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Update on Hawaii Trip - Page 6

post #101 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I'm certainly not suggesting cooking to 20 different peson's specifications.

Pizza and such sounds like a good choice to you, so that's a good choice for all? It wasn't a good choice for the niece.

No one was asking MSIL to prepare a separate meal.

CSIL was wanting to prepare and offer her children food that they liked during dinner.

Again, how does that impact others, unless it's a parenting difference that MSIL can't let go of?
The neice was actually excited about the prospect of pizza. It wasn't until she saw it and realized it wasn't the *exact* pizza she was expecting that it all fell apart. Therefore pizza *was* a reasonable choice. The kids like pizza. The 8 year old was just picky enough to not like the particular pizza that was served. Something MSIL could not have known until the meal was served.

Like I said, CSIL could fix whatever she wanted *after* the meal had been served. When I'm cooking for 20 people, get out of my kitchen unless you are helping me. Call it a personal quirk.

MM, I can hear what you are saying and agree with you to certain extent. I think that for very young children and smaller groups what you are saying is reasonable. I'm saying I can't blame MSIL for wanting to get some control when she had 20+ people staying at her house. When you've got a group that large you've got to have some rules.

I'm a fan of picking your battles at someone else's house. For me, breastfeeding whenever and whereever is a battle I'll fight. Not leaving my children to cry is a battle I'll fight. Demanding that my 8years and older children be fed exactly what they want at all times? Not a battle I'm going to fight. You, obviously, will. I, personally, feel that children that old (catering a bit to a tired, cranky 8 year old) can manage on a special trip so long as the food they liked was available at the house (which it was in this case) and I could fix it for them before and/or after meals.

At the end of the day, I don't think either SIL is mentally unstable or overly demanding. I see a MSIL trying to get some control in HER OWN HOUSE and being just a little pickier than I would be, and a CSIL who handled being outside her comfort zone less well than her own children. Both flawed people, like all of us. Still Team MSIL.
post #102 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovemyBoo View Post
The neice was actually excited about the prospect of pizza. It wasn't until she saw it and realized it wasn't the *exact* pizza she was expecting that it all fell apart. Therefore pizza *was* a reasonable choice. The kids like pizza. The 8 year old was just picky enough to not like the particular pizza that was served. Something MSIL could not have known until the meal was served.

Like I said, CSIL could fix whatever she wanted *after* the meal had been served. When I'm cooking for 20 people, get out of my kitchen unless you are helping me. Call it a personal quirk.
But it wasn't a reasonable choice if she didn't like it. I can say we're having pizza and have a room full of kids all excited, but if I pull out an anchovy pizza, then it's not really a good choice anymore. You see?

And that's the thing, if MSIL was saying, "I really can't have people milling about the kitchen." I would be 100% fine with that.

But, it's not about that.

It's not about her being offended b/c people don't like her cooking.

It's about her thinking that CSIL has made her kids picky and limited b/c she offers pbj or other choices that the kids are comfortable with. And MSIL has taken it upon herself to try to change that by making a rule that other choices not be offered during the meal times.

THAT is what I have a problem with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovemyBoo View Post
I'm a fan of picking your battles at someone else's house. For me, breastfeeding whenever and whereever is a battle I'll fight. Not leaving my children to cry is a battle I'll fight. Demanding that my 8years and older children be fed exactly what they want at all times? Not a battle I'm going to fight. You, obviously, will.
But, it's not about any particular issue for me. It's the *principle* that parents--even if they are in someone else's home--should be able to parent their children the way they see fit (barring the obvious abuse and such).

And I think a person who is so sure that they know what's best for other families, that they would make up rules to foist their parenting agenda upon someone else has some real issues.
post #103 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
But, it's not about any particular issue for me. It's the *principle* that parents--even if they are in someone else's home--should be able to parent their children the way they see fit (barring the obvious abuse and such).

And I think a person who is so sure that they know what's best for other families, that they would make up rules to foist their parenting agenda upon someone else has some real issues.
bolding mine

I guess this is the crux of the issue. I do disagree. I don't think you should be able to parent any way you want in someone else's house, especially when trying to accomodate at least 3 families. That is where picking your battles comes in. Everyone has got to compromise.

CSIL and MSIL both felt the food issue was a battle worth fighting. I think they both made it more of a battle than it should have been. BUT when it comes down to it it's MSIL's house and I don't think her requests were unreasonable.

You disagree and feel her requests were unreasonable. There's no arguing that. Obviously you and MSIL won't be getting together any time soon.

