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Farrar last won the day on May 30

Farrar had the most liked content!

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About Farrar

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    Expert Cat Herder

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  1. Agreed. I mean, I do think those behaviors are pretty toxic sounding, honestly. But this gets back to assumptions. If grandma assumes that it's okay to correct grandkid all the time, but mom doesn't ever sit her down and say "hey, that's not okay" and instead fumes about it, then... I mean, it's still grandma who is really overstepping, but, hey, we all make mistakes. Someone should correct them. And, ideally, do so with the assumption that it's a mistake, not an intentional slight.
  2. Farrar

    Lighthearted poll about addresses envelopes

    For something like a Christmas card to a family, I would also put The Smiths or The Jones & Smiths or something like that. I know a lot of families where there are multiple last names (like my own). I do use the second address but I don't always put the man first. I'll do the woman typically if it's more to her or I know her better. I just sent my baby nephew his homemade stocking (whew, done!) and I addressed it c/o brother'sfirstname and sil'sfirstname lastname, but mostly because obviously I know my brother better. Basically, I don't stand on the rules for this stuff.
  3. Oh, it can absolutely be either the grandparents or the parents or both. In this particular case, I can't quite imagine seeing this as the OP's fault unless she has massively misrepresented the facts though. It's always going to be hard for mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law - coming from different family traditions, different expectations, different generations - and these days, often from different cultures, religions, regions of the country if not parts of the world sometimes too. I just think... the fewer the assumptions the better, by far. Assuming you can just show up is a pretty big assumption. Assuming you can tell someone else's kids what to do in their own home is also a pretty big assumption. Both ends should always try to say what they need clearly - I want to come, I want to visit, I want help with this task, etc. And to ask - Would you like to talk about when, do you want to help with the meal planning, are you willing to watch the kids, are you interested in going here or there, etc. If both sides feed everything through that very basic screen - am I assuming? am I making clear what I want? am I asking what the other party wants? - then that would probably head off a lot of issues. Unfortunately, some people don't think they should have to do that at all. They think "this is the way it's done" and they're resistant to having to ask or advocate. Why should I have to ask permission to visit, it's my son and grandchildren! Or why should I have to tell her not to take my kids' toys away! They're my kids! And then things get nasty, at least, in my experience.
  4. I think you got good advice. I'll add one more thought... For some things, like baby blankets, see if you can turn them into something new and useful, like a big quilt to send to college with a grown kid.
  5. I might be willing to make the best of it, but not until after there had been a really serious conversation. Like I said above, my in laws used to do this and while things were crazy tense after we told them in very clear terms that they absolutely had to stop it, I am so, so glad we did. And my relationship with them is better for it. We know this is a pattern of (at minimum) rude or (more likely) toxic behavior by grandma. I'm not clear if the OP has ever made everyone sit down and verbally made the boundaries she needs clear. It doesn't take two to tango when you've got a toxic person in the mix, and there's no excuse for doing any kind of rude tangoing in the first place, but if you keep partnering with them, it certainly doesn't help. I wouldn't personally make grandma get a hotel room unless I missed somewhere that the OP told her to stop doing this in clear terms previously. I would try to make the best of it. But part of the reason for drawing these lines is so that this grandma can have a better relationship with the kids. It may make you sad to think of them not welcoming her... but it doesn't really matter if they're welcoming or not when she upsets the household and bickers with the older kids. She's not going to have a great relationship with them long term anyway. Boundaries will actually help her do that if it's done right.
  6. My kids were too busy pretending to run their own corporation and media empire at that age for cooking. Clearly some kids have a more Julia Child influenced dream life though!
  7. Farrar

    I think we're done with this district

    For me, these are really different issues. Sending an elementary school kid home with a random family in a car = very not okay, even if it worked out fine. Spotty communication about buses and bus numbers for a high schooler = not optimal, but hardly the end of the world. If that happened to my kid, I would absolutely be willing to move on and overlook it... but if it was in a context of the school being okay in other ways. I get that it sounds cruddy all the way around.
  8. We had a wooden one not unlike the Ikea one and it definitely got good use from about age 2-4. After that, it was storage for a bit and got some use when other kids came over and then I think we handed it down around age 5 or 6. No way would I give one to a 7 yo. If you have the space and get one for cheap, it would be a good "big" gift for a 3 yo. But not a necessity either.
  9. My in-laws used to do this. It was pre-kids and it drove me nuts. They were even thinking of buying a place down here and never asked us - they just started looking at retirement communities. I was like, dh, we have to nip this in the bud. I don't mind that they visit and I might even be happy for them to be nearby once we have kids, but they need to stop just announcing and ask and coordinate instead. So we sat them down and told them to stop doing it. We were SO gentle about it. And they got all quiet, didn't speak to us for months, and didn't visit for like... I don't know... it was a long time. More than a year, that's for sure. Whatever. Have I mentioned that I love my weird in-laws? I know they think I'm weird but love me too. My mother does the thing with the ordering about sometimes and gets really prickly when my kids correct her about things. Oyvay. It's not helping her relationship with the kids. Like, mom, just stop it. You're not in charge of them. They're good kids. Let it all go.
  10. Farrar

    surprising POV?

