Last year it was pretty hard going with the in-laws and I remember one visit to the beach where my partner and I were lugging our 2 year old twins and pram plus chairs for the oldies and picnic / play-gear and it nearly broke me. In laws are in fair health for their late 70s but are pretty sedentary / quiet people - not naturals with toddlers. We're all staying in one very small cottage (gulp). Any tips to ease my pain?!
check out some outside activities, which you can take your youngsters, allowing a few hours break for everyone, allowing in laws to do their own thing. I'm sure they love their grandchildren dearly but all appreciate some time out for themsleves.
Take your children to the 1) local swimming pool 2) children's farms, pay areas 3) indoor play areas 4) try geocaching - check the website for places near where your staying
Thanks dontwotzme, wine is a given (actually probably be tequila by the end of the week). I agree about time to do our own things, only problems is it's unlikely my partner will - he'll think we have to be with his folks at least 90% of the time so I need to think of stuff we can all do. Yikes......
Play pooh sticks in a stream. Take wax crayons & paper for tree rubbing. Adopt siesta or mid-afternoon lie on bed with book for all. Go to a historical pile but you & kids stay outside & explore gardens while they appreciate the antiquities.
Does he? But do they? Dear Lord a whole week. No no no you need to tell your partner that you must plan a secret hand signal (or word) between you and he, so you can escape (with twins) for a few hours if things are not working out (i'd be doing this a lot). Have you asked his parents what they would like to do on "their holiday", it is their holiday too after all? They might even surprise their son by suggesting a few hours on their own. It's good for everyone.
Take play dough and sticker books Take an old roll of wallpaper, get the twins to lie down and draw around them, then everyone can colour it in with crayons. This could take hours on a rainy day.
Keep expectations low. It only took us getting to the first petrol stop that we realised that rather than taking grandparents to help look after the children we had in fact taken the children to look after the grandparents.
Definitely spend some time away from them. Make a couple of different arrangements eg can DP take his parents out somewhere? Can you take the children somewhere? Some different trips will give you something to talk about in the evenings.
Go to you local charity shop and buy a good selection of childrens books which are new to your DC, produce them few at a time during the week rather than all at once. Also works well for construction type toys, plasticene, jigsaws, puzzle books.
Take scissors and prit sticks and felt tips and some old books you are happy to let them cut and they can make a picture a day about what they liked best. Roll of lining paper great investment as dontwotzme says! Get them to draw around granny then spend the week making collage clothes for her to wear!!! Anything new really (not too noisy though - will send the adults barmy) and phased introduction.
Def think about some new DVD films for rainy days -again trawl you charity shops for bargains, thesre are always loads in ours.
Thanks everyone, some great ideas although the drawing round granny one made me laugh as a) granny very posh and not getting down on floor type, b) granny very arthritic and would find it very hard to get back up c) toddlers very boisterous and would jump all over her pulling her hair, sticking fingers in eyes etc. if a) and b) didn't preclude such a thing!
We have three under 8 who are up at 6am and a 90yr is not ready to leave the house until at least 11am, having just finished his breakfast and the chiidren are looking for lunch. What we now do is just get up and go out in the morning with the the nippers. Sometimes get back for lunch other days its tea but always have tea with everyone together, works for us !