This was something that was agreed upon ahead of time. The compromises were made. Any issues CSIL still had should be with her husband, not with MSIL. If I felt *that* uncomfortable in my SIL's house I would want to stay somewhere else. A rented house/condo or a hotel. If my dh would not respect that, it's my problem with HIM, not with my SIL.

Where were the men in all this any way? Did CBIL compromise on CSIL's behalf without really consulting her? Did he back her (metaphorically) into a corner and not really leave her a "choice"? Did he pull a guilt trip? Or did CSIL agree to the compromise verbally and then pout when she got there?

If she had an active role in the compromise at all, once CSIL got to HI she should have respected what was agreed upon without pouting, and appreciated her HI vacation. If CBIL did not give her much of a choice than I can at least see why she acted so unhappy with the compromises.

At the end of the day I think the real problem lies with CSIL and CBIL. They agreed to the rules, they made the compromises. If CSIL was still unhappy with the result she should've brought it up with her husband. It's not MSIL's fault that the agreements EVERYONE made left CSIL unhappy.
post #104 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovemyBoo View Post
bolding mine

I guess this is the crux of the issue. I do disagree. I don't think you should be able to parent any way you want in someone else's house, especially when trying to accomodate at least 3 families. That is where picking your battles comes in. Everyone has got to compromise.
Wait, wait, wait. I didn't say parent "any way you want." I think that issues of consideration and decency obviously come into play.

But, if the choice is allow a mom to fix a bpj sandwich or have the kid eat after the meal in her room JUST b/c the host parent doesn't agree with that philosophy, I don't see how that as reasonable. I guess other people feel differently.

I think on an issue like this, where it's no skin off anyone else's nose, it's just a mean power play.
post #105 of 167
I noticed that CSIL didn't take PB&J to the restaurant. WHY?! Was it because she was afraid that MSIL would be mad at her or that the house rules applied at the restaurant. Or

Was it because she felt that it would be impolite and uncivilized to bring your own food to a restaurant? If this is the case, then all the arguments about not force feeding picky children are mut, because then it should apply in restaurants as well. CSIL believed that her personal rules should apply in someone elses home. But they weren't strong enough to apply out in the general public arena.
post #106 of 167
I haven't seen from the first thread or this thread where MSIL is trying to "fix" anybody or their children. From the email MSIL sent out before the trip it seems that there have been some problems in the past, and she was trying to come to a clear compromise so that everything for the children is equal.

I remember being a child in a family of cousins who were picky eaters and many LONG family dinners where they whined and complained threw dinner. I was their age and even I thought as a child they were both pains in the a$$. We're very close now.

MSIL never said everybody had to come to dinner. Everybody could decide to go out to dinner if they liked. She said that if you come to family dinner with everybody else that they won't be serving PB&J. Which I don't think is the most evil request. Especially when if could (you never know) set up a problem for the other kids wondering why if they are expected to be polite and try dinner that other's can eat PB&J every night. CSIL could have made her kids PB&J before dinner so that they wouldn't be hungry if she liked, OR taken them out to dinner. She had choices.

The rules were IMO made to make everything for the whole extended family even and fair. They weren't forcing children to eat food that they are allergic to. They weren't making a no breast feeding in our home rule. Nobody was forcing beef into a vegan lifestyle. It was simply no PB&J at the table. I don't get why that's such a big deal.

I think it's sad that some would not have gone on the trip only because MSIL made house rules. It seems like a lovely trip to be invited to. I wouldn't want my dd to miss out of such a cool opportunity just because I as an adult wouldn't want to compromise.
post #107 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
Wait, wait, wait. I didn't say parent "any way you want." I think that issues of consideration and decency obviously come into play.

But, if the choice is allow a mom to fix a bpj sandwich or have the kid eat after the meal in her room JUST b/c the host parent doesn't agree with that philosophy, I don't see how that as reasonable. I guess other people feel differently.

I think on an issue like this, where it's no skin off anyone else's nose, it's just a mean power play.
Believe me, I do agree with you that a pb&j sandwich is no big deal. That's what I mean when I say that both of them made too much out of the food thing. CSIL for not being able to follow the rule that she agreed to, that the kids had to eat the pb&j before dinner or wait until after. MSIL for not allowing it during the meal, at least when it was clear the kids were really not happy with what was served - especially the youngest girl.

MSIL's requests were not super unreasonable to me. These were older kids, their favorite food was available, just not during the main meal.

CSIL's presence in the house means she agreed to the arrangement. If she didn't agree with it at all, that's a problem she and her husband should have worked out. Not MSIL's issue. If she verbally agreed to the rules to keep the peace or whatever, well sometimes you pay a price to keep the peace. Again, it's CSIL's issue, not MSIL's.

