A letter to my In-Laws (as they take the kids for the weekend)

Dear Earle and Jeanne,

Andy and I want to thank you SO very much for taking care of the kids while we take a fast – but fabulous! – four day vacation to celebrate our 15th Anniversary.  I know, 15!  It seems like just yesterday we were walking down the aisle.  Actually, it seems like a lifetime ago; yesterday involved making lunches, driving those lunches (that had been forgotten in the kitchen) back to school, paying bills, washing and folding laundry, working a full day, helping study for homework, refereeing sibling smack downs…but I don’t mean to scare you.  This is gonna be EPIC.

A few tips as you embark upon the full time parenting of three young kids for the first time in…well, a while.  Don’t worry if you lose your mind/patience/car keys/house keys/even a child or two; it happens to us as well.  And should you need it, the wine rack is fully stocked and there is beer in the fridge.  That’s no accident.

  1. Remember to gas up your car, as you may think you’re spending time with your grandchildren but what you’re really doing is logging more miles than a New York City cabdriver does in a month.  You may never leave a 5-mile radius of the bed you’re sleeping in, but over the course of four days you’ll become a regular at Dedham Gas and Service.  Be nice to Joe there, you’ll see him a lot.
  2. Your eldest grandson – that sweet, blonde haired little boy that you remember – is now 12 years old and does NOT smell good (I’m told this is totally normal, but you just aren’t used to it anymore). Despite the daily shower, he can take on an otherworldly odor that will mentally transport you back to your High School locker room.  After the big game.  As if there were barn animals living there.  A trick I’ve learned is that when you pick him up after soccer practice, crack a window and breathe through your mouth.  You (and your nasal passages) will thank me.

    photo

    Georgia, mid-meltdown.

  3. Georgia, your pretty little 8-year old girl, is a giant question mark to me.  She will be helpful and kind, helping Quinn put on his sneakers and kissing his forehead, and you will thank the heavens for her.  Moments later (and without warning) she will collapse into a fit of tears (although NOTHING has changed from that previous idyllic moment) and become inconsolable, only to then snarl at the same little boy she was just taking care of.  I can’t explain it and I CANNOT diffuse it.  My advice is to just hang on to something stationary and wait out the storm.  It’s windy, wild and EXTREMELY unpredictable but like any hurricane, it too will pass.  You’re New Englanders, you can take it.
  4. While I had hoped to have completely “fixed” Elvis’ emotional issues, I didn’t quite get to that on my to do list.  He needs to be walked 57 times a day and still occasionally eats the pillow he sleeps on at night.  Also, I apologize for the early morning barkathon as he doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of daylight savings (earplugs and/or pillows on your head can help drown out the 5:30 am wakeup call).  At times, you may want to drop kick him into next week but at least he’s cute and hey, an 11-pound dog has small poops (it helps to look for the silver lining).
  5. photo-2Quinn’s preschool class is learning letters.  This week has focused on the letters F and P and despite his brother and sister’s best efforts, he does NOT think it’s funny when you say that “Fart” and “Poop” begin with F and P, because “Dose are baffroom woords.”  Unfortunately, he WILL tell you that snake, lollipop and dog start with F and P but I guess that Rome wasn’t built in a day so try to work on this.  He did mention that Power Ranger starts with P but just between us , I think it was a lucky guess.  We’ll take it anyway.

Andy and I cannot thank you enough for giving us this long weekend to rekindle our romance, celebrate 15 years of wedded bliss and actually get to talk about our future together.  Kidding!  We intend to sleep and eat nice food (while actually sitting down) and drink wine and drive only to places that we want to visit.  It should be pure Heaven.

You, on the other hand, might want to look into booking yourselves a vacation for the moment we get back because you’re gonna need it.  But while you’re here, remember that they are used to crazy and the time with you both is something they can’t wait for.  Embrace it and just hang on; Monday will be here before you know it.

And if that wine rack is missing a few bottles when we get back, we get it.  Bottoms up.

Love, Alex

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