I'm back to school and back in lab. My trip back from DC was fine, which is obviously a good thing.
My trip in DC was great! It was really nice to just get to relax with family and not have to worry about work. My aunt and uncle are very laid back people which helped with the whole relaxation thing!
When I was there, I noticed that they basically live in a fairytale world, and their children certainly do. They're fairly well off, have an incredible house and their kids can do pretty much whatever they want (and have the resources to do it). My family is, I think, in a similar financial situation, but we always had many more rules. For example, we had to be downstairs at 7am to eat breakfast together. If we weren't (which happened very rarely, only if someone was jetlagged or something) we certainly had to make our own breakfast. My cousins, on the other hand, get food made for them by their mum at any time of the day. They're also pretty much allowed to eat anything. They have a "nanny" who bakes a lot, so they always seem to have cookies and muffins around. In my family we could eat that sort of thing, but only really as dessert after a meal.
I was thinking about these two types of parenting. Both seem to have been fairly successful - all three children from both families have turned out relatively well. My cousins certainly had a more laid-back childhood than we did. On the other hand...I'm not sure if I would have switched places. Yeah, it's a pain to have to be downstairs at 7am for breakfast, but it did also mean that we had "family time" every day, and I'm not sure if that's something I would have wanted to sacrifice....