Previous post with some BG here : http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=111570.0
Schedule for the weekend was: Friday night, open house party at in-laws/Christmas eve afternoon & evening dinner at in-laws/Christmas day - a day alone at my house with just my kids and husband/Boxing Day boat trip with in-laws
My SIL, her husband and his brother were coming into town for the weekend. SIL has not spoken to me in 18 months after defriending me on FB for a series of slights (I missed her grad school graduation because it was not child-friendly being the most important - DH attended alone). DH has been living with his parents, but he decided to spend the weekend at our house for the kids sake. We are trying to work out our differences.
So over a four day period I had exactly one day where I didn't sit in a house with a bunch of people who aren't really speaking to me. I focused on my kids, made sure they didn't break anything at MIL's etc. We declined dinner for Christmas day because I wanted to cook and allow my kids the time to play with their new toys. After two days in a row of being dressed up and having to sit still and be somewhat formal, I thought they deserved a break too.
Christmas day - opened presents, and DH took kids to the park to play with their new outdoor toys. I cleaned up the mess and got cracking on my dinner, which was simply prepared but turned out better than I had ever hoped for. i had told DH dinner would be late afternoon-ish...I was trying a new beef roasting method, and wanted to get it right. At 2pm, he comes back with the kids and says "my family is stopping by at 4pm". Well, 4pm was literally the exact time we would be sitting down to dinner. So, trying to be a good sport I said "how about 4:30?" It would mean we would have 30 mins to eat, but our kids are small and not likely to sit for longer than that. No dice, in-laws are eating at 5pm and it has to be 4pm. I say no. He says "can't you just hurry it along so we can eat earlier?" Umm...no, it's a beef roast. I cant shave an hour off! He gets mad, says I am being unreasonable and storms out to "diffuse the situation" with his parents, who are apparently just down the street at his aunts house.
They didn't come over. We had dinner at 4pm, and at 5pm he left to go spend time with family.
Isn't it rude to insist on showing up as a family is sitting down to dinner?