To be really upset with my parents?

(108 Posts)
flightyskirt Mon 21-Jan-13 15:43:26

2 weekends ago my children went to stay with my parents while me and my partner did some decorating at home. When we went to pick them up we were in the living room having a cup of tea with the whole family when there was a bit of a kerfuffle - one child skipped across the floor and the other moved his chair back at the same time. Somehow a large vase was accidentally knocked off a shelf right in front of us and smashed. (I still don't really know how it happened - fairly freak accident). My mother was beside herself as it is a vase she has had for many years (much sentimental value although not monetary). We all jumped into action clearing up but my mother had started blaming my eldest (10 years old) who got very upset as my mother was shouting and crying. She said things like 'it was my favourite thing in the world' and 'I've had it for over 30 years.' which only made my child more upset. When my child tried to say sorry she was told it wasn't enough, and that she didn't mean it (she was still crying at this time). We decided that the best thing to do was to leave. It was impossible to console my mother as she was so hostile - although when I left I said I was sorry and that I hoped she could mend it - she said - 'Oh no we'll take it down the dump'.

I called my parents a week later as I hadn't heard from them, left a message but didn't hear back. A few days later my Dad called and said that he thought that my eldest should e-mail my mum with an apology. I didn't really agree, as I felt they had been through enough, but I said I would think about it. However as a family we decided to make a card and send it from all of us saying 'sorry about your vase'. I was going to send it today but I got another call from my Dad last night asking me where the e-mail was and then a whole tirade of abuse that I didn't respect their feelings. I countered that although it may have had sentimental value there was no need to make a child feel that bad when it had clearly been an accident, and no--one was sure how it had happened anyway. My Dad told me that me and my child were both drama queens and that we needed to face up to our responsibility. I however think that peoples' feelings (a 10 year olds' particularly) are more important than a piece of clay. I'm now really upset as I've not rowed like that with my Dad since I was a teenager. AIBU?

teaandbourbons Mon 21-Jan-13 15:48:09

YANBU. It's only a vase ffs, not worth shouting at a grandchild over. Total over reaction from your parents. Offer to pay for it and then leave it. Are they normally ok or always like this?

I can see where you are coming from but I can't think how a 10 year old would behave in a way indoors to break something like that. I think you should have got him to just do the email. At 10 his feelings should have gone behind your mothers who in all respect had every right to be upset.

FeckOffCup Mon 21-Jan-13 15:50:08

Was your eldest the one who actually knocked the vase down? If so then I think an email of apology would be a nice thing to do but at the same time I do think your mother overreacted at the time.

ruledbyheart Mon 21-Jan-13 15:51:20

Yanbu your child tried to apologise for an accident, it wasn't good enough at the time, so you made a card to apologise still not good enough, what are you meant to do an accident is exactly that an accident.
Your mother although obviously upset over the vase is the drama queen (favourite thing in the world hmm)
Accidents happen your DD was obviously upset and sorry, the problem is your mothers.

hippo123 Mon 21-Jan-13 15:51:25

Yanbu, not sure what you can do about it though, maybe go round there alone and talk it though with your parents?

happygolurky Mon 21-Jan-13 15:52:16

I think YANBU! They sound mad as toast, demanding emails from a 10 year old!

Personally I would have apologised, and maybe even bought a new vase if they hadn't been so nasty.

Now I'd tell them to F off!

whatatwat Mon 21-Jan-13 15:52:21

your child apologised at the time? and took the blame?
then no i wouldn't email.
they don't seem to want to accept any apology so why bother doing it again?

CheeseandPickledOnion Mon 21-Jan-13 15:54:32

YAB- a little -U.

I can completely understand your Mum being extremely upset to see a sentimental vase that she has owned and loved for 30 years being broken. I can understand anger and tears being a pretty instant result.

However I also think that as an adult and parent herself she should have been able to see the distress in your daughter and pull herself back enough to accept the apology for an accident.

If it had been blatant bad behaviour that caused the breakage, then I would be more annoyed, but an accident is an accident.

I don't think it will do your daughter long term damage to understand that even accidental breakages cause upset and anger. What would have been nice would have been if your Mum could have calmed down and then accepted the apology.

I think you should have reached out again when things had calmed down and said sorry without prompting. That would have been polite no matter what.
Your Dad shouldn't have abused you, but I can see why he thinks you should have made an effort to apologise again sooner.

flightyskirt Mon 21-Jan-13 15:57:00

It was a total freak of an accident. My other child was skipping across the floor to come and hug us hello which may have caused the furniture to jump up and down at the same time, but my eldest was in a chair that they had moved into an unusual spot and it has a tip-back facility. It may have clipped the vase - the chair isn't usually in that spot so it would never have been an issue normally.

RedHelenB Mon 21-Jan-13 15:57:00

Had the 10 year old been playing up earlier & warned to calm down? I would get a bit more background to this tbh. I am more cross with my kids if there is an "accident" after I have warned them not to do something & they do it again & ignore me.

