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Again, I didn't know it was for parents - didn't read the title ::)  but when it said - ask about other peoples kids as much as you talk about your own. I thought, why talk about your kids at all?

Because they're the people I spend most of my time with - they're kind of my 'job' at the moment. So they're a huge part of my life, and like I'd find it strange for a close friend/friendly acquaintance to be completely uninterested in some other huge part of my life, I'd find it odd if I was never supposed to talk about my children at all.

I'm quite interested in other people's kids - I'm often happy for them to talk about them. I like to hear what they're up to.

Is 'How are your kids doing in school' always a completely academic question? I'd interpret that as a general question, including how they enjoyed it, do they have some nice friends, are they doing anything extra curricular that the enjoy, do they like their teachers etc. Not just what grades to they get.

I'm not saying that people should talk about nothing but their children, of course.
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I've actually encountered similar things about my job, e.g. not seeing it as "real work" or that "anyone can do it" I do medical transcription, and I work at home. 

One thing that amazes me is the number of people, including people who know me fairly well, who seem to think that no real skill goes into my job except for typing.  A member of Mr. Sirius' band retired, and asked me all about the kind of work I do as he thought it would be something he could do a few hours a week to make some extra money, and he was a good typist.  I explained that it takes a lot more than just the ability to type to do my job; I've been in this field for almost 25 years, and yes, the gist of my job is that I sit in front of a computer and type all day.  But there's also the knowledge of medical terms I have to have, and the ability to listen to someone as they dictate a report, then figuring out what they're saying and transcribing it for a medical record, which is a legal document.  While I'm mostly self-taught, I did undergo on-the-job training with a supervisor peering over my shoulder.  I did have some medical background when I started, and I had taken a class in medical terminology. 

It's hard work, though.  In order to make what's considered a living wage, I would have to put in a lot more hours than I do.  Yes, I work at home, but I know a lot of transcriptionists who complain that their family won't leave them alone or doesn't take them seriously when they're trying to work.  That's never been an issue for me, but I'm one of the lucky ones.  But despite the fact that I could work in my pajamas if I was so inclined (I'm not; my office is very chilly in winter, but even in summer I prefer to be dressed for working) that doesn't mean that my job is any less a job than someone who works outside the home. 
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Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: Misc holiday stories
« Last post by Shalamar on Today at 05:03:26 PM »
My husband and I delivered papers in 2008 and 2009 - we were trying to earn some extra money to pay off our debts.   He and I each had our own route.  One morning he came home from deliveries, grinning from ear to ear.  He said "I was delivering to (address) when the owner popped her head out, asked if I was the (Newspaper) carrier, and when I said yes, told me to wait a minute.  She came back out with a frozen turkey and said that it was to thank me for doing such a great job."

We made sure to write her a thank-you note the following day, and that turkey made a tasty Christmas dinner.
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I was once fairly new to another forum and read a post that said something like "My babies aren't feeling well.  *sadface*".   Other posters chimed in with "Aw, that's too bad!", so I decided to do likewise, asking "How old are your babies?"  OP responded "Uh, I'm talking about my birds.  You knew that, right?"  Actually, no, I didn't.  I assumed babies = human babies, and I was a bit ticked, since her response to me had a very distinct "Duh, you idiot" tone to it.
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Holidays / Re: Am I being a gossip, or helping cure hurt feelings?
« Last post by Joeschmo on Today at 04:22:59 PM »
BG. Ever since I came into dh family, there has been a kids table -by the kids choice-  it started that nephew1 wanted to eat in front of tv. Mil cleared it with parents and this became the norm. By the next year, nephew2 wanted to do what cousin does and followed suit. This has never been an issue. Both sets of parents are fine with their kids wandering around during the meal and playing. Mil always set places at the big table for the kids -just in case-  end BG.
Dh family has grown considerably while mil downsized her home. At Canadian thanksgiving, mil asked dh to bring a large folding table to accommodate everyone. At the last moment, dh 2 sons dropped out so mil decided one table was good enough, along with the kids table, we would make due. She also didn't want to block the entrance to the hallway where the bathroom is. (You'd have to walk all the way around the table). So, there's 2 new babies in the family and mil thought Neice1 would like to join the kids table. It gave us all a bit more room. SIL1 didn't like this and was a bit pa with me it didn't say anything to mil. As dinner neared, I set the bouncy seat in the corner between dh and I for easy access to ds. Sil2 set up her really cool foldable highchair that locks to a chair in the corner between her and bil. So while Neice2 is officially at the table, she's not taking up a spot. Sil1 starts her pa commentary: oh I didn't realise Neice2 gets to sit at the table. I thought she'd be with the other kids. (Neice2 is 15 months, ds just turned 1, neice1 at kids table is almost 3). Mil starts to make room so neice1 can be at the table but sil1 says no, it's ok, don't worry.
Christmas is coming and I don't want to hear the awkward commentary again. While I would never tell mil that sil1 was highly offended that both her kids were at kids table even though some kids got to be at the regular one, would it breach etiquette or boundaries to suggest that we set up the second table so everyone can be together? Dh's sons should be there, so I'm guessing she will set it up anyhow but I want to make sure. It was so awkward at thanksgiving I nearly offered my seat to neice1!  Dh saw me starting to get up and placed his hand on my arm, shaking his head ever so slightly.
This is your husband's family of origin and he has already signaled you to stay out of this situation.  I would run any ideas you have by him and then proceed with his advice.
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Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: Misc holiday stories
« Last post by Black Delphinium on Today at 04:22:09 PM »
Last Thanksgiving my in-laws came and brought a turkey(it was a last-minute visit, I'd done my Thanksgiving the weekend before, as I was still in retail at the time).

