MIL narrating my child's thoughts...

(170 Posts)
CeeCee00 Sun 09-Oct-16 11:22:10

Guess I should preface this by saying that on the whole my MIL is great and I have a lovely relationship with her and the whole family. However, I have found them a bit challenging since having our first baby.

This week my husband went away for work and she came to stay for a couple of days to spend some time with my dd and give me a hand. I welcomed this and was very grateful. My dd is 9 months and going through a cranky AF stage and screams and wails when you get her dressed, change her nappy etc.. it's no fun, but fine. She does it whoever she's with.

Now my MIL has been doing this 'narrating' thing for a while but this was the first time she and I had been alone with my daughter for that length of time so I guess I noticed it more. She'd be with my DD, playing or whatever and would sometimes talk for her, iyswim... 'I think I'm hungry now mummy' type stuff. Didn't take much notice but she really upped the ante when I'd be doing something my DD didn't enjoy so me changing her nappy would involve her screeching and kicking her legs, me trying to be quick and then my MIL constantly hovering saying things like 'I don't like this mummy' ...'stop messing around with me' ....'oh I don't like being fiddled with'... EVERY TIME all through the day. I found it weird but mainly felt massively criticised and like I was doing it wrong. I gave it some thought and wondered if it was an empathy exercise on my MIL's part. Maybe...but it's not actually what my child is thinking. She might not be enjoying it, but I'm wildly confident that she's not thinking 'stop fiddling with me, mummy' in an adults baby voice!

Anyway, I sucked it up. MIL left yesterday, after she was gone I got really wound up and last night told my husband that he's going to have to speak to his mum and explain that it makes me feel shit and can we find a way to avoid that in the future. I'd like to move on without making a issue of it but the fucking voice has to stop.

He can't stand any confrontation and became really awkward and annoyed with me. He was reluctant to say anything to them, kept talking about how we need to work out what critising his parents would do, would it help in the long run etc... we had a huge fight and I slept in my DDs room.

To avoid drip feeding, there have been a couple of instances in the last 9 months where he's had to speak to his parents: 1 - 'dad, please don't fall asleep on the sofa holding our newborn, it's very dangerous as she might move and suffocate.' 2 - 'please don't take the newborn baby away from CeeCee if she's crying as it's not helpful and stresses my wife out even more.'

They are generally brilliant people but those things had to be said and we moved on fine.

AIBU about this issue?

milpool Sun 09-Oct-16 11:24:03

YANBU. I would find that incredibly wearing too. Your husband needs to step the fuck up.

Arfarfanarf Sun 09-Oct-16 11:26:26

Well, clearly he can stand confrontation because he was happy to go toe to toe with you.
What he doesnt want to do is stand up to his parents.
Biiiig problem.

Look, if he wont then you'll have to.

Next time she does it just turn to her and say please dont do that. It is very irritating when you pretend to be my baby in order to criticise me.

MadeForThis Sun 09-Oct-16 11:26:27

Put your own baby voice on and say "mummy why is granny talking like a baby?"

RelationshipAdvicePlease Sun 09-Oct-16 11:26:39

I think really you have to kill her.

But a sensible person would say, when she does it, could you say "actually I feel a bit criticised when you narrate what you think she's thinking, would you mind not doing it please?"

But what I would do is quietly fume and grind my teeth.

Salmotrutta Sun 09-Oct-16 11:26:44

Oh gawd.

That would probably result in my having to leave the room and snort with laughter in a cupboard.

You could try doing it too... let her change/dress the baby and put on your own silly voice the next time she visits?

RelationshipAdvicePlease Sun 09-Oct-16 11:27:57

Yes or I might passively aggressively say "oh isn't granny being silly, I have to change your nappy/get you dressed"

And then kill her.

WatchingFromTheWings Sun 09-Oct-16 11:28:09

Talk back to her. When she says 'stop messing about with me' reply along the lines off 'yes, just leave me in my shit filled nappy all day resulting in nappy rash and being miserable'. Do it every time in an equally annoying voice. She'll get the message eventually!

FeralBeryl Sun 09-Oct-16 11:28:28

Oh God my MIL liked to do this when they were small.

I gave it a ' well grandma, mummy doesn't want me lying in shit all day getting a sore bum, so I'm going to have to put up with this evil nappy change for a few minutes.'

