Easter at the In-Laws

I live far from my family of origin, so when it comes to holiday celebrations we are off to M.’s family. M.’s immediate family consists of his parents, two older sisters, the older sister’s significant others (one married, one not), and their children. We have four nephews and three nieces. Wedging all these people into a house that almost did not comfortably fit the five people who lived in it when M. was growing up is a challenge! Add to that challenge that there is always something for someone to complain about.

We went over for Easter late Sunday afternoon. The first thing for the holiday was an outside egg/candy hunt for the little ones. In this case, “little ones” refers to our nephews and nieces ages 1 year to 9 years. (We also have “older ones” ages 15 years old to 17 years old.) While a couple adults kept the little ones in the house and prevented any peeking, M., his mom, one sister, an older one, and I hid treats around the yard. Once that was done, the little ones were released. The 9 year old obviously had an advantage over the other little ones who were significantly younger, had shorter legs, and were inexperienced in Easter hunts. There was a lot of, “Let the girls find some! Let the girls find some!” (The girls are both 3 years old.) The 7 year old nephew followed the 9 year old around and complained that the 9 year old was getting “everything.” At the end of the hunt 7 year old threw his basket on the ground and had to be told to go get it and bring it in.

Now, the actual hunting really doesn’t matter in quantity because once inside, the kiddos have to equally divide the loot. So, really, all the yelling and fussing was for naught, but the kids don’t understand this. The 9 year old was never satisfied and continually asked if there was “any more.” M.’s parents like to bring things out in rounds, so we had the egg/candy hunt, then there was a second egg hunt for eggs that contained money, then the little ones received bags with other Easter treats and the older ones received envelopes with cash. Still, 9 year old asked if there was “any more.” Sigh!

We had an early Sunday dinner and later there were desserts including a bunny cake. Of course, all the little ones wanted to eat the bunny face. However, the face was not frosting, it was plastic. So, while the desserts were cut, they fought over who would eat the face, then once they realized it was not edible, they fought over who got to hold it up to their face to be a bunny.

Then then M. and the older ones headed outside. One of M.’s sisters also went outside leaving her husband and 1 year old in the kitchen while M.’s mom, other sister, and I were talking in the living room. Suddenly, we hear the 1 year old crying and screaming. But it’s okay because his dad is in the kitchen with him, right? We go on talking. The crying and screaming continues. Finally, M.’s sister leaves the living room to make sure 1 year old is okay. She brings him back into the living room with her. Yes, dad was in the kitchen with him, but 1 year old was standing at the sliding door, looking at mom outside and wanted mom. Instead of trying to soothe 1 year old, dad is watching golf and ignoring the crying and screaming. Going to the in-laws is like vacation from kids time for dad – someone else will take care of the kids.

I know, I complain, I complain. Even with the fighting, yelling, etc, it is still nice to see these people in small doses. The older ones are getting to an age where they can have more grown up conversations and are more interesting to talk with. I do love M.’s parents and his sisters, but again, when everyone gets together, small doses are best. I also got a chance to curl my hair and wear a pretty lilac dress.


1 Comment

  1. phairhead said,

    April 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    sounds like Passover at my brother’s. the bratty 6 y/o was mad that her sister found the hidden matza and the prize of a crisp one dollar bill.

    thankfully Easter was much quieter affair w/ boyfriend’s family. a little too quiet but that’s a story for another time

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