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DB and SIL don't want toddler DGS to visit their house

(109 Posts)
Dressingdown1 Mon 26-Aug-13 16:46:56

DS and his family live abroad and only visit once every 2 or 3 years. DS has always been close to DB but SIL doesn't like children much and they don't have any children. DS and family are currently staying with us and DB and SIL have been to visit us a couple of times and DB in particular has been quite interested in the family and done some nice things with them.

DB has been pressing DS to visit him at his place so the other day, when we knew we would be visiting some friends near DB's we called SIL and asked if we could all pop in. The answer was a definite NO, because of DGS.

DGS is just over 2 and a pretty typical toddler. He does twiddle knobs and play with forbidden things within his reach, but no worse than any other child and better than some (including DS when he was small)

I am upset with DB and so is DS. DB says we are being illogical and absolutely ridiculous to feel like that and we need to get over it. I am surprised by his reaction because he and I are normally very close and see things the same way.

What do you think? I really need some perspective on this situation.

FriskyHenderson Mon 26-Aug-13 16:48:36

It seems daft to put pressure on someone to visit and then when they say they can, turn around and say they are not welcome.

Sparklysilversequins Mon 26-Aug-13 16:50:21

Their house, their shout I suppose but what a pair of arseholes! I wouldn't be going and I would tell them straight up why and what I thought of them. Just to clarify, they want your ds to visit but leave his child behind? I would tell them where to go in no uncertain terms.

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 16:53:03

It is up to your DSIL who she has in her house though as well as your DB. If they have no children then their house is probably not child proof. And your DB may have invited your DS without consulting her.

WestieMamma Mon 26-Aug-13 16:54:23

If my sibling was like that about my child they'd be out of my life for good. But then I have very black and white thinking.

DuelingFanjo Mon 26-Aug-13 16:58:24

I find the OP a bit confusing. But it sounds like your brother and his wife don't want their nephew's son in the house? Right?

It's up to them but a bit strange. How do the cope with normal every day living if eh have such peculiar standards.

Dressingdown1 Mon 26-Aug-13 17:05:32

Sorry if I was unclear. Yes it's my brother and his wife who don't want my DGS in their house.

SIL struggles with other people's children and is unwilling to see them at all. I suppose we were pushing it in asking to take the kids to their place really. My fault I think, I should have been more sensitive.

Now I am upset for two reasons, one because DGS seems to be labelled as a pariah, and two because my DB thinks I am a fruitcake!

sarascompact Mon 26-Aug-13 17:07:44

It sounds like your brother has invited your son and family without taking his wife's wishes or point of view into account. She's then had to take the flack for "withdrawing" the invitation, one she didn't issue in the first place.

She's perfectly at liberty to decide who she has in her house and who doesn't enter it just as much as you're at liberty to be offended but if you want a real "who's right and who's wrong?" type of response then YABU as it's her house and her rules which apply in it.

thebody Mon 26-Aug-13 17:13:10

it's really up to your db to sort with your ds and not your place to get involved. it's obviously not personal to your dgc as you say sil is like this with any child.

so don't be offended. up to them to sort out.

sameoldIggi Mon 26-Aug-13 17:13:34

Is DB happy to have visitors in general? He is not a hoarder, or has an OCD about tidiness?
If he straightforwardly doesn't like messy children, with no extenuating circumstances, I would be having serious words with him. Not normal behaviour at all.
How incredibly unfriendly and embarrassing.
Did it come more from him, or the SIL do you think?

sarascompact Mon 26-Aug-13 17:17:43

You'd "be having serious words" with an fully grown adult because he chooses not to invite children into the home which he owns/rents and pays for, sameoldIggi? shock

Gosh.

Dressingdown1 Mon 26-Aug-13 17:17:47

To be fair I think we misunderstood the invitation, it seems it was just to DS, not the whole family.

I accept I need to leave it alone now. Inadvertently I seem to have done a lot of damage to relationships and I need to get over it as DB says.

WeleaseWodger Mon 26-Aug-13 17:18:30

In think they're being ridiculous. Issue an invite to your DB but then forbid his wife to come to your house. You don't welcome guests to your home who don't welcome your grandchildren to theirs.

See if DB still thinks it's reasonable.

