DEAR ABBY: My daughter and her partner have two children, an 8-month-old and a 3-year-old. Whenever they get home, if a child is sleeping in the car seat, one of them will stay in the vehicle until the child wakes up. They don’t want to bring the child inside the house because the child will wake up.
They live in Los Angeles, the weather is nice and they spend the time listening to music with earphones. Abby, they may end up staying in the car for two to three hours, waiting. I say this is wrong, but I don’t seem able to convince my daughter or her partner. — GRANDMA IN TEXAS
DEAR GRANDMA: It is possible that your daughter and her partner regard the time they spend in the car as a rest period for themselves as well as the child. As parents of young children, they may need the break. Accept this as their parenting style and stay out of it, because they are hurting no one.
DEAR ABBY: Thirty years ago, my wife and I moved from New York City to Albuquerque. I have four brothers. One has visited once, another has visited three times, but two brothers have never come out to see us. We have gone back east for weddings, funerals and reunions.
When I ask these two brothers why they don’t visit, they say going to New Mexico is not on their bucket list or that their wives don’t like to fly. I feel hurt and abandoned. Should I not care, or just not deal with them? — WAITING FOR 30 YEARS
DEAR WAITING: Not all siblings are equally close. You are blessed with two brothers who want to remain close and make the effort to do so. Your life will be happier if you concentrate on the relationships you have with them and their families, and spend less time brooding about the others.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been happily married for 40 years. The problem is, he likes having a cat, and I’m tired of having pets. We have had cats during most of our marriage, and for the most part, I have enjoyed them. But after losing our last one six months ago, I am enjoying being pet-free. My husband is talking about finding a cute kitty, but I told him I’m very happy not to have a pet, and why. How do we resolve this? He says he “needs” a cat. His family has always had them. — HOPES TO BE PET-FREE
DEAR HOPES: I assume you’re enjoying being pet-free because you were the person taking care of the cats. Tell your husband if he needs a cat, caring for it will be HIS SOLE RESPONSIBILITY for the reasons you mentioned. It may not be easy, but stick to your guns. If you can hold out until the cat is beyond the adorable “kitten” stage, you’ll be fine.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)