Dear Abby:

My son and his wife have two children, a son, age 7, and a daughter, age 5. Every day when my son leaves for work, he drops his son off at school.

Before they leave the house, he takes his daughter to the bathroom and then she is locked in her bedroom until her mother gets out of bed.

I have tried telling them that this isn't right. To me, it is very dangerous -- and probably illegal -- to leave a young child locked in a room unattended. I also worry that it may cause psychological damage. Could you please give me some words that I can pass along to them? They refuse to take me

seriously.

Sleeping Beauty's Mother-in-Law

It would be interesting to know how long and why your daughter-in-law stays in bed in the mornings. Could she be depressed? Substance-addicted? It is her responsibility to care for and supervise her daughter -- not (literally) lie down on the job until it's convenient.

Since your son and daughter-in-law are deaf to your concerns, please inform child protective services. I, too, am worried about the psychological implications for your grandchild.

Dear Abby:

My 67-year-old mother is retired and addicted to the Internet. She e-mails me at least five jokes, poems and "urban legend" articles a day.

It is annoying and time-consuming to wade through such nonsense, and I'd like to ask her to remove me from her mailing list, but I don't want to hurt her feelings. Please tell me what to say.

Pussyfooting in Nebraska

Since you haven't said otherwise, your mother may think you enjoy what she's been sending. Say: "Mom, I love you. But there's something you must understand. I don't have time to read a lot of e-mail. I'd love to get a personal message from you, but if the deluge doesn't stop, I'll have to delete your e-mails unread."

It's not unkind, and it's the truth.

Dear Abby:

Our marriage was wonderful until my wife cut back on her Premarin. Now she's argumentative and her libido is shot. I'm really suffering. I want a wife, not a sister. I love her dearly, but had I known this was going to happen, I might not have married her. Is there any alternative to splitting up?

Desperate in Arizona

Yes, and it involves your wife being willing to level with her gynecologist about the disappearance of her sex drive since she stopped taking the Premarin. Women have been helped by using small doses of testosterone, but this is something that needs to be determined by a physician.

(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate