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Summer Traveling Tip

August 12, 2009

I wouldn’t recommend it. But I do it. I’m sure we all do it at some point in our lives. But I am convinced that with many families, no, better yet, most families shouldn’t do it. But we do. We have to. There is no way around it.

What am I talking about, you ask? Taking vacation with the in-laws. Of course, you may say that it all depends on the in-laws. Well, of course. And it especially depends on whether you are going to a place owned by said in-laws or a place that is not owned by anyone.

But we do it anyway. We all do, although maybe for different reasons. Principe and I do it every year to save money on vacation time. We always go somewhere, but if we want to go to the beach we normally come to see the in-laws at their beach apartment. There is no way around it, really. If we go somewhere else we would have a lot of explaining to do. And this way we get out of more of their complaining about never seeing their granddaughter.

There are good things about vacationing with grandparents, I will admit that. It is just that you would have to know my in-laws. They are a very controlling pair. After knowing them now for about 8 years I am comfortable around them, but not enough to make a sandwich when I want or to have cereal for dinner instead of what my MIL wants to make (by the way, here dinner is like lunch in the states. It is lighter and later at night. Lunch is the big meal of the day.) If I walk into the kitchen she follows. Really the only thing that I am allowed to do without her meddling is coffee. And even then, now that I am pregnant, they tisk me about how much coffee I drink. Other examples? She is constantly aware of how much everyone has eaten and how many calories they have taken in that day. Weird, right? Taking a walk by myself in the morning is frowned upon and met with much resistance, although less now that they know they can’t deter me. I am constantly told to go back to bed (even if it is 9am) and to leave her alone with my daughter so that they can have their grandma-granddaughter time. Her worries (whether Queenie has eaten enough or pooped enough or slept enough, etc) she spins into my worries and tells me not to worry about them. When I (a bit annoyed because I really am not worried) shrug my shoulders and nod or say, “hmm-mm.” she pats me on the back and nods along, never really believing me that I’m not worried.

Right now she is chasing Queenie around the house with a plate of food. No matter how many times we tell her to leave Queenie be if she gets down from the table. She will return when she is hungry. Every time we are with them she chases her around the house making it so that when we get home Queenie thinks she can continue playing and mama will shovel food into her mouth. The good thing is that every time we get home Queenie is a bit older and understands me when I say, “If you get down you are done eating.”

But these things I can mostly get by with a roll of my eyes and a large sigh and silently count down the days. And not everything is difficult; it is just different from vacations with my family. Which, I guess, is really the problem with in-laws: that they aren’t the family that you can say, “Hey, leave me alone” to. The worst is that they don’t understand writing or my job. And probably never will. I can’t find a corner of the house in which they won’t come to tell me about the “new” thing Queenie has done. Which isn’t really new, it is just new to them. I am going to have to relinquish the beach today and go to a coffee shop to work. Guess this will be my life from now on.

And Principe is a bit upset with me. The guys are going on a camping trip next weekend and he wants to go. At first I said of course he could go, that he should go, until I realized that we will be in his parent’s home town that preceding week and I would have to stay the weekend alone with them and Queenie. Something I could do, but that I would not look forward to. So he decided not to go. We don’t have the money, anyway, but that isn’t any consolation to him, I know. Well, it’s too bad his parents can’t just leave people alone and maybe I would feel more comfortable with them instead of being mother hen for everything. The only time I get to be alone is in the shower and in bed. But if it is for a headache and Principe isn’t around I get checked on every fifteen minutes.

Sigh.

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