Monday, March 31, 2008

Disney Angst!

To preface this, my parents are great. When it was just Mister Man and I worked full time, my parents watched him 2 days a week, meeting my husband at his school and taking him to their house, then returning him at the end of the day. Even now, my parents watch both of them one day a week when I’m working (the other two days – like today – they’re in daycare), and they babysit all the time for us.

A couple years ago, they asked to take Mister Man to Tampa for a long weekend. I was fine with that. They had a great time, and it all worked out for everyone. Since then, we’ve gone back to the same hotel – my dad doesn’t like change – several times with both kids, sometimes with hubby and me along and sometimes with my sister to help wrangle the wee ones.

I’m in a wedding in Houston next month, and I have the option of bringing my children to the nighttime wedding. Uhhh, no. I chose to pass on that option for a number of reasons, the first being that their bedtime is before the ceremony even begins!

Luckily, my parents were ok watching the wee ones, since I’m going down on Thursday, and hubby has classes to teach and isn’t exactly around to get them to preschool and the like. After all arrangements had been made, my parents asked if they could just take the kids to Florida while we were both gone anyway – since it’d been all the way since October since they’d gone last. That was fine with me, too.

Then I got the phone call from my mom. “Well, the hotel in Tampa had no rooms for the time we wanted to go, so we decided to go to Orlando instead. We’re flying down on Thursday morning and will be back the day before Mother’s Day.” Uhhh, what? Wait a second, that is NOT what I’d agreed to. Ten days gone from me? Missing over a week of school (granted, it’s preschool)? And Orlando? Land of Disney?

My parents have an issue with overstepping their bounds. Their argument is that they’re grandparents, so they’re allowed to spoil the kids. I understand that logic, but the problem is that they see the kids easily two or three times a week and spend a lot of time with them. My kids have actually asked if they can go live with Grandma and Grandpa. The difference lies in frequency, in my mind.

As I gritted my teeth, I asked why they were going for so long. Apparently the flights were somewhat expensive, so they wanted to amortize the cost of the flights over more days. And had already booked the flights. And the hotel. Fortunately, it’s a hotel that’s not a Disney property, but not much is far from Disney in Orlando. I politely requested that they not go to Disney for the first time without me. My mom’s reaction? “They’re young; they won’t even remember it.” Uhhh, sure. Mister Man with the mind like a steel trap who remembers everything won’t remember this. Oh, and that isn’t the point!

Finally, she responded that they’d likely spend most days hanging out at the pool, but that probably one or two days they’d end up at Disney. “You know your dad. You can’t tell him what to do.” URG!

I’ve since had a few more conversations with my mom. I think she finally gets it, but she’s falling back on her argument that my dad will do what he wants to do and I have to clear it by him. Yesterday would have been the perfect time to talk to him. I even got to his house early before the movie (see yesterday’s post) so that we could chat about it. Of course, that just meant that he had more time to get to the theater early. And the theater wasn’t exactly conducive to that conversation. Afterwards, Mister Man was so exhausted and whiny, we fed him yogurt and brought him home.

I still have a month before they leave to impress upon them the severe disagreement I have about them taking my kids to Disney first without asking me, but I need to get moving. Any suggestions on how to handle? I can’t and don’t want to tell my parents that they just can’t see my kids or do stuff with them for a number of reasons, but they do not get boundaries.


Susie March 31, 2008 at 4:48 PM  

boundaries? grandparents? wow--so don't exist in my world. my parents do what they want, when they want.
I have (I'm ashamed to admit) threatened to cut them off if they do something I don't want them to. they have to respect me as a parent.

yeah, not the best way to handle it--but I am an uber emotional mom.

how's that for introducing myself to you? good luck with your boundary setting. so glad to have found this blog--i'll be back!

Michelle March 31, 2008 at 6:43 PM  

Thanks, Susie! That's so sweet of you to say and brought a smile to my face. And it's nice to know I'm not the only one with the overzealous grandparents!

Manic Mom March 31, 2008 at 10:31 PM  

OOOooh! WOW! This sounds like a great question for JUST ANOTHER MANIC MOMMY!!!!

Seriously, can you make is shorter and ask it so the editors think I'm getting questions over there? But wow, I would freak if my parents wanted to take my kids for 10 days even though I love them to death and even though I HATE DISNEY and never want to take my kids again!

AND btw, go back to my blog--I FIGURED OUT THAT LAST SONG!!!!

And you will crack up!!!!

Michelle March 31, 2008 at 10:42 PM  

You ask, I obey. I'll shorten it. Sometime tomorrow. I'm already having a priority issue day tomorrow... so who knows when, but I'll do it :)

And I'm with you, 10 days without my kids is TOO LONG. A week is sort of too long. 5 days, I can handle, especially if I'm at a wedding for 3 or 4 of them....

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