No biggie-I'd cook the turkey early, then go to Retail Heck in the afternoon.

Except, they did not mention that my Stepmother-in-law(who is not American) hates turkey and was going to make steak for herself.

I'd have been happy with just the steaks.  :-\ >:( :-\
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I tried something different today. I carmelized some parsnips, turnips and rutabagas. I then added Yukon gold potatoes, chicken stock and salt. I cooked the lot until the potatoes were tender. I used a ricer on them and added milk, chives and pepper to them.

DH asked for something lower carbohydrate. I think this will work.
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I really dislike when people ask me about my kids, except for the mother of one of my daughters life long friends, because she and I are close.  Everyone else...why do you want to know?..you don't even know them.  My kids have their friends, and I have mine friends.  I don't get why people would always want to talk about their kids...isn't it very personal?

I ask because I figure kids are big part of their parents lives and I thought it's rude to ignore their (the kids) existence. I didn't realize 'how are your kids?' was such an intrusive question.
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Holidays / Re: Am I being a gossip, or helping cure hurt feelings?
« Last post by JenJay on Today at 04:01:25 PM »
I think it's fine to offer to bring an extra table but other than that, I'd stay out of it. If your SIL doesn't like something about what your MIL is providing she needs to bring it up directly.
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I didn't realize this was a list of etiquette rules for parents or I wouldn't have read it.  I am so annoyed that people with children act this way.  It ruins it for us parents that are normal.

Again, I didn't know it was for parents - didn't read the title ::)  but when it said - ask about other peoples kids as much as you talk about your own. I thought, why talk about your kids at all?

I really dislike when people ask me about my kids, except for the mother of one of my daughters life long friends, because she and I are close.  Everyone else...why do you want to know?..you don't even know them.  My kids have their friends, and I have mine friends.  I don't get why people would always want to talk about their kids...isn't it very personal?

The question I hate the most "How are your kids doing in school?"  really?  You really think it's o.k. to ask me that?  How can that not be listed under "clearly not your business"  I answered a co-worker once with, "They are average kids, they do average in school."  And was told I was being "Canadian".  Really?  What does Canada have to do with a woman giving an honest answer to in intrusive question? 

                       Also  "What does your daughter like to do?"  um...to be honest, she's 16, she lays around the house, she messes it up, watches twin peaks on net flicks, is sad a lot and has not clue what she is interested in.  So what are you going to do with that?  Tell me I should "get her into sports?" I don't care what you think about my daughter, let's talk about last nights Jon Stewart show.  What about Syria, what about Jian Gnomeshi, what about the writing class I'm taking or about you thinking about changing careers at 40? 

I don't know, I love my girls but the things they do, the things they love and hate, the things we talk about are all so personal.  Trophies and Art accomplishments...All things I am proud of...I let them know that,  but these are personal things I just don't talk about to co-workers or casual acquaintances. 

Having said that, I forgive anyone with children under 3 who can't stop talking about them.  It's not the fault of the adult, those tiny beasts enter your brain and twist it all up and deprive you of even taking a pee when you need to...so when some poor creatures is yapping on about their toddlers poo, first word, fall over a toy, mispronouncing their big brothers name or two hour screaming fit...I just tell myself...this person is clearly temporarily insane.
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