When visitors come to town

For the past three weeks, we’ve had guests – first my mother-in-law and then my parents – and whilst I’d love to be able to tell you that we gave them a time-share in the grandchildren to remember, I’m not sure that we did.

Images of my mum floating round a lazy river, cocktail in hand at a pool bar or even relaxing on a lounger with a good book at the Polo Club didn’t materialise – because, to put it simply, life got in the way.

Nothing bad – just general busy-ness, scheduling clashes and a pesky flu bug – but enough to make me concerned that my parents’ visit could possibly be classed as unpaid labour, rather than a holiday.

Where would working families be without advanced babysitting from super-grandparents? It’s just too bad they’re thousands of miles away normally

In the line of ‘duty’ this time round:

– The boys got really sick, warranting two days off school for grandson2 and causing untold sleep disruption

– I missed much of the above because of work, leaving The Visitors in charge (as to who had the easier job here, I’m in no doubt – especially the night shifts which, quite frankly, leave me wanting to throw breakfast bowls at the wall)

– After a bad experience in a taxi, and only able to drive as far as Arabian Ranches, my parents are, understandably, loathed to venture out on their own (and I can’t say I blame them), meaning they’re confined to the house if on their own. The pool aside, the only place they can walk to from ours is the mini-mart supermarket and dry cleaners

– The Thanksgiving buffet my DH took them to ended in a monumental and very public puking session courtesy of ‘chunder wonder’ poorly grandson1

– During their stay, they were also bystanders to a flood at grandson1’s birthday party venue and a hospital appointment about his upcoming surgery

– They suffered made it through a children’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, attended by 24 six- and seven-year olds

– DH, our main driver and peace-keeper, succumbed to the bug, mutated it into ‘man-flu’ and developed sciatica too

On the upside, some highlights I hope The Visitors enjoyed:

– Trips to a desert wildlife centre in Sharjah, the pool, a beach resort and Al-Barsha park

– A dhow cruise out into the Gulf and through the heart of Dubai Marina, followed by Arabic food

– For my dad, two glorious days of golf at the DP World Tour Championship, our trump card and just down the road from us

– Business class travel, both ways

What do you think? Do you think they’ll come back? I think they will – for the golf, at least, with their flu jabs topped up.

8 thoughts on “When visitors come to town

  1. My parents were with us for a month over August and September because I thought that would be the best time for them to be here… of course I forgot (how?!) about all the chaos in this house in the week before school starts again. No bugs or flu but other stuff that I think visitors just don’t need! But my mom said that it’s our daily lives that they miss, so she actually enjoys a lot of that ‘chaos’. Maybe yours are the same (ok, maybe not, re the chunder! but maybe the rest!). What a crazy few weeks you had!

  2. Yes, I think they will be happy to visit again! Ok, so maybe you didn’t get to do all the lovely stuff you had hoped to do, but they got to spend time with their family, doing the ordinary stuff, and I think that’s what parents/grandparents love best of all.

  3. I feel your pain! I am coming off two sets of visitors also. When my girlfriend came, my boys also caught the flu (thankfully not stomach, but fever and disgusting cough) and were out of school ALL week! (instead of our girlie lunches I had planned, we had three children glued to our hips the entire visit.) Then my husband and I both caught it so I had to take her to the souks with fever and while coughing my head off. Needless to say I wasn’t the best tour guide. She was very gracious about it though and I’m sure, being grandparents and all, they totally understand and even enjoyed it.

  4. Aw, bless! I’m sure they were reveling in being needed – and you cannot underestimate the value of that. This story brought back very fond and sweet memories of an Easter brunch at a posh restaurant with my parents when Son#1 was around 3. We never figured out whether Son#1 was really ill or if he’d just ingested too much Easter Bunny chocolate, but either way he ended up getting sick at the table. I can still see my dad as #1 erupted in all directions, wielding a napkin and patting his back as calmly as if it were just a sneeze, never blinking an eye, despite the loss of a lovely Easter meal. I have no doubt that he was glad to have been there even if it wasn’t quite the picture-perfect image we’d all imagined.
    I’m willing to bet they were all just happy to be with you and share some of your day-to-day lives…that’s what you miss the most when you live so far away..

    • What a kind and lovely image I have of your Dad – he sounds like exactly who you need in such a situation. (we’re also not sure if son#1 was still ill, or just ate too much!)

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