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Was I unreasonable r.e dd's birthday present?

(100 Posts)
babybearsmummy Sat 13-Jul-13 12:24:15

It was my little girl's first birthday on Wednesday. Apart from the presents from dp and I, my brother and dd's parents, she didn't even get a card from anyone else.

So dp's parents phoned dd's great grandad to remind him and he reluctantly sent a card. He also visited dp's parents on the Tuesday and was dragged round to ours to say happy birthday. He stayed for all of about 5 mins and was miserable, ignored dd etc. So he left and I let it slip as he's a misery anyway!

Dp's parents visited dd's great nanny yesterday and asked if she'd sent a card or called us to pop over to hers for a bit (she lives a five min walk down the road) and she screamed at them that she's has 'no time to' (I'd just like to add here that she had just been into town to go shopping for gifts and cards for a grand daughter's christening, also that she's not very old- early 60s before there's any accusations of granny bashing and having a go at an old woman, she is a very spring chicken!) Anyway!.... She then proceeded to snatch up a blank card from a drawer and scribble happy birthday on it and grabbed something she'd knitted and shoved it into a bag.

So when dp's parents came over and explained and went to hand me the bag, I just lost it and burst into tears. I don't have any contact with any of my family and haven't done for a long time due to them 'siding' with my abusive ex when we broke up, but I still talk to my brother as he has always been supportive. So I have been completely gutted by the fact that dp's family, who all live very close, just will not give dd their time of day. She's the only great grandchild on their side and dp's parents are absolutely fuming too.

So I sent the card and 'gift' back via dp's parents and given them a message to pass on to everyone who's not bothered with dd that if it's too much hassle to acknowledge her, then don't bother!

Was I unreasonable? Or am I being PFB? I don't want people to be held under duress with regards to contact etc, so would I also be unreasonable to cut what little contact is there with the extended family?

Jan49 Sat 13-Jul-13 14:25:52

Babybearsmummy, they can still be involved and interested in your dd, just not necessarily remembering her 1st birthday or showing a lot of interest in her when she's a baby. Plus, these are her great grandparents who aren't showing much interest. She has grandparents who appear to be involved and interested so is it such a big deal if the great grandparents are a bit grumpy and disinterested?

Jan (I must be a complete failure as I can't drive, have never lived in Surrey and didn't have any great grandparents still living when I was born).

MadameDefarge Sat 13-Jul-13 14:32:38

The thing is with babies, is that they are pretty boring to everyone else. Its only thier parents that find them fascinating and worthy of every accolade possible. What counts is their ongoing relationship with family.

I adore my niece and nephew. Certainly didn't adore them when they were newborn, just thought they were cute and squishy!

But now I know them as little people, I love them for themselves. I can only build that relationship with them because my sister has always welcomed interest in them, and been prepared to allow our relationships to develop over the years.

You need to take a long term view of this.

MadameDefarge Sat 13-Jul-13 14:36:04

And just for a light-hearted pedantry moment, Jan, it is uninterested, rather that disinterested. Uninterested means you well, aren't interested, disinterested means you are impartial.

MadameDefarge Sat 13-Jul-13 14:44:22

when ds was born, he had three GGPs. We made the effort, took ds to see the maternal GPs, and it was lovely. Can't actually remember if they did cards or not. I think not. Wasn't the point. They lived on the other side of london and we would schlep on public transport on a Sunday to visit. it was lovely. Sadly they both died several years ago.

Other GGP lived, with paternal GPs, over the pond. We took ds to visit when he was six months. Lovely. Though hard for us. Ex-P has taken ds for several summers to visit them. GGP over the pond is still alive, though with alzheimers. I am always grateful that DS has had that opportunity to have relationships with them. My own parents are not in our lives, very sadly, and I feel so grateful ExPs parents and family have been as involved in DSs life as they can. And love him for himself.

brilliantwhite Sat 13-Jul-13 14:50:54

how do you know great grandad `reluctantly` sent a card or if great nan `snatched`up a card and `shoved` something in a bag, seems like you are using these words to add drama , cutting contact is a bit extreme.

Jan49 Sat 13-Jul-13 14:52:10

MadameDefarge, I disagree. Disinterested has 2 meanings. I've looked it up in OED and Collins and they both give 2 meanings, that is, impartial or just having no interest in something. smile

ExcuseTypos Sat 13-Jul-13 14:56:55

I can understand why you are upset.

How about next year, inviting them all round for a birthday tea party for dd? If they come they will bring a card etc. If they can't be arsed then just don't bother about them. It's not worth you getting upset.

MadameDefarge Sat 13-Jul-13 14:57:19

well, yes, but the essence of the meaning is to have no interest either way. Interest in this sense means some kind of investment.

