OP here ... Thanks for all the great feedback! It's good to hear from other Mamas that, given DS' temperament, we're on the right track so far.
I'm pretty certain you must actually be my sister-in-law because that sounds exactly like my in-laws ;). DS is three and it definitely gets easier now that he isn't on a strict schedule, etc., but as a baby, not only was he on a schedule, but it was his own and we didn't know what it would be from day to day so it made it extra hard to plan. Not all kids are easy babies who can have their routines easily disrupted without a lot of hassle for mom, dad, and baby. It sounds like you have one of those babies too. Messing up your lives so that adults can have their way makes no sense to me.
To answer your questions, No! You are not overreacting, and yes! They are being seriously rude. I would flip out if my in-laws refused to hand my crying baby back to me and have had to do the same thing as you and go over and basically grab him back. Is MSW for Masters of social work? Time to set some boundaries for sure and everyone will be better off for it. I think it takes grandparents some time to figure out their roles, and some grandparents just keep pushing and pushing until you stop them. I know mine did. We tried for a long time to be gracious, kind, and accomodating until they became so totally unreasonable that we had no other choice but to confront them. I think it is time for your husband to have a talk with them. If he isn't comfortable doing so, and even if he is, I'd start letting their calls go into voicemail so I was prepared for what they were going to ask. If the request was 1pm on Friday and that is when your babe is going to be napping, I would return the call and say sorry that doesn't work, but they're welcome to come at 3 or whenever baby will be awake. Besides being pushy, demanding, and expecting you to cater to their *adult* needs, but they are being passive aggressive in terms of respecting your parenting choices. When baby is crying and you ask for him back, it is seriously disrespectful not to hand him back to you. You are totally within your rights to set some boundaries with them. Good luck! It is definitely tough.
I wish you were my sister-in-law! Then I wouldn't be the first one in the family ever telling these people that they don't run the show. ;) Yes, MSW does stand for master's in social work. And I would definitely encourage a client to set appropriate boundaries in my situation! It's just hard because it's very important to DH that DS have a good relationship with his grandparents, and he doesn't want to alienate them (although he agrees that their behavior is rude). So his take is to just let DS be unhappy every 4-5 weeks so that they can "see" him (i.e., watch him be overstimulated and crying in a crowded restaurant while I explain, again, that it's nap time and he's not usually like this), and to hope that as DS gets older the excitement of seeing Grandma and Grandpa will be enough to help him skip a nap or alter his schedule if needed. Although, after this most recent visit (when I was at work so DH had to deal with it himself), he's more on my side.
The thing is, the only reason these grandparent visits call for a change in schedule is that the inlaws never actually just go and visit the OP, dh, and ds. They have the ability to come visit at more reasonable times, and choose not to. One of the risks of trying to see people when you're traveling for business is that they might not be able to see you. Since a 6 month old can't learn to magically be happy when he's tired, it's time for the 60 year olds to learn that the world doesn't revolve around them and align itself to their convenience.
That's exactly it! We would 100% definitely switch up his schedule and just do our best to keep him happy if it was a one-time thing that couldn't be changed (a graduation ceremony, etc). It's that they have the means / time to visit at other times, and choose to just expect the baby to be ready and waiting for them when they decide to show up. We really never wanted to be "those parents" who drop everything to run home for nap time, but that's the kind of baby we have. RIght now, we really do plan our whole lives around his schedule, so we're not asking the ILs to do anything that we don't do every single day. We're hoping that he'll get more flexible as he gets older, because I don't want to become that parent the PP mentioned, who won't let the kids stay up late once a year for a fun community event... Although I'm starting to understand where that guy was coming from!
For now, the plan is just to keep doing what we did this past weekend .. be very clear about what times work, and if they show up at other times (which is what they did to DH this past weekend - they showed up at nap time and then expected him to take the baby out for fast food with everyone!), continue on with the baby's schedule while reminding them what times work better.