"For my husband's birthday (my son's father), she kindly offered to watch their sixteen month old son for the long weekend while they went on a special father-son hike."I seriously think that is sort of generous. Not as generous as if the boy were 16 days or 16 weeks, but no trifle either. A parent is a parent, after all.
So DIL "offered" to take care of her own child for a three day weekend? How generous of her.
That might just be some very awkward wording, but it sure sounds a lot like something my own MIL would have said. (Right before she reminded me that I wasn't capable of taking care of my own child while DH and FIL were gone for a week every year.) I burst into tears at least once every year during that week myself.
Why is taking care of her own child "generous"?
She is being generous to her husband by taking care of their child by herself that weekend so he can go hiking.
I wonder if there's been some friction about the DIL expecting her husband to be an equal partner in taking care of the child, and the MIL has been unhappy with that? I know that sounds like a stretch, but we ran into some of that early in our marriage and parenthood.
DH is a very involved dad, changed half the diapers, got up half the nights, etc. For a stretch at one point, he was a stay-at-home dad. (And loved it.) I had made it clear before marriage that this was the sort of partnership I wanted, and it was what he wanted, too.
MIL ... was not so sure about that. She had been a housewife since the day she was married and then stay-at-home mom when the kids were born. She didn't like that DH was expected to carry half the load (and did so happily); I think in a way, she considered it criticism of the more "traditional" way she and DH's late father raised their children. And when DH declined to immediately go do errands for her because we were doing family stuff ... Well! Wasn't it my job to handle child-rearing and not his?
(Fortunately, we moved past this, thanks in large part to DH having none of it. But I wasn't at all the type of DIL she wanted or expected.)
Anyway, I wondered about that wording. It almost struck me as a possible tone of sarcasm, if she has the same point of view my MIL did.
I'm probably reaching.
But it struck me that the type of MIL who would do this might have that point of view.