dss' mother has chucked all her teddies out of her pram. ffs.

(31 Posts)

Really long, and I am boggled by the complete nuts-ness of it all.

For the last year I've had dss dropped off at ours before school when he's been at his mum's overnight. The agreed time for drop off was 8am. I have 3 dcs, one of whom is collected by taxi anytime after 8am. The child in question dd1 is the queen of faffing and needs lots of directing as she gets easily distracted by her barbies/anything else. typical 7yo. Last term dss was dropped off between 7.30 and 7.45 every morning. I would grump to dp, but knowing what his xw is like just took it on the chin, despite the disruption a bored 10yo had on trying to get dd1's arse in gear. Don't get me wrkng, he's lovely, but naturally gravites towards dd1 to play with and him arriving well before 8 made life really stressful.

Sl the first morning of this term that she's dropping hkm off in the morning and he pops through the back door at 10 to 8 and I'm thinking oh no, here we go again. So I asked dp to diplomatically remind her that 8am was the agreed time and why.

We also had the factor of last academic year I was running him to an activity on a Monday- 'her day' as a favour to him . This year dd1 is beginning choir at church and I'd given dp plenty of notice, from Easter, that I'd no longer be able to take him as the time between his vlub starting and choir was too short to do dinner and reading. Dp duly arranged for the childminder that he has on another evening to take him, and we naively assumed sorted.

For information, dss does trampolining on Monday, childminder Tuesday, swimming lesson and scouts on Wednesday, tramps again on a Thursday. Until recently it was cubs, also on a Thursday. All the schools are having their open evenings, mostly on Thursdays, each in a different week iygwim. We facilitate all the above, with the exception of the Monday tramps now. Last year dss had football training on a Friday night, he has now changed clubs, mostly because their training methods had changed, and because training this year would clash with scouts. The new club train on a Saturday morning. Right from when dp first raised the possibility of this she made it exceptionally clear that she would not take dss to the training sessions on her weekends.

Contact is wed-fri one week, wed-mon the other. 7 nights out of 14.

Still with me?
If

To say she has now gone beyond batshit nuts is an understatement. Apparently I am horrid to dss, I don't care about him, I don't facilitate him attending his clubs... it goes on with many personal attacks towards me as well.
Now she is saying dss will not be with us over half term because she won't have me looking after him.
Apparently I have proved I am a nasty person who doesn't care about him because I won't take him to tramps on 'her' night, yet she refuses to take him to football? !
The latest is that we have not done his homework- Wed he had scouts, and more to the point, I doubt he'd got it at that point, ds in the year below hadn't. Thurs, I could almost see her point... except between 6-9pm dss and dp were with her looking round a bloody secondary school! Tonight she collected him at 6, he'd had a rare opportunity to go to a friends after school and would have been gutted to have been refused when in his own words, weekends at hiz mums are spent watching tv non-stop.

I'm confused, insulted, and not amused. Dp is seething at this latest missive, and is writing a terse response. Wouldn't mind except only earlier we were joking that my xh makes her look reasonable (spent yesterday in court, he filed papers just before the deadline in March, one of the few ways left he has to abuse us)

Gah. Just cheesed off, and pissed off for dp.

And I'd asked for a lunch bag I'd bought to be returned, I like to give the dc a clean one every day. She said she'd bought it, and that I needed to not sponge off her and buy one. Wouldn't mind, but I had, so ( perhaps childishly) I emailed a copy of the PayPal receipt for it....

Probably didn't help, but really...?

Thing is, she is the sort of person who goes into mega defensive and attack mode if she's feels criticised. But ffs, this is all pathetic.

Well, we have reiterated my suggestion of meeting up without kids, dp, me, her and her husband. Talk like 4 adults and hopefully she can get all her angst off her chest and clear the air. She's really got her knickers in a twist.

CressidaMontgomery Sat 28-Sep-13 00:13:33

All sounds like a massive mountain out of a molehill to me with both sides behaving most bizarrely and getting all het up about ... Err not a lot ?