Your house and all that shite.

sameoldIggi Mon 26-Aug-13 17:18:33

Did the SIL perhaps want children? Even so, while you can respect their wishes, they must surely realise they are in a tiny minority of people who would withdraw an invitation based on there being a child present.
You can't change them, but please don't be made to feel you are over-reacting OP, I don't think you are at all.
And if this happened in my family, my dm would absolutely deal with her brother over it, rather than leaving it to me.

Dressingdown1 Mon 26-Aug-13 17:21:23

It is definitely SIL who doesn't want DGS. Probably DB is not over keen to have him really, but would do so to keep the peace if SIL allowed it.

sameoldIggi Mon 26-Aug-13 17:22:20

Saracompact I would be having serious words with him as (if I were OP) he is my brother, I've known him all my life, and if he upset my son and grandson I would be cross with him. Of course he has the legal right to refuse entry hmm but I imagine he expects social niceties from his sister, a chance to visit himself, a cup of tea and a biscuit, pleasant chit chat. Why should he expect the benefits of family life and not be prepared to out up with some of the disruption?
Plus, he was very stupid not to just keep quiet - why issue any invitation at all?

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 17:24:19

sarascompact You posted what I was thinking! Your DSIL and DB are perfectly entitled to invite whomever they want to their home - and if your DSIL doesn't like children, then she's not going to want a toddler in her house, doing usual toddler things, surely?

GrendelsMum Mon 26-Aug-13 17:26:04

My guess is that their house isn't childproofed and that they're very conscious of this.

It sounds like your DGS is used to being able to potter around and play with things at will, and that means that their house isn't going to be suitable for him to spend time in.

My house is the same - I don't have children, and it isn't safe for young children to spend time in unless they are being watched non-stop. When friends and family come round, I'm pretty up-front about this as I spend enough time on MN to know that things which are safe for adults could be fatal for a toddler.

sarascompact Mon 26-Aug-13 17:28:51

I suspect that the brother made the invitation without the SIL's knowledge or agreement, sameoldIggi (though I've no proof of this of course, it's just as it appears to me). Then when she found out she had two choices, tolerate something she didn't want in her own home or withdraw the invitation which her husband had made. Some people would put up and shut up, some people would call that being a walkover.

The problem is that a woman who considered it being a walkover might tell anyone who "had serious words" about what she could do in her own home exactly where they could put their serious words.

Viviennemary Mon 26-Aug-13 17:32:22

I don't think it's very nice to ban small children from your house. But some children can be a total pain touching everything so the hosts are on tenterhooks all the time. Most people in their situation just tolerate the visitors and breathe a sigh of relief when they've gone. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect people to keep some sort of control over their children when they visit and not to let them swing from the lights.

NapaCab Mon 26-Aug-13 17:33:00

So how does your DB think his relationship with his nephew is going to pan out in future then? Only meeting in cafes, pubs, other people's houses? .

What's going to happen when your grandson is 5 or 6 and old enough to understand that he's not welcome at his great-uncle's house? I think your DB sounds childish himself to be honest. Children are people too and when your grandson is old enough to understand things he will be quite hurt to feel he's not welcome somewhere.

Or is it just toddlers / babies they object to and they are OK with older kids?

Dressingdown1 Mon 26-Aug-13 17:35:24

I think DB didn't realise we would take his invitation to mean that we could all visit. The house isn't childproof, but of course we would have watched DGS all the time we were there.

SIL says she did want to have children, but for various reasons it didn't happen. I need to be more understanding of her pov.

The real issue for me is that DS really likes DB and as he has virtually no contact with his father (my XDH) it is a very important relationship to DS.

GrendelsMum Mon 26-Aug-13 17:39:18

Based on what you've said in your last post - did your DB actually want to spend time with just him and your DS, and then it turned some kind of big family get together with partners and children?

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 17:40:32

Normal behaviour by young DC can be perceived as being a pita for people who don't like children. Yes, children are people too but they are noisy, destructive people to someone unused to them. I really wouldn't over think it, OP. you are not going to change anyone's mind in this situation. And I am guessing that if they don't like children then they are not going to be that bothered about not having a relationship with your DGS.

Dressingdown1 Mon 26-Aug-13 17:42:34

GrendelsMum probably this is what DB had in mind. It was a misunderstanding about the scope of the invitation I think.

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