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DS still being treated as second-hand grandson!

(59 Posts)
sterrryerryoh Mon 27-Dec-10 20:19:43

OK, I don't think I'm being unreasonable to be a bit miffed at this, but am wondering how best to tackle it.
Disclaimer: I don't EXPECT DS to be given wonderful expensive presents, and understand that some GPs do seem to have (unfairly) favourite grandchildren. Am also trying not to be ungrateful.

(Very) Brief Background:DS is 16 months old, and was adopted by us in Jan this year. DH's parents struggle to accept him, but (in their own way) try, and have now babysat for him, and spent a short amount of time with him.

Boxing day - we went to DH's parents house for dinner, along with DH's brother, SIL and their DD (aged 3)
Presents were distributed from PIL (DC's grandparents)
DN received: a (really lovely) rocking horse, a dolls house with dolls and loads of furniture, plus gift voucher for £25 to get more furniture, tickets to a local pantomime, clothes, numerous toys, and a whiteboard easel and pens

DS received: A dressing gown (he now has 3), a cardigan, a set of bath toys and a hat/scarf set from Matalan.

That was it.

Now - on one level I am fuming, as I think this was grossly unfair, but my head is telling me not to get drawn in, and to understand that we do not have the right to expect presents, and should be happy with whatever we get. DS is only 16 months old - he doesn't know the difference. YET
But next year, and all the following years, this can't be allowed can it? He can't be ostracised like this. So, do I say something, or do I just remove him in the future from this potentially toxic environment where, when he is older, he will see the comparison for himself? Or do I do both? Because right now, I just want to tell them what shit grandparents this has made them.

It's NOT the presents. i wouldn't waste anger over that, if it hadn't been for the utter favouritism shown to DN.

Sorry for rant. what shall I do?

RoadCraftGuru Mon 27-Dec-10 20:24:59

I'm probably giving your ILs too much credit here but it is just possible that younger children just don't need as many presents.

My DD (4) had masses more presents from everyone including us (and Santa) than DS (6m).

If you can possibly hold off another year then see how it goes you have the dual advantage of your ILs having had another year to bond with DS and also he will be much more of an age where "bigger" presents are easier to buy eg first trike etc

Congrats on DS btw. I hope you otherwise had a lovely 1st Christmas smile

AnnOnimous Mon 27-Dec-10 20:26:06

argh, typed a big answer and it vanished.

I think it could just be an age thing, and they think he is too young to get much more.

It may well improve as he gets older.

It does sound as if they are trying to welcome him, but are struggling a little to find it coming naturally. I think it is too early to label it a toxic relationship.

What does DH have to say about it all?

One thing is for certain, this is your son, and your family want to find a solution which works for you all, so that your son and your inlaws have the joy of a relationship with each other.

cinpin Mon 27-Dec-10 20:26:31

Imagine in couple of years time when your DS starts noticing that is really awful.

Tell her next year you will not go to the family lunch as your DS will notice that his cousins get so much more and it is unfair . Cant your DH have a word?

soppypreggyloon Mon 27-Dec-10 20:28:27

See what happens.

They may well get him similar stuff when he's a similar age. After all a 3yo gets the whole Christmas thing but at 16mo it's totally different.

Can you remember what they did for dn when she was similar age?

I don't think one Christmas is enough reason to read the riot act- however ifthey continue then it totally is!

AppleAndBlackberry Mon 27-Dec-10 20:28:51

Are you totally sure it's favouritism and not just to do with the difference in ages?

If so then I would not go over on the same day as DN's family next year and just politely explain that you understand that it's their money but that he's old enough to notice now so you would rather he had his presents separately.

sparkle12mar08 Mon 27-Dec-10 20:29:11

Your dh needs to stand up to his parents and confront them about their behaviour. But you both have to be prepared for them to turn round and say that they don't see your lovely son as part of their family.

I would try and speak to them about their views on your ds in general. Keep it separate from Christmas and presents, but ask them how they're feeling about him, and explain to them very honestly how it makes your and dh feel, and how close you are to cutting them off if they can't/wont accept ds. Could your dh do that though, cut them off? Because it has to be a credible threat otherwise it's nothing.

LoopyLoopsOfSparklyFairyLights Mon 27-Dec-10 20:29:50

You, or ideally DH, need to speak to them.

bibbitybobbitysantahat Mon 27-Dec-10 20:30:44

Are you quite sure it is to do with favouritism towards their dgd, rather than the fact that a 16 month old is a whole lot less knowing about Christmas and has a way smaller wish list?

sterrryerryoh Mon 27-Dec-10 20:30:53

Sorry - there is a bit of history here, with in-laws, and it's difficult to get it across. DN has ALWAYS had huge amounts of presents from them. On her first Christmas, when she was 1 month old, she had £500 put into a savings account for her (I'd forgotten that when I wrote the original post) and last Christmas, she was just 2 (we had just found out about DS) and she got a swing, slide and tent from them. I remember my SIL saying to me "Just wait until DS is here - PIL are SO generous)
DH has had a word in the past about their indifference towards our DS, and they deny it.

