Holidays with the in-laws have been stressful for a while, and Acorn just complicates that.
They never want to plan until the last minute, and then they want to tell us what to bring, rather than letting us make suggestions based on what's available. It's always expected that we will come to them. And no matter what they say they want us to bring, someone is unhappy. If one wants pumpkin pie (or pecan, or cherry, or apple, or peach or chocolate, or butterscotch), someone else doesn't eat it - and there's never any appreciation for homemade food.
I should point out that other than holidays, most of the time we get together with them, we eat out. Lately, we're not eating out much at all; eating in is better for us and less expensive, and the concept of cooking is a bit of a stretch for them most of the time.
I love to cook. I would happily cook the entire dinner for them, no strings attached, but that's not how they operate.
Last year took the cake, as far as insanity goes. They called the Monday before Turkey Day, and wanted us to bring rolls and dessert.
Keep in mind, Acorn had been in the hospital for 5.5 months, and had just gotten his trach 2 weeks before. Big Oak still wasn't getting around on his broken leg all that well, and still wasn't allowed to drive. We were generally failing at keeping things together - we ate out because there were no groceries; there was only clean laundry because Big Oak's broken leg had prompted me to give in and hire a housekeeper, but she'd only been working for us about 3 or 4 weeks. We were never home.
I suggested that we could bring stuffing instead - I knew we had everything on hand for that. But apparently that just wouldn't do, grandma wanted to make *her* stuffing....which it turns out is a box of turkey flavored store brand stuffing, mixed with a box of chicken flavored store brand stuffing.
And then....they wanted us to come out to their place, a little over an hour away, around noon, eat, hang out, and eat again.
Without even seeing him.
Because, you know, it's entirely normal to leave family members alone in hospitals on holidays, without even planning to visit them. Just because they're too small to remember doesn't really have a bearing on the situation.
At least this year, dessert isn't on the list of things we're supposed to bring. Last Easter, they were awed by my fresh, still warm from the machine, home made bread. Just that, salad, and the baby is all they want us to bring.
It usually means bringing my A-game as far as grounding and shielding are concerned too, but we won't mention that to them :)