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.

BlingBang Tue 27-Aug-13 18:37:12

And if I was the OP and it was my brother, I couldn't help it but would be rethinking that fact that they seem to think it's fine to pop in and out of my house when it suits them but then behave like this.

BlingBang Tue 27-Aug-13 18:35:16

Surely aunts and uncles are close family. And the nephew was invited - just that the wife and child aren't.

And people can have their house their rules all they want - and others can think they are rude weirdos as well.

nooka Tue 27-Aug-13 17:48:13

Very few things are worth a family row over in my opinion.

squoosh Tue 27-Aug-13 16:57:37

It's extremely odd behaviour. Their home, they can do what they want etc. etc. but very odd behaviour all the same.

One toddler with how many adults for what, an hour visit, a two hour visit? I doubt too much havoc can be wreaked. SIL sounds like a pain in the ass.

My own experience (thankfully very limited) with visiting toddlers has been that in general, the more doting relatives visit with them, the less control is actually administered. A parent visiting solo with a toddler will nearly always ensure they are not climbing the furniture etc - one visiting with besotted grandparents in tow as well is given free rein. It's almost as if everyone thinks it's someone else's job.

thebody Tue 27-Aug-13 16:40:55

but it's not worth a family row over is it?

nooka Tue 27-Aug-13 16:38:54

I consider my uncles and aunts to be close relatives, and the OP says that her son has always been close to his uncle, plus they are physically close so pop in lots. Most importantly the uncle invited him! When you invite people to visit you really really shouldn't be surprised when they take you at their word.

5Foot5 Tue 27-Aug-13 16:26:54

Before I had a child myself I slightly dreaded people visiting with toddlers. But it didn't happen often so when it did I prepared myself and got on with it for the sake of good family relations.

Now my DD is much older and, although I might be a bit more relaxed about a visiting child, I would still be watching like a hawk since our house is no longer used to small people! However, once again, if it was an occasional visit I would try to put up with graciously.

The OPs DS and his family visit so rarely that I really feel the SIL is being very mean-spirited not to put herself out just a little bit towards her DHs family.

As for the OP's DB saying she is being "illogical and ridiculous" - no. It is actually he and his wife who are being a bit odd about all this.

thebody Tue 27-Aug-13 16:07:12

op your relationship with your brother is yours and noone else's.

it shouldn't depend upon your sil not wanting your grand child to visit. yes it's a bit of an odd one but your brother is supporting his wife here and that's how it should be. whatever the reason for her unwillingness to have your grand child in her house.

she might not want to share her reasons so you be best to let it go.

thebody Tue 27-Aug-13 16:02:56

posters need to read the op. the op is the grandmother. it's her son visiting with her grandchild. the ops brother ( so sons uncle and child's great uncle) who asked for his nephew to pop in.

the 'sil' is the ops sil and really not a close relation to the child, well great aunt I suppose.

these arnt close relatives.

zatyaballerina Tue 27-Aug-13 14:13:00

If they don't trust you not to stop the toddler from causing damage to their house then it's probably from watching the reactions (or lack of) to his messing with other peoples stuff. I've barred a couple of people from my house due to their failure to properly supervise their toddlers. From the one who shrunk hundreds of euros worth of delicate clothes from changing the settings from cold wash to 90 degrees without my notice 'he always does that' according to his mother who never bothered stopping him to the one hurt himself pulling a mirror on his head (and broke my mirror).

Until someone has toddlers they have no idea what to look out for, they just know that some need to be kept out of the house for their own safety and to protect the homeowner from financial loss because those who are supposed to be preventing them from causing harm, don't.

Dressingdown1 Tue 27-Aug-13 13:41:10

We live close to DB and are normally in and out of each others' houses most days, so it didn't seem unreasonable to ask if we could all pop in to theirs for a few minutes so that DS and his wife could look at the new extension which has been built since their last visit.

SIL fell out with her own family about 30 years ago and has since fallen out with most of DB's family (apart from us) The relationship with DB is really important to me and I don't want to lose it.

BlingBang Tue 27-Aug-13 10:42:06

Exactly, it's summer - don't they have a garden. Or could all go to the local park.

MumnGran Tue 27-Aug-13 10:13:43

A bit stunned that these people seem to think an arriving toddler (for a 'pop-in' - not even a whole day) is going to wreak a path of destruction through the house with no-one controlling or watching what's happening.
Either the SIL is being totally unreasonable OR she has seen the child in action when she visited, and knows that the parents will actually allow carnage to happen while they blissfully ignore.

Would people in RL actually turn away a close relative because they can't handle having a child in one room with them for an hour? because it only needs to be one room! I understand the 'not a child-proof house' attitude, but why is there an assumption that this child will be allowed into kitchens and bathrooms unattended, to find bleach etc? Would you not sit and entertain in a room which doesn't have those risks? surely most ornaments aren't at the height of a two year old?