If CSIL truly had a problem with the rules, she should not have agreed to them. She should have worked something out with her husband. I firmly believe that if you agree to the house rules before buying your tickets and arriving, you follow them with a pleasantly civil attitude - barring extreme circumstances. You don't pout to other family members and your kids. You don't act like a kid not getting their way. You act like someone who agreed to these rules and is having a fun vacation in Hawaii. You make the best of it and set a good example for your kids. You let your kids know that sometimes you have to compromise and you make the best of it when you do.

ETA

Quote:
CSIL could have made her kids PB&J before dinner so that they wouldn't be hungry if she liked, OR taken them out to dinner. She had choices.
I think this is an important point. CSIL had choices. She seems to have chosen the martyr road. That's my problem with her. She agreed to these rules, rules that left her with choices, yet she makes her choices and acts like a martyr. Grow up.
post #108 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
This isn't a dinner party with the queen. THis is a family reunion for a week.

No one is asking MSIL to "accomadate the culinary demands of the children."

Her SIL wanted to make and serve a sandwich during the mealtime to her child. That's really that big a deal to you? Why would you care what other people feed their kids? I'm not trying to be snarky, I just really don't understand where it's anybody else's business, or frankly, why it would even cross your radar screen.
Because CSIL made this about parenting choices superceding politeness. She didn't ask ahead of time or quietly inquire before hand in order to accomodate her children. Remember that the food wasn't the only dinner time issue. The getting up whenever they wanted and cleaning up afterward also came into play. Had it been the one issue it could have been simply satisfing picky children but it was about how she choose to parent regardless of where she was and who else was around or what was expected of everyone else around them.
post #109 of 167
CSIL did follow the rules, though. When her kids asked, she reminded them that they had discussed the rules beforehand and that they needed to do as MSIL said. And they did.

And I agree, that if you agree to it then you do it. And from everything Maya wrote it sounds as if she did.

(I think she TOTALLY should have said thank you for the sushi dinner! Rude.)

But, again, just because it's your house and you *can,* doesn't necessarily mean you *should.*
post #110 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by mahrphkjh View Post
Because CSIL made this about parenting choices superceding politeness. She didn't ask ahead of time or quietly inquire before hand in order to accomodate her children. Remember that the food wasn't the only dinner time issue. The getting up whenever they wanted and cleaning up afterward also came into play. Had it been the one issue it could have been simply satisfing picky children but it was about how she choose to parent regardless of where she was and who else was around or what was expected of everyone else around them.
CSIL didn't have a chance to ask ahead of time. MSIL made the rules based on last year's visit and sent them out beforehand.

And if you want to make rules that affect parenting issues which are disruptive or whatever, then I'm pretty OK with that. But, I'm not sure how making a sandwich or skipping a party fits into that category. I just don't think it's reasonable.
post #111 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovemyBoo View Post

I'm a fan of picking your battles at someone else's house. For me, breastfeeding whenever and whereever is a battle I'll fight. Not leaving my children to cry is a battle I'll fight. Demanding that my 8years and older children be fed exactly what they want at all times? Not a battle I'm going to fight.

We each have our own battles.
post #112 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbigailsMomSarah View Post
Just out of curiocity...what do you eat??? You have me all curious now
Okay - this is long!

I grew up on a basically British diet, I guess - kind of standard 'meat and potatoes', with a few variations. I still eat a lot of the same things (shepherd's pie, macaroni and cheese from scratch, toad in the hole), although I've modified a few recipes here and there.

Meat/Poultry/Fish: I eat ground beef quite a bit...burgers, shepherd's pie, something called 'potato boats', etc. I like really lean steak reasonably well, but don't eat if often, due to cost. I occasionally eat roast beef. Bison is okay, but not my favourite.

I like pork chops, if they're really lean. I like ham (the sole exception to my strong aversion to meat fat), but don't like bacon.

I like chicken breasts, cooked by almost any method. I don't much like drumsticks, and hate both wings and thighs. I really, really like turkey breast. I don't care for goose and haven't tried duck.

I like every kind of fish that I've tried - if a small child would draw it as a triangle attached to a sideways teardrop - especially salmon (oh - except catfish). I love salmon. I love shrimp (little shrimp/big shrimp - doesn't matter) and crab. I'm avoiding lobster, because it's way too expensive. I like clams and mussels okay - don't like oysters. I'm afraid of calamari...tried it twice and liked it okay once, and almost threw up once.

