One week the mother in law is here, the next couple she is over there but never at home where she is suppose to be pining away her golden years waiting for the good Lord to sweep her away. You see the mother in law was never really far from her daughter - I tore her youngest away and moved away - and so she spent a large part of her time baby-sitting the grand children. But like everything time marches on. Those young babes are grown now, have children and homes of their own. She has spent some time when the great grand children were first-born baby-sitting but even they are rapidly closing in on teenage years. Through out that time Mrs. Monkey and I have commandeered the mother in law to dog sit for us when we went away.
But now as the population has grown older many people are finding that their own kids are grown and self-sufficient but they still have pets. The mother in law fills her days cat sitting for this couple on holidays, puppy sitting while the next heads to the coast to welcome a great-grand child, watching our Rhune when we roll through the Black Hills. In fact for the next couple of months she is booked solid scratching behind ears and giving belly rubs to furry family members. Perhaps that is the progression of life. First raising our own children, then our grand children, a few years caring for our parents and possibly great-grand kids and then finally our pets. The mother in law is more then happy to be caring for the four-legged children. They usually pay for all her meals, etc and throw her a couple more bucks for her time to stay in their homes while away. In the mean time her daughter will have to get use to her mom wrangling pets instead of diapers.
-bad Uncle Monkey.