And This One, Arsey BIL

(44 Posts)
CelebratoryChangeNamer Wed 25-Dec-13 20:16:39

DH and I are visiting his parents over Christmas in Scotland, a flight away for us. PIL have a big house and we are here for 10 days.

DH's sister and her husband and his brother and her his wife have 2 young DCs each. The DCs have spent most of the holidays so far palmed off on elderly PIL, who are a bit exhausted but too nice to say no.

DH and I have quite a wide circle of friends and interests, whereas even before children, SIL and BIL did not. Their whole life revolves around house and home, which is fine for them I guess but not really our cup of tea. Hence they have repeat Christmas Days in each relatives house leading up and after Christmas. The one at PIL was the 23rd. We were told we had to be present in the house from 11-7pm to watch the children doing a nativity pantomime and then singing and dancing. While I don't mind an hour or two, I found 8 hours a bit gruelling. DH and I would rather spend daylight hours in the holidays outdoors doing stuff, rather than indoors all day eating and sitting on a sofa.

BIL didn't even turn up until 5.30pm, although finished work at 2. By this time, we were all sitting in the living room, SIL was texting on her phone, DH was on his mobile internet, and I had, after sitting watching the children all day, just gone on my laptop to look at FB. BIL immediately piped up "Ms Celebratory should put her laptop away during family time". I could have cheerfully throttled him, but I settled for ignoring him, as did everyone else. He then left to go home, sans children and wife, 15 mins later, so had spent less than 2 hours with his own kids.

As usual, one child from each family was left with the PIL overnight while the parents went home, this seems to be the norm and at weekends the parents apparently like to be childfree if they can, so again the 4 children are left at their grandparents much of the time.

Anyway, it was just one day. We had to exchange presents on the 23rd as neither BIL and SIL could make it to PIL for Christmas Day, but this evening one set skyped and then arranged to visit all day tomorrow. But they don't want to go home afterwards as only BIL drives and he wants to drink, and they don't want to get a taxi for the 10 mins. So DH is going to have to sleep in the shed to make room for them!

Thoughts? DH and I don't have DCs yet. Is this normal?

NinjaBunny Wed 25-Dec-13 20:23:02

Hence they have repeat Christmas Days in each relatives house leading up and after Christmas. The one at PIL was the 23rd. We were told we had to be present in the house from 11-7pm to watch the children doing a nativity pantomime and then singing and dancing.

Thoughts? DH and I don't have DCs yet. Is this normal?

23rd? They're 23rd day of turkey, stuffing and shit? 23 fecking days?

No, it's not fecking normal. They're NUTS.


And 8 hours of children doing nativity and dancing?


Over 23 days?


124 hours of nativity and dancing?


You know those people who hate Christmas? That'll be those poor children.


NinjaBunny Wed 25-Dec-13 20:24:56

And why is DH sleeping in the shed?

Is that some weird homage to Jesus?


Nice and all but a tad unnecessary...!

greenfolder Wed 25-Dec-13 20:26:04

Shed? The rest of it-thats just inlaws.

CelebratoryChangeNamer Wed 25-Dec-13 20:26:57

To be fair, they only do their version of Christmas Day on 5 or 6 days, at each other's houses, their own and PIL.

Arsey BIL wanted to have a repeat Christmas Day on Boxing Day tomorrow for SIL's family, as they spent actual Christmas Day at BIL's, but after one year where we were naïve and went and it turned into competitive food by amounts, we politely declined. But it looks like it will be repeated tomorrow anyway, albeit a lite-version on the singing and dancing.

DH have made it known we are going out hillwalking for the day, and invited them with us. No takers.

CelebratoryChangeNamer Wed 25-Dec-13 20:28:23

The shed is kind of like a child's summerhouse. Its OK if he doesn't stand up fully! I'm going in the dining room!

ZillionChocolate Wed 25-Dec-13 20:29:23

23rd December?

wonderstuff Wed 25-Dec-13 20:29:52

I don't really understand your post, but sleeping in the shed isn't on.

CelebratoryChangeNamer Wed 25-Dec-13 20:32:21

Yes, the 23rd of December. Apologies, somewhat tense! Not 23 days of Christmas!