Dairy: I'm ambivalent about milk. I've finally trained myself to like yogurt, but it took about 15 years, and constant self-lecturing. I like cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan, but no other cheeses (I can handle some of them in sauces...asiago, ricotta, etc.). Cottage cheese makes me feel ill. I'm learning to use sour cream in cooking, but only in the last three or four years. Cream cheese is heavenly. I could live on whipping cream and ice cream *sigh*.

Produce: I'll list what I don't like. I don't like eggplant. I don't really like avocadoes or squash, but can eat them. Mushrooms are vile. I can't stand the taste of them at all...it's hard to make myself eat something if I know there are mushrooms in it, even if I can't taste them! I think I like all other fruits and veggies that I've tried...but there are many that I haven't.

As far as seasonings and regional cuisine and such:
I'll eat tacoes, chili, spaghetti & pizza...but only since my early/mid-20s, and it took a lot of work to get there. You couldn't have paid me to eat any of them in my teens.
I don't like authentic Chinese cooking at all. I like some of the North American variants (egg rolls, chow mein, fried rice, breaded almond chicken, some chop sueys). I hate soy sauce. In fact, I don't like any soy products I've tried.
I don't like any of the Japanese food I've tried. I don't like teryaki.
I like all the Indian and Sri Lankan food I've tried, although a lot of it is too spicy.
Italian food based in cream sauces I tend to like, but have never really been into the rest of it (aside from spaghetti & pizza above - do they even count?).
I didn't much like real Mexican food the one time I tried it.
I like a lot of spices, but there's one I hate - think it's cilantro - completely ruins anything for me. I don't like hot peppers...fresh, powder, flake, sauce - all icky.
I like sweet pickles and dills...no others - even the smell of olives makes me ill.


I don't know what else. I know there are lots of things I don't like, but the above list covers a lot of them. Some of them seem trivial - like mushrooms - but look at a restaurant menu sometime, and notice how many recipes have mushrooms in them! It's not uncommon for me to have only one real option on an entire restaurant menu.

This is the new, adventurous me. DH has been very gently urging me to try new things for several years (eg. ordering something I like, and offering to switch if I don't like my 'experiment'), and there are a fair number of things on my 'like' list that wouldn't have been there in 2002. This is as far as I've made it so far...I'm 38.
post #113 of 167
Not that anyone has asked us, but . . . Even though both of them seem to set each other's teeth on edge, I'd probably have to side slightly with CSIL. I mean, both of them seem to have done nothing more than a slight failure of grace, and who among us has never done that? MSIL comes across as bossy and thinking that things can be your way if only you insist upon it strongly enough. CSIL seems like she's been stretched a little thin dealing with the food and togetherness needs of her brood. (I mean really, no matter how old the child, if you've gone through days or years of having to get super-creative to make sure your kid eats enough, it can be a strain. And it can be very hard to believe that someone else could convince that child to enjoy a new food.)

There has been a lot of talk about how rude it is for a guest not to try the food on the table -- and I agree it's an ideal -- but not only are we talking about children here, but there are *20* people around that table. Effort or no effort, that still meant that 17 other people were eating the considerately-planned menu each day. Even if I *were* a skoche irritated, I think I'd suck it up and take the compliments. (And besides, as has been pointed out before, CSIL knows the score with her kids and handled it -- no special favors asked.)

I really do hope that MSIL's kids don't grow older into eating issues, health problems, behavioural challenges, etc. But honestly if anything like that were to happen (again, God forbid), I wonder if that would loosen her up a bit about how other people's kid should act. (Hastening to repeat that I do NOT wish problems on a family!)
post #114 of 167
Does this remind anyone else of Are Your There God, It's Me, Margaret? I admit that it has been many, many years since I read this book, but didn't the main character go to a bar mitzvah with a pb&j sandwich just in case she didn't like any of the food served? I think she ended up eating the sandwich in the bathroom - lol.
post #115 of 167
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twocoolboys View Post
Does this remind anyone else of Are Your There God, It's Me, Margaret? I admit that it has been many, many years since I read this book, but didn't the main character go to a bar mitzvah with a pb&j sandwich just in case she didn't like any of the food served? I think she ended up eating the sandwich in the bathroom - lol.

Huh! I LOVED that book, but don't remember that scene. Then again its been like 30 years since I read it!
post #116 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44 View Post
Huh! I LOVED that book, but don't remember that scene. Then again its been like 30 years since I read it!

