is my smug plan for pretty much the rest of the weekend. I am also thoroughly enjoying the fact that I could be spending several hours swearing over flat pack furniture - and I'm not.
Thank you for the kick up the backside, ladies. I am good at saying cheerfully, 'Nope - can't fit it in,' to everyone except my family. I also suspect Ma (intelligent academic who dislikes housework) conditioned us all like Pavlov's dogs when we were small to respond to her demands on us...
I feel for you! My MIL is also like this and like another posterth think its a way of making sure she gets some time with him. She's just split up with her husband and is moving into her own flat and I am DREADING it. Its going to be hell.
Well done for deciding to stand up to your mum.
Fantastic children! At least they don't expect everything to be done for them (which makes their grandparents' behaviour all the more shameful)!
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Just posting to say I love your sister and may I borrow her occasionally?
Also well done for saying no! & for having vaguely helpful children.
I am so glad you said no. Enjoy sitting on your bum and chilling you and I do hope you have some vino
Hurrah OP! Have a while you're sitting on the sofa
Well done OP
My MIL is like this and I really think if we hadn't moved 200 miles away that we would be divorced by now. In the weeks leading up to our move each Thursday the phone rang (8 weeks in a row!!) and MIL had a list of jobs for DH to do. He has 3 able bodied siblings who live nearby but DH knew DH would do it. I am now blamed for moving her DS away from her .
I do truly think they forget how hard it is!
My own DM was judging away about these mothers who go out to work and leave their kids, then end up on ADs to cope (I wonder if you can guess her daily reading matter ).
She had genuinely forgotten that she sent us to our Gran while she worked in a high street shop.
Nor did she appreciate me reminding her of that famous 60's Rolling Stones hit 'Mother's Little Helper' ("Singing about Smarties, then, was he??!")
I suppose you couldn't suggest sheltered accommodation if they're finding it difficult to cope?
Tanith, that is quite possibly the world's most passive aggressive smiley.
Woohoo, well done you. Enjoy the shag tonight
Good work OP. .
BTW I love the way you write your DH's accent. . I can hear it in my head. (He sounds like one of Terry Prachetts Wee Free Men but presumably without the 'drink'in, theive'in and fight'in ' )
Well done OP! Enjoy your hard earned rest
Yay! Well done you! Now you've set a precedent, stick to your guns. They will eventually get the message & will stop using you & DH as their servants.
I am the family
slave helper. Untill after years and years of being treated like a work horse (literally doing all the heavy work) my knees gave out. I spend a lot of time in pain, sometimes unable to pick up my own ds....and crunching down painkillers like candy. Do they now help me? Do they offer to do heavy lifting for me? Do they even care? No.
If you give your DH sex every time he says no to your parents he'll never do another odd for them again!
FUCKING HELL!!!! I am so FURIOUS I could spit bricks!
Someone needs to bake me a cake with a file in it - because I'm going to swing for my mother!
DD2 and bf have just trailed wearily through the door. She was at his house this afternoon and they were (supposed) to be revising - DD has AS level exams beginning next week and bf has one final exam at Uni. But instead they have spent the fucking afternoon putting Grandma's bookcases together for her - because the crafty cow phoned DDs mobile and said, 'Would you come down here, darling? Your granddad and I are just needing a little hand with something...'
And DD2 (17), who is kind and obliging, got bf to drive them over there. Whereupon they promptly got handed the flat pack instructions and left to get on with it, whilst granddad pottered happily about in his greenhouse and grandma (apparently) was occupied in playing bridge on her computer. Took them about 4 hours. And bf put the curtain pole up, too. (He is good at DIY and took his own tools). Surprisingly, she didn't then suggest they take her lamp back to Argos for her - that was probably too much cheek, even for her.
I've just phoned Ma and had a furious go at her about how bloody selfish she is - her granddaughter has exams and they should have higher priority than granny's damn bookcase. Ma has simply airily told me, 'But they didn't mind at all, darling! They were happy to do it. I wouldn't have dreamt of asking if I'd thought it would be a problem...'
She is fucking unbelievable. (And I've also had a bit of a go at DD and told her 'your grandmother is totally selfish, and will have you running at her beck and call if you allow her to'. DD protested, 'Oh we didn't mind - grandma's old!)
Yeah...old and crafty. Clearly if I am not going to leap to do things for her she will rope in the next handy option. And she knows the DCs are cheerful and obliging and (also) too polite and well trained to say, 'Fuck off, Grandma'.
..And the score is
Grandma '1', OP '0'
Am exhausted just reading your post. Also slightly cringey from my whinging at DH I have too much to do (exam, job, 1 ds) Pails into comparison. Feeling very glass half full .
Good for you telling them to bugger off.
Oh my God! Grandma is a sneaky one! Furious on your behalf OP!
That is so underhand!
I guess she thinks you'll be at her beck and call now to stop her dragging your DD away from her revision.
I am sure the collective thoughts on MNers can work out a way to pre-empt this in future.
Can you find a local handyman who you can offer to call in on your DM's behalf next time she needs help, having made it clear that she will pay him herself of course?
Your DM has winning ways by the sounds of it - on the pc playing bridge? Wonder if it was with my DB?
She has no conscience whatsoever and has successfully manipulated DD and her BF .< actually I would use the word conned>
You won't win, you know. She is very good at it and you can't change the minds of DD and her BF. They are indeed very thoughtful and altruistic teenagers. I admire them, but not your conniving/lazy DM.
Your parents are 74 and 76 - so really no spring chickens.
Bet your mother is feeling so contented at her success in getting what she wants, and you are furious that DD and BF are now exhausted and have exams next week. YANBU, she is.
Can you explain to your DD that if she does this again you will feel obliged to do everything asked of you to prevent her being dragged away from her revision?
I feel furious for you too.
You have many siblings and you are the one at your Mother's beck and call. Presumably they moved to a safe distance.
You're going to have to move. A long way away.
You are correct! I am 6 miles down the road - rest of the siblings are scattered, but mostly a couple of hours drive away, at least. We're in North Lincs and nearest sibling (geographically) is Ginny who is in Sheffield. 2 are in N Yorkshire, 1 in Norfolk, 1 in London, 1 on South Coast and 1 is in South Africa.
Fife (home of DH) is looking good to me...(although his mother is a widow - and also a fucking nightmare. But he does have 4 other siblings in the same village - so we could share the DIY ).
Unfortunately I can't move DD2 half way through an A level course.
No no no. Get mouthy - say how you feel. Seems like they're childishly looking to find the boundaries. So you'll have to put yourself in the uncomfortable situation of drawing the line.
Say it like it is and then laugh.
Family meeting time?
Maybe you need to discuss with your children that you are trying to enable your parents to be independent for as long as possible. So you are encouraging them to do tasks themselves and because your Ma is
scheming, entitled and clever worried about their abilities they are reaching out to include DD2 (for example). So any assistance asked for should be checked with you first.
This is not going to be easy for you. But it sounds like you have a really good bunch of kids there.
yup family meeting with children.
"your job is school and exams. you will not do jobs for grandma when.you are supposed to be revising. if sheasks you to visit, tell her you'll run it by me first. if you fail your exams because you've not revised because you've been doing jobs for her I will swing for both of you"
Definitely family meeting. Tell your DC the reason why the shower needs fixing, skirting board sorting etc.
Your childten need the same assertiveness training as you - fast!
The transparency of a family meeting should help, too.
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