Mollydoggerson Mon 21-Jan-13 15:57:16

I think you are all over reacting.

I think send the card, leave it a week and then call again.

Is the vase replaceable?

flightyskirt Mon 21-Jan-13 15:59:44

The kids weren't misbehaving, they were watching TV. And believe me they can play up and I am the first to get cross with spilt drinks etc when they have been told to calm down.

Megatron Mon 21-Jan-13 16:05:10

YANBU. I think your parents are being ridiculous and could really damage their relationship with your 10 year old. I have things that I am really sentimental about and would be heartbroken if they were damaged or broken, but at the end of the day, a 'thing' is all it is. It's certainly not as important as a grandchild and I think your your child apologised already and was making a card, then both your parents are just being unkind.

MonaLotte Mon 21-Jan-13 16:06:46

Accidents happen. You tried to apologise at the time and are sending a card. I can see how upsetting it must be for your mum to no longer have her vase but at the same time, if it was that precious she should maybe have moved it? How old is your other dc?
Mine are 2 and 4 and although they don't touch things my mum has moved particularly sentimental items out of the way.

I think YABU. Given that your parents were doing you a favour by minding your children and your mum was obviously very upset I think you should have called her a day or two later to thank them and apologise again about the vase.

grasscrown Mon 21-Jan-13 16:10:47

I don't think you're being at all unreasonable, I really feel for you. Hypothetically, even if they HAD been being a bit silly, it is just what children do, annoying but in the grand scheme of things insignificant.

I'm really sorry they reacted like this, and hope everything calms down soon.

I am a teacher and am constantly chirruping "accidents happen!" - yes, encourage kids to be careful, but things get broken around children, it happens, that's really all there is to it!

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Mon 21-Jan-13 16:15:43

Your mother WNBU to be upset, but she WBVU to tell your child that the apology she (she is a dd, yes?) offered straight away 'wasn't enough' (WTF? What does she want?) and to say things designed to pile on the guilt, and your parents ABVVU to continue the campaign with demands for emails.

I grew up with a mother who extorted elaborate self-abasing apologies for minor things. It's horrible.

Send the card with a note saying 'We were about to send this when DF called' and leave it at that. Don't engage with any further rantings from your parents on the subject. Explain to your children that you know it was an accident and that they are sorry, that Granny is obviously very upset and needs some time to calm down. And if your parents start on your child again, defend her.

magimedi88 Mon 21-Jan-13 16:17:16

I have two vases that I hold very, very, dear that sit on the hearth by my gas fire. They aren't worth much but were given to me by my grandmother who died a long, long time ago.

Any big party or small child coming round I put them away in a cupboard.

Narked Mon 21-Jan-13 16:19:32

It sounds like the definition of accident. They weren't being silly or acting inappropriately.

Does your mother usually react so strongly?

wriggletto Mon 21-Jan-13 16:24:53

Is this really just about the vase? I know things have sentimental value, and it's really upsetting when they're broken, but surely after the initial wave of sadness/annoyance, a grown woman would see that it was an accident, and that demanding an email from a child wasn't going to bring the vase back.

MulledWineandScully Mon 21-Jan-13 16:25:31

YANBU AT ALL!!
I agree with evenifyouseeapoppy, send the card with a note and leave it.

I never understand when people put 'things' above all else. It's just stuff at the end of the day, but she has risked damaging her relationship with both you and her grandchild over it. It's so ridiculous. I can understand her being upset about a sentimental vase but an apology should be enough - it's not as if it was a deliberate act of vandalism ffs. Your poor DD.

We've got friends who will always ALWAYS break something when they come and visit us usually as a result of getting drunk. They never apologise or offer to replace (in the past they've even broken something without our knowledge and taken it home with them, leaving us wondering where it was...) and I'm more irked by that than the broken stuff, I don't go ranting and raving at them. I just put stuff away now when they're visiting!

CatsRule Mon 21-Jan-13 16:26:28

Erm....*My Dad told me that me and my child were both drama queens* if that's true I wonder who you learned it from!! Your Mum and Dad perhaps!!

A total over-reaction on their part and do they realise that they could impair their relationship with their grandchild over a vase?

Yanbu!

I hope your chilld is ok.

kerala Mon 21-Jan-13 16:31:54

Pathetic. Them not you. Accidents happen she apologised. Could easily have been one of them that knocked it over - I have freak accidents in the kitchen funnily enough it always stuff that matters to me that gets broken never the John Lewis basics stuff but hey ho.

Have no time for people that weep and wail and attach huge importance to things with sentimental value <speaking as one who has had everything of remotely sentimental value stolen in a burglary> people are important not things.

FriskyMare Mon 21-Jan-13 16:32:03

My dd broke something that my mother had had from her mother. DD was quite upset but my mum just gave her a hug and said " Its only a thing, things don't matter, people do."

fatnfrumpy Mon 21-Jan-13 16:32:44

My son broke the window in my DM and SF house when he was about 9 yrs.
He and DD2 age 7 were playing swingball in the back garden and he hit the ball so hard he let go of the racquet.
He didn,t break it on purpose, it was an accident.
However my step father ( my mums 2nd husband) refused to let my three children visit their grandma at his house after that!

