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.

VodkaJelly Mon 26-Aug-13 17:44:13

A thread before - a woman wants to stop her DP from drinking as he is a mean drunk and will throw away any alcohol in the house - massive chorus from MN - ITS HIS HOUSE TOO, if he wants to drink he can

In this thread - the brother invites people over and the sil says no, but thats ok as she doesnt have to have visitors in the house if she doesnt want to.

But its the brothers house aswell and if he wants to invite people over then he can because ITS HIS HOUSE TOO.

GrendelsMum Mon 26-Aug-13 17:44:22

Yes, I think that's all it was. A misunderstanding.

'SIL says she did want to have children, but for various reasons it didn't happen' - eeeek. I think this may be the root of the issue and it's nothing to do with your grandson's behaviour nor is it anything you can fix.
So maybe she wanted dcs, tried for them, dreamed about them but didn't have them. Now your ds is visiting and your db is getting on well with him, there's slap in the face number one - she can see her dh having a father son type relationship and enjoying it. Slap number two he wants to bring his baby round to her house. How long have they lived there btw?
I can see why she's said no and I think the best thing to do is just ignore teh whole situation and count your blessings.

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 17:47:41

And YWBU not to check with your DSIL before assuming that your DGS was welcome, especially as you know she doesn't like kids.

thebody Mon 26-Aug-13 17:53:45

I just don't see how it's any if your business. this is between your db and ds.

if people don't want a 2 year old in their house then that's up to them. soooo funny at posters saying they would have a word.. how on Earth is it anyone's business.

I have 4 kids youngest now 13 and was a cm.

now I actually would dread having a 2 year old in my house to be honest they are a pita. well mine were anyway.

I expect I won't mind my gc but don't want random toddlers round thanks.

don't blame tour sil to be honest.

reelingintheyears Mon 26-Aug-13 17:54:31

Well I think it sounds very mean OP.

One child, a family member for a couple of hours shouldn't be a problem at all.
The fact that she may or may not want her own DC is neither here nor there, sad but you can't go through life avoiding your family because they have children.

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 17:57:10

You can if you feel that strongly about it, reeling! I know people who don't attend family gatherings etc because there will be children there.

Booboostoo Mon 26-Aug-13 17:58:40

If SIL is worried about her home, couldn't you meet up somewhere more child friendly, like a restaurant that welcomes children?

If SIL feels sad around children because she couldn't have any then I think you need to be compationate and leave it all alone.

thebody Mon 26-Aug-13 18:01:53

depends on the children!! some in our extended family are avoided like the fucking plague.

I think the mean camp here have 2 year olds.😃

been there done that. fuck off to meddling trashing toddlers rampaging in my non child proof house thanks.

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 18:02:17

Some people feel sad around children of course if they have had problems conceiving, but some just can't stand children!

reelingintheyears Mon 26-Aug-13 18:03:53

You are joking thebody.

My DC are grown up, the youngest is 19!

ShadowSummer Mon 26-Aug-13 18:06:55

DB should have made it very clear that his invite only applied to DS, given SIL's feelings about not wanting children to visit.

And I agree that SIL wanting children and not having them may be behind the no children stance, it's possible that her not having the children she wanted may still be a very painful subject for her.

If it wasn't for that, I'd agree that the ban on your DGS visiting would be odd, unless their house is much more hazardous to small children than a smaller house.

ShadowSummer Mon 26-Aug-13 18:08:23

don't know where "smaller" came from! Should have been "normal"....

reelingintheyears Mon 26-Aug-13 18:09:35

Yes, but how rude is that to only invite, want to see one family member who lives abroad and visits rarely.
Especially when his Mum is your sister and obviously delighted to have her family here.

"DB has been pressing DS to visit him at his place"

"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."

Maybe DB only meant for the invite to be to your DS, maybe he didn't. But my reading is that once his wife said no, he felt he had to give her his full backing (hence blaming you and DS for getting it wrong). Regardless, your DB is being a bit if a prick here. Had he said "Ah, sorry, just meant for DS to come over, you know DSIL's feelings about children so I took it for granted you'd know DGS in our house would be a bad idea" - you and DS would probably not been upset. Instead, he said that you were "being illogical and absolutely ridiculous to feel like that", and so you and DS are understandably upset. Who wouldn't be when called illogical and absolutely ridiculous?

Your brother is well aware that he is in the wrong, but he is not man enough to own up to it.

thebody Mon 26-Aug-13 18:11:26

ha ha Reeling. still think its up to the sil and not mean but her choice.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 26-Aug-13 18:13:00

I think the SIL is being massively unreasonable but I don't think anyone should or can say anything about the unfairness to the OPs brother. That's his battle to fight (if he disagrees with her)

I think that all you can do is suggests meetings elsewhere.

thebody Mon 26-Aug-13 18:15:36

and how many times on mumsnet do we ask for the dh to back up his partner. here he is right or wrong.

reelingintheyears Mon 26-Aug-13 18:18:20

I'd back DP and he me, always.

But when we were alone i'd tell him if I thought he was BU.

