AIBU to feel uneasy?

(19 Posts)
HmmIDontKnow Mon 11-Nov-13 11:34:21

Actually its is my nan being U?

My sister can be, 'funny' as in sometimes she is all happy and 'normal' but other times she is just off with you for no reason. No SN or personality problems or anything like that. She is exactly like her our mum in that she just gets 'off' for no reason.

She loves my kids, I know she does and she says she likes having them and would do it anytime (but she won't ever offer, I have to ask which I don't like doing), but my nan thinks I shouldn't leave them with her, not because she will hurt them, she would never do that, but just her general attitude towards them.

She is fussy, I don't know why, she isn't house proud or obsessively clean and tidy, but heaven forbid if they touch anything in her house. She has a table with a few bits on, not arranged in order, just coasters, candles (unlit) and stuff like that. They are never allowed to touch it. There are some boxes underneath, they get told off for touching them. When they stayed, she texted me to tell me that they had moved something and she couldn't find it (something trivial). Something got spilt on her carpet and she made a massive deal over it, I got texts about how she couldn't get it out and how she wasn't happy. They play with her kitten which she doesn't mind, but then she expects them to switch off immediately when she says so and leave it alone (they are young children, I always give a few minute warning for stuff as I don't expect children to stop something immediately when someone says so). I always tell them to stop touching/leave kitten alone when sister says it, I don't let them carry on but I am made to feel that me and my kids are an unwelcome imposition in her home, even though she wants us to come over (she doesn't come to mine because of not driving).

Last week we were there and DD was fiddling with a cushion. After a little while, sister snatched the cushion off DD and slammed it down with an air of 'leave my fucking cushion alone' type thing. DD looked at me bewildered and I just gave her a smile.

The back door was open recently because the cat went out and the kids went out as well, then sister was complaining because they were outside and she wanted to shut the door, they had been out for about 2 minutes. Then she was complaining because they moved some small stones (again, garden is not some sort of show garden, just normal garden). I just got the kids to come in as it wasn't worth the constant comments from my sister.

I know its really trivial stuff but my nan thinks that if she is like this when I am there, then what's she like when I am not there (probably exactly the same I imagine) so she thinks I shouldn't leave them there with her. I don't really know. I know my sister likes my children, although to an outsider it really may not seem like it. I also half jokingly said that she wouldn't want them to stay again then (after complaining about the spilling) and she said no, she really liked having them there. confused

Do I just think that my nan is being over cautious or does she have a point?

Clearlymisunderstood Mon 11-Nov-13 11:39:58

I think your nan has a point. Doesn't sound like she particularly likes children in her space tbh.

Pancakeflipper Mon 11-Nov-13 11:40:46

It all sounds very stressful. Do your children actually want to see her because it does not sound like fun?

Try meeting up at a mutual place so your sister isn't getting upset about her home. Or meet at yours? Or let her look after your children at yours if its just about her stressing about her home.

And are you happy about her saying "fucking get off....." at your children?

HmmIDontKnow Mon 11-Nov-13 11:46:13

She didn't say "fucking get off" I would have hit the roof!! That was the attitude with which the cushion was snatched and slammed back down. Probably didn't phrase that very well.

salsmum Mon 11-Nov-13 11:49:15

I think this behaviour must make your children feel quite confused and upset...personally I wouldn't put my DC through that and have to agree with your Nan on this one.

EldritchCleavage Mon 11-Nov-13 11:49:51

I think your nan has a very good point, and I agree with Pancake's suggestions.

Pancakeflipper Mon 11-Nov-13 11:52:10

Sorry Hmmmm - I misread the the fucking cushion bit. My apologies.

HmmIDontKnow Mon 11-Nov-13 11:52:10

See that's another part that confuses me. They talk about my sister and like going there (although I think they like playing with the cat). I'll have to actually ask them (the older one anyway, DS won't understand) but the last time DD did keep asking me when we were leaving but that's because she knew we were on our way to her best friends house, so I assumed it was because of that.

I'm going to ask her after school.

JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth Mon 11-Nov-13 11:52:19

I think you should pick her up from the local train station so she can visit the kids at your House. It doesn't sound like a Relaxing time for you at all.

fluffyraggies Mon 11-Nov-13 11:53:30

Hmmm - it's clear that your sister isn't a 'child' person. At the moment at least. I wasn't till i had my own either. It sounds like she really gets the hump with them ...