Perhaps my experiences in the past with them are clouding this issue, and those of you who have said to wait a while are right, and I am being a bit sensitive.

dinkystinky Mon 27-Dec-10 20:32:20

OP - I think I remember previous threads of yours and know that there is a backstory to this. Rise above it. If your DH felt the same way, perhaps he could find a tactful way to point out to them that as DS is getting bigger he's going to notice if they treat him and their other grandchildren differently. I hope that despite this you had a wonderful christmas with your lovely DS.

sterrryerryoh Mon 27-Dec-10 20:36:57

sparkle - thanks for your post - we have tried to talk to them in the past, but they are so closed about the adoption, it's bizarre. They treat it like it's something Not To Be Spoken About, and have categorically denied that they are struggling with it - it's hard to offer support when they rally so hard against it.

DH is getting close to cutting them off entirely, and although i am really unhappy with how things are panning out, I don't want that for DH or for DS - I just want to be able to tackle things sensitiviely, and see if we can get through this. That's why I don't know how much value there is in saying something, or just tactfully withdrawing from future incidents where a comparison can be drawn...

sterrryerryoh Mon 27-Dec-10 20:37:20

Thanks dinky

RoadCraftGuru Mon 27-Dec-10 20:38:29

I think you have every reason to be a bit sensitive. And very possibly you may be, sadly, proved right in the long term (and you can come back and tell us all that wink)

There have certainly been a few posts here over Christmas about GPs favouring certain DC over others and the adoption adds another layer of complexity to the relationship. For example, my mother always says that my GPs favoured me (1st born) over my brothers. In our situation (same family) my mother was able to control it to a certain extent, eg when much older, "no, you can't give your old car to RoadCraft as you won't be able to do the same for RoadCraftBrother. It will be for both of them". You won't have the same advantage in years to come but you also have many years to address this with them/your DH too.

And, as I said above, they have more time to get to love your DS too and that may also resolve things. But this does also depend in my (very unqualified!) opinion on you being able to build that relationship, not potentially spoil it by making a big deal of things that may resolve themselves otherwise.

sterrryerryoh Mon 27-Dec-10 20:45:07

Thanks RCG, good advice. I think that's how I'm thinking deep down - that although there may be problems in the future, I would make them worse by compounding them now with complaints of an intrinsically petty nature.
AGH - am just protective of him, and am angry that his grandparents are a problem and not a solution!

cupcakebakerer Mon 27-Dec-10 20:45:33

I have only read op's post and I think that is absolutely appalling behaviour from the so-called gps. I would be absolutely livid.

RoadCraftGuru Mon 27-Dec-10 20:47:50

X-posted with back story. And yes, the £500 is pretty bloody blatant. But your DS need never know about that.

Ranting here is definitely the short term solution.

Or even better, tell us about the good bits of your first "family" Christmas smile

SantaMousePink Mon 27-Dec-10 20:48:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BigHairyGruffalo Mon 27-Dec-10 20:51:34

You say he received a dressing gown and he now has three, but presumably they didn't know that?

sterrryerryoh Mon 27-Dec-10 20:52:56

Thank you for all the lovely "1st Christmas" messages. it has been completely amazing, and he's such a lovely age for our first family Christmas.
The in-laws gave us £50 for him for his 1st birthday, which was v generous, but they didn't come to his party. I have no idea what they got for DN - and like RCG said, presents that he doesn't know about won't affect him. it's when there's a ceremonial opening of the presents... "Come on Sterry Jnr and DN, lets sit and open presents" and there is a massive disparity.

They are definitely the ones missing out though. And I shall use this next year to take stock and see if the relationship improves. But they have had a year to bond with him, and we have really tried.

definitely am not going to say anything, but will monitor like a hawk ready with an answer for next year if things don't improve

MerrilyDefective Mon 27-Dec-10 20:53:09

Awful,awful,awful.
He's your DS and their GS.
All Grandchildren/children should be treated equally,i'm not saying they should get exactly the same,but just because he's adopted doesn't make him any different.

ILS always favoured our DD and DS's always got short changed by comparison.

sterrryerryoh Mon 27-Dec-10 20:54:47

Gruffalo - PIl live a few minutes walk from us, and we have taken him round a few times over the last few months, and he has been wearing his snazzy dressing gown on a few of those occasions. No, they didn't KNOW, but they don't know him very well, or ask us what he might want.
although I can see how that might make me look a bit ungrateful, and I'm trying really hard not to be
smile

SantaMousePink Mon 27-Dec-10 20:55:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JaxTellersOldLady Mon 27-Dec-10 20:55:55

OP arent you the one who was expected to sit through a family meal and be spoken to like a piece of shit? Have very personal remarks made and just take it? Didnt you walk out?

Sorry if I am confusing you with someone else.

I would leave it, it isnt worth getting all bent out of shape about. So long as you and DH and your lovely son had a good Christmas together, ignore the others. Clearly they are not worth the effort or anger on your part. Although they are all being rather rude.

sterrryerryoh Mon 27-Dec-10 20:59:38

That was me, Jax. That was about the adoption - DH's cousin asking us if DH was firing blanks, or if it was me who was barren. After totally ignoring talking about anything to do with our infertility for the last 6 years!

They really are very strange people - they have always been very close and welcoming to us, but it's like this issue is so far out of their comfort zones that they have to ignore it just to struggle through a conversation with us about it all.

smile

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