Etiquette School is in session! > "What an interesting assumption."

It has been decided. We're coming to your house.

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Coley:

--- Quote from: Kaypeep on February 08, 2013, 06:47:17 PM ---
--- Quote from: Coley on February 08, 2013, 05:20:17 PM ---
--- Quote from: JenJay on February 08, 2013, 05:08:37 PM ---
--- Quote from: Coley on February 08, 2013, 05:02:15 PM ---
--- Quote from: Lynn2000 on February 08, 2013, 04:40:27 PM ---Any chance you just might not be home that night when they come by? I would warn them first, since you know the date and time, but what would be the fallout from that? (Really asking, because I'm a little confused about who's going where.)

--- End quote ---

DH asked the same question. What if we weren't planning on being home?

If we weren't home, they would be able to meet in our driveway so that my mother could take my brother's kids in his van. DS would be the question mark. I'm not quite clear on why my mother must drive my brother's van. It might have been easier for my brother to drive his kids to the concert hall and meet my mother there. That would negate the need for a vehicle switch.

--- End quote ---

Possibly their line of thinking was "We'll both pull into Coley's driveway, she'll bring out her DS and put him in the van, I'll (your mom) hop in the van and take off while you (brother) go inside and visit. Easy!"

It's a great plan and probably the easiest if someone is home and expecting his visit. It does seems strange that your brother would drive all the way to your home when, previously, he'd met your mom halfway or dropped the kids off at her house and waited there (or gone home or whatever he does). It makes it seem like he really wants to visit with you, which is sweet, except you'd think he maybe would have worked that out with you.  :P

--- End quote ---

Yeah, I suppose "easiest" could be debatable. The bolded: That's another odd question mark. On Christmas Day, my brother was supposed to come here with his kids. My mother was here. We were planning on them, and I had food prepared for all of them -- five people. We didn't find out that he'd changed his plans until my mother arrived. He decided he was going to drive directly to her house later in the day. So now we wonder if we make plans with him for that evening, will he follow through?

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Don't make any plans with him.  Do what you were going to do before.  After your son leaves, do what you want.  Tell brother he's welcome to watch TV and order a pizza until mom comes back with his van.

--- End quote ---

This is a great strategy. I shared it with DH, and he agrees. Thanks!

Zilla:

--- Quote from: Coley on February 08, 2013, 04:26:57 PM ---
--- Quote from: gramma dishes on February 08, 2013, 03:52:36 PM ---I think I'd let this one go since it involves (in reality) just all the kids. 

As far as birthdays and other holidays, when they "inform" you of what your plans are going to be (as planned by them), you can just smile and cheerfully say "Oh, actually that won't work for me."

--- End quote ---

Thanks. Yes, I think that's the best route this time around. I worry sometimes about being agreeable in these situations because it reinforces the behavior.

--- End quote ---
You can also kind of assert a little control and say, "Let me get back to you.  I need to check my calendar as I wasn't expecting company that night and may have something else lined up."  Wait a few hours/a day and then call back and tell them you worked it out.  That way it will hopefully give them pause in the future.  If it happens again, by all means decline.
But in this scenario, it seems to be a natural thing to meet at your house and bonus to spend time with your brother. (unless you dont' get along)

Coley:
Update:

My brother and his kids arrived at 6:05 instead of 6:30. Apparently, my mother e-mailed him yesterday and told him to be here at 6:00. She didn't tell me. We had just walked in the door about two minutes before they got here, so we were surprised when they arrived. My brother was surprised to learn that we had no idea they were coming at 6:00. DS was in his room changing. My mother arrived about 5 minutes after my brother, and she was upset that everyone wasn't ready to go right away. I was combing children's hair after their car trip and hustling them in and out of the bathroom so they wouldn't have to go at the theater.

I never heard from my brother about hanging out together this evening. When he got here, he said he was going downtown to hang out. He drove my mother and all the kids to the theater, where he dropped them off. He will be hanging around near the theater, so my mother will call him when the show is over, my brother will pick them up, and they will all come back here to drop off DS.

Sigh.

Danika:
In the future, here's how you handle this situation. You've tried words and they don't work. You will need to use actions.

Next time your mother tells you "I talked to brother and we've decided..." you use a PP's suggestion of replying "I'll have to check my calendar to see if that works for me. I'll get back to you." Also, don't trust that what your mother says your brother might do is what he really wants to do. She said this time "He might contact you about doing something with you while the others are at the show." Yeah, he might. But he might not have said that to her. She might have just been giving you a situation that might happen. He never contacted you about it. Whether he does or not, you think about what you and DH want to do. What works best for you? Meeting on your driveway? Meeting in your house? Dropping DS off downtown and meeting up with your mom? You come up with the plan that is ideal for you. And then reply "What works best for us is..." and as long as you're not asking them to drive miles out of their way, they should agree to it, or maybe DS just doesn't go to that show (depending on how upset he'd be if you backed out).

Then, you communicate with mom *and with brother* so that they both get the same info. Because if you just tell your mom something, she's going to tell your brother something else. It's like the game of "Telephone." By the time he hears it, he might get frustrated with you because he thinks, for example, that she told you that they're all arriving at 6pm. Your mother doesn't need to be the information gatekeeper. She feels important being the hub of all knowledge. Shut that down and communicate directly with your brother.

Finally, if you're expecting them at 6:30, you don't open the door if you hear a knock before 6:29pm. You have other things going on and you weren't sure you'd be home. Maybe you're in the shower. Maybe you're napping. Maybe you're still at the grocery store. You were expecting them at 6:30. Maybe a knock at 6:05 is a salesman and you don't like solicitors. No need to open the door or even check the peephole. If they are on your doorstep for a half hour, they can wait in their cars with the heater on. Natural consequences for not communicating with you.

Sophia:
I would also talk to brother and tell him to never listen to a word your mother says when it comes to plans about all of you.  Just let it go in one ear and out the other. 

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