MadameDefarge Sat 13-Jul-13 14:57:38


mynameisslimshady Sat 13-Jul-13 15:05:06

'Wrapped up in her grandchild' hmm generally people will be more 'wrapped up' in their grandchildren than their great grandchildren though. I'm sure your ILs won't be as doting when your child has a baby as they are now with your dd.

You need to stand back, take a long hard look at the situation and realise you are putting your issues onto your in laws. You can't expect them to dote on your dd more because you have no contact with your family. They can't be there to make up for your families lack of interest.

If you were in touch with your family I guarantee this wouldn't have bothered you one tiny bit,

Boosterseat Sat 13-Jul-13 15:43:04

Bloody hell shock

You all sound a bit highly strung.

Your DP parents may have been shit stirring playing up the reaction of GGP. It all sounds very overdramatic and returning the gift was rude.

Party next year sounds like a plan and if they don't come they are missing out.

MadameDefarge Sat 13-Jul-13 16:00:15

I agree with booster, however I think if you left contact until an invitation next year, you are on a hiding to nothing. Who would want to turn up to a party under those circumstances

Be the bigger person, if that's how you view it. Swallow your pride and make friends again. Put it down to a misunderstanding and get on with your life.

Turniptwirl Sat 13-Jul-13 18:26:10

Yabu and pfb

She's one. She doesn't know or care.

greenfolder Sat 13-Jul-13 20:52:32

Your little one has a mum and dad, uncle and grandparents who love her. That's more than most. Value what you have.

pictish Sat 13-Jul-13 21:08:22

Oooohhh dear - cutting contact over non appearance of birthday cards for a one year old who can't even read them....
Someone needs or two in reality humility.

pictish Sat 13-Jul-13 21:08:55

Sorry - someone needs a lesson or two...

MadameDefarge Sat 13-Jul-13 21:15:57

So, OP, what do you reckon now?

Devora Sat 13-Jul-13 22:17:45

OP, you nerd to grow a thicker skin before the arrival of your next child because, trust me, they get nothing like the fuss enjoyed by the first. When I had dd 1 I gas to dispose of bags of toys and clothes we couldnt possibly use up. When I adopted dd 2 I dont think se got one card. Fortunately I was by then too knackered to care.

Incidentally my nan was a mum at 17, a gran at 38 and a Gg at 57. I have 20 aunts and uncles on my maternal side - we rain kids in my family. Which night be why they are sometimes ignored.

PresidentServalan Sun 14-Jul-13 12:52:44

YABU, PFB and grabby. You can't try to force people to do the present/card giving and then complain when they don't do it with good grace.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 14-Jul-13 13:29:35

You are being ridiculous.

It's not your DPs family's fault that your family aren't involved, and I find it strange that you think people should be queuing up to spend time with your baby. Delightful as I'm sure she is, she just won't hold the same attraction for other people that she does for you.

Even if she did, grandparents and great grandparents can't do anything right as if they show too much interest they become demanding and controlling, and if they don't show enough interest then people like you still have a problem with it.

Your dd has loving parents, grandparents and an uncle. She is a lucky little girl.

You should apologise for sending the present back, and ask your DPs parents why they told you about the way it was given. That's just unnecessary shit stirring.

cory Sun 14-Jul-13 14:36:34

I got as far as the bit where your dh went round making sure that all sorts of other relations sent birthday cards to his daughter. And then my brain switched off. Grabby and rude. The rest wasn't much better though.

It doesn't matter what has gone in your past: you have a duty to to your baby to help her grow into the kind of person that people will want to be with because she is charming and caring and easygoing. You can only do this by modelling such behaviour and showing her what good manners look like. You have a duty to teach her to be resilient and gracious in the face of disappointment- because nobody likes somebody who can't muster a modicum of graciousness. And if you don't, then that will let her down far more than anyone not sending her a birthday card.

The birthday cards will all be binned long before her 18th birthday. The manners you showed her and the attitude you taught her will be with her for life.

diddl Sun 14-Jul-13 14:58:29

So she was remembered by her parents, uncle & GPs?

That sounds fine!

Don't push GGPs away because they forgot her bday!

Anniegetyourgun Sun 14-Jul-13 15:13:52

I forgot to give my own son a birthday card last year. I don't even remember whether I remembered to give him one the year before blush

I did remember his birthday this year, but he was away on holiday, so he missed out on a card again. Fortunately he realises that I have a memory like a sieve and am totally disorganised, but loves me anyway (or is good at faking it).

Total shock at the mere idea of touring all relatives to ensure they sent cards and presents! No wonder people weren't very gracious about it. A gift extorted is not a gift at all. A levy perhaps? A baby tax?

Weird stuff.

northlight Sun 14-Jul-13 16:33:59

OP, do you send birthday cards to these people on their birthdays? Do you give cards/presents to other children in the extended family?

formicadinosaur Sun 14-Jul-13 16:51:32

I think you have over reacted but then I know it must also hurt.

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