Would this worry you re DD (4) and DH?

(44 Posts)
Justbeingsilly Mon 04-Mar-13 13:14:43

I am quite confused about how to deal with this so please be gentle. I have name changed.

DD is four. We also have a DS who is older. Been married over 10 years, generally decent relationship, no major drama.

DH was very involved with DS when he was a baby, very hands on. Complete opposite with DD for the first two years, almost like he felt it was inappropriate for him to change her nappy etc. now that she is older he has a week spot for her, loves playing together.

Their favourite game is wrestling. He holds her really tight and she struggles to get out of his grip. She loves playing this and giggles happily, always talks about how she won. She runs after him asking him to play this the moment he gets in from work.

Yesterday I was cooking and they were playing with her dolls in the living room. I went to get something and found them laying on the carpet, cuddling. I asked what they were doing and DH said sleeping.

I returned to the kitchen than later noticed they had moved upstairs to the bedroom. When DD came down 10mins later I asked what they were doing and she said playing doctors. On further questioning She said she hurt her toe and daddy made it better.

This is all completely innocent and I am an idiot for worrying about it right? I have absolutely no reason to suspect anything wrong with this. I have not been abused myself and DH is the most prudish guy I have met. It is just all the stuff I keep reading about here and in the papers has made me super sensitive.

So my question is, would this worry you and if so, what would you do about it?

HecateWhoopass Tue 05-Mar-13 09:16:37

What concerns me is that it concerns you.

I am not going to tell you that it is normal or that it is not. I can't sit here, read what you have written and make that determination. None of us can.

It wouldn't worry me with my husband. I wouldn't have any concerns at all. I wouldn't call it 'taking it to the bedroom'. My hackles wouldn't go up if I saw my husband cuddling our child on the floor. I can't extend how I would feel about my husband to how you should feel about your situation. How can I?

I can only say that you need to understand why it feels wrong/odd to you. Clearly it does. The language that you use indicates that it does. You need to understand why you feel the way you do. We all read the things you have read. We don't all then feel odd about our husbands. You need to understand your feelings.

You should also know that young children discover that they can feel nice by touching and rubbing and this is perfectly normal and you just need to teach them that some things are private. Their behaviour is perfectly innocent and not in itself indicative of anything untoward.

Mama1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 09:19:49

Hi nothing in your op sounds sinister to me, I have brothers who all play these games and would never cross my minds hat it wasn't appropriate- BUT it clearly has crossed yours, so I would be bothered in that it bothers you.

puddock Tue 05-Mar-13 09:39:14

I agree with Hecate.

I also think that tickling/restraint/wrestling games are not always fine. There are ways to play them that respect a child's rights over their own body, and there are ways that can be more violating or overpowering, which IMO is not okay. This article is interesting:
http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/2010/04/30/tickle-me-not/

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 05-Mar-13 09:45:24

The oP says she loves playing the wrestling game and always laughs that she won. Sounds healthy to me.

hufflepup Tue 05-Mar-13 09:55:11

There is nothing in what you describe happening which is, in itself, worrying but it does feel like there is more to this? If you are worried to this extent about your husband or if there is anything else that you perhaps feel you can't mention on here then I don't think you should ignore these concerns. Hope everything is ok

Iggly Tue 05-Mar-13 12:23:32

Hecate has articulated it better than I could. If the OP is suspicious then that's enough to warrant at least a consideration of why. Noone accuses their partner of anything wrong on a whim. It's not helpful to dismiss those concerns IMO.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 05-Mar-13 12:51:55

Hello again,

You mention you also have an older DS, has your DH always played boisterous games with him too? Do you see different patterns of play?

Justbeingsilly Tue 05-Mar-13 14:25:17

First of all thank you for your replies. Helps to get perspective.

A couple of comments. I said they went to the bedroom because that's where they went, not to her room. But that's not really the point. It made me feel I interrupted and they wanted to go somewhere private. I thought it was to wrestle which is indeed much more comfy to do on the bed. But why move to play doctors? Why not play that on the living room floor?

And no, DH has never played wrestling games with DS. But then they are very different children. DS does not like physical games much, he prefers role play.

I know DDs behaviour is completely normal. In fact I well remember going through it myself (and being severely told off by nursery teachers).

So I am very relieved that most people think I am overreacting. I probably am. I don't know why, I really don't.

Iggly Tue 05-Mar-13 17:15:29

Why don't you talk to your DH? Focus on your DD's behaviour not his.

Eskino Tue 05-Mar-13 17:29:18

I think you should bring it up with your DH, in a non accusatory way. Talk about how DD likes to play and has started rubbing herself as part of playing/having fun. Be open about it. It might just be he's a little embarrassed for her. Men can sometimes be a little detached from the normal aspects of females bodies.

Branleuse Tue 05-Mar-13 17:59:06

if my dh was taking dd upstairs to wrestle and play doctors on the bed and made me feel like i was intruding on their private game and i was getting weird feelings about it then id keep my eye on it for sure.