I certainly don't always agree with DP and happily tell him so. grin

sameoldIggi Mon 26-Aug-13 18:19:48

I think the sil had a third choice, she could have "had something to do" that would take her out of the house for an hour. So, her husband could actually have his own nephew and great-nephew to visit.
I suspect the visits will dry up now anyway.

Why would you think that your brother inviting your adult son to his place would mean that your son was to bring his parents, partner and children too? I am confused.

solarbright Mon 26-Aug-13 18:24:18

I've never before heard of someone refusing to have a child (as in any old child, rather than a specific troublemaker) in their home - MN continues to provide an amazing insight into other people's neuroses.

Anyway, I'd treat SIL kindly, sympathy and support and all that. Can't be easy keeping up that level of intolerance.

Sister77 Mon 26-Aug-13 18:26:37

Yanbu miserable cunts

marriedinwhiteisback Mon 26-Aug-13 18:27:13

Hmm. When my DS was 1.5-3(ish) visiting my mum was sheer hell. She always explained that ornaments were put away, the medical supplies were under lock and key, etc, etc.. She tried to show no emotion when the sunlight showed the little finger prints on highly polished furniture; newspaper was placed under his seat at the table. And he always hit his head on something at perfect toddler head height.

OTH with DC of my own I only had my SiL and her 3 year old in my house once (she lives abroad and has three now). His behaviour was that of a vandal, furniture was damaged and she made no effort, no effort whatsoever to set a boundary or guide (it's more relaxed in Aus you know). Remembers pile of dirty pull ups left by the side of the bed. Nope, SiL and her dc were never invited to stay again and when MIL asked I said "terribly sorry but we already have visitors that week". We didn't but my mum and step dad came up smile

solarbright Mon 26-Aug-13 18:30:56

Marriedinwhite - well, yes, we all certain children (and more to the point, feckless parents) we don't want in the house!

PurplePidjin Mon 26-Aug-13 18:35:08

My Aunt and Uncle are childfree by choice. I was 17 before i set foot in their living room. She hovered uncomfortably when i bf my 2 week old in there at a family occasion - she assumed he was going to puke and possibly shit everywhere.

They are truly lovely people. They just like cream carpets, peace and orderliness. I don't see what the big deal is here - they don't want children in their house, their prerogative. YABU, butt out.

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Mon 26-Aug-13 18:45:59

How bizarre. I would take any invite from family to include my dp and dc. confused

Shelby2010 Mon 26-Aug-13 18:47:41

YANBU.

DB & SIL are happy to come to your house & enjoy your hospitality with DGS present but not return it. DB is not allowed by SIL to invite his own family to the house he lives in. They would both rather offend DS, who is presumably only visiting for a short time rather than put up with a toddler in the house for an hour or so.

Is your SIL weird/controlling in other ways?

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 18:56:50

If your DS only visits every few years, is it really worth falling out with your DB over this?

I still think it is a massive difference though. An uncle inviting his nephew to come visit, but instead nephew, with parents, partner and child rings and ask to pop along en masse right away.

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 19:03:52

Quint Absolutely - the poor woman doesn't like children so half the family want to descend on her house with a child in tow!!

thebody Mon 26-Aug-13 19:04:25

well come on here. all the toddlers I know ( and my own defiantly) are/ were a pita.

we always host a pre Christmas party at ours for dhs family. there are now 3 toddlers and counting. love them to bits but can see the time coming when the mantle is passed in to younger relatives.

I now have cream carpets.. and older children.

runes Mon 26-Aug-13 19:05:00

"Sister" you just made me laugh out loud. I agree, pair of miserable cunts. Ffs, how does the sil manage any type of existance surrounded by actual people, we're all someone's child. Jesus fucking wept, OP fair play to you if you can be arsed with either of them.

Maybe the issue is not so much the toddler, but 5 people proposing to drop in spur of the moment?

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 19:10:34

We are all someone's child but we don't all go marauding through other people's house breaking their stuff and having tantrums

marriedinwhiteisback Mon 26-Aug-13 19:12:38

But childless, middle aged couples can get awfully pedantic and set in their ways. My mum has her childless sil and bil staying at the moment - 76 and 81. They have popped out and bought their usual brand of loo roll and snuck it into the bathroom smile

At home I think she polishes the leaves on the trees and he dusts the gnomes. Mum and I always joke they'd have a nervous breakdown if they came to mine for the day, let alone overnight.

BlingBang Mon 26-Aug-13 19:14:12

How weird and rude? If the invite was to your son then it should automatically have included his wife and child.

Really don't understand folk seeing the brother or wife's side here - whether t is their house or not. And I might not say something being the sister but I would think they were weird and rude and would be hard to think badly. Mnet is a strange place at times

His wife maybe yes, but perhaps the assumption was that his parents would baby sit grandchild?

thebody Mon 26-Aug-13 19:16:10

Bling, do you then have no say in who visits your house?

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 19:16:18

I don't have children in my house because it isn't remotely child proof and there is too much scope for them to damage things. According to MN that makes me a miserable cunt - well, you live and learn...

