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To have left my dad's wedding without saying goodbye to him?

(123 Posts)
stopthebusiwanttogetoff Sun 01-Sep-13 22:17:50

My dad got married yesterday. My sister and I both went to support him, with our children. Total 20 guests. We both made an effort despite rarely seeing him, following an acrimonious (sp!) divorce from our mother when we were teenagers, and him still being with (one of) the woman he left her for.
Anyway, our kids were asked to bring up our wedding presents after the lunch (it was an 11-3 dry wedding).
My son (aged six) snatched the present we had brought from his sister (aged 4) resulting in it dropping on the floor. He immediately started crying, such is his response whenever he knows he has done wrong/ has to do something he doesn't want to (e.g homework). Also he was tired from an early start and long drive.
My dad asked if it could have broken, I said yes. There was a hushed silence (ugh) as he opened it, and yes it was broken. My son continued to cry and walked to me. I told him to leave the room and I would speak to him in a minute, that I was very cross with him.
My dad followed him from the room, and so I did too. (My dad hasn't seen him since last year - dad's choice not mine). My dad told me that my behaviour, in sending my son out of the room, was worse than my son's accidental breakage.
I felt this was grossly unfair as my dad doesn't know my son, hadn't actually acknowledged the gift, and had made me look very bad in front of his guests (who I don't know - his OW's family).
I hated walking back into the room to everyone looking at me, and my dad going to his now wife and speaking to her, then calling my son over and reassuring him that all was fine and not to worry. When my son returned to me (by choice! not summoned!) my dad walked over and told me that this was his day and I wasn't to upset my son again.
I went out and spoke to my sister, who reassured me that she'd have gone mental had her kids done that. I went in and thanked his wife and congratulated her and said goodbyes to a few people I'd been introduced to, I did not approach him, nor him me.
Was I out of order? Was he? He never sees my kid, I wasn't going to beat him ffs I was upset he'd broken the f'ing present! And that my dad didn't acknowledge said gift! I would have replaced it if it had been acknowledged, and if I hadn't been made to feel like a shit parent. My dad, fwiw, barely raised me thanks to his affairs, and when he did was critical and unpleasant. Yet still, the people pleaser set inside me, seeks his approval.
AIBU, and what do I do now? So sorry for the mammoth post.

stopthebusiwanttogetoff Sun 01-Sep-13 23:09:37

No you haven't, I appreciate all the answers I've had - I'm just dwelling on the incident and wondering what to do re contacting my bloody father.

EldritchCleavage Sun 01-Sep-13 23:10:06

If your father makes you feel that bad that regularly, then think carefully about how much you want to expose yourself to that. The relationship has to work for both of you, not just him.

Mitzyme Sun 01-Sep-13 23:10:19

You are definitely being unreasonable since you asked.
Your 6yr old little boy dropped the present. He was probably excited and your reaction compounded that. Sort out your issues with your father and don't take it out on your little boy.

SomewhereBeyondTheSea Sun 01-Sep-13 23:16:22

Your father was undermining your parenting. He sounds an unpleasant control freak. Do you actually get any enjoyment from your contact with him, or do you continue with it because you feel obliged?
Eldritch sounds spot-on. Think about what she's said.

stopthebusiwanttogetoff Sun 01-Sep-13 23:17:25

Fair enough Mitzyme, do you think I should have done anything to make sure he understood snatching/breaking the present was unacceptable, or just have ignored the incident and comforted him? Fwiw, it cost about £50, and I wasn't thrilled about it, but do obviously feel it was handled badly.

SquidgyMummy Sun 01-Sep-13 23:17:51

what mitzyme said
you didn't need to send your son out of the room; it was an accident and you were way too heavy handed with him.
Your dad was right in saying the accidental breakaage was not as bad as sending him out of the room.

However, bigger picture, you had bad parenting from your father and now you are trying to justify what you did.

I think you need to apologise to your son for shaming him, and explain that you were flustered because it was your dad's wedding.

Whereisegg Sun 01-Sep-13 23:18:03

What Eldritch said.

Your relationship with your dad, doesn't have to be your children's relationship with their grandad.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Sun 01-Sep-13 23:20:35

He dropped it because he snatched it Mitzy, which warrants being told off in my view! I imagine op perhaps compounded the situation because of her understandable stress.

Your Dad, Imo, has not earned the right either to parent you or have any say whatsoever in how you discipline your son. He has opted out of both of those roles. I would leave him to build the bridges, and concentrate on your lovely children. If your Dad doesn't put the effort in, then it's his loss.

SquidgyMummy Sun 01-Sep-13 23:21:18

Also, why would your Dad really thank you for a broken present in that scenario. He obviously has issues too, but neither of the adults here handled themselves that well, but to be honest i think your Dad was more concerned that your son was not unduly upset. (Which i think is a good thing.)

You wanted to please your Dad (but that is all about your unresolved issues with him.)

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Sun 01-Sep-13 23:23:16

How is snatching and breaking a fifty quid present not a telling-off offence for a 6 year old!? Am beginning to feel a bit sorry for my dcs, as they would definitely have felt the sharp end of my tongue if they'd done that!

stopthebusiwanttogetoff Sun 01-Sep-13 23:26:27

Squidgy - I think if I had been in my dad's position I would have commented on the thoughtful gift and said not to worry to both my son and I. Instead I was the baddy, my son was innocent, and the present irrelevant. I'm on here because half of me agrees with mynameisnot (thank you!!!!) and half of me agrees with you. And thank you so much to egg and eldritch!

