Due to the flurry of comments, I thought you might like a quick update on last night’s shenanigans:
The course of action I decided upon was to remove the teabag tin from the kitchen worktop and took it upstairs, so MIL wouldn’t see it on her arrival.
I delayed my return home by 20 minutes or so, hoping that they’d have got here already, but no such luck, so I was home when they got here. Pretended to be taking a work call upstairs in the office to avoid the first five minutes of embarrassment at having no card or present ready, then went downstairs to greet her, whereupon she showed me the selection of presents she’d chosen when Ashley had taken her out shopping yesterday afternoon!
So, I guess all’s well that ended well: MIL was happy; Ashley had ‘done his bit’ (about bloody time, too), and I didn’t have to spend time resentfully buying, writing and wrapping a present and card for somebody who, despite the fact her son spends countless hours every week running her business, won’t help out with childcare so his wife can go to work, without having to take her grandson to sit by himself in a cold school hall for two and a half hours.
The only question still remaining is why the hell didn’t Ashley tell me that was what he was planning to do, so I could have avoided fretting about the whole present/card thing all day? I didn’t bother asking.