    I totally disagree with that. I think the presumption should be that partners - married or not - need to define their own boundaries. End stop. And consent is never all encompassing. There are always other things that could be done during sex that partners probably haven't done or don't usually do. Consent is never for everything. So when partners have a long term enough situation that they don't feel they need verbal consent to initiate sex, then that's fine. But it doesn't mean everything is on the table. In my marriage, it is the case that dh or I can try to initiate sex or can touch each other without explicit verbal consent in the moment. We've established those boundaries. But if I wanted to (insert creative sex act here) then I'd probably need verbal consent. In someone else's marriage, maybe there would be a reason that someone wouldn't feel okay about being touched without consent in the moment. Like, maybe there's abuse in one partner's background or maybe someone is just really touch sensitive or considers themselves gray sexual or something and verbal consent is required every time. That's their prerogative.
  11. Farrar

    surprising POV?

    You know, SquirrellyMama's post makes me think about something else too... I feel like everyone is allowed to react to things how they want. So, is it "okay" if someone touches someone without their permission? Of course not. But also, it's okay for the person being touched to say, I see you didn't mean to make me uncomfortable and I'm happy to let this go now that I've had a chance to explain what I want clearer. I mean, it's also okay for the person to say, that was assault and I feel really violated. But not every "bad touch" feels like it's some sort of assault. Sometimes it just feels like you got your wires crossed.
  12. Farrar

    surprising POV?

    Requiring that everyone primarily use verbal communication or assuming that verbal communication is the only way to do it isn't right to me. But also, I think sometimes we who are a bit older are dismissive of the need for verbal communication around consent. It removes the assumptions to a much greater degree. It doesn't have to be as awkward as some people seem to make it out to be. I think removing the need for it and relying on non-verbal consent depends on being in a long term, healthy relationship - which is something that applies to a lot of us here, so of course we're used to being able to give our partner cues without having to say, "stop trying to initiate sex" or "yes, I'd love if you'd kiss my neck" or what have you.
  13. Farrar

    surprising POV?

    I would argue that saying to a long term, stable partner, "Feel free to initiate sex with me when ___," is a form of giving consent. No one can give consent for a situation where they can't be roused to participate so I don't buy that you can give your spouse permission to have sex with you when you're passed out. But getting woken up by foreplay? Engaging in sex when you're a little drunk? I mean, that seems totally okay. Consent can be withdrawn. And a lack of consent could go the other way. It would absolutely be sexual assault or rape if a partner said they did not like it when sex was initiated when they weren't totally aware and in control. And the whole "long term" and "stable" parts of that are kind of key. If your relationship is a hot mess and there have been issues with consent in the past, then maybe you can't realistically give that sort of blanket consent without it getting dicey fast. I think for us, as slightly older fuddy duddies... the idea of saying "I give you consent to ___" is awkward and weird. We're used to nonverbal cues and established patterns. And there's something to those. For this younger generation, the language of consent is a little bit more of a native tongue. I think it's likely that "I give you explicit permission to wake me up with the following forms of foreplay..." might be a thing that our kids would potentially say to their future spouses, for better or worse.
  14. Farrar

    surprising POV?

    I think it's useful to be able to talk about abstractions and theories. Like, in the case of this issue... in an abstract marriage between two people, what should consent mean? And maybe it should mean that people have to actively say yes. Or maybe not. Or, we should be able to talk about the problem of women dismissing their own agency in refusing sex once it's been initiated - we know that this is a real problem from studies and so forth. Like, those are real things that are useful to discuss. They can even be useful to discuss for women who have, in the past, denied that sexual experiences they didn't want were actually a problem. Like, talking about this stuff can empower people to realize that they don't like the way consent in treated in their relationships or the way it was treated in the past. But in the specifics of a marriage or any relationship... yeah, for real. Two people are empowered to together define how they want to deal with each other. And just because there's a problem with one thing doesn't mean it applies to everyone. I mean, if it's allergy season, that doesn't mean you don't have a cold. If statistically everyone's favorite TV show is This Is Us, that doesn't mean you like it.
  15. Farrar

    Snowstorm- and dd has broken her arm...Update!

    The power they don't have control over - I'm sure they're working on it. But the sidewalks? Geesh. Everyone knew it was going to be a giant storm. I'm sorry that happened! I hope she heals quickly and feels better soon. Not to mention gets her power back.
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