Do this intermittently for a few visits-soon works wink

I passive aggressive the fuck straight back out of her.

humblesims Sun 09-Oct-16 11:28:29

YABU. Its annoying but not a big deal really. You say you dont want to make a big thing of it. But actually you do want you DH to make a big thing of it. Just mention it yourself while she's doing it. Its not a big deal.

Nocabbageinmyeye Sun 09-Oct-16 11:28:58

Yanbu unreasonable because it sounds irritating although I imagine there is no malice in it and for that reason I think you could have handled it much better yourself while she was doing it, a simple and lighthearted "I think Nanny needs to stop guessing what I am thinking because she is driving my mammy mad" would have broken the tension you are feeling and gotten your point across. Getting your husband to approach it after the fact when he wasn't there just makes it a much bigger deal than it needs to be

LeatherAndLace Sun 09-Oct-16 11:31:39

Yabu.
I get its irritating but I dint understand why you need your husband to sat something when it's you who is irritated.

Your dd will be talking for herself soon enough so it won't last forever.

Cocolepew Sun 09-Oct-16 11:32:21

Tell her to stop when she's doing it.
I know a lot of people think this type of thing is a DH problem, which it is to a degree. But you're an adult, you don't need your DH to fight your battles, you do need him to support you once you have something said though. Tell her to STFU.

HardcoreLadyType Sun 09-Oct-16 11:34:33

Why can't you say something? Why does it have to be your DH?

You could just say, "do you mind not talking to me through DD like that; it makes me feel like you are criticising me, and it upsets me, even though I'm sure you don't mean it that way".

StealthPolarBear Sun 09-Oct-16 11:39:13

My mum talks about herself to the dcs in the third person "grandma doesn't want you running out into the road" etc.
They're 9 and 7 and she still does it. I do wonder if own day they'll have a light bulb moment and realise she is their grandma not just some random woman grin

helpimitchy Sun 09-Oct-16 11:39:17

You will have to find a way of putting a stop to it as your dd will get older and start to understand what she's saying sad

It's not good to expose a child to hearing constant criticism of its parents esp in this strange and passive aggressive way.

Mil sounds annoying and immature tbh

puglife15 Sun 09-Oct-16 11:39:50

YANBU that's fucking annoying

But I wouldn't say anything now. It will fester and it sounds like they're actually generally helpful and supportive. Wait till she does it again and just either laugh it off making it clear it needs to stop or say something gently directly to her.

Or kill her, obv.

BibbidiBobbidi Sun 09-Oct-16 11:39:53

I think if it was me I'd pretend I hadn't heard her and carry on.
Id talk to my baby and totally ignore everything she says in that voice but respond to everything she says in her normal voice leaving her feeling a little bit embarrassed.
She'll stop soon enough and won't say anything either, she'll look like a right twat causing an issue because "OP didn't respond to my silly irritating baby voice"

WinchesterWoman Sun 09-Oct-16 11:43:46

'Leave it alone will you?' may work.

'Mummy?' with a look - worked for me a couple of times

''Seriously?' also does a temporary job.

helpimitchy Sun 09-Oct-16 11:47:50

"Don't talk like that, she's going to grow up thinking you're daft."

TheColonelAdoresPuffins Sun 09-Oct-16 11:48:51

Feralberyl's suggestion is a good one

' well grandma, mummy doesn't want me lying in shit all day getting a sore bum, so I'm going to have to put up with this evil nappy change for a few minutes.

ChequeOff Sun 09-Oct-16 11:49:27

Sounds bloody annoying.

But you should say something, not your DH. Pick a bigger battle for your DH wink

Cheby Sun 09-Oct-16 11:49:29

I like WinchesterWoman's suggestions. grin

Also 'Can you stop doing that MIL, it's a bit odd' might work. 😂

chocolateworshipper Sun 09-Oct-16 11:50:14

next time she's round, "accidentally" leave your laptop open with this thread in full view. In case you do:

Dear CeeCee's MIL, please stop doing the batshit nonsense. Yours sincerely, the whole MN army

rollonthesummer Sun 09-Oct-16 11:50:57

I feel your pain. My MIL is not terribly interested in the children but narrates everything she thinks her dogs are thinking which may even be worse. It's awful!!

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