PaellaUmbrella Mon 21-Jan-13 16:34:27

I think YAB a little bit U.

Your parents had been kindly looking after your DCs, and then high jinx resulted in something with obviously a lot of sentimental value being broken.

I would have been mortified had it been my DC to be honest, and would have just sent the email to placify the situation.

BarredfromhavingStella Mon 21-Jan-13 16:34:32

Your mum sounds like the drama queen tbh, YANBU-send the card & give them more time to cool down.

MollyMurphy Mon 21-Jan-13 16:40:18

YADNBU OP. My mother is exactly like this. As a child I suffered several tirades over accidently scratching or breaking things. The woman once locked herself in the bathroom because I accidently broke an item whilst dusting.

It is childish and absured behaviour. You and your child already apologized and she shouldn't be made to do so again. Its enough. Caring about a vase more than your grandchild's feelings and carrying on as they have done - yur parents need to grow up.

I'd tell them politely that you feel they are totally overreacting and being childish regarding then leave them to it to till it blows over.

MadBusLady Mon 21-Jan-13 16:45:24

They were over-reacting, in that sense YANBU. "You don't mean it" is a horrid, unhelpful thing to say to a child honestly trying to apologise. Does she have a history of being emotionally manipulative?

That said, I think your dad has a point when he said you didn't respect their feelings.

I however think that peoples' feelings (a 10 year olds' particularly) are more important than a piece of clay.

The "piece of clay" is not just a piece of clay to your mother. It's no good saying "people are more important than things" if you're then going to be selective about which people's feelings you care about. People have attachments to things, rightly or wrongly. Respecting their feelings means respecting that fact.

outtolunchagain Mon 21-Jan-13 16:47:49

But it doesn't sound like it was high jinx at all, just a freak accident.

I grew up with a mother for whom an apology was never enough; her mantra was "if you were really sorry you wouldn't have done it in the first place"hmm

She still goes on about how I broke the coffee jug "on purpose" when I was 9 ; 38 years ago!

I would just leave it now,your daughter apologised at the time, if they call again and issue the demand , remind them that she apologised at the time and they refused to accept it.

She is 10 and by all accounts was not misbehaving , if they want to lose a granddaughters trust over a vase well so be it.

ethelb Mon 21-Jan-13 16:54:23

Refusing to accept an apology from a child following a genuine accident is rude and cruel to the extreme. I would be waiting for your mother to apologise.

holidaysarenice Mon 21-Jan-13 16:54:57

At 22 my granma was still moving a vase to the spare room when I visited!! More chance of her knocking it over, but hey!

They are unreasonable if it was a genuine accident and ur child felt bad. Most gps wud be trying to console the child. I wud send the card with a note to say he had made it before the fone call and end it there.

Pandemoniaa Mon 21-Jan-13 16:55:58

It all sounds over the top. I don't think YABU because it sounds like a genuine accident which your dd apologised for.

I don't believe that everything nice or of sentimental value should be locked away just because children are around (it doesn't hurt dcs to learn to be careful and respect other people's possessions) but for sure, the occasional accident will happen. So if you are going to get utterly heartbroken about things getting broken then it is probably best to put them away! Especially if, like your dm, OP, the thing in question was "the most important in the world".

Your parents sound over-dramatic in the extreme, here. Quite what do they want? An apology in written in blood and tears?

HumphreyCobbler Mon 21-Jan-13 17:01:14

they sound horrible.

high jinx? Did you read the OP? It was an accident!

Not accepting the apology your DD offered at the time was awful behaviour. WTF did she WANT? Blood?

CailinDana Mon 21-Jan-13 17:01:57

What are your parents like normally? Is this out of character or is it pretty much their normal bullshit?

FWIW I can understand someone being attached to an object but if they're willing to go this far for, as you say, a piece of clay, I would think they need to grow up a bit and get some perspective. Yes, it's sad to lose a treasured object but to make a child feel like shit over it is going way way too far in my book.

CheeseStrawWars Mon 21-Jan-13 17:04:02

Your mum needs to get a grip. Likewise your dad.

What is the responsibility that your dad wants you to face up to? Your child acknowledged the fault was theirs and apologised for the accident. They need to let it go.

PootlePosyPerkin Mon 21-Jan-13 17:05:02

*I have two vases that I hold very, very, dear that sit on the hearth by my gas fire. They aren't worth much but were given to me by my grandmother who died a long, long time ago.

Any big party or small child coming round I put them away in a cupboard.*

Exactly. Children are children. Accidents happen.

PootlePosyPerkin Mon 21-Jan-13 17:08:12

Bold fail there!

myBOYSareBONKERS Mon 21-Jan-13 17:22:48

YANBU

My Godson broke a glass bowl belonging to my Mums Grandmother and she was primarily more concerned about him being surrounded by glass.

