Anon from "Leaving 16-month-old overnight" wrote me back to update us all on how the visit and possible overnight went:
"I figured I would see how everything went when we got to the IL's house and maybe let the overnight happen on the last night of the visit but I felt anxious and conflicted about the whole thing. The IL's really wanted it; sorry that wasn't clear!
Well, we got there and she had just woke up. She was a little sleepy and cautious. My IL's had just been saying they wanted to scoop her up, but they were patient. They waited the hour it took her to loosen up - speaking kindly but keeping their distance until she approached them. My husband's fear that they would be strangers was completely unrealized. She loved them as much as they loved her. It was great.
As for the overnight, well... The uncle's house lost power before we got there due to bad storms. It was much too hot and humid to stay there so we crammed in at the IL's (who still had power). All that stress for nothing! They were happy we were there and we ALL were there for overnights. It worked great.
I think the most interesting perspective came from the comments. My husband and I both come from families that have all extended family within about an hour. He is the lone person to move away of many many cousins/aunts/uncles. I think both of us felt that 5 visits was kind of a failure because they saw her so much less than what was typical in our families. I felt a lot better after reading the comments.
Lastly, I will take my kid over a feral monkey any day. She slept there the same way she sleeps here. At 8:30, she sticks her thumb in her mouth. We grab her blanket, change her, she gives one terrible cry when we put her in the crib, but by the time you close her door she is out and stays that way for a minimum of 12 hours. I thought it might be different in a new place, but no! (In re-reading this last paragraph, I hope it came off as good-humored as I intended it -refuting the monkey comment- and not like bragging. As a kid, I had terrible colic and my husband was a nocturnal mischief- maker; we constantly marvel at our super sleeper.)
Thanks for the comments and your thoughtful reply. I really appreciate it!"
So it all ended up to be about as easy as it could have been, and we got a great discussion out of it. Yay, us!