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107 Days and Counting: In-law Update

I thought it might be time for an in-law update. As you may or may not recall, my husband’s parents moved in to our guest room at the beginning of December due to an unfortunate circumstance.

The overly complicated politics involved in their ability to get a new home have been dragging on interminably, so the living arrangement that we all thought would surely be over by spring is still very much in place.

We are now 107 days in and here is what I know.

We had to throw out the mini-pickles that took up residence in our refrigerator early on. No one seemed to be eating them and the concept of tiny pickles in a pudding cup style container, in general, was a bit unsettling to me.

Despite arriving at our house with an entire case of Cheerios, it would appear my in-laws don’t actually eat Cheerios. In four months, we are down from the original 12 boxes to 11.

Burglars don’t knock, a fact we learned after my father-in-law arrived home after midnight a few times sans house key. My husband has an uncanny ability to awake, roll out of bed, grab a flashlight and a baseball bat, and be in the hallway in less than 5 seconds. Fortunately his ninja skills were not required.

It is difficult enough to coordinate three people’s schedules. It is so much more difficult to coordinate five people’s schedules.

The house feels like it’s in a constant state of disarray. I’m not by any means implying that my in-laws are messy people. But accommodating two more adults in one house means there is just plain more stuff.

For example, the stuff that used to be neatly stored in the guest room closet is heaped in the upstairs hallway, so that my in-laws could hang their clothes.

There is a cable running from my stepson’s room down the hall, balanced over top of the bathroom door frame and down the other side to reach into the guest room giving my in-laws their own TV.

There are reading glasses everywhere.

My stepson’s sink counter and cabinet underneath are filled with toiletries and hair styling tools that are not his.

And someone keeps oiling the non-stick skillet, though no one will admit to it. I keep finding it in the cupboard with beads of oil on it and then I have to wash it again before I can use it.

Which brings me to another thing I’ve learned about having house guests for an extended period of time: It means there are more people saying, “not me.” I have a whole new appreciation for the Not Me ghost in Family Circus comics. I think he’s moved into our home as well.

There are some good things, too.

I’m not the only girl in the house anymore, so I fair better in family votes.

My in-laws share in the cooking duties. On days when I commute to New York, not only have they cooked and fed my family, they have saved a plate for me in the oven. Rather than arriving home late at night and having to figure out what to make, I get to just sit down and eat. That feeling is priceless.

So, that’s what we’ve been up to. Wish them luck that my in-laws’ situation will be resolved soon. They really miss having their own space (not to mention all their stuff which is still in storage).


  1. that's great that you can also see positives in the situation


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