Huge over reaction on their behalf. Do they behave this way with other things?

HannahsSister40 Mon 21-Jan-13 17:25:37

I don't have any vases or ornaments or anything I'd be bothered about for more than 2 minutes if they were smashed. Thank goodness. Material possessions are pretty damn meaningless. Grandchildren are far far more important. Your parents are being very precious and unreasonable.

HannahsSister40 Mon 21-Jan-13 17:27:20

I could understand if it was from the Ming dynasty and worth ten million quid. Just about.

flightyskirt Mon 21-Jan-13 17:29:08

Yes it all echoes accidents of my own youth. Being made to feel terribly guilty about things I broke without meaning to. Everything in the house seems to have some kind of massive emotional value, or it cost them a lot, so we have to be very careful with carpets, mugs, you name it.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 21-Jan-13 17:30:42

I can understand your mum being upset.

I cannot understand her behaving the way she has though. Over the top in every way.

MooMooSkit Mon 21-Jan-13 17:42:23

I would want an apology off my Mum actually if my child was crying and saying sorry and she said "You don't mean that" i think that's really cruel.

floweryblue Mon 21-Jan-13 17:43:56

DP accidentally broke a favourite vase of mine by being very slightly careless. I was very upset and shaken for a few minutes but accepted his apology and calming cuddle. Unfortunately he then had to change his bank account to a joint account so he could pay in the insurance cheque, result grin

Catchingmockingbirds Mon 21-Jan-13 17:47:26

hmm your parents are the drama queens here, what a complete over-reaction.

ironhorse Mon 21-Jan-13 17:52:05

YABU

your child knocked the case over, doesnt matter where it was or it they moved the chair or whatever - the fact is they knocked it over and broke SOMEONE ELSEs property - it wasnt your property or you kids but someone elses stuff. yes it seems like an accident but you should have sent the email when asked as the item is obviously dear to your mum - to disrecpect your parents and their feelings like you have is terrible.

as to the others who says its just things - its other peoples things and they should be respected. must admit it pisses me off when someone says its just xx that was damaged, doesnt mean anything - yeah but you didnt fucking pay for it... angry

outtolunchagain Mon 21-Jan-13 17:59:37

Yes but the little girl took responsibility at the time and apologised , but her apology was rejected amid much hysteria . How many times is she meant to apologise?

YANBU. It was an accident and your DD apologised at the time. I can understand your mum being upset, I would be too if it was something I loved, but think it's a bit off to be so dramatic about it in front of your DD when she probably felt bad enough already.

Send the card and if things are still strained after that maybe go round on your own and find out if there's more to it.

Pandemoniaa Mon 21-Jan-13 18:04:32

as to the others who says its just things - its other peoples things and they should be respected. must admit it pisses me off when someone says its just xx that was damaged, doesnt mean anything - yeah but you didnt fucking pay for it...

There's no suggestion that the OP's children were being disrespectful. It was an accident. To make such a drama out it is completely unreasonable. People are always far more important than things regardless of "who fucking pays for them". It seems ludicrous to cause such bad feeling over a vase. Especially since the OP's dd has already apologised.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 21-Jan-13 18:13:52

Send a card and ignore them.

If they want to see their GC they will have to ask.

pointythings Mon 21-Jan-13 18:43:10

ironhorse the OP's DD offered a genuine, tearful and heartfelt apology and was rudely and hysterically rebuffed.

She is now the one owed an apology IMO. It was the OP's 'D'M who has shown disrespect in the aftermath of a genuine accident.

OP, if my parents pulled something like this, they would not be seeing the GCs again until an apology from them had been forthcoming.

BarbarianMum Mon 21-Jan-13 19:11:42

I don't think either you or your mother and father are being terribly reasonable tbh. Your mother/father for the behaviour described in your post and you for your casual dismissal of your mother's feelings.

<<I however think that peoples' feelings (a 10 year olds' particularly) are more important than a piece of clay. >>

Basically this is saying that your dd's feelings are more important than your mum's. Maybe you don't get attached to things - but a lot of people do. I have a little figurine given to me by my Gran. I don't like figurines generally, it's certainly worthless but I can't tell you how upset I'd be if it got broken, even accidentally.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 21-Jan-13 19:15:35

YANBU

AngryTrees Mon 21-Jan-13 19:18:35

Your mother was completely out of line. Not for being upset, but shouting and scaring the hell out of a ten year old girl and then accusing her of being a liar when she tried to apologise. It was a massive guilt-tripping tirade.

If your parents were exactly the same way with every object when you were a child then I think you need to tell your daughter that they used to behave in the same way with you so she doesn't torment herself over it. She needs to know it's them, not her.

timidviper Mon 21-Jan-13 19:27:40

Your mother has over-reacted, no matter how much the vase meant to her it is not worth the relationship with her grandchildren.

