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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jan 15, 2014
DEAR AMY: My parents go to Florida two or three times a year. While they sometimes drive their car, they fly most of the time. When they fly, my father consistently asks me to pick them up, which in my opinion is no small favor.

I do not live near them, and I do not live next to the airport. I would have to drive to the airport and wait, which is roughly an hour, then drive them to their house, which is about 40 minutes, and then return to my house, an hour away.

I do not mind helping them out, but it is as if my time is of no consideration. I have kids and things of my own to do, and three hours of my time is an imposition.

A simple $30 cab could do the trick and save me time, gas money and the wear on my car.

Why is it that he doesn't see the inconvenience to his own daughter? How can I handle this so he will understand how much he is asking?-- Put Out

DEAR PUT OUT: Assuming that this three-hour task once or twice a year is the biggest chore your parents impose upon you, I'll ask you to think back to a time when you lived at home when your parents routinely dropped everything to attend to you, without grumbling about the cost of gas or the wear on their car.

This is your opportunity to do something quite simple that can balance that scale a little bit -- as well as allow you to spend a little time with them.

You also have no idea of what things could be like if your parents were not healthy, when you might be driving three hours for doctors' appointments.

But, given your lack of perspective (and the fact that your father doesn't seem to either ask you well or express his appreciation), you will have to be honest with him and say that this is a big imposition and so they'll have to take a cab to their home.

DEAR AMY: Our family's recent holiday celebration was "hijacked" by my wonderful grandson (in his mid-20s) whom we all deeply love. He has struggled for years with ADHD and OCD, as well as speech and reading difficulties. Recently he got involved with martial arts. This is awesome and really good for him. At Christmas he talked about this topic. It was a total monologue, which went on and on. I escaped through food prep and talking with others in another room, but it simply never stopped.

An aunt of his came by after work; she was able to interrupt proceedings briefly before he intoned, "Now to get back to the topic at hand" -- which was his monologue.

Please, does anyone have a gentle, kind, thoughtful way such onslaughts can be controlled without damaging his ego or hurting his feelings?-- Wondering Gran

DEAR WONDERING: Offering your grandson a gentle corrective and assistance in behaving in a pro-social and appropriate way would ultimately be better for his ego than letting him dominate a gathering while people seek to escape.

At the next gathering, when it comes time to do the dishes, you could say to him, "Can you help me in the kitchen, please?" Standing side by side at the sink (not confronting through direct gaze) would offer an opportunity to say, "What you are doing sounds interesting. I'm so happy for you. But everybody needs a chance to tell their story, so don't forget to listen to other people. Did you know Jenny got a new job? You should ask her about that and listen to what she says."

I'll run suggestions from readers.

DEAR AMY: I couldn't believe that you backed up "Exhausted Gran" when she said she wanted to get out of baby-sitting her grandchild!

Neither one of you even mentioned what was best for the child. And having grandparents baby-sit is definitely best for the child.-- Proud Granny

DEAR GRANNY: Exhausted grandparents have earned the right to say no to a heavy rotation of scheduled baby-sitting.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#2 Jan 15, 2014
L1. Playing chauffer for people going to and from the airport is one of my biggest pet peeves.
Those lazy bones know better to even ask me anymore.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#3 Jan 15, 2014
1- Oh boohoo, God forbid you take a few hours out of your oh so busy schedule to do a favor once or twice a year for the people who, you know, only birthed you and raised you.

2- How about you stop treating him like a child?

3- Get over yourself

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#4 Jan 15, 2014
L1. It is no big secret that I take a very dim view to air travel....chauffeur

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Jan 15, 2014
loose cannon wrote:
L1. It is no big secret that I take a very dim view to air travel....chauffeur
I want to take a vacation in Hawaii next year. Can you recommend a good chauffeur to get me there?
Blunt Advice

Saddle River, NJ

#6 Jan 15, 2014
1. If its the NYC metro area, going to the airports involves huge tolls, parking charges, and amounts of traffic. in that case hiring an airport limo service is the way to go. Then spend quality time with them another time. In a more remote area, well, the drive might not be such an ordeal. In any case, Amys point about all they did for you is correct.
2. There's one in every family who has to dominate conversation.
3. Every grandparent is different.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Jan 15, 2014
Lw3: Its the parents job to sacrifice for the well beong of the child, not the grandparents. If a grandparent wants to, great. But they don't have a duty to do so.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Jan 15, 2014
L1: I think the parents want to see the daughter b/c if they can get airline tickets on their own they probably know how to get cabs. The LW should either make it her visit with the family (get the kids in the car and make it a family thing) or simply tell the 'rents you be blunt with the 'rents.

L2: ADHD, OCD, speech and reading difficulties. Sounds to me as if he needs patient relatives to teach him how to communicate and limiting his monologues, explaining why and teaching him with loving family all around sounds to me like a good time to do it.

L3: Grandparents already raised their children. Whatever babysitting they decide to do is a gift not something that should be expected.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Jan 15, 2014
LW1: Her lack of perspective? They are effing adults! Not children who can't drive themselves. There will be a time when her parents will need her for more important things than a lift to the airport and she will be more than willing to help if her goodwill hasn't been used up.

LW2: Don't worry, by next year he'll be obsessing about something else.

LW3: IIRC, the original letter said they were planning on having a second baby. Grandma has every right to say no to being free daycare.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#10 Jan 15, 2014
"Neither one of you even mentioned what was best for the child. And having grandparents baby-sit is definitely best for the child.-- Proud Granny"

Excuse me while I barf.

