Dear Amy:

I am planning my daughter's second birthday party. I want to do something simple (inviting mostly young kids) because I know that a huge event would overwhelm her.

I have gone out of my way not to invite my husband's mother. There are many reasons why. A few weeks ago, when she was at our house, she was falling asleep between sentences. She was obviously drugged. My daughter was frightened of her and was clinging to me the whole time. In the condition my mother-in-law was in, I was worried that she could fall on our young daughter. She weighs more than 350 pounds.

She has been pretty out of it on several occasions, and I can't be sure how she will act at this birthday. I have invited the other grandparents. The problem is that my husband thinks that his mother should attend the birthday party. I would feel embarrassed by her actions, and I'm worried about the other kids if his mother attends the party.

My husband and I can't agree, and it is causing us to fight.

I want it to be all about the kids having fun, not about all this family drama.

- Worried Mom

Dear Mom: You say that it was obvious that your mother-in-law was drugged when she was falling asleep at your home, but it's not so obvious to me. She might have a medical condition related to her weight problem (such as sleep apnea) that causes her to nod off.

Your husband should help his mother get a handle on her health. I don't necessarily agree that she poses a risk to your daughter or other children, but that is your family's call to make. I do know that your daughter will feel more scared of or embarrassed by her grandmother if you project that she is scary and embarrassing.

If you and your husband can determine what is really going on with his mother, then you can decide together what your strategy should be in terms of visits with your daughter. If you are including other grandparents in this celebration, you should include her as well. Your husband should take responsibility for making sure that his mother behaves appropriately when she is at your home.