I Fear for My In-Laws

by Abby on May 11, 2011

My in-laws are coming to visit soon. And I am afraid. Not OF them; they’re lovely people we don’t get to see nearly enough. I’m afraid FOR them. Because C. and I are leaving them with the kids overnight while we go to a wedding. Part of me thinks: Woo-hoo, freedom! And the other part thinks: These poor grandparents have no idea what they’re in for.

The bad-news brothersSure, they raised 5 kids of their own. And they managed just fine, right? Surely there’s nothing they can’t handle with my 2 guys. Only here’s the thing: my little one, in particular, is what you might euphemistically call a “handful.” He’s fast, he’s fearless, and he has less common sense than the cast of the Jersey Shore. And his older brother isn’t much better.

Take the other day, for instance. In the span of about 5 minutes, my 4yo accidentally turned on the gas stove while climbing onto the kitchen counter to sneak some candy. Then my 2yo ran smack into a doorframe while playing “catch me.” (FYI: when played indoors, that game never ends well.)

Within seconds he had a giant black-and-blue lump sprouting on his forehead. And the way he carried on when I put the ice pack on it…! If I hadn’t had so much practice restraining my superhuman toddler, I would’ve needed an ice pack myself. Can you blame me for fearing for his grandparents’ wellbeing?

Then there was the afternoon when MY parents were visiting recently. My neighbor stopped by on the way home from the bus stop with her 3 kids, and this created the sort of ruckus that only 5 kids under the age of 6 can create.

The older boys wanted snacks downstairs, the younger kids wanted to play upstairs, and the poor middle kid just wanted SOMEBODY to play with him. A game of “catch me” broke out, and showers of Goldfish crumbs and half-chewed cheese sticks were everywhere.

Then the littlest girl had a diaper emergency, and halfway through being changed she decided she needed to use the potty. So then MY 2yo decided to join her in the bathroom. Come one, come all — it’s a potty party! Suddenly the other mom yelped: “He peed on my foot!” My friend was caught off-guard, but unfazed. What mom of small children isn’t used to stray bodily fluids?

MY mom, on the other hand, was horrified. (If you’re wondering what my dad was doing all this time, he was asleep on the couch. How I envy that man’s ability to tune things out.) I could tell by the wild look in my mom’s eyes and her shaky hands that the noise, the activity level, the sheer chaos had rattled her. Most people in their 60’s aren’t used to that environment. But for me? That’s just a typical day.

Boy, I hope my in-laws have been resting up for this visit. And taking their vitamins. And working out, preferably with 37-lb. weights. They’re gonna need all the energy they can get.

Related posts:
You Get Used to It
Don’t Leave Us with the Babies!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie Mizzell May 12, 2011 at 11:08 am

We just moved into a neighborhood with lots of kids, and I lost control for a couple of weeks. I didn’t know what to do about children just walking into my house. I had to learn to take! charge! It’s all good now. I think there’s a strange part of me that likes the chaos.


Shannon @ AnchorMommy May 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Oh my goodness…I get stressed with I leave my kids with grandparents too, but I have to say they’re not quite as, um, active as yours sound. The baby can’t run yet, and my 4 year old seems to be pretty mellow as far as boys go… Your poor in-laws! At least they’ll only be in charge for one night, right?


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