1. Suzie

    We have yet to take our children to Disneyland. My husband and I decided to wait until our youngest was old enough to do all the rides, it would just be easier overall in my opinion as this would eliminate the “why does she go when I can’t?” etc. Another reason is that we don’t plan on making this out-of-state trip a yearly mecca. My ‘issue’ that my mother in law recently went on a trip with her other son’s family and now wants to plan our trip to Disneyland with her! She adds the kids are old enough now, there is plenty to do with the little ones. I don’t think my husband cares to go to Disneyland at all so whether or not she comes isn’t an issue for him – the more the merrier. I would like to share this experience with my kids without her nosing in on every ride and experience! How do I convey this? My husband isn’t one to stand up to his mother – sadly for me.

    • Good afternoon, Suzie,
      I go to Disney World at least once a year (usually more), and have for the last 18 years (starting at 12; my brother was 10). My parents thought as you do: Wait until the kids are older! I say that only to let you know that I understand some of the difficulties in visiting with small children. There are a few reasons for this:
      1) Disney is expensive for a middle-income family. Why pay so much for children who won’t understand/remember what they are seeing?
      2) Characters are wonderful, but frightening for young children. I’ve seen more than one toddler scream and cry when Mommy put her next to Minnie Mouse and tried to get a picture. Some children wander right up to Goofy; for others, he’s just too big and scary.
      3) Walking. There is a reason the Disney park EPCOT‘s nickname is Every Person Comes Out Tired/Every Parent Carries Out Toddlers. I realize you’re going to California where there is no EPCOT, but there will be walking… a lot of walking. Do you want to lug around a stroller and tired baby for 9 hours through crowds? (Now that I think about it, maybe you could have your mother-in-law take over that part of it… 😉 )

      Please share those reasons and others with your Mother-In-Law. Let her know that you adore how involved she is with her grandchildren, but her son and you have chosen to wait just a few years for the kids to grow up, which will make the trip better for everyone. As for how to make sure she doesn’t join you for this trip when the time comes, I don’t know that you can easily get out of it if she’s offering to pay her way. Look on the bright side – she might provide free babysitting so that you and your husband can have a nice evening out.

      • Alicia

        You and your husband are in charge of family vacation there is nothing rude about saying “No thank you” to mother in law when she suggests an Disney trip or when you are ready for a Disney trip saying “No thank you”when she asks to attend.

        • Pam

          My parents took me when I was 3 years old and said they would never recommend taking a child that young. I was grumpy and only wanted to play in the hotel swimming pool. They said it was a lot of money to spend for me to do something I could have done at home in NY. They said if they had waited until I was at least 5 it would have been much more pleasant b/c I ended up being a child you could take ANYWHERE….I was just too young prior and didn’t really understand where I was. Disney World is a lot more fun for kids when they are a little older…and therefore a lot more fun for the parents.

          • Chocobo

            Just to give another opinion, my parents took my two siblings and myself to Disney World since we were infants, nearly every year. My grandparents went with us. They loved taking us there even with three toddlers and never regretted it a minute. As a result our families have many fond memories of it, even when the smallest ones sat out on the “big” rides eating ice cream with one parent while the other one took the other children through the line.

  2. Morgan

    My daughter (23 years old) and I were out shopping and she mentioned that she needed to stop by her boyfriends house to pick him up for their drive back to Santa Barbara. I said that I would wait in the car if she was just running up to grab him and I didn’t want to go with her inside his parents house unannounced since I’ve only met them once before briefly. The parents came outside and I got out of the car and hugged them and said how nice it was to see them. Was I rude by not going into the house to begin with and waiting in the car?

    • Elizabeth

      No, I don’t think it was rude. What if they were inside napping, in the middle of eating dinner, or hanging out in their underwear? I think it was nice of them to come out and greet them, and I’m sure you greeted them warmly as well. You could easily say, “Sorry I didn’t come in, I wasn’t sure if you were busy, but it’s great to see you!…etc”

  3. Friends,
    On another website, many people have been commenting about the rudeness of gum-chewing, how it’s an awful habit, etc. I realize chewing gum in a more formal setting (job interview, upscale gala event, when speaking in public) is frowned upon, but in a casual setting? I understand that some people have halitosis from diet or medication, or might be quitting smoking. I’ve never thought a thing about chewing gum in front of others.
    What do you all think?

    • Elizabeth

      I don’t know that chewing gum is rude per se, but there are a lot of things about it that can be annoying: the constant noise of chewing and popping, the fact that people rarely chew with their mouth closed so you sometimes see the gum moving around their mouth, the smell of some gums can be pretty gross, the fact that it reminds one of a cow chewing it’s cud…it’s fine once in a while, but for me anything more than very occasional use would seem like a bad habit in need of breaking. Luckily no one in my life is an avid gum chewer.

    • Chocobo

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with gum-chewing, per se. But I can see where etiquette severely restricts the situations in which gum would be appropriate:

      1) Do not speak with the mouth full. Gum applies to this rule as a food, so unless you are planning on an activity with other people that does not include any talking whatsoever, that just about rules out any social activity with other people.

      2) Do not gross others out or annoy them with masticating or other food consumption noises. Whatever is not covered by the first rule is probably covered by this one. Making popping, sucking, or chewing noises around other people is bound to gross someone out.

      With the above two rules applied to gum, it’s very hard to see any wiggle room for it in the presence of other people.

      • Winifred Rosenburg

        I think you are right that gum chewers should not make irritating sounds, but it seems easily avoidable by chewing with your mouth closed. I also think speaking with gum in your mouth is possible. You just have to push it to the side of your mouth and out of the way when you speak. Obviously one should still not chew gum in any formal setting, but I think it is fine in a casual setting. I’m not a gum chewer, but my father has been addicted to gum ever since he quit smoking 15 years ago, so I’ve seen him speak with it and avoid grossing people out.

  4. Pam

    This past weekend my family (about 20 of us) got together for Father’s Day and some birthdays. My younger cousins (ages 8 and 11)were all given gifts by everybody…mostly gift cards b/c that is what they wanted when we asked their parents. The envelopes were ripped open…gift cards landing on couches, and their Mom was not in the room. This happens every Christmas, every birthday, etc. When I was younger and given gifts by the parents of these children I was expected to be careful with them and immediately go over and thank the gift giver. Their children have never done this. I know that past posts have recommended that people stop giving the gifts. But it is very hard to have Christmas and birthday gifts for their other cousins(who say thank you) and not give to the cousins that don’t say thank you. I feel like I should just keep buying gifts for them and leave it at that. But I can’t help that each time it happens it irritates me. The difference is that the parents of those who say “thank you” have always told them to make sure they go around and do that….the other parents don’t.

    • Jody

      I agree that it wouldn’t be right to have presents for the kids who say “thank you” and nothing for those who don’t (tempting though it is), since it’s one big party for everybody. Well before the party, maybe you can call or e-mail the parents of the non-thanking kids asking what they’d like for a present this year. You could say something like “they never say thank you so I’m wondering if I’ve been giving them presents they don’t like.” Maybe then the parents will get the hint.

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