I do think you could have acted a bit faster though. It was a week after the event that you rang them, then a few days till your Dad rang, then presumably another few till he let rip his tirade. That is almost 2 weeks and, knowing what they are like, I think you should have sent something sooner just to defuse them. (I would have done a really passive-aggressive "We are sorry that you were upset about your vase" personally!)

thegreylady Mon 21-Jan-13 20:29:09

YANBU
My step son aged 18 at the time] accidentally broke an ornament of great setimental and some monetary value.
I burst into tears [it was a figurine recently ihnherited from my mum who had had it from her gran] but all I kept saying was ,"It wasn't your fault,I'm being stupid,it's only a thing boohoo! boohoo! boohoo!]
Poor dss was so upset too so we had a hug and he later bought me a little gift with a note"Please let this carry on the memories with an extra one for me"
People are so much more important than any thing-your parents ought to think about your dd and let the vase go.

Purplefurrydice Mon 21-Jan-13 20:45:47

Children (and adults) occasionally have accidents. When my friends DC come round I put away things I would not want get broken (all DC are under 7).

Therefore, when the children invariably fall over/bump into each other nothing valuable gets smashed.

I would have thought a face to face apology was much better than Email apology, but maybe I'm old fashioned.

outtolunchagain Mon 21-Jan-13 21:53:46

Purple the little girl did apologise at the time but her apology was rejected by her grandmother .

"Yes it all echoes accidents of my own youth. Being made to feel terribly guilty about things I broke without meaning to. Everything in the house seems to have some kind of massive emotional value, or it cost them a lot, so we have to be very careful with carpets, mugs, you name it."
That is a very telling statement, flightyskirt. Basically, your parents have form for this crap. And what they did to you, they are now doing to your DC. See it for what it is, emotional abuse. An accident happened, your eldest was blamed, tried to apologise and the apology was not accepted. You are now being hounded for a formalised, theatrical apology.

"My Dad told me that me and my child were both drama queens and that we needed to face up to our responsibility."
<rolls eyes>
The cast-iron pot appears to be calling the well-polised stainless steel kettle black.

Can you play them at their own game? Tell them that you want (nay, DEMAND) an apology, in writing, for the upset they have caused your DC?

Wow. YANBU your poor daughter. I would feel very sad if my mother put an object (even a precious one) ahead of my daughter's feelings. But I know she wouldn't.

thegreylady, you have a lovely DSS.

cees Mon 21-Jan-13 22:11:39

YANBU

I can understand your mother's upset but she behaved like a drama queen, not you and your daughter.

usualsuspect Mon 21-Jan-13 22:13:38

YANBU,Ironhorse are you the OPS mother?

Crunchymunchyhoneycakes Mon 21-Jan-13 22:14:10

YANBU

Stuff is just stuff. They've overreacted.

Shriekable Mon 21-Jan-13 22:17:43

YANBU. Your parents obviously don't simply want an apology - they had that immediately - they want to make you & DD feel as guilty as possible, which is pretty low. My DM was like this when I was a kid - an 'I'm sorry' was never enough; I had to be absolutely contrite and begging forgiveness. I would have thought that any reasonable person would have calmed down by now and would be trying to build bridges, but your parents don't want to do that do they? They seem to be insisting on dragging it on. Rather cruel, when a child is involved. It's pretty obvious who the real drama queens are.

AnneTwacky Mon 21-Jan-13 22:20:21

I'd send the card, as you were going to, and then leave it at that.

Your DD does not owe them an e-mail. She apologised at the time and you're reiterating it in the card.

Sorry your parents are behaving like this. I can understand they were upset but they're being totally over the top.

QOD Mon 21-Jan-13 22:26:16

Ridiculous, mean as well.

My mums a wee bit like that. Dbil opened a cupboard over Xmas, a mug fell out and smashed a serving bowl.
He apologised and asked where it was from and said he'd replace it, she said that she didn't want another serving bowl but he could buy her something else!!

I said "but he doesn't need to does he as it was an accident and it's not like HE had put the mug badly in the cupboard in the first place"

Ariel24 Mon 21-Jan-13 22:35:34

YADNBU, they sound nuts tbh. Understandable that your mum was upset but totally unacceptable for her to treat your DD like that, especially as it was an accident and your DD had apologised. I'm imagining how I would feel if I was in your DD' s position, I'd probably be very upset and scared to go round the grandparents house in future. It would definitely have an effect on the relationship with them.

As for people saying you didn't contact them soon enough, after the hysterics I'm guessing you wanted time for things to cool down. And it's not like they didn't have an apology at the time from your DD.

Hobbitation Mon 21-Jan-13 22:36:48

It can be frustrating and upsetting when things get broken, I can understand someone flying off the handle initially, but then calming down and apologising for the overreaction and saying that it really doesn't matter. Not to expect grovelling and sulking about it, that's terrible.

