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#1 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know a lot of people have asked how things went on my trip to Hawaii and the issues with my two sisters in law. I am posting it here, the site of the original thread. It was, all in all, a great trip. I am not sure if anyone is really intersted in all of these detail but here it is:

CSIL (Crunchy AP SIL) came in a not great mood. Her DH was the one who insisted that they come and follow the rules about bedtimes, mealtimes etc...
Her mood did improve over time as the beauty of the place and her dd's clear happiness with being with their cousins was clear.

In any event on the main "issues" here is how it went down.

Bedtimes: This reallly wasn't the biggest issue as all that MSIL (mainstream Hawaii home owning sister-in-law) asked was that all children be in their rooms at certain times. CSIL's kids did not have to go to bed at a certain time. They could just stay in their rooms reading or playing or talking to their moms. They did and it was not an issue.


Chores 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"

Media CSIL and CBIL must have worked this out at home, as they let their girls watch TV and movies with the others. My girls couldn't believe that their cousins had never seen Hannah Montana or Drake and Josh and we did have some private discussions about why.

Meals: The rules involved everyone sitting at the table til all were done and no bringing other foods (that is to say the ubiquitous peanut butter to the dinnner table). This definitely caused tension the first full night there. MSIL had made homemade pizzas and CSIL's middle dd burst into tears when it was put on the table with a "I don't like that Kind of pizza." (I think she had been happy when she heard we were having pizza and then suprised when it was not what she expected)

MSIL was like "well DN I am not sure why you think that when you haven't even tried it. If you don't like it, after you have tried it, you can eat something else on the table. (there was bread with some dipping sauces...garlic, tomato and goat cheese on the side) and salads. CSIL said "Rembember what we talked about, honey?" and DN was like "I can have peanut butter in your room after dinner" and CSIL was like "Of course" MSIL rolled her eyes, but went on.

Everyone but DN age 8 ate and loved the pizza. DN age 8's sisters even tried to get her to try the pizza but she refused.

The next day MSIL had announced that we would be going out to dinner that night at a Japanese Steak House/Sushi Bar. No one "had" to come. At first none of CSIL's kids wanted to go and they were going to stay home. However, when they started to hear what would be involved...Chef cooking at table throwing knives in air etc....They didn't want to stay behind.

MSIL said when CSIL told her that all would be joining us that she should be aware that we would probably be there for close to 2 hours as they would order sushi first and that MSIL's dh had ordered a group menu and that the only choices were fillet, shrimp or lobster. I guess CSIL told her kids this and there was some indecision but finally they decided they did not want to miss out.

Things started out tense when they took drink orders and CSIL was not thrilled that we all let the kids get sodas and these Japanese Bubble juices. She doesn't like her kids to have this but relented.

When the sushi course came MSIL's and my kids dug into the california rolls and the cucumber rolls. CSIL's kids looked appalled and asked my middle dd how she could eat raw fish. My dd explained that they were mistaken in thinking that raw fish was involved in the kids sushi...only the adults were eating the raw tuna. After a round of "gross" directed at us eating the delicious tuna maki, we all moved on. However, it was clear that CSIL's kids were getting increasing hungry ( I think that CSIL had planned to feed them a snack before we left, but she was running behind from our day at the beach and did not get a chance.)

By the time the main act started with the chef and the knives my dn were starving. Somehow with all of the excitement with the flying shrimp and the hunger dn's ate their first shrimp and two of them pronouced it "good". MSIL gave me a smug little smile. DN's went on to eat rice and two of them ate the steak.

That night at home MSIL said to me, "this just proves that if you don't give them peanut butter at every meal....." CSIL said nothing including not thanking MSBIL for the very expensive meal....I think he was a little pissed, though his brother later said something (he had stayed at home because his allergies were bothering him).

As the week wore on my two older dn's did get a little more willing to try some of the stuff on the table as I think they got sick of peanut butter.
Mostly the meals were fun. We played some fun games at the meals including "Apples to Apples" which everyone really liked.

THE Party. 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. The party was at their hosue and the kids were upstairs where sitters were available. The kids went off with the sitters right when they got there. The sitters were some local girls who were in their late teens (the regular nanny was with MSIL's littlest one). The sitters brought craft projets and my teen and MSIL's teen spent the evening painting their nails and experimenting with eye liner.

