Another thing we've seen is they also try to beat around the bush and avoid flat-out telling their kids why this is; what generally happens is that whichever older relative that ends up sitting the kids talks clear over their heads and leaves them with no real answer to the question "Why can't I go with Mommy and Daddy?" This leaves them, April especially, with the distinct impression that they're so unlovable that her parents need to get away from them for a month or so every year.
The oncoming series of Lynnsights reveals the reason why the Pattersons always seem to do this. It seems that we're about to be told abot a failed trip Lynn took to Vancouver with the children; the reason for the failure was Lynn's inability to cope in any realistic fashion with the needs of her children. Things started off with Lynn being pissed that the children were more excited about the trip than she thought appropriate and, unless I miss my guess, we're about to be told that they were more curious about their environs than she wanted them to be.
Their embarrassing her by acting like children was not the only problem; that's because looking out for them put a definite crimp on her plans to spend her time buying crappy souvenirs, hanging around tourist traps, eating "exotic" foods and, above all, experiencing local "culture" (which is to say drinking the local beer.) If it was that awful in Vancouver, it seemed to her that going to the South with them would be a horror without end.