NatashaBee Sat 28-Sep-13 00:17:09

How far away does she live? If she's 5 mins walk away, then yes, it shouldn't be hard for her to drop him off on the dot. If she has a longer distance and traffic or public transport to contend with, then it's a bit tougher, and maybe you need to spell out that its better if she's a few minutes late, than a few mins early. I think most people would automatically try to be a few mins early, than a few mins late.

Personally I don't think I would stress over a few minutes either way, but if you can clear the air and explain why you asked for her to be on time then that has to be the best solution. Your DSS should feel welcome in your home too, even if he's arriving a few minutes early - but his mum should be on side with you and reiterate that he shouldn't distract your DD.

NatashaBee Sat 28-Sep-13 00:18:35

And I would have your DH hold off sending the 'terse response' until tomorrow. Don't send anything while you're this annoyed.

sooperdooper Sat 28-Sep-13 00:20:12

Sorry but I have up after you moaning about him being dropped off a few minutes early, is it really worth all this over such an insignificant amount of time?

sooperdooper Sat 28-Sep-13 00:20:43

*gave up, not have up!

It's not your job to facilitate getting DSS to clubs, it's his parents job! Sounds like she has been taking you for granted. As an aside, that's an awful lot of activity, how does he manage it all?

We manage the activities without much of a problem, we're pretty organised.

It is a mountain out of a molehill, which is why I'm so boggled.

I really do appreciate that traffic can make a difference, but when you're travelling 3 miles across town and dropping him off at half 7- really? You have to plan for that much traffic? It's taking the p, pure and simple, and I'd figured a gentle and polite reminder wouldn't cause a problem. I mean, would you take offence at a polite please could you try to drop him off at 8 or just after as ready has 3 other children to get up, one of which needs to be ready for 8am? She blew up, claimed I was pushing dss away from dp, making him feel unwelcome here, and is using schools morning club. She now can't drop off before 8, and has to get out of the car to sign him in.

I enjoy dss, he is a great kid. The 4 children get on really well, and our family unit works well.

Mojavewonderer Sat 28-Sep-13 07:32:51

Personally I think all of you sound pretty childish and petty.

gamerchick Sat 28-Sep-13 07:40:46

I agree.

I really can't get over the being dropped off 'too early' thing. What a thing to get worked up over. Poor kid.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sat 28-Sep-13 07:52:40

would you take offence at a polite please could you try to drop him off at 8 or just after as ready has 3 other children to get up, one of which needs to be ready for 8am?

If it was written like that, then yes, I might - because my only concern is my own DC, not yours, and that reads as if my DCs dad is putting your DCs before mine, iyswim?

Flexible, help-each-other-out co-parenting arrangements are the ideal - it's clear in your case that its not working for everybody; your DSC mum considers her DC a priority, and you (quite naturally) sometimes put your DCs first and unless you are both prepared to compromise, then it won't work.

Some of the issues she has raised, like the homework, I agree with her, so shes not necessarily being totally unreasonable - but because she's already in defensive mode protecting her DC from being pushed out (as she sees it) in the mornings, she's gone at it like a bull in a china shop.

Finally, I suggest you think carefully about what you are getting out of the arrangement that sees you taking responsibility for a great deal of your DSS practical arrangements. He has two parents, a childminder and an active schedule of out of school activities. Your DSC mums reaction to your involvement seems to be a source of stress for you. If you can't shrug off her insults, ignore her demands and do your own thing then it's probably better for the DCs in the long run if you step aside and leave the parents to sort it out.

PractialJoke Sat 28-Sep-13 07:52:52

I can't get beyond the fact that you think it's unreasonable for your DH's son to arrive at his father's house 10 minutes early, one day a week. Poor child, he must feel really unwelcome.

And yes, in the mornings the difference between 10 mins early and 10 mins late is a very fine line.

TobyLerone Sat 28-Sep-13 07:56:16

The whole thing sounds utterly ridiculous. You're all adults, behaving like children.