ONce the party started, MSIL asked CSIL's dh where CSIL was. He said that he would get her. She came down to the party at some point not looking thrilled, but her dh's hand was on her waist and she clearly was going along to please him. She went up to say good night to her kids and her dh told her to come back as soon as she could. She was like "only when the girls are ready for me to go." But she came back quickly apparently "kicked out" by her kids who were having a "sleep over" (sleeping in each others rooms) with mine.



So all in all it went fine. My dh had a wonderful time with his brothers and my kids loved every second. Other than my usual time change insomnia, I had a great time too. CSIL who is very hands on with her kids did tell that it was weird for her to be "apart" from her kids that much, as they went off and played with their cousins for hours during the day, even when we were right there the kids were often in their own little world.
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#2 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 12:10 PM
 
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It sounds like it went as well as could be expected! Glad you had a good time.
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#3 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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I'm so glad it went (relatively) smoothly!

Maybe next year will actually be FUN fun, what with some of the "issues" already mostly ironed out!

Writer, wife to a great DH, AP mama to one sweet boy 6/07 and expecting a girl in October!
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#4 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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Glad it went OK!

I still want to kick MSIL.
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#5 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 01:02 PM
 
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Heh, I still want to kick CSIL.

I'm glad it went as well as it did. It sounded like the kids had a fantastic time!
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#6 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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I'm glad it went well. Still "Team MSIL".
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#7 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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It sounds like a lot of fun.

CSIL still sounds like a bit of a pill but maybe next year she'll be ready to admit that her kids had fun. Actually I'm really happy for her dh and kids as it sounds like they had a good time.
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#8 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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Thanks for the update!!!

We've all been waiting and waiting !

Sounds like it went well. Inparticular I'm glad YOU and your family had a good time.
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#9 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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Thank you for the update! We were all wondering how it went. I still support MSIL as well and I'm glad your nices were able to have fun!
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#10 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 02:15 PM
 
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What a cool thread. Sounds like a FUN trip, though, and I'm so glad your family went!

Yeah, gotta say I'm impressed more by MSIL. :
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#11 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 02:23 PM
 
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I am glad to hear that it all went as well as it sounds. What a fantastic trip! I am still definitely on team msil too.

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Originally Posted by maya44 View Post
She went up to say good night to her kids and her dh told her to come back as soon as she could. She was like "only when the girls are ready for me to go." But she came back quickly apparently "kicked out" by her kids who were having a "sleep over" (sleeping in each others rooms) with mine.
I have to say I got a bit of an evil chuckle at this bit.

"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death." -Isaac Asimov read.gif

 
 
 
 

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#12 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 02:35 PM
 
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Thanks for the update!

It would be really interesting to hear MSIL and CSIL's versions of the trip
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#13 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 02:37 PM
 
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I'm glad you had fun. And I'm glad that CSIL's kids got to have fun, too. Maybe next year they can go without their mom and really blossom and learn all about new things in the world.
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#14 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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Thanks for the update! I still hold that both of them sound like they have MAJOR control issues and I don't think I'm on either team - I'm on Team Maya!

Mama to H (6) B (3) : A (1)
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#15 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 04:33 PM
 
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Thanks for the update! I still hold that both of them sound like they have MAJOR control issues and I don't think I'm on either team - I'm on Team Maya!


Yeah, what she said!

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#16 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
Thanks for the update!

It would be really interesting to hear MSIL and CSIL's versions of the trip

Oh yes it would! I think MSIL would say things went well. As for CSIL, I think she would say she is glad its over!

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Thanks for the update! I still hold that both of them sound like they have MAJOR control issues and I don't think I'm on either team - I'm on Team Maya!
You are funny!


Well the next family get together is in CSIL's city. But neither me nor MSIL will not be staying with her, though my girls will spend the night, if CSIL can clear some space for them. She has said she is doing some "major decluttering" MSIL did get CSIL a year's worth of cleaning service for a b-day present. I know that CSIL knew it was a dig at her cleaning abilities, but I also know she is greatful for the help.
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#17 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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How funny that you posted this! I was just thinking about your original post this morning while in bed, for some reason. I'm glad it all seemed to work out.

Andi, wife of Seraphim
Mom to Elijah (6/05) and Moses (6/08) and baby Joshua, UBAC February 18, 2011!

