Dear Amy: My parents go to Florida two or three times a year. While they sometimes drive their car, they fly most of the time. When they fly, my father consistently asks me to pick them up, which in my opinion, is no small favor.
I do not live near them, and I do not live next to the airport. I would have to drive to the airport and wait, which is roughly an hour, then drive them to their house, which is about 40 minutes, and then return to my house, an hour away.
I do not mind helping them out, but it is as if my time is of no consideration. I have kids and things of my own to do, and three hours of my time is an imposition.
A simple $30 cab could do the trick and save me time, gas money and the wear on my car.
Why is it that he doesn't see the inconvenience to his own daughter? How can I handle this so he will understand how much he is asking?
— Put out
Dear Put Out: Assuming that this three-hour task once or twice a year is the biggest chore your parents impose upon you, I'll ask you to think back to a time when you lived at home when your parents routinely dropped everything to attend to you, without grumbling about the cost of gas or the wear on their car.
This is your opportunity to do something quite simple that can balance that scale a little bit — as well as allow you to spend a little time with them.
You also have no idea of what things could be like if your parents were not healthy, when you might be driving three hours for doctors' appointments.
But, given your lack of perspective (and the fact that your father doesn't seem to either ask you well or express his appreciation), you will have to be honest with him and say that this is a big imposition and they'll have to take a cab to their home.
Dear Amy: I couldn't believe that you backed up "Exhausted Gran" when she said she wanted to get out of baby-sitting her grandchild!
Neither one of you even mentioned what was best for the child. And having grandparents baby-sit is definitely best for the child.
— Proud Granny
Dear Granny: Exhausted grandparents have earned the right to say no to a heavy rotation of scheduled baby-sitting.
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