I once got annoyed with my mum over a broken glass, and she was only washing up at the time so actually trying to help blush . It was just that I'd always had five glasses, as one of the previous set got knocked over or something. Then we'd gone to IKEA and got a set of six big red wine glasses. I was overjoyed to at last have a full set of matching glasses. Then the next day mum broke one. So it was frustrating, and then you could only get those type of glasses from IKEA and I was annoyed at the thought of having to go back...But I quickly realised it was ridiculous, and apologised. No biggie now as you can buy glasses cheaply in Sainsbury's. I still don't have six matching ones though!

TheFallenNinja Mon 21-Jan-13 22:40:29

Email an apology? I'd tell him to fuck off and pick on someone his own size and I'd tell her to stick her vase up her arse.

TheFallenNinja Mon 21-Jan-13 22:41:42

It's a vase. Any grandparent worth their salt puts the good stuff away when kids are in the house.

Katisha Mon 21-Jan-13 22:43:20

If they were like this throughout your childhood then it's pretty entrenched. But maybe it's time to call them on it, or not cave in, now they are treating your own children like this. As someone says earlier, things don't matter, people do.

Purplefurrydice Mon 21-Jan-13 22:53:33

I thought you DD sounded v grown up to apologise off her own back without being told to by a parent. Especially since it may/may not have been her fault.

I don't understand why your parents want an email from her apologising when she has already apologised.

hatgirl Mon 21-Jan-13 23:00:41

i broke a towel rail at my great aunty's house when I was about 8 during a family party. I was a very quiet thoughtful child and easily upset but I had been showing off my ballet moves to my slightly older cousin who I desperately wanted to impress and the bloody thing just came away from the wall.

The reaction there was over a loose towel rail (considering it was fixed within the hour by one of the many adults who was a farmer/builder/electrician) I feel has tainted my relationship with great aunty well into adulthood. She has a really good relationship with all my siblings/cousins but I always remember the bollocking I got from her despite it being an accident and despite me being immensely sorry and apologising profusely at the time and things can be a bit strained. Its funny how silly things like this can be really traumatic and I don't think YABU in trying to move on and not make it into a mahoosive deal for your DD.

Hobbitation Mon 21-Jan-13 23:08:28

I broke a towel rail at a friend's house as it was on the door and I mistook it for the door handle, pulled it and it came off instead of opening the door. She laughed though, I'd only been in her new house five minutes and asked to use the loo...blush

YANBU... my mother is exactly like this... All through my childhood too.
My mum and I have had discussions about it, quite recently actually... She knows I won't be held responsible any more for tipping juice on her new table when I was a teenager! Finally! The blame game! The guilt!

I flipped at my son ( he was 5 at the time) for getting ink on the (leather) sofa once... whilst trying to remove it I took the colour out of the leather. I'm quite fond of the mark now smile It reminds me NOT to be like my mother... I had a stern word with myself for getting so cross with him and apologised to him for my overreaction.... Which I think your mum needs to do to your 10 year old!!

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 21-Jan-13 23:18:50

Parents are barking. Tell them to stay away until they've got a grip.

It's natural to be upset when something is broken, it's ridiculous to act the way they have. Nasty & ridiculous.

diaimchlo Mon 21-Jan-13 23:22:57

As a Grandmother who adores her Grand children I am disgusted that your Mum and Dad have reacted this way.

My 4 Grand children visit me on school holidays their ages range from 9-17months, when they are coming I automatically risk assess and anything that I think may harm them or get broken gets removed to a place of safety. I would have thought that would be the same for everyone. Over the years and many visits things have got broken that have had sentimental value but that means nothing to the emotional well-being of the little ones, I have always hugged them and told them it doesn't matter, they have always apologised and I have always accepted that.

YADNBU tbh... your parents are! What is the point of demanding an apology that had already been ignored and rejected. It would not be an actual apology it would be a forced act.

I think that making a card was a lovely idea as it would have been more personal than an email........

Hoope things work out for you and please hug your little ones xx

Yfronts Mon 21-Jan-13 23:28:21

Send the card from all of you all. It sounds like the accident was a result of both your kids actions and not just the eldest. It's sad the eldest has had to take the blame really. Can you text and say 'have sent sorry card in post in order to apologise a second time for broken vase'.

If 10 year old had intentionally broken the vase, then your parents would be right to request an email apology. Did they see it as an intentional act rather then an accident? That might explain things.

Longdistance Mon 21-Jan-13 23:36:16

To throw an apology back at a 10 year old is pretty awful drama queen behavior.

If it was that precious a vase she should have hid it.

What does she want?? Blood?? Silly woman, and as for your dad....

I don't think your dd will forget how they treated her after this incident.

Tbh Id be so cross about her rejecting your dds initial (and clearly heartfelt) apology that I would email.

"DD was genuinely upset about the vase and apologised there and then. If you were not able to accept the apology then, then why do you want another one now? It was an accident and while I appreciate that the vase has sentimental value, accidents do happen. If there is anything I can do to help fix / replace the vase, just let me know".

OnwardBound Tue 22-Jan-13 00:10:16

I think it is truly appalling that a grown woman would react in such a hysterical and over-emotional way towards a young child. Let alone a grandmother towards her own grandchild hmm

And your father is enabling this behaviour? Instead of telling your mother to grow the fuck up and stop being so precious over something which was broken accidently?