Oi there Servalan, MN is not speaking on behalf of ME, I dont think you are a miserable old c ...t

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 19:21:00

Thank you Quint grin

JenaiMorris Mon 26-Aug-13 19:26:28

I dread small children visiting. I had one myself and I love them elsewhere, just not at my place. Nothing is geared towards them, the cat freaks and there are myriad risks I've probably overlooked. Also they're exhausting, and ime I'm expected to entertain them whilst not actually spending much time with the people I really wanted to see (ie, their parents).

Should I be fortunate enough to have grandchildren, I'll have a thorough rethink of layouts and the positioning of bleach bottles - in the meantime I'd rather meet in the park or something. Or better still, hook up with their parents in the evening when their small children sleep.

I can totally understand the sil's pov basically, although I concede it's not terribly friendly and that I'm probably vvu.

thebody Mon 26-Aug-13 19:27:06

no I agree president. as said mine are older now and I don't want toddlers rampaging through my house either. been there.

some people just don't like kids in their house, some don't like dogs or cats. their house their choice.

I think inflicting your toddlers into others who clearly don't want them there is fucking rude actually.

JenaiMorris Mon 26-Aug-13 19:30:19

Oh there are a few of us miserable cunts - hurrah!

I'd like to descend on those who think we're miserable cunts with our toddler grandchildren, when their now toddlers are teens+ grin

PresidentServalan Mon 26-Aug-13 19:33:23

Jenai grin

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 26-Aug-13 19:41:31

DB and SIL were rude. God, whatever happened to being gracious hosts?

But no, its all 'your house your rules' 'back your DP whatever they do' and I blame mn for it all wink

BlingBang Mon 26-Aug-13 19:43:09

If it was a close family member you wanted to see who you were fond of and didn't get the chance to see often as they live overseas - would to really be so anal to not have them or their child round to visit?

Still major league gobsmacked - bunch of weirdos. it can be really crap being the person visiting from a distance and being at the mercy of this kind of crap when you have perhaps went to a lot of effort and expense.

I fail to see why a middle aged couple should even want to entertain a young family, they would just spend the entire visit watching nephew and wife entertain their toddler in their child unfriendly home! Not sure how this is benefiting anybody, really?

GrendelsMum Mon 26-Aug-13 19:58:15

No, I'm joining the miserable cunts club too. The fact that I have bleach on open shelves at toddler level, electric wiring hanging loose, nails sticking out of the wall at toddler eye level, and a large trough of water is nothing to do with my reluctance to invite round small children.

raisah Mon 26-Aug-13 21:40:42

Could it be that they wanted kids badly & it didnt work out for them & that's why your SIL can't bear to be near toddlers.

I know someone like this, having 6 miscarriages have taken it's toll on her. I don't speak about my dc unless asked my in laws ask.

Littleen Mon 26-Aug-13 22:00:22

Got a bit confused with all the DB and DS etc in your post, but I think I got it right that the family is not welcome because of the kids? I think that is very mean actually O.o I get that not everyone like kids (I am scared of kids), but when they're family, you can't just shut them out like that just because they have kids.

TheSmallClanger Mon 26-Aug-13 22:20:20

Actually, you can shut them out.

I don't particularly like having small children in the house. DD is 15, so nothing is toddler-proofed any more, thank goodness, and it's more bother than it looks to confine our dogs to the garden, or one room. DD herself also finds younger children very irritating, and other people often don't understand or respect this, as they expect her to want to cuddle babies and look after children while their parents chat.

If I want to meet up with people with little kids, I find some way of doing it away from the house, if I can.

Turniptwirl Mon 26-Aug-13 22:24:08

Yabu

If she doesn't like children and has no small visitors on s regular basis and therefore not a childproof home, why should she have someone else's toddler thrust upon her for the day?

Two year olds are only fascinating, entertaining adorable little things to their close family and people who love small children. To many others they're snotty, whiney, tantruming brats.

BlingBang Mon 26-Aug-13 22:28:18

Are you all so charming in real life? A close relative travels from overseas to visit family and that is the reaction you would give?

sameoldIggi Mon 26-Aug-13 22:29:01

No indication that the toddler is viewed as especially adorable. But, the toddler and his mother surely come as part of the package - if uncle invites visiting-from-abroad nephew round, it would poor manners to tell the wife and child they have to wait somewhere else. Make excuses to not have visitors, but don't make it clear that one is welcome and the others not.

monkeymamma Mon 26-Aug-13 22:33:03

Hmm, my ds is similar age and can be a whirlwind of destruction. But if DH and I had travelled abroad to visit family and found that a close family member invited DH only to visit I'd be pissed off. It's not like when you're at home - eg where are wife and child supposed to go while the visit is going on?!? I think its extremely rude and sad and yanbu op.

woodlandwanderwoman Mon 26-Aug-13 22:43:35

Whatever you said there was clearly some kind of damage before this situation which you are not responsible for and may not even be aware of OP, please don't be so hard on yourself. Yanbu xx

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Mon 26-Aug-13 23:12:38

What is all this toddler proof/ non toddler proof business?? I have never toddler proofed my own house, I certainly don't expect some sort of soft play environment everywhere I take DS. I think very odd for him to invite your son but for the invitation to not extend to sons child. Sons child is just as much family as son is.

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

I am with turnip on this one.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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