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#18 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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CSIL still sounds like a bit of a pill but maybe next year she'll be ready to admit that her kids had fun. Actually I'm really happy for her dh and kids as it sounds like they had a good time.
I don't get how she was a pill. How would you react to someone undermining your parenting philosophies, just b/c they thought they knew better--and they were in a position to do so?

I just don't get how imposing your parenting beliefs on anyone (veiled in this case as a "hostess" issue) is ever, ever, ever OK. Whether you agree with those parenting practices or not. (Because, for the record, I don't agree w/ CSIL on many of her parenting practices.)
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#19 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 05:24 PM
 
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I just don't get how imposing your parenting beliefs on anyone (veiled in this case as a "hostess" issue) is ever, ever, ever OK. Whether you agree with those parenting practices or not. (Because, for the record, I don't agree w/ CSIL on many of her parenting practices.)
Does that go for no spanking or yelling rules as well? How about no need for kids to finish their plates? What about swearing around kids?

I think there's a lot of stuff we do everyday that fall under "house rules" that others could get upset about (like no spanking or yelling and swearing's allowed and no one is ever forced to clean their plate) claiming we are imposing our parenting beliefs on them, but if they come to our house that's the deal.
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#20 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 05:35 PM
 
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Does that go for no spanking or yelling rules as well? How about no need for kids to finish their plates? What about swearing around kids?

I think there's a lot of stuff we do everyday that fall under "house rules" that others could get upset about (like no spanking or yelling and swearing's allowed and no one is ever forced to clean their plate) claiming we are imposing our parenting beliefs on them, but if they come to our house that's the deal.
But, not yelling and spanking are things that could freak people out--really scar young children. So that's more of a protection issue, to me.

I'm thinking of insisting that a guest punish their child and then smugly saying, "See, it works."

Or an unschooling family prohibiting a guest from doing school-at-home curriculum, and then saying, "See how much fun your kids had."

These are different parenting philosophies. Just b/c you think your way is better doesn't make it ok to impose it on someone else.

Prohibiting people from hitting each other in my house just doesn't strike me the same as someone interfering in what another person feeds their kids.

I just think there is a level of arrogance with MSIL that is totally galling when it comes to parenting issues.
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#21 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 05:54 PM
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But, not yelling and spanking are things that could freak people out--really scar young children. So that's more of a protection issue, to me.

<snip>

These are different parenting philosophies. Just b/c you think your way is better doesn't make it ok to impose it on someone else.

Prohibiting people from hitting each other in my house just doesn't strike me the same as someone interfering in what another person feeds their kids.

I just think there is a level of arrogance with MSIL that is totally galling when it comes to parenting issues.
But to some people spanking vs. not spanking is just a difference in parenting philosophies. Some people think that spanking is not scarring and in fact benefitial to the child. The truth of the matter is that you just draw your line between what is never acceptable in you house differently from MSIL.

I have a close family member whose 4 y.o. watches movies on a portable DVD player at restaurants but this same 4 y.o. will never watch movies at the dinner table at my house. To me that is unacceptable and it *is* my house. Of course, that might be part of the reason that they don't come to visit which was certainly CSIL's perogative.
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#22 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 05:59 PM
 
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The truth of the matter is that you just draw your line between what is never acceptable in you house differently from MSIL.
Insisting that people refrain from hitting each other in one's house just is not on the same level as insisting on how much time people spend with their own children or what they feed them.
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Insisting that people refrain from hitting each other in one's house just is not on the same level as insisting on how much time people spend with their own children or what they feed them.
CSIL knew all the rules before she went, and she chose to go and stay at MSIL's house. House rules about kids upstairs, eating what is on the table, and picking up are all completely reasonable. CSIL could have stayed at a hotel if she wanted.

CSIL could have gone upstairs to see her kids, and she did, but they didn't want her there. They could have eaten PB in their room, or not gone out for Japanese food, but they chose to and had a good time and tried new food and didn't starve to death.

Sometimes you need a little push to get out of your comfort zone. They weren't being fed junk food, or forced to do anything that they didn't want to do.

Since CSIL knew (as did all of us) exactly how things were going to be, she could have been a little more gracious and encouraging of her kids, and herself, to try new things.
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#24 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 06:13 PM
 
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I completely agree that MSIL made the rules very clear and that CSIL knew that going in.

I just can't imagine how a mother trying to go along with her husband's wishes into a place where her parenting philosophies are being undermined is supposed to act grateful to her hostess for undermining her.