Why not just say "fine, but please do bring some toys with you"
Or better yet, sit out in the garden where he can run off some energy.

justanuthermanicmumsday Tue 27-Aug-13 09:57:17

I would cut ties with them. If my brother or his wife ever said I'm welcome but kids aren't, to me that says I am not welcome because guess what those kids are a part of me. Granted she doesn't like kids, but no one is asking her to have them,they are visiting and will soon leave.

She clearly loathes kids, not just dislikes the thought of having them. we have a saying when I was growing up, people who don't like kids have no mercy in their hearts. I truly believe that look at her stupid stubborn stance? You would simply visit why can't she put up with them for the sake of family bonds? Maybe she's afraid she may actually like the children?

I'm surprised some ppl are saying her house her rules. I say what a load of rubbish what about love and family ties, society that is more important than keeping your house tidy. these days its all about me me me, this lady sounds so selfish and she's clearly having an effect on your brothers outlook too.

Well I have to say I am flabbergasted at how unwelcoming many of you are shock. The OP stated they wanterd to 'pop in' as they were nearby, not that they wanted to go for the day or stay overnight. Is it really that hard to have your own relatives come to your house for an hour or two just because they have a toddler, really??

Agree with Mythumbs about toddlerproofing, I had a DS then twins within two years & happily visited family & friends without incident when they were all small.

The DS is only here for a short time & wont be back for several years , ffs I can't believe the uncle & aunt can be so unhospitable! On the other hand if they lived locally & wanted to bring their toddler round regularly I could see how that would be a PITA to someone not keen on kids. But this is surely a one-off so YANBU to be upset.

Sister77 Tue 27-Aug-13 09:12:55

I said miserable cunts and I stand by that. HOWEVER I am also a MC (soz) in that I don't mind my own kids but other people's are (to me) an annoyance as I'm sure mine are to them.
But I think a short visit for the sake of family unity is acceptable perhaps or arrange to meet somewhere else.
A relative has recently become unwell she was (and probably still is) the most unwelcoming person ever when we were younger and now wants us all to visit take her out etc. No one will go! She's on her own. Sad but self inflicted.

sashh Tue 27-Aug-13 05:53:54

I'd probably say the same, my house is just not toddler proof at all. When friends have brought toddlers they have to be watched constantly because I don't want them drinking bleach or alcohol or sticking their fingers in plug sockets.

Motheatenwardrobeofdross Tue 27-Aug-13 03:14:49

Ooops sorry. I was getting confused with all the acronyms.

I think that is really bad TBH. Your DS is coming over here, he doesn't come very often and his child is not welcome. OP, just keep it to your own immediate family. I lived aboard for a while and inter family feuding would have put me right off coming back.

nooka Tue 27-Aug-13 03:05:38

It's the OP's son and family that are vising from abroad, not the DB/SIL.

Motheatenwardrobeofdross Tue 27-Aug-13 01:40:45

Lots of people have had fertility issues (including myself) and were still able to be in the same room as another child.

You mention your SIL and DB live abroad. Are they expats in some flashy place and waited on hand and foot? This may explain the Princessy behaviour of not being prepared to put herself out for one second.
If it was my DS and my DGS I would be really miffed at the snub. Family is a 2-way street with sometimes doing things that you don't want to do and vice versa. Personally I would say, well we all come as a package, sorry!

Also, my 2 sons are really busy and into everything. They can climb walls and love to pick up expensive ornaments and admire them <grin>
However, it's really easy to distract them at that age. All you have to do is give him a small back pack full of stuff to do and plonk him on the floor/ at a table in a restaurant and he'll be happy for a couple of hours. Sorted!

WeAreSeven Tue 27-Aug-13 01:33:13

My guess is the SIL really wanted children, couldn't have them and now finds it hard to be around them.

nooka Tue 27-Aug-13 01:25:29

Nothing wrong with not wanting to have a toddler visit your house, although generally most parents can keep their small children on a short reign for an hour or two (esp if there is only one child). However if you don't want to have a small child visit your house then you need to tell people.

The OP said that her son visits pretty rarely so his time is probably quite precious. If the OP's brother wanted him to visit his house but specifically not bring his child then he needed to be very explicit about it, and expect that the answer may well be no.

dh and I live abroad and visit family at about the same frequency. The visits are quite stressful as we try and pack a lot in. We would not leave our children with my mum to visit the house of family that we have already seen unless there was a very good reason to do so. On the other hand we might well pop in, with children en route somewhere else.

Seems totally normal to me. The DB is being very defensive about a situation that is of his own making. It probably is to do with some deeper stuff going on, but he cannot expect his family to be mind readers.

Morloth Tue 27-Aug-13 00:59:38

Another miserable cunt here.

And I have been the family visiting from overseas.

My house is not particularly toddler friendly now we don't have any very little ones.

We had a friend come over with her 18 month old not long ago and it was horrendous. Poor kid managed to run into a table and choke on some lego. Very stressful.

thebody Tue 27-Aug-13 00:25:35

I am with turnip on this one.

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