Why are you likely to be leaving the DCs with her anyway?

HmmIDontKnow Mon 11-Nov-13 11:56:08

confused Train station? She lives 10 minutes from me. Apparently the attitude in my family is if you don't have a car or a bus that goes from one door to another, you can't possibly get anywhere without a lift unless its to relatives 400 miles South, that can be managed of course

I'll have to suggest she has the kids here, its a good idea, plus they'll have all of their toys, although it means I will have to go out, I usually try and get housework done or some time chilling out if the kids aren't here. grin

HmmIDontKnow Mon 11-Nov-13 11:58:24

fluffy because she said she likes it and she would have them anytime, although it is me who has to ask. She didn't say this for the first 4 years of DDs life, she assumed I knew. hmm

We have hardly anyone who helps with the kids, one other elderly person so they can't do too much and can't have both at once, so it was used once in a blue moon as some free time.

Sister is ttc so I am hoping this will change her attitude. She can't be like it when she has her own!

If the youngest is to young to ask, given she wants perfect, unreasonable (expectation wise) from your children, then they shouldn't be left al

HmmIDontKnow Mon 11-Nov-13 12:01:56

Youngest can talk, but if I said "do you like going x" he would just say yes because he likes the cat. I don't think he picks up on the animosity, DD does I think. I really got that from the look she gave me when sister did the cushion thing. sad

I am being convinced that my nan has a very valid point.

struggling100 Mon 11-Nov-13 12:04:16

I think people who don't have kids don't necessarily understand how life works around them! It sounds like your sister is trying hard to help out, and really does love your children, but uptight about the kind of changes to her personal space that children necessarily entail. (I suspect when she has a baby herself, this will change!) I don't think you should be worried about leaving your children there.

Sorry, shouldn't be left alone with her.

She doesn't seem to realise that young children, touch things and need to have a warning about winding down from doing something.

So therefor she cannot meet their needs.

Ask your DD, if she ever wants to be alone with her, whether they are left should be in the children's interests, not subject the whether their Aunt wants them.

As an adult you wouldn't put up with being with someone who was "off" with you, children shouldn't, either.

I think this is learned behaviour from your Mum, she has learned to behave like this and you have got used to putting up with it.

Both of you are capable if change, if you put the children first.

Dobbiesmum Mon 11-Nov-13 12:17:22

A very good friend of mine had a neat tidy (and white) house when she first moved in with her DP, not a show home but a lot like your sisters house by the sound of it. She adored seeing my DS, she spoiled him rotten but I would see her chewing the inside of her mouth when he ate something or moved things. I know it sounds patronising but It really did change when they had their own children, some things can't just be accepted, they have to be experienced first hand IMO.
I think your nan is being a bit U and over cautious.

Why don't you ask your sister at the moment she comments about your children (her niece/nephew) touching her belongings, why she didn't move them out of the reach of the children before you arrived if it is such an issue for her? I'd have to deal with it there and then and not let it fester.

I'd also say to the kids if something like that happens again that you will be leaving as it isn't right that your sister behaves like that in front of them.

If she likes your kids, she likes them. She may also like her little nick-nacks too and if that is the case she should put them away when she has guests coming (of any age) and then when they leave she restores her 'show-home' for herself.

I wouldn't let her look after them though.

zatyaballerina Mon 11-Nov-13 13:01:03

If people want to look after your children, they will ask for them. Some people will claim that they're happy to have your children anytime but they won't ask for them because they don't mean it, they may like the idea of it in that moment or be bullshitting for conversation but the reality of having young children is very different.

I wouldn't send them to her house, it's obviously very stressful for her (and probably them too), it's hard for people who don't have toddlers to understand how to properly childproof their homes because they don't understand how their minds work. It's also distressing to see them dirty your clean possessions. I used to come close to having a heart attack when friends visited with their grubby toddlers until dd became one. I'm still a bit ick about droolers/sticky ones and make mental notes of everything they touch but before would have followed them around sterilising everything.

Try her in your house, she may be much more relaxed, it will be more fun for the kids and if she enjoys it, she'll be asking you next time. If she's still 'off', leave it.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now