I think you act civilly and say please and thank you, obviously. But, w/ re. to the parenting stuff? I don't think you get to insist that people parent the way you think they should AND expect their gratitude for it.
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#25 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 06:15 PM
 
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I'm glad you guys had fun. I didn't see your previous post about it until this post caused me to go look for it. Overall sounds like a lot of family get togethers in its basic premise. All of these individuals related by marriage or blood forced to come together and the history involved. I just wish my family nightmares took place in Hawaii.
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#26 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 06:16 PM
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Insisting that people refrain from hitting each other in one's house just is not on the same level as insisting on how much time people spend with their own children or what they feed them.
To you. What you call hitting, a most of the people here, in TX, call "popping" and see it a) as no big deal and b) as a necessary tool to curb "bad behavior". I agree that hitting one's children is wrong and I agree that the degree of whether or not to hit the child is more important then what the child eats but not everyone values these things the same. Some people here would think that a child's refusal to eat what is offered is a power struggle and rates right up there with corporal punishment. Again, these are your values and even though I tend to agree with the values, I disagree that everyone weighs them equally.

ETA: I am glad almost everyone had a good time. I also agree that both CSIL and MSIL sound like a little bit of a PITA and I am on Maya's side.
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#27 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 06:34 PM
 
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To you. What you call hitting, a most of the people here, in TX, call "popping" and see it a) as no big deal and b) as a necessary tool to curb "bad behavior".
My point is not that they are equal parenting issues, my point is that one is a personal boundary ("You may not hit in my home.") and one is an imposition on another's parenting ("Spend more/less time with your children in my home.")

Requesting that people not hit or spank in your home as a way to impose on someone's parenting is also different than requesting that people not hit or spank in your home b/c you find it upsetting.

And finding spanking upsetting just doesn't equate with finding that someone spends too much time with their children.

That MSIL is that upset by what her SIL feeds her kids or that she spends too much time with them makes me think she is wildly controlling and/or codependent. Seriously...I think it is really disturbing.
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#28 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 07:05 PM
 
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That MSIL is that upset by what her SIL feeds her kids or that she spends too much time with them makes me think she is wildly controlling and/or codependent. Seriously...I think it is really disturbing.

I agree with this but I think both SILs are in the wrong here. There are limits on how much a hostess should bend for her guests, and there is a limit on how much guests should bend for their hosts. I think CSIL in this case is essentially being railroaded by the MSIL because MSIL has money and a huge house. However, it is difficult to host 20 people for any length of time, so.... . I think it could definitely have been worked out to everyone's benefit if things hadn't been so strained from the get go.
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#29 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 07:27 PM
 
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That MSIL is that upset by what her SIL feeds her kids or that she spends too much time with them makes me think she is wildly controlling and/or codependent. Seriously...I think it is really disturbing.
I agree with this. It really kind of weirds me out.

I do see the spanking issue as different. I wouldn't let someone hit their kids in my house, because it would freak out my kids. I'm not trying to tell them how to parent in my home - I'm asking them to respect my children's boundaries.

I think MSIL goes way beyond these boundaries on many issues, including food. I do realize, however, that my take on this is coloured by my own childhood. I'd have gagged if someone had tried to get me to eat anything Maya describes as being on the table the first night, and I'd have been pissed at my mom for letting them get away with it, honestly. (For the record, my mom did encourage me to try other foods, but I wasn't interested. In fact, I was violently opposed to the idea.)

It does sound as though CSIL and her dh had discussed this thoroughly ahead of time, and CSIL did go along with MSIL's rules. I'm not sure why anybody would expect her to do so happily. I wouldn't be happy if I had to parent differently to keep my hostess happy. As I said in the original thread, I have no idea what I'd do in CSIL's situation, as I would prefer not to go at all, but that would upset dh...


I'm glad it all worked out, Maya. It sounds as though things went much more smoothly than anyone would have expected. I take it that it will be a few years until these issues come up again, as the next gathering is in CSIL's city and doesn't involve the "hostess/houseguest" aspect? Are you also in the rotation to host this?

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#30 of 167 Old 01-02-2007, 07:33 PM
 
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It sounds like they both have some control issues, but no Hawaii vacation would make me deal with MSIL's power trip. I'm not down with the "I have the money so I make the rules" attitude. She sounds like an awful hostess. You're supposed to make your guests comfortable in your home.
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