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albeto
12-10-2012, 05:00 PM
Help?

My parents are coming to visit in January. Fortunately for me, I have a sister who lives in town with a bigger home and quieter kids at school all day. My parents will likely stay there again, which means my parents will spend all day with my family. Oh joy. I have another sister who lives near my parents who homeschools her boys. They go to church umpteen times a week. They are sweet, wonderful kids, truly. They're kind, considerate, helpful, cheerful. They don't swear. They do lessons at the table. They see my parents every week. We, uh, don't. We don't do lessons at the table, we don't do church, we don't do sweet. We're a bit too sarcastic for that. We see my parents maybe once a year.

Maybe Once A Year translates to Make Sure This Irresponsible Daughter Is Not Sluffing Off Her Responsibility With Raising Children, aka, Are The Children Learning Enough?

We don't do projects, we don't write papers, we don't share what we've learned at the dinner table. We really don't enjoy family lectures about the history of the [insert geographical location here] when a place comes up in conversation. We don't watch news on the tv. We don't find it fun to write a report about something that catches our interest. No, we probably aren't going to make a world map complete with the European colonization of the 17th-19th centuries because Kate Middleton is in the news, not even interactive, on the computer. Thanks, cute idea, but no. Probably ain't gonna happen. We learn completely and utterly coincidentally. It's a hard enough concept to explain in general, but trying to explain it to worried grandparents is futile. So on to Plan B.


Plan B: Distraction

I have three kids, one of which attends the local high school. She's up and out of the house long before her brothers are awake. I pick her up for lunch every day around noon. This is the first year and it's creating some unforeseen challenges I haven't worked out yet. I'd like to keep my mom busy in hopes of avoiding subjecting my kids to her drive-by lessons (refer to lectures about world history, above). I don't want to take day-trips too far from town because that will leave my daughter out of things, and I don't think my boys would be too interested in those things my mom and I would enjoy. My dad's health is in decline so he'll be on the computer most of the day. Only, I can't think of any projects around the house. I mean, none. My back yard looks pretty cruddy but I don't know what to do with it. My front yard is boring, but I don't know what to do with it. My garage is, for the most part, cleaned and organized. There are no cars in it, some storage stuff, mostly it's a hang out space for the kids. There's a dart board, air hockey, little sofa and chair from Ikea, and music. We could conceivably paint the walls or something to make it look less garagey, I guess. My mom is a work-horse, nothing it too much for her.

Any ideas?

Stella M
12-10-2012, 05:12 PM
Oh my. Take an unexpected vacation ?

Get your mom to clean your entire house and do daily Christmas baking ?

I don't know. Leave the kids with mom and go out every day alone ?

Hide in your room ?

Um.

Wow.

Other people will have actual good advice for you. How do the kids want to handle it ?

albeto
12-10-2012, 05:36 PM
Oh my. Take an unexpected vacation ?

Get your mom to clean your entire house and do daily Christmas baking ?

I don't know. Leave the kids with mom and go out every day alone ?

Hide in your room ?

Um.

Wow.

Other people will have actual good advice for you. How do the kids want to handle it ?

What's particularly funny is my husband will be out of the country for much of the month, likely missing them altogether. lol

Not that he planned it that way, but not that he's going to change his plans either. I don't blame him.

The kids are old enough I could go out with my mom every day, but where? To do what?

I don't know what I want to do with myself during the day, much less entertain someone else all day.

Stella M
12-10-2012, 05:54 PM
The movies ? I guess 14 movies might be a stretch.

Frankly, I think your best bet is just to go about your everyday business and run and hide in your room when it all gets too much. Or have a text signal with a friend, so that she 'needs your help' at moments when you are about to go insane. That's what I do when my IL's come to visit.

Walking ? Running ? Invite Mom to take up jogging with you ? If she's exercising she won't be talking. Does she read ? Can you load her up with books ? Antique shopping ? Drives to scenic spots ?

Ask her to reorganise the closets ?

farrarwilliams
12-10-2012, 07:00 PM
I'd ask the kids to help you make your plan. What would they be willing to do to avoid grandma's lessons?

Ah... family.

TriciaJ
12-10-2012, 09:35 PM
Hmmm........something that would get you out of the house, where you could all go do your own thing....where there were items of interest for everybody.....since there are differences.....

A field trip to the library? a museum? Chuck E Cheese? An ice rink? A drive to go look at Christmas lights? (maybe that's too confining). I don't really know, but I'd think you would all do good in some sort of activity where you're too busy doing and there's no time for lecturing.

Pefa
12-10-2012, 09:37 PM
Oh man, assign one of your kids video duties and tell the rent's it's all going up on youtube?

Monkey pox?

Do you play games like carcassone?

Painting the walls sounds like a good idea. Otherwise ask your mom what she thinks your house needs in the way of reorganizing/redecorating and let her have at it (my SIL's stepmother came to "help" once when my brother had to work and my SIL was really sick. SIL came downstairs to find the entire first floor reorganized. SIL shrugged and went back to bed.)

You aren't going to win this one, so don't worry about it. Even though I know that's totally easier for me to say than do.

Pefa
12-10-2012, 09:37 PM
I sure hope dh is ready to treat you right when he gets home.

farrarwilliams
12-10-2012, 09:59 PM
Monkey pox?


It's true. If you have monkey pox, you absolutely have to be quarantined.

Pefa
12-11-2012, 05:01 AM
A couple of years ago we had dinner with an acquaintance and her 12 or 13yo son. This boy, who I'd last seen when he was 5 or 6, is incredibly kind, he oozes genuine niceness. And his parents worked really hard to make sure he was always peaceful and gentle.

Driving home BOO commented on this kid's niceness. I said yeah he was and how his parents encouraged this behavior. I don't remember what I said along the lines of you're nice too but BOO's response was "Mom, not to insult your parenting or anything, but I think nice isn't really something you've ever actively cultivated in us." Yowza. Of course he's right.

albeto
12-11-2012, 12:22 PM
I'd ask the kids to help you make your plan. What would they be willing to do to avoid grandma's lessons?

Ah... family.

I asked my youngest yesterday what he'd like to do when his grandparents are here. He said, "Use my headphones." Thanks kid.

albeto
12-11-2012, 12:31 PM
some sort of activity where you're too busy doing and there's no time for lecturing.
Yeah, that's my goal. I want to distract my parents by enjoying something so they forget that any event is a potential "learning experience."

My kids are all teens, btw, and we've lived in this area for ten years and I still do know what the heck to do around here.

Challenges include:
One child with sever social anxiety
One child in school from 8:45-3:45
One child who hangs on everything social anxiety kid does because he's freaking brilliant and funny and awesome in many ways, so if he doesn't go out, youngest isn't likely to.
One mother (me!) who is burned out and is happy to sit on the computer when school child is at school and homeschool children are asleep but will have to entertain her mother for these hours instead.
Two dogs who could die any day.
Grandparents with dogs.

Oh, and my boys hate food, so we don't do a lot of family around the dinner table stuff. Hopefully my parents can eat with my sister's family, who also doesn't do a lot of that but for normal school sports reasons.

Too bad my parents don't drink.

albeto
12-11-2012, 12:35 PM
I sure hope dh is ready to treat you right when he gets home.

He always treats me right.

He's a good man.

Luckily, we're both pretty laid back. For example, this past summer he was in China for my birthday. And our 20th anniversary. We still haven't done anything. What are you supposed to do? I wouldn't even know.