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#11 Jan 15, 2014
LW1: Explain to your parents that it is an almost 3 hour trip for you and that maybe they should get a cab. I would to my parents. I would be nice about it, however. You can do that and be nice about it.

LW2: That is something his parents should speak to him about, privately and compassionately, IMO.

LW3: Even assuming you are correct, what is best is not always necessary. Good enough is by definition good enough.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#12 Jan 15, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
Lw3: Its the parents job to sacrifice for the well beong of the child, not the grandparents. If a grandparent wants to, great. But they don't have a duty to do so.
I like your attitude on this one. Parents should all understand this. I've heard/read complaints from people that their own parents refuse to babysit for the grandkids. I've heard about grandparents who say they've raised their own kids and they're done; they aren't about to raise or babysit their grandchildren. That's their prerogative. So parents need to understand that they don't have a right to their own parents' time and child care skills and should appreciate it when they have it. Of course, many grandparents, like myself, are only too happy to spend time with their grandchildren. And there are the unfortunate grandparents who don't get to spend time with their grandchildren at all either because they live too far away or because the grandchildren's parents won't allow it.
tiredofit

Los Angeles, CA

#13 Jan 15, 2014
The airport we use have parking lots that you can leave your car. They vary in rates so researching costs helps you choose which lot is for you.
If their Florida trips are extended this is probably not an option and the cab cost would be more reasonable. I totally understand her reluctance to do this major driving.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#14 Jan 15, 2014
You people are off base. The parents fly INTO FL, and the daughter is asked to pick them up there. She lives in FL, so the NYC tolls and traffic is moot, as well as the parking lot costs at the airport.

3hrs is a lot of time, but twice a year is not a huge imposition IMO.
and I bet the cab is probably closer to $60 than $30. I live about 15-20 minutes from FLL and a cab is $20 before a tip.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#15 Jan 15, 2014
Pippa wrote:
<quoted text>
I like your attitude on this one. Parents should all understand this. I've heard/read complaints from people that their own parents refuse to babysit for the grandkids. I've heard about grandparents who say they've raised their own kids and they're done; they aren't about to raise or babysit their grandchildren. That's their prerogative. So parents need to understand that they don't have a right to their own parents' time and child care skills and should appreciate it when they have it. Of course, many grandparents, like myself, are only too happy to spend time with their grandchildren. And there are the unfortunate grandparents who don't get to spend time with their grandchildren at all either because they live too far away or because the grandchildren's parents won't allow it.
I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I did not expect my in-laws to step up in the way they have. Their help allowed us to have a second child, for which I am forever grateful. And I feel like the only way I can repay them is to do the same for my children, if I live that long and am able-bodied enough to hold and feed an infant. It will be the least I could do.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#16 Jan 15, 2014
Pippa wrote:
<quoted text>
I like your attitude on this one. Parents should all understand this. I've heard/read complaints from people that their own parents refuse to babysit for the grandkids. I've heard about grandparents who say they've raised their own kids and they're done; they aren't about to raise or babysit their grandchildren. That's their prerogative. So parents need to understand that they don't have a right to their own parents' time and child care skills and should appreciate it when they have it. Of course, many grandparents, like myself, are only too happy to spend time with their grandchildren. And there are the unfortunate grandparents who don't get to spend time with their grandchildren at all either because they live too far away or because the grandchildren's parents won't allow it.
This was something my mom started talking to me about when I was a teenager. Basically, "we've had our kids and we're not raising yours. Any babysitting will be done on our terms."

Not saying that's *why* I don't have kids, but lack of family support is a factor.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#17 Jan 15, 2014
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
This was something my mom started talking to me about when I was a teenager. Basically, "we've had our kids and we're not raising yours. Any babysitting will be done on our terms."
Not saying that's *why* I don't have kids, but lack of family support is a factor.
I don't see not babysitting as lack of family support. Parents need a break from time to time. I can imagine some grandparents giving the gift of money to hire a babysitter b/c they're not up to babysitting.

The best support that stands out in my mind that my family gave me while raising a child was to be my sounding board and advice when asked more so than any babysitting they did.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#18 Jan 15, 2014
Matilda77 wrote:
"Neither one of you even mentioned what was best for the child. And having grandparents baby-sit is definitely best for the child.-- Proud Granny"
Excuse me while I barf.
I was thinking about how your MIL and FIL would be as babysitters. Then who gets to write to Lamy?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#19 Jan 15, 2014
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't see not babysitting as lack of family support. Parents need a break from time to time. I can imagine some grandparents giving the gift of money to hire a babysitter b/c they're not up to babysitting.
The best support that stands out in my mind that my family gave me while raising a child was to be my sounding board and advice when asked more so than any babysitting they did.
I'm the opposite. Child care is the best. I've never asked for advice

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#20 Jan 15, 2014
L2 The son is mentally ill. His illness manifests in ways which disrupt a customary social activity.
The family does not need to be more sympathetic. The family needs to be trained on how to interrupt the behaviors, how to coach the son to contain them or redirect them.

Just because a person is ill does not mean the rest of the world stops, wrings its hands and goes poor baby. It is not all about him any more than it is all about any other single individual

Wait for the first family wedding where the bride does not want the cousin to highjack that occasion. Will he get a "minder", will he not get an invitation, will the B&G get royally pissed off or skewered by the family.

Apropos a family member whose involuntary behavior is highly disruptive, is anyone following the story about the parents who had dinner reservations at a restaurant for $250 a piece, where the sitter cancelled . They brought the 8 month old who cried all through dinner.? Rather large uproar about what should have been done by the parents and the restaurant. I think this letter is the same situation 20 years later.

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