FionasFatFairy Wed 25-Dec-13 20:35:06

Surely if you are house guests and they are just too tight to pay for a cab, then they should be in the shed/dining room?

NinjaBunny Wed 25-Dec-13 20:35:36

Oh, blimey!!

I thought you meant they'd done Christmas Day with gifts and trimmings 23 times.


To be fair, I've heard odder things on MN this Christmas.

But your DP can't sleep in the shed. It's fecking cold. Could you not find a naice B&B and incorporate that into your hike?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 25-Dec-13 20:36:32

Not 23 days! It was on the 23rd! grin

Thoughts? Its between them and PIL. You can do your own thing- nothing forcing you to sit in and watch the children. Use that tongue and say no.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 25-Dec-13 20:38:00

Btw where are you sleeping i he's sleeping in the shed and i it a rickety garden shed or a purpose built garden house? It matters tbh.

trixymalixy Wed 25-Dec-13 20:39:28

Gosh, aren't you superior being outdoorsy and all that rather than sitting indoors on your arse.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 25-Dec-13 20:39:57

Ah missed a post. Why isnt he in dining room with you? Where are you sleeping now and why are you being shifted from that place because bil wants to stay? Say no.

CelebratoryChangeNamer Wed 25-Dec-13 20:40:00

No, we were pretty much forced to watch the children all day on the 23rd. As in we were told to be there in quite forceful terms from 11-7, the words "or else" were used. I don't think they can conceive that anyone might want to do anything different. Yes I guess we could have disappeared, but we didn't want to create a bad atmosphere just before Christmas.

I can cope with one Christmas Day just fine, its the multiple replications that do for me!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 25-Dec-13 20:42:12

Stop being silly. You werent forced. What was the 'or else'? Im sure it wouldnt have been devastating consequences. Why so many martyrs on MN at xmas?

CelebratoryChangeNamer Wed 25-Dec-13 20:42:37

Dining room is too small with a massive table and also full of toys right now. DH seems strangely keen to sleep in the shed.

No, trixymalixy spending day after day indoors during the holidays does my head in. I don't know if that makes me superior or not, I wouldn't have thought so.

HankyScore Wed 25-Dec-13 20:45:31

Why are you sleeping separately?

NinjaBunny Wed 25-Dec-13 20:46:12

DH seems strangely keen to sleep in the shed.

Not surprised.

Sounds fecking tedious inside the house.


Can't you join him in the shed?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 25-Dec-13 20:46:15

Well then the shed must be comfortable enough and nothing to complain about. Where have you been sleeping til now and why are you moving?

CelebratoryChangeNamer Wed 25-Dec-13 20:48:50

PIL like us to sleep separately in their house. This is going to sidetrack the whole thread isn't it!

BIL and SIL will need to sleep in DH's current bedroom and the one other spare bedroom. Kids have their own room.

HankyScore Wed 25-Dec-13 20:50:17

But you're married! Fuckeroo they are barking.

CelebratoryChangeNamer Wed 25-Dec-13 20:52:22

But can anyone tell me if its usual to palm your children off on the grandparents most holidays and weekends? Whats the point in having children if you aren't going to spend time with them?

And is it normal to coerce people to watch your children do lengthy nativity plays and singing and dancing?

I want to know if I'm U to feel driven a little mad by this and if I have really low tolerance or something!

MairyHoles Wed 25-Dec-13 20:52:30

That sounds awful. I have a spare bed and an open door policy coupled with my brass neck which makes me very, very hard to offend makes me an ideal Scottish host, depending on where you're at. Oh, and wine, lots and lots of wine. It's fucking freezing tonight, in all honesty I would be prepared to pay the cost of a taxi back to theirs, for yourself, then leave them there. I've been drinking the aforementioned wine and reading back this sounds garbled but as I'm on my phone I can't use my fingers well enough to correct it. Too much wine.

HOMEQCRICH Wed 25-Dec-13 20:54:06

Can't you move into the shed for the duration? Sounds far more appealing!!
whilst its important to make the most of family time its your holiday too! Enjoy the walk!