Whereisegg Sun 01-Sep-13 23:27:29

I wasn't suggesting that snatching and breaking a present wasn't worthy of a telling off, just that a nervous and excited child who, upon seeing what he has done bursts into tears, could probably have benefited from a quiet word away from all the strangers once he had calmed down, rather than ordering out in front of an audience, with a more serious chat at home.

SquidgyMummy Sun 01-Sep-13 23:29:05

How is snatching and breaking a fifty quid present not a telling-off offence for a 6 year old!?

the context: (from the OP)
He immediately started crying, such is his response whenever he knows he has done wrong/ has to do something he doesn't want to (e.g homework). Also he was tired from an early start and long drive.

The 6 yo acted thoughtlessly because he & his sister were asked to bring up the present and he wanted to be the one to give it to his grandad.

Whereisegg Sun 01-Sep-13 23:30:45

Perhaps your dad viewed this wedding as a new start for all of you, he may have been just as nervous as you, he may be sitting at home wondering why on earth he felt the need to get involved with your decision.

You won't know unless you talk to him.

His answers will let you know if you want to remain in contact or not.

SquidgyMummy Sun 01-Sep-13 23:36:12

OP, I don't mean to have a go at you, but because you (understandably) have a difficult relationship with your Dad, it appears you want everything he does to be wrong, but my opinion is that he actually did right by your son.

The wanting your present acknowledged sounds like the people pleasing part of you needing to be satisfied.

Your poor 6 year old son made a mistake, He shouldn't have snatched, but he didn't deliberately smash the gift to the ground.

wherisegg approach would have been best, but it is hard to think straight when emotions are running high. just make sure your son understands that snatching was wrong, but you were also wrong to shame him.

SquidgyMummy Sun 01-Sep-13 23:38:02

Also, I would write your Dad a letter.
Run it by the wisdom of Mumsnet if you are unsure. So often the wrong things can be said if not thought through

stopthebusiwanttogetoff Sun 01-Sep-13 23:38:07

I don't want to remain in contact, but that's because I don't much like him, the way he tries to control/talk down/embarrass me, or who he is.

However, he is my dad and the kid's grandad, and up until the present got snatched/broken, the day had been ok (bar the enormously inappropriate section of the sermon where the registrar went on about the two of them falling in love the first time they met, and detailing it, offensive to my sis and I given he was married to our mother and having an affair with someone else at the time). So I was probably pretty stressed, and handled it badly. A cuddle and a proper talk with my ds later would have been more appropriate. We did chat about it after and he was cool about it. He's a lovely kid.

So now I have to contact the twunt and be nice. Frankly it never needs to be mentioned again as we don't discuss things other than the weather...

I feel better for discussing it though, so much appreciated all who have replied.

Mitzyme Sun 01-Sep-13 23:38:23

My response was an instinctive ( protective ) one to your little boy. I didn't mean to sound harsh towards you. You have clearly not had the loving parenting from your father that you should have. Learn from that and like me don't repeat our parents mistakes.

SquidgyMummy Sun 01-Sep-13 23:42:12

Well you are not obliged to contact him unless your DCs want to see him and you are ok wth that.

Just glad your DS is ok. smile

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sun 01-Sep-13 23:45:18

I don't see why you do have to contact him and be nice. Or to have any conversations with him at all, given that he tries to control you and put you down.

If you really feel you must, send him a card saying something like

'Dear dad, congratulations on your marriage and I hope you had a lovely wedding day. I know the present-giving moment didn't quite go to plan but DS and I are cool about that now so hope you are too. All the best, fu'

Then just leave it. Don't contact him, get on with your life.

Whereisegg Sun 01-Sep-13 23:46:38

You definitely do not have to contact him, actually.

He clearly stresses you out and is thoughtless (the dell in love at first sight bit is terribly unthinking of him!)

If he wants you or the children in his life, he will let you know and you can respond accordingly.

Whereisegg Sun 01-Sep-13 23:47:20


Viviennemary Sun 01-Sep-13 23:50:27

It was really unfortunate that the present broke but it did. But that's not the main reason for all this is it. You just have a difficult relationship with your Dad. So there's no point in dwelling on this one incident. I agree you have to move forward now and put this behind you and not to be still talking about the broken present and the upset it caused in five years time. Best forgotten IMHO.

volvocowgirl Sun 01-Sep-13 23:55:57

No you weren't unreasonable. I think you should just remove him from your life seeing as he makes you feel so bad. I also think you didn't overreact to your son from your description, but that it's probably one of those things where you had to be there to judge it fully. But you're doing he right thing by checking your son is okay about what happened. Please stop giving this man too much thought, he doesn't feel the need to be a good father to you, so why should he be able to judge your parenting.

Bogeyface Mon 02-Sep-13 00:07:23

I don't know whether I should phone and pretend it never happened (almost certainly what he'd choose), or write a letter asking to be excused from his life!

Nope, you do neither.

You either a) dont answer his calls at all and make it clear you are no longer having contact or b) write him a letter that tells him (not asks, tells) that you no longer wish to have any contact with him. If it would help, include your feelings about him putting his heart into his affairs instead of his children and about his utter selfishness over your wedding. If you are going NC you might as well get all your feelings out there.

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