“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Feb 22, 2014
DEAR ABBY: I'm 14. Last summer I went to camp in a different state with my cousin "Mary." I told my friends at school about our adventures, and a couple of them said they want to go there with me next summer.

Mary and I don't get a lot of time together, and camp is one of the only times when I can see her. I don't want my friends to come. How can I tell them that without hurting their feelings?-- TORN IN TEXAS

DEAR TORN: Out-of-state summer camps can be expensive, and although your friends might want to come to yours, it remains to be seen if their families can afford to send them. However, if it turns out that they will be going next summer, you should let them know beforehand that you may not be seeing a lot of them after you arrive because it's the only time you get to spend with your cousin during the year. The chances of their being hurt will be less if you tell them in advance.
Uninvited Guest Cleans Up On Leftovers

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I enjoy entertaining and having family over to celebrate birthdays and holidays. Our son's birthday is approaching and I'd like to get your view of something my husband's older sister, "Jane," has been doing.

Jane is 55, divorced and has been dating her co-worker "Chuck" for a couple of years. At our celebrations, after everyone is done eating and cake has been served, Jane makes up a large plate of food (without asking) and invites her boyfriend over to eat.

Chuck shows up, stands at the kitchen counter and devours the food while complaining about it. Then he helps himself to more and leaves. He never says thank you, never participates in the celebration and, frankly, wasn't invited to begin with.

How should this be handled at the next event? If I confront my sister-in-law, does that make me as rude as she is? My husband doesn't want to rock the boat. However, it bothers him, and he, too, is put off by it. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated.-- AGHAST IN NEW ENGLAND

DEAR AGHAST: What Jane has been doing is extremely presumptuous and to call her on it isn't rude. This should not be "handled at the next event"; it should be handled BEFORE the next event. Tell her you prefer any leftover food be saved for your own family, and that in the future, she should not invite Chuck unless she has first cleared it with you. If she can't abide by your wishes, you should not invite her.
Woman Plans Ahead To Raise Healthy Kids

DEAR ABBY: I grew up like most children of the '80s and '90s, on fast food and propped in front of the TV. I have worked hard to change this lifestyle. I want to raise my future children in a healthier fashion than I was. However, when I bring up the subject of future grandchildren with my mother, she can't stop talking about how she's going to spoil them with sugary treats because she's the grandma, and "that's what grandmas do."

She knows how I feel about this and knows it upsets me, but she keeps taunting me. I have gone so far as to tell her that if she can't respect me, I will limit her time with the kids. What would you suggest I do?-- HEALTH FIRST IN MAINE

DEAR HEALTH FIRST: I don't know when you plan to have children, but until you do, I suggest you drop the subject. Your mother may be saying this to get a rise out of you. If she's serious, it will be your job as a parent to enforce the rules you set. But right now, this discussion is premature.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#2 Feb 22, 2014
1- Oh for fu-- You're all gonna be hanging out together anyway, I don't see a problem

2- That's just beyond rude. This should have been handled after the first time, then definitely after the second. I'll agree with Abby, bring this up BEFORE the next time.

3- Yeah, we grew up drinking from the hose and riding bikes without a helmet. God, you're not even a parent yet and you're already a helicopter. How about you take a look at the sugar content of a jar of baby food.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 Feb 22, 2014
The dynamics of 14 year old girls changes rapidly and unpredictably. You may not be friends with Mary next summer or with your school friends. Even if you are all at the same camp you may be friends with other people.

Overnight camp is a big industry with lots of previews and salesmanship. If your friends parents are going o pay the money they will be checking other camps too

Claremont, CA

#4 Feb 22, 2014
LW2 - Why is Jane's boyfriend of two years not invited to the main event? And why is he allowed in the house in the manner you describe? Can't you talk to your sister about it?

LW3 - Are you absolutely sure that *most* children of the 80s and 90s grew up that way? In any case, you don't yet have children. Relax. When you do have them, try to raise them eating healthy, but I can guarantee you, if you forbid them from having any sugary snacks or any fast-food ever, you are sure to raise people with serious food hang-ups. You do understand that there is nothing with a cookie to follow a healthy dinner of fresh vegetables and (if you are not vegetarian) lean meat, right?

Hancock, NY

#5 Feb 22, 2014
3: I had to respond to this one first. Times change; they change often. When my sister had her kids, they actually had a baby food form of egg yokes. Yes, egg yokes. Why a mom couldn't just soft cook an egg for a baby I don't know but there you have it. When my kids came along more than 15 years later, I don't think they had egg yoke baby food. They started thinking about cholesterol around then, I guess. But even so, all the books said to start only one food at a time to make sure the baby didn't have an allergy to it. My daughter had some other ideas allowing her first child to get what he wanted because he rejected things like fruit and vegetables and wanted only junk food. She said she gave in because she didn't want him to starve. Right. Like if she kept the junk food away for a day, and only offered him nutritious food, he'd starve. With her twins who are now 17 months, her pediatrician didn't care about that "introduce one new food at a time" theory. I asked because I noticed some of the baby food items she was giving them were "mixed" items that included fruits and other items that I never had growing up and still don't eat. My daughter said that right from the start, she would just mash up whatever everyone else was eating and feed it to the twins when they were starting on solid foods. Her pediatrician is from India and she told my daughter it is common practice there to simply feed the babies whatever the other family members were eating and there's usually no problem. I don't know whether that's something all pediatricians recommend but it seems to be working for my daughters's kids. I will add that she did learn to keep the junk food to a very small limit.

However, to keep on point, the lw's mom is definitely saying all this stuff because the lw is a food/nutrition snob and probably gave her mom a hard time about how she was allowed to eat junk food as a kid. She needs to lighten up. Her decisions regarding food choices for her future babies may very well change by the time she has them and she will be embarrassed when people remind her of what she "used to" say years before the kids were born. Yes, it's good that she wants to give them good nutrition, but she doesn't have to wave that around like a flag.

Hancock, NY

#6 Feb 22, 2014
1: Are you afraid to introduce your cousin to your friends? Are you afraid they'll hit it off and leave you in the dust? Somehow I never was afraid for my friends and relatives to meet each other; so I just don't understand why you think this is such a problem.

2: This is a VERY strange scenario. I can't imagine why this guy only goes to your kitchen and eats at the counter. If he's not someone you'd invite to your home, don't allow him entry. Do have a talk with Jane and tell her you don't appreciate her inviting other people to your home without your express permission and make sure she knows that her boyfriend is one of those people. If she does it again, just stop inviting her. He doesn't sound like someone I'd want in my home either.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Feb 22, 2014
PEllen wrote:
If your friends parents are going o pay the money they will be checking other camps too
If the only reason my kid wanted to go to a specific camp was because of a friend who was going to be going as well (as is the case in the letter), I would vet THAT one and that one alone.

If my kid just wanted to go away to camp in general, I could see looking into multiple options, but when hanging out with your friend is the motivation, I see no sense in saying "this camp over here has canoes!"

Chicago, IL

#8 Feb 22, 2014
Bless your heart, Pippa.
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