Finola1step Wed 25-Dec-13 20:55:43

Shed? I need to know more about this shed. Come on, what's in the shed?

Shed! Shed! Shed!

MairyHoles Wed 25-Dec-13 20:56:41

Oh, and also, if the ILs aren't fit for the kids then they really should say something. My mum takes my daughter roughly once a month, because she wants to, but has only had my boys once for a weekend away to wedding. So I suppose it really depends on how old andhow much work the kids are wwhether its normal to have them so much. After about age 11 I used to stay with my gran regularly.

NinjaBunny Wed 25-Dec-13 20:56:56

PIL like us to sleep separately in their house.


What do you get up to?


CelebratoryChangeNamer Wed 25-Dec-13 20:56:59

Thank you MaryHole don't want to identify but its up the way and to the right on a map!

DH says he will be fine in the shed with a hot water bottle and a good sleeping bag!

MavisG Wed 25-Dec-13 20:57:04

But WHY must you sleep separately?

CelebratoryChangeNamer Wed 25-Dec-13 20:58:42

The dcs are all aged 1 - 5, and PIL have one or more staying I think on average about 5 nights a week.

greenfolder Wed 25-Dec-13 20:59:27

Ha ha ha- please print off a copy of this and stick it on your calendar for next year. As a reminder as to why you are not going next year.


Sleep separately

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 25-Dec-13 20:59:55

Why do they want married couples in separte rooms? confused

As for the 'palming' well for starters you sound as if you are coming at it from a judgy place so i'm not sure if youre ifea of palming is actual palming. Secondly, there is no normal, its different with every family and what works for some doesnt work for others. As you said, you have no dcs so you dont know what being a parent is like, nor do you know what Pil feel about it. You make your own parenting decisions when the time comes and let others make theirs. I'm sure you'll do things that get judged by others. As i said- there is no normal.

They all sound awful, what does your H think? Can you go home early? I would.

Inertia Wed 25-Dec-13 21:00:31

Am I missing some kind of cultural reference here? Is this like the 'is my DH being U for not booking a hotel room and now we have to travel by donkey' spoof threads? I cannot understand how people who are not in a sitcom would put up with this insanity. Sleeping in a shed in December, FFS!

MairyHoles Wed 25-Dec-13 21:02:16

You must be quite near me, then! I don't envy you, your "holiday" doesn't sound much fun. I haven't been forced into separate beds since I had my 1st boyfriend at 15. I really don't recommend the shed, that's truly worrying. If my dad's ancient barometer is reliable there's going to be some bad weather tonight.

pictish Wed 25-Dec-13 21:03:32

What is going on here?
No one actually sleeps in the wendy house in December! That cannot be true! They'd have him in the wendy house rather than sleep beside his wife??

I am flummoxed as to just ...I dunno...does not compute.

Polynomial Wed 25-Dec-13 21:03:35

Next year, either go on a Christmas break yourselves - New York, Paris, Lapland wherever, or invite just the PILs to yours, so they can have a break from child care.

Why isn't BIL sleeping in the shed the selfish b*gger?

Hang on - bil and sil sleep together but you and dh can't? I'd have booked a hotel then tbh, regardless of how bonkers they all are generally.

Giyadas Wed 25-Dec-13 21:05:44

Maybe the grandparents are trying to stop anymore kids being produced, that's the only reason I can think of for separate beds

CelebratoryChangeNamer Wed 25-Dec-13 21:07:13

Believe me, reason seems to go out the window in this house. I think BIL is so arsey and prone to rudeness and prone to stomping off back to his own parents which upsets DIL, and PIL are mid seventies and just want a quiet life.

The separate beds thing has just become a habit, originally because we weren't married and now there is some problem with bedrooms being full of stuff.

Its kind of PIL to have us, but definitely going abroad next Christmas!!!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 25-Dec-13 21:08:08

Well if PIL are assertive enough to say you must sleep in separate rooms as a married couple then i reckon they wouldnt be too backward in coming forward i they werent happy to babysit.

I'm up the way and to the right on the map loads of hills and plenty of us to join you in the outdoors ooh and I have a spare room grin

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