DEAR AMY: My parents go to Florida two or three times a year. When they fly, my father consistently asks me to pick them up, which is no small favor. I 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 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?--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 and 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 simple that can balance that scale a bit. You also have no idea 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 or express his appreciation well), you will have to be honest with him and say this is a big imposition so they'll have to take a cab to their home.
DEAR AMY: I couldn't believe 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. --Granny
DEAR GRANNY: Exhausted grandparents have earned the right to say no to a heavy rotation of baby-sitting.