So, um, in the midst of the Big Reveal and subsequent spewing of several of the posts that I've had in my head for months but haven't been able to share until now, I haven't mentioned the in-laws for awhile, have I?
Well, there's been one big development: they're gone. They left on Monday, actually. And I know this will sound shocking, but Torsten and I were both kind of sad to see them go. It turned out that the visit was actually... not so bad. In some ways it was downright nice. It was what we were hoping for when we originally were looking forward to this visit as a possible bonding experience.
There was a lot of very frustrating, negative stuff at first, but it seems like they just had to spend a few days getting all that out of their system. It was like for the first week or so they acted like guests. They paid for meals when we went out, and they criticized round the clock. (OK, most guests don't do that, but I imagine it was all pent up and they needed to express it.)
But then they relaxed. We relaxed too. We all settled into a routine. When they asked, without a hint of passive-aggressive criticism, if they could help out around the yard because they like gardening, we said sure. And they did SO MUCH to the yard. They pulled down this ratty mini "dog run" fence in our yard. They cut down a stray aspen that was growing in the middle of the yard. They showed us how to properly prune our willow tree. They weeded and mulched the tree beds. And the yard looks SO MUCH BETTER, and also WAY bigger now that the stupid fence is gone. With the fence down and the stray aspen removed, there is a whole big grassy area in the middle of the yard that will be great for future piglets to run around on.
They were also self-sufficient. They didn't complain about the fact that both of us had to work the whole time they were here. Instead, they planned outings for themselves and spent the days out and about, exploring Colorado and thoroughly enjoying themselves. (Thank GOD they ended up getting a rental car.)
Sometimes they were too self-sufficient. Like a couple times on weekends, when we didn't have to work and had expected to spend the day with them, we would wake up at 8:30 or so and come downstairs only to find that they had already left. And then they wouldn't get home until dinnertime. Which... well, if we did that while visiting them, we would never hear the end of it. But it certainly took some of the hosting pressure off us.
Oh, and remember when I said I was hoping to be pregnant by the time they came to visit? (As a side note: Does anyone actually remember that? This is part of why I was so surprised that you were all so surprised when I announced my pregnancy. I thought I'd dropped hints. But apparently not.) Anyway, I was thinking that the pregnancy would be a good excuse to not be "on" all the time, and retreat to my bedroom if necessary. But it turned out they didn't expect me to be "on" anyway. I never had to use it as an excuse for anything.
The pregnancy also wasn't the bonding experience I'd hoped for with his mom. I was so sick, and when I asked her about her experience, thinking we could relate, it turned out that when she was pregnant she felt better than she ever had in her life, and never had a single symptom during the entire thing other than swollen ankles, and then delivered in three hours. So, you know. Not so relatable. (Though I suppose TECHNICALLY there's a chance I'll have a three-hour labor, but let's just say I'm not holding my breath on that one.) But, she was still very sympathetic and understanding when I was dry-heaving in the backyard or passed out in our recliner at 3 in the afternoon.
They loved the dog. LOVED her. I'm pretty sure that they were more upset to be leaving the dog than to be leaving us. Especially my mother-in-law. She spent hours sitting on the floor petting the dog and crooning to her in German. It made me excited to see how she is with Piglet. (And the dog didn't bite them once. Miracle!)
They were addicted to Whole Foods. I am pretty sure they went there every single day of their visit at least once. We found this hilarious, but also awesome as they came home with all sorts of yummy fruit and veggies for everyone to eat.
There was definitely some criticism, some miscommunication, some frustration. It is nice to have our house to ourselves again, and not have to think about guests (especially as I hit the gassy stage of pregnancy). But overall, it went great, and for a three-week visit, it really didn't feel that long. In fact, we're both looking forward to seeing them again in the spring when they come to visit and meet Piglet.
Still, in the meantime we're enjoying it just being us again. For the last time in the next, I don't know, 18-20 years. Yikes!
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