I wonder if there was any way you could get your daughter to show you how daddy plays doctors? Maybe using dolls or teddy bears.

Mintberry Tue 05-Mar-13 18:29:49

OP, could it be that your DH acting so prudishly about changing his baby girl's nappy for so long (which I agree is strange) is what is making you make this link? Normally, a parent would have no problem changing their DC of the opposite gender because they obviously don't see them at all in a sexual way, so I wonder if your DH acting weirdly about this is what started you worrying...

FWIW, it doesn't sound like a problem to me, some people are just overly prudish and old fashioned. Is this a trait which was obvious in him before your DD came along? Because if so, you might just have to chalk it up to the way he was raised or whatever.

Branleuse Tue 05-Mar-13 18:48:48

just remember, a girl is statistically more at risk of being sexually abused by a close family member than from anyone else. If you think theres something not quite right, please keep your eye on it. paranoia is not good, but we do have instincts for a reason

Justbeingsilly Tue 05-Mar-13 18:48:58

Yes, he has always been like this. It is the way he was raised, his family is like this.

I did try to speak to him about DD's behaviour once but not in the context of wrestling, just as she was doing it on the sofa and sometimes on play dates at other people's houses. He behaved as if he did not know what I was talking about. I am not sure if this was indeed the case or he just was not comfortable discussing it due to his prudishness. I did not push it.

Iggly Tue 05-Mar-13 19:44:47

He's your DH. Why would he be prudish with you? What do you mean by prudish?

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 05-Mar-13 20:00:22

DH definitely felt funny about changing DD's nappy for a while, especially when she was being wriggly and needed to be pinned down to execute a clean, safe change IYKWIM. I don't think he'd ever been in such close proximity to female genitalia for such a sustained period before! But he got over it, and is now an excellent father-of-a-girl, excellent with putting tights on a reluctant toddler, just needs to work on his hair plaiting skills.

He and DD often disappear to our room to "wrestle" - we have a huge bed, and it's safer for him to throw her around when she will land on the mattress, plus she enjoys time with just Daddy without DS and I around, as it doesn't happen that much. I usually find them watching Football Focus or something in the end.

Bit waffly, but what I'm saying is that I could be posting almost the same as you, but without any underlying concern at anything inappropriate at all.

If you are worried about anything, you have to discuss it with your DH. Not to accuse him of anything, but to understand what is going on and to agree how you will respond when she rubs herself (I've not had to deal with this, but I'd guess you two need to be consistent in how you handle it).

mummy2benji Tue 05-Mar-13 20:25:32

I'm surprised at a few of the responses on here who have basically just said "that's an awful thing to think about your dh!" I feel the need to point out that while I hope the OP's situation is perfectly harmless, and indeed it could well be / more than likely is, unfortunately there are many more homes around the UK where a mum sadly is unsuspecting of child abuse that is happening under her nose. Yes it is awful to have these fears regarding your partner. But it is far worse to ignore any nagging worries you might have, even if you don't really believe that your dh / brother / uncle would ever do anything like that, you owe it to your child to not be burying your head in the sand. If you don't raise concerns, who is going to??

Justbeingsilly having said that, I don't see anything obviously worrying in what you've said. Your anxiety might arise from the business of her rubbing against you, perhaps? While completely normal, most of us would worry a bit about that or feel a little uncomfortable perhaps when this is our baby girl. I have difficulty imagining my ds and dd turning into sexual beings when they are (much!) older! Always be my babies... lol. My dd is only 4 months so nowhere near that stage yet, but a number of the posters on here have said their children do that and it is quite normal. Hopefully that will reassure you on that score. If you have any other concerns about dd and dh feel free to run them by MN anytime and I do think you're not wrong to at least be aware of these issues, but I really hope everything is fine for you and that your anxieties will cease. x

debbie1412 Tue 05-Mar-13 21:56:43

We have ds 2.6 and dd 4 months. Dp was hands on with ds right from the start in nappy changing. With dd he was reluctant to change her nappy especially if she had pooped. He's never mentioned it I've just noticed it. I totally understand how with girls you need to really clean them up and he's fine now.
Going upstairs to play doctors sounds funny to a stranger reading this. I know my dp backwards so it wouldn't worry me. But I would never think of writing a post like this. Something's made you uneasy to write this post. Can you ask her to play doctors see if anything stands out that she does that's strange. If only to ease your mind??

ct148 Tue 05-Mar-13 22:02:25

I don't think I'd talk to my dh. I think if I had any concerns at all I think I'd try and find out for sure by other means...just in case. As in, if there were anything untoward and you mentioned it to him, he'll know you are having thoughts about it and could try and hide it.
Somebody made a good suggestion about asking your DD to demonstrate the doctors game with toys. Or try and walk in on them when they are together. Chances are its all completely innocent, but at least by doing some investigation you'll have proven this to yourself and you could then forget about it.

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