I understand your mother is upset and the vase had sentimental value. But to place this as a priority over your grandchild's feelings is inexcusable.

I would perhaps send the card as you had originally planned to do, as it reiterates that your daughter is sorry for having caused this accident [although this sounds far from proven!] and for having caused your mother distress.

But please don't give in to your parent's bullying and emotional manipulation by writing an email or apologising any further.

Your parents are hugely unreasonable and a little unhinged to boot I am sorry to say.

But I think you probably already know this.

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 22-Jan-13 08:00:21

This has reminded me of when a friend sat on my sons cotbed (was in the bed position) and went straight through it. She was mortified and I wasn't very happy as it was a Mama and Papas cotbed (so wasn't cheap!) and matched the rest of the furniture.

Fortunately a replacement base could be ordered and all was well. I would NEVER of reacted like your parents as I value her friendship to much.

Although she still cant understand why a childs cot could not take her 12 stone . . . .

jessjessjess Tue 22-Jan-13 08:10:28

Yanbu, if it's precious and fragile you put it away when the grandkids come.

They are being a-holes.

OnwardBound Tue 22-Jan-13 10:16:56

myBOY I would be taking it up with Mama and Papas tbh.

I would hope that a cot bed could take an adult's weight without them going right through it... Surely parents do sit on their child's bed on occasion, for example when they are reading a bedtime story. I know I do with my son's Ikea cotbed and it's never been a problem. Sounds as if the M & Ps one was faulty or poorly made to me...

Unless of course your friend jumped on it, in which case I would hope she paid for the replacement base!

Flobbadobs Tue 22-Jan-13 10:43:43

Your parents will damage their relationship with your DC if they carry on like this. A while ago DS took the blame for something that went missing at IL's house. He had been the last one to use it as far as people knew and when it wasn't where it should have been he started to wonder if he had actually put it back IYSWIM?
Ayway MIL went utterley ballistic and stomped around the house muttering under her breath while DS frantically looked for it getting more upset by the minute. I had popped out and came back in just as she was making pa comments about children being badly brought up and having no respect for other peoples things.
I saw the item as soon as I walked in, poking out from under FIL's leg. It turned out that DS had passed it to him and it had slipped down the side of the chair and FIl was actually sitting on it. I damn near threw it at her, took Ds out of the room as he was practically crying and went home shortly afterwards, not before making it very clear that she owed him an apology. To her credit she did say sorry but the damage had been done. DS refused to go and see them for a couple of months and when he did he would be very quiet and stay close to one of us rather than go and do his own thing.
That was 18 months ago. His relationship with his Grandparents hasn't been the same since. He was 10 at the time and it plays on his mind everytime he sees them. It's sad really..
YANBU. It was an accident, she apologised. What do they want? Blood?

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 22-Jan-13 11:17:46

OnwardBound - She didn't sit down gently! Mama and Papa have dreadful customer service - if I had my "time" again I would never go there for my baby stuff.

OmgATalkingOnion Tue 22-Jan-13 11:33:45

sad Oh dear. Not sure what else you could have done.

I can undestand why your mum was upset at the time but carrying the whole thing on two weeks later is completely out of proportion. As others have said they are risking much more than the loss of a vase.

Could it be that they found the gc staying more than they could manage? Maybe the vase incident was the cherry on top of a stressful weekend?

I only say this because my own parents like to think they can cope much more with our three than in reality they can. Of course they don't really like to admit this even to themselves, but my dad def does get grumpy after a while - a whole weekend would not be a good idea at all.

He doesn't seem to know this about himself though - blimey he was even hinting we could all go on holiday together recently. But it just wouldn't work. My nerves wouldn't take the strainhmm

LemonBreeland Tue 22-Jan-13 11:39:38

It sounds like your parents are the drama queens not you and your DC. I think the effusive apology at the time should have been enough.

flightyskirt Tue 22-Jan-13 14:40:35

Thank you all for your comments, this has been really useful and given me some perspective. Diamichlo your words in particular were very comforting.

I sent the home-made card signed by all of us yesterday. I know (due to previous form) that there will now be a protracted period of radio silence. Because I stood up for my daughter on the phone to my Dad 'took her side' (of course!) and rowed with him they will not contact me for a long time. I can't help but feel guilty and like a rubbish daughter even though I know they have overreacted. I am hard-wired to feel bad about it because I hate conflict and confrontation and they seem to thrive on it.

Will keep you posted as to what happens next!

HumphreyCobbler Tue 22-Jan-13 14:52:41

I know how hard it is, but remember the overwhelming feeling on here was that they were wrong and you were right. Try to hang on to that thought.

Katisha Tue 22-Jan-13 17:01:33

Time not to go along with the sulks and mind games as they are now trying to make you children feel guilty and be on eggshells around them
. Bad enough that they did it to you but you have to draw a line now.

