We have family in town this week, specifically ONE family member, specifically my mother-in-law. I’ve been trying to think of some fun shopping-type things to post about here, but it feels like I’m attempting to surf the online stores while clinging to a piece of shipwreck: I am a little distracted by the SHARKS nibbling my TOES.
Some of us have lovely, lovely family members who are a joy to be around, but it seems like most of us have at least SOME family members who drive us batcrap crazy. Surely we can combine forces on this—if not to drive all those family members into a barbed-wire enclosure, at least to make their visits more bearable. I will share my tips with you if you will share yours with me.
1. Solo outings. If you can leave your children briefly with the difficult family member, a visit is a great time to get some things done. Have you had a haircut since the snow melted? Have you seen the GYN since your third grader was born? When was the last time you donated blood? Wasn’t there something you wanted to talk to your child’s teacher about? ALL of these things can be scheduled during the visit, giving you brief breathers in the outside world.
2. Cooking and baking. This looks sooooo hostessy, and also keeps you occupied in the kitchen. And oh dear, now there is clean-up—the children will have to go talk with Grandma while you finish the dishes.
3. Booze in the laundry room. Vodka doesn’t leave a telltale scent, or so I’ve heard. A little swig when you cycle the wash into the dryer, maybe another little swig when you fold the clothes. Two swigs when it is Crazy Dinner/Bed Time and someone is stationed in the observation deck to notice how badly you handle it.
4. Forgetting something at the grocery store. Oh dear, you will have to just RUN OUT for a minute, you will be RIGHT BACK. Sit in the parking lot at the grocery store with your head on the steering wheel, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, or perhaps it is supposed to be the other way around. When you go in to get the one grocery item you need to prove you actually did go to the store, also get yourself a jelly doughnut from the in-store bakery. THE LORD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES.
5. Movies. If your houseguest will watch them, that’s 2 hours of not interacting with each other, followed by another hour of talking about the movie so you don’t have to think of other things to talk about or hear again about the co-worker who has let herself go since she had kids and now wears nothing but t-shirts and jeans, kind of like YOUR ever-present t-shirts and jeans, what a coincidence that this topic would come up.
Your turn. SHARE with me, people: I’m 3 days into this thing and already cycling laundry way more often than necessary.