In-laws staying with us in America

I just made it through the first weekend of Taiwanese in-laws staying at our house in the states. They’re going to stay for 2 months and I’m not sure if I can handle it.

My Wife’s sister, sister’s husband, and their kid are all here. Mother-in-law will be here this weekend. The mother-in-law is fine. She stayed with us for 3 months before and kept to herself. Everything was good.

The kid is just a little monster, though. He gets into everything, screams, I watch them feed him candy while he refuses to eat whatever the rest of us are eating.

When we’re out shopping, the parents will just leave him and make the assumption that I am watching him. He doesn’t understand English and my accent and level of Chinese is bad enough that he doesn’t really understand my Chinese either.

My wife tells me that it’s normal Taiwanese behavior to let the uncle watch over, and even punish the kid. It’s actually expected behavior. I’m wondering if I’m too used to American (or my own family’s) culture where it’s up to the parent to discipline their own kid and the parent would freak out if the aunt/uncle did such a thing.

I feel bad about the while situation because we stay with them every year when we go to Taiwan. They take us everywhere - even though I don’t ask them to, they go out of their way to make sure that we have everything. Even if I mention it in passing, they will try to make it happen.

I honestly don’t know how they do it when we come to visit them. I’m exhausted and tired of baby-proofing everything (the cat’s a bit freaked out too).

Also - we’re not walking distance from ANYTHING (the nearest store is a 30-minute walk away) so they’re really depending on us more than we depend on them when we’re in Taipei.

Has anybody else experienced this sort of thing? Does anybody have any advice? Should I suck it up, quit being a baby and just take care of them?

My advice is to pretend you don’t speak Chinese or Taiwanese that well, then you can feint ignorance.

Then I would look for an after hour bar or pub to hang out after work or do overtime at whatever place you work at.

Keep contact to a minimum to prevent any possible blow ups.

If all goes smoothly your be driving them to the airport before you know it.

And if they try to ask to let the kid stay in the USA to study in the USA, so no.

Trust me, AC, I thought about it…

Actually I think that my lack of Mandarin is a hinderance. Usually they will talk it over amongst themselves and decide what they’re going to do and I will be informed of the decision. So then I get to look like the bad guy if I say “no”.

Last night I knew enough to catch my wife was saying something like, “Let’s go to this restaurant and if you don’t like the menu, we’ll go someplace else”… Most of the time I don’t catch those kind of things, though.

mere siblings? be the bad guy if you have to. hey you’re a foreigner! it’s almost de rigeur.