The homework- I don't disagree that it is important, but it is the weekend, in this house we set out a block of time and all the children sit down and do it. It's a bit of a red herring.

The being early is the issue that triggered this. While I am reasonable and get that traffic can mean arrival is unpredictable, how dare I find half an hour/ 20 mins, 2-3 times a week for the whole summer term smacked of taking the p? Dss is welcome, and he is fully aware of that.

Out of curiosity, if I was a childminder with a child constantly dropped off 20-30 mind early, or having a friends child in s morning, would I bu then? But because he is my stepson he must be mafe welcome no matter what time he arrives? I've just realised deja vu, I'm sure I've seen this conversation before. Stupid me.

I know this is all crazy, we are trying to be adults. It is very challenging trying to be reasonable and grown up with someone who is chucking this sort of paddy. It's not the first time.

With hindsight, the one thing we have failed to take into account is that she have probably doesn't have any short term memory, not being bitchy, just a failure on our behalf to realise the long term consequences of the 'event that has been airbrushed out of history and must never ever be referred to'

PractialJoke Sat 28-Sep-13 08:48:37

Oh dear, I think if you are likening it to your being childminder then there really is a problem. You are not a childminder, he is not a friend's child, he is family.

Your house is his home for half the week, the place where his father lives. If you have a problem with the way you end up doing the care, rather than his father, on his access days, that is an issue between you and his father. I'm not at all surprised his mother has taken exception to the way he is treated as a nuisance by his father's family. How would you feel if your DD was made so unwelcome?

TobyLerone Sat 28-Sep-13 08:49:11

But you're not a childminder! You're his dad's girlfriend and you have accepted a role of caregiver. It sounds like you're doing a lot, but you can't equate it to being a childminder. It's not your job.

PractialJoke Sat 28-Sep-13 08:52:36

Ok, then what is "the event" Could she be equally justified in saying you refuse to let it go? wink

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sat 28-Sep-13 08:53:56

But because he is my stepson he must be mafe welcome no matter what time he arrives?

Well, yes. That's what is want for my DD, wouldn't you?

But, what you see as doing her a favour she sees as part of her DCs Dads responsibility which he has delegated to you.
If its not working for you, don't do it anymore! Far better than all this resentment!

I can understand how the poor lad felt unwelcome, he arrived only 10 mins early which is 20 mins later than 10 to 8. Why can't you get your dd1 ready? For then, you know a bit of compromise from your side.
And the carry on with the bait box do you mean you like them to have 2 each?

Sparklysilversequins Sat 28-Sep-13 08:58:40

I think you are not treating dss like a member of your family. If he was your child you'd make it happen.

And ten minutes early in the morning? So friffing what?! hmm

Dss is welcome. He is aware that he is welcome. That for me was never the issue. The issue is, and always has been, that she was taking the proverbial, where I'd agreed to have him to save childcare costs.

It is the accusations that I am not treating him as one of my own, when as you quite rightly say, he has 4 people in his immediate life. My dc have just myself and dp. The'well you can't run him to tramps anymore so I'm not having you look after him during dp's half of half term'

I came here to grump. The event I'd rather not mention, it was an exceedingly stressful period of time, and especially distressing for dsd, who I know lurks here sometimes when bored.

Lunchboxes- yes, each child has two. By the end of the day they are filthy inside and out, and I like to wash them throughly, but can never be sure they'll be dry for the morning due to the heating staying quite low. Does that make me odd? Id bought a second for dss so I ciuld do the same for him.

nkf Sat 28-Sep-13 09:39:01

You all sound like drama queens to me. But perhaps you'll now drip feed some backstory about how she one tried to strangle you and your distress and anger will make some sense.

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 09:47:21

Out of curiosity, if I was a childminder with a child constantly dropped off 20-30 mind early, or having a friends child in s morning, would I bu then? But because he is my stepson he must be mafe welcome no matter what time he arrives?

Err, yes!

Better early than late.

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