I hope I have the right book - lol! It's been close to 30 years since I've read it too, but that scene always stuck with me. But, maybe I'm wrong about the book. It was in some book I read when I was in about 5th grade, I know that. LOL
post #117 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twocoolboys View Post
Does this remind anyone else of Are Your There God, It's Me, Margaret? I admit that it has been many, many years since I read this book, but didn't the main character go to a bar mitzvah with a pb&j sandwich just in case she didn't like any of the food served? I think she ended up eating the sandwich in the bathroom - lol.
You're close - it's Judy Blume, all right. That scene was in "Blubber." And she runs into the girl her class torments at the Bar Mitzvah, and it's really uncomfortable.
post #118 of 167
Well, I know without a shadow of a doubt I wouldn't have gone on this trip.

If I ever go to Hawaii, I want to *enjoy* myself. A trip that begins with an email explaining how I'm expected to parent, party, eat, and clean? *Shudders*. So, I'm not any side here, because I really don't understand CSIL decision to subject herself or her kids to that environment.


Quote:
CSIL said she and DH had talked with the girls about this and told them that they have to folow the house rules which meant having chores like setting the table or cleaning the plates from the table. All of the kids did this. When MSIL told one of CSIL's dd's to pick up some stickers, she at first tried to explan that she had not been using them and MSIL was like "that does not matter, you are here, please pick them up." DN looked at her mom but her dad then interjected "DD you know we need to follow Aunties house rules"
Quote:
This was our last night there and everyone was kind of exhausted. As you may recall, MSIL's rule was that the kids could not come and the adults were expected to.
...with her csil's dh holding on to her waist like he had to force her back into the party....

I don't understand either of these SIL

It does bother me that people keep saying the kids are "all at least 8 years old and should roll with the punches".

*Everyone* said that the CSIL should have gone to a hotel or not gone at all if she didn't like it. And everyone seemed to agree that MSIL would be out of line interfering with a small child or infant. So babies and adults don't have to put up with people like MSIL. But...everyone in between the ages of 4 and 18 do? Why couldn't the niece explain those were not her stickers? Why did she have to shut up and clean? I know, I know...MSIL had the same deal with CSIL--do what I say or don't stay... I don't understand either one of them creating or consenting to this arrangment.
post #119 of 167
I have felt for CSIL from the beginning, because I had to go visit in laws for a week FOR DH, and it isn't fun to be so uncomfortable for a whole week. It's not just one day. If I am visiting someone for a few hours, of course it is their rules. But, if I invite people to my house for a week, especially children, you bet I'm am going to go out of my way to make them comfortable with foods and activities they like. As I recall, the CSIL's family could not afford to just go stay somewhere else. I can imagine the situation. In my case, I want the kids to go see their grandparents, there is no way I am staying at their house for a week, but we can't afford a hotel for the week. So what do you do? You can guess that I'll be there for a week at their house again.

The detail with the party that annoyed me wasn't that the children had to be upstairs, that's fine, but that the adults HAD to attend. Do they have to laugh and drink a certain amount too? I just can't imagine my in laws saying, "Everyone WILL watch our favorite tv show." "Everyone WILL take turns driving the tractor."
post #120 of 167
I agree with you heartmama -as usual

this is sort of OT- but not-

when I was around 8 I spent a week at my aunt & uncles house. the first day, my cousin and I (same age) were playing in the living room, roughhousing and whatnot. something happened and I either slipped and grabbed or hit her- not intentionally or violently, and she wasn't injured- but my aunt was extremely upset at me and decided to LOCK me in my cousin's room. I remember they opened the door once so that my cousin could throw my cabbage patch doll at me, then closed it. I laid on the bed and cried, so scared and confused as to why I was being treated this way for an accident, at home if it had been my sister, no one would have punished me, and never so severely.

on that trip I also remember being forced to get down on my hands and knees to pick up any crumbs that may have fallen on the floor after eating. by my uncle who was ex-military. even at 8, I felt humiliated. just because I had fun playing with my cousin on that trip, doesn't mean I wasn't miserable, lonely, and sometimes scared- granted, my parents were not there, that would have helped.

I think it's easy to forget what it feels like to be 8. still so much a small child emotionally. unable to see through the actions of adults because your world is so small, you take each injustice personally, as if you are at fault for it. it is intimidating enough to leave home, travel, and stay at someone else's home- when you can sense that you, or your parents, are not TRULY welcome to be yourselves, and that your own mother's authority is being undermined, it must be uncomfortable. I would never bend someone else's non-abusive parenting style to fit the "rules" of my house, because doing so isn't fair to their children. jmho. I don't think either SIL are bad people- just misguided. ftr there are things I agree and disagree with them both, but have to choose CSIL overall.
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