Family Life, Parenting

Getting Back In The Mood: Visiting In-Laws

Q: I’m the mom to a four month old and a two year old, and to my husband’s
dismay I seem to have forgotten how they were conceived in the first place.
Any tips for getting that “lovin’ feeling” back into my life?
A: I do hope all my mommy friends are sitting when they read this reply, because what I’m about to say will no doubt illicit collective gasps of horror—the likes of which we haven’t heard since Britney nearly dropped the tot trying to hold tightly to her SoCo and Coke. About four months after my daughter was born, I gave my husband the phone number to a very well-respected escort service in L.A. I told him he had Carte Blanche to find romance on the road as long as he promised me life-long fidelity once the 40 pounds were off, the beauty rest had returned and the chafed-nipple thing had passed. (For those of you who know my husband, it will come as no surprise to you that he selfishly refused the offer.)

My point is: there is no snowball’s chance in heck you are you going to feel frisky while that baby monitor is spitting out infant snorts and static feedback all night. What you and your husband need to get the romance back is a reliable babysitter, a four-night special at the W and some Cuervo Gold.

Q: When my out-of-town in-laws come for a visit, they always plan for at least a week’s stay (sometimes longer). How can I suggest shorter stays without offending them?

Questions about the in-law visits always remind me of the time my friend Sarah and her husband bought a ‘fixer’ duplex in the Marigny. Since money was tight but the dreams were still big, Sarah and her husband decided to do the fixing themselves with the help of friends, relatives and some occasional French Quarter eccentrics. And lucky day for Sarah, her in-laws just HAPPENED to be master carpenters—both of them. So Sarah was saddled with an in-law visit that lasted longer than the ’06 Saints Season. When it was finally done, the custom bookshelves were to die for and those 1870s original pine floors did a’shine, but Sarah never really got much enjoyment out of any of it, since she had hightailed it for the unit next door, changing her mailing address and everything.

But to answer your question, I’d say do the respectable thing. Exercise every ounce of your passive-aggressive nature and change all the sleeping arrangements in the house to the least palatable scenario possible. If you have a newborn, make SURE your twin blow-up air mattress is perched right under the crib. And request that they do the 2 am feeding rather than the 4 because that’s when the little tiger is MOST alert and ready for some grandparent lovin’.

If your tots are a bit older but love to wake to the rising sun and Sponge Bob reruns, plant your guests on the top bunk and see how well they fare. I had particular fun the year my in-laws came to visit and the only guest bed we had was a futon left over from sophomore year in college, placed strategically on the kitchen floor. Evidently though, waking to the demonic sounds of my Katrina Fridge mattered not, because mine are on their way back for some Jazz Fest Fun—both weekends.

Q: Mealtime is battle time in my house. How can I stop the whining and
complaining of my twin preschoolers?
A: Since twin muzzles are probably out of the question, I’d like to offer up one of my tricks of the trade. When my kids are whining about the veggies, I grab the bag of Chips O’Hoy and start gobbling them down like the Cookie Monster on crack. I do it right in front of them. And then I say what I swore I never would say in a million years: “There are kids starving all over the planet, and now they won’t even be able to get cookies because MOMMY WILL EAT THEM ALL AND NEVER SHARE if you don’t take three bites.” Try that. Kids are smart. They’ll figure out that if the kids across the planet aren’t getting any cookies, then neither are they.

Newsletter Signup

Your Weekly guide to New Orleans family fun. NOLA Family has a newsletter for every parent. Sign Up