Katisha Tue 22-Jan-13 17:02:11

Time not to go along with the sulks and mind games as they are now trying to make your children feel guilty and be on eggshells around them
. Bad enough that they did it to you but you have to draw a line now.

Katisha Tue 22-Jan-13 17:03:22

Time not to go along with the sulks and mind games as they are now trying to make your children feel guilty and be on eggshells around them
. Bad enough that they did it to you but you have to draw a line now.

Katisha Tue 22-Jan-13 17:04:14

Oh lord sorry about multiple postings - bloody phone

littlemonkeychops Tue 22-Jan-13 18:09:15

Ignore, ignore, ignore. They sound manipulative in the extreme!

She apologised at the time, so yes it's upsetting but fgs she's a grown woman, to drag it out and demand a further apology is ridiculous!

YANBU don't cave!

LemonBreeland Tue 22-Jan-13 18:49:57

Stay strong and don't contact them. You have done nothing wrong.

"I can't help but feel guilty and like a rubbish daughter even though I know they have overreacted. I am hard-wired to feel bad about it because I hate conflict and confrontation and they seem to thrive on it."
The reason that you feel guilty is because THEY HAVE TRAINED YOU TO FEEL GUILTY. Remember your post of Mon 21-Jan-13 17:29:08?

"Yes it all echoes accidents of my own youth. Being made to feel terribly guilty about things I broke without meaning to. Everything in the house seems to have some kind of massive emotional value, or it cost them a lot, so we have to be very careful with carpets, mugs, you name it."
Frankly it is not possible for EVERYTHING to be of sentimental value. Ir just isn't. So let's take it as read that sometimes, when accidents happened, THEY LIED. What's more, they lied in order to control you. To control how you felt, how you thought, how you behaved. And now they're lying again, to do the same to your DC.

You say that they will not contact you for a long time now. So, they.ve done this before, else why would you know that? Think about that, flightyskirt. They're still trying to control you. To control your DC. Are you going to allow then to do that?

BarbarianMum Wed 23-Jan-13 11:24:43

OP I would like to retract my previous post, which I wrote under the impression that your mum had a one-off bad reaction to the (accidental) breakage of something precious to her.

It is clear from your subsequent posts that your parents reaction to this is not quite normal <massive understatement>. You were absolutely right to stand up for your daughter. And Whereyouleftit is right, it is not normal for everything to be imbued with huge emotional value so chances are they lied and just used it as a stick to beat you with. sad

gotthemoononastick Wed 23-Jan-13 11:38:32

So glad you sent the card.She is probably feeling a bit embarrased and guilty now.Your Dad's reaction I find strange.Broke something ancient and sentimental myself the other day and wailed and wept too.After a while quite glad I needn't look after it anymore.Dh nearly started ww3,though ,wanting to frame a shard for me!!Poor little girl needs to forget about the whole episode now!

examiner99 Wed 23-Jan-13 11:48:22

My mum was really nasty to DD3 when she was about 4, she can't remember it but all the rest of us do, it definitely changed the children's relationship with her. Sounds like your mum is playing a risky mind-game here... or she may be ill?

flightyskirt Thu 24-Jan-13 21:29:02

Well my mum got the card and called here yesterday. DH picked up the phone and she asked immediately to speak to DD (no niceties wasted on DH). During this conversation my DH (who listened in!) said DM had a very strange patronising voice on. She said she was proud of DD and asked if DD wanted to say anything to her. DD didn't get it and said something unrelated. DM said she had been very upset and asked if DD would come and stay again. "do you promise?" then she said I forgive you. Asked 'do you want to say anything back to me?' Then she said 'I'm sorry..... that you didn't come and hug me when you said goodbye.' Basically a lot of weird emotional stuff and no hint of an apology from her. I'm still waiting for my own apology for the horrid calls from my Dad but I guess I'll be waiting a LONG time. At least she has picked up the phone but it's all on her terms as usual....

Katisha Thu 24-Jan-13 21:50:56

Good god the woman is milking it. You need to pick up that phone and tell her to bloody well STOP trying to play mind games with your daughter. Why on earth are you letting it go unchallenged?

I would limit contact with your weird parents. Not just for the sake of your DDs but for your sake too.

myBOYSareBONKERS Thu 24-Jan-13 22:28:24

I think after that awful phonecall that you need to decide if you are going to put your child in harms way. What your parents are doing is nasty and any decent parent would do all they could to limit unnecessary negative influences.

You decide if you want to expose your own child to the emotional trauma of her grandparents.

CheeseStrawWars Fri 25-Jan-13 09:04:50

Agree with myBOYs. I hope you've already had a conversation with your DD about "how Grandma behaved when the vase got broken was not okay"... and that you have another conversation with DD to explain that the conversation that woman had on the phone with your child was also not normal/okay. Unless you want her internalising the message that it's her job to take on responsibility for other people's issues and to pander to emotional manipulation - that way lies an anxious, people-pleasing adult who can't stick up for themselves - you need to lead by example and, for the sake of her self-esteem, stick up for your kid!

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