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to think that SIL should not take it upon herself to tell my son off

(283 Posts)
olympicsrock Fri 27-Dec-13 06:11:01

Another delightful thread about in laws at Christmas time. Yesterday we went to Bil(DH brother) and SILs house. DH and his brother have not been getting on we'll recently but we went because they wanted to play happy families for pil. I need a rant....
We have DS aged just 2 , bil and sil have DC aged 21 months with 'borderline' Developmental delay, walking at 19 months, poor dexterity, no words can't or doesn't use a cup. So as not to dripfeed, around 6 months ago the extended family were concerned about this child ( trying not to out myself by being too specific) but bil and Sil were reluctant to involve health professionals. SIL and I were never great friends in the past as v different but became friends when pregnant . SIL went to a lot a trouble cooking a special meal yesterday the full on Christmas dinner but was v controlling about the plans for the family get together. It irritates me that she never suggests toddler friendly plans (previously suggesting evening meals as her DC loves staying up til 10 pm as one example and then assuming that if we drove 90 mins around lunchtime that our DC would still go for a long afternoon nap while the adults ate. He sleeps in the car if you time it roughly with nap time. So I suggested driving over after lunch spending an afternoon playing with grandparents cousins etc and an early evening meal. I got a text on Christmas day saying that due to some relatives not coming evening meal was now late lunch and could we come earlier. This was despite several emails between me both Sils and MIL making plans. We went at the time arranged previously which was just before time food was being served.

DS was very good sitting in a high chair during the long meal and then played quite nicely with their DC imo. Their was a fair amount of MINE when playing with toys, he didn't want to share toys that he was already playing with. Of course the toys belonged to their DC but DS can't differentiate between the Lego at home and a cousins. Neither child was crying or tantrumming
I was saying things like share nicely but of course he didn't like seeing something he had just done being knocked over. Sil said several times. They are not your toys they are DN' s toys. Then they were very sweet sitting at a little table having a tea party, DS giving DN cups and pieces of cake etc. Then they each had a soft ball sitting at the table. DS loves pairs of things and we play snap. He was pushing his ball to the middle of the table towards DN's ball and saying 'snap' . When DN didn't respond he leaned over further and banged his ball against theirs two or 3 times. Sil said stop that it isn't nice and when I said he's trying to play snap she said 'he had a mean look on his face' . I said nothing but took the ball away and starting playing something else. There were other minor irritations such as SOL give giving DN a biscuit and not DS. He saw and said me wan bic bic. She ignored and then he said me bic bic in my mouth and she still ignored. In the past she has made comments about how boisterous DS is and it annoys me that the differences between the two children are made out to be that DS is anything other than an average 2 year old.

BohemianGirl Fri 27-Dec-13 06:21:19

None of that would even register on my radar. I'm firmly of the "it takes a village to bring a child up" mentality.

You took great pains to tell us all about 'borderline developmental delay' of your DN and you didnt intervene at any time when your child tried to interrupt his cousins play.

You don't like your SIL. You don't like the fact she isn't child centric. I think you look for perceived slights.

BohemianGirl Fri 27-Dec-13 06:22:57

"borderline developmental delay" - what is this? is it a real diagnosis? or another one of these self diagnosis things?

olympicsrock Fri 27-Dec-13 06:35:50

Thanks for that. I've tried to give the back story to be balanced including that I'm not that keen on Sil. Not self diagnosis ,it was the conclusion of the paediatrician. To be clear my DS was engrossed playing with the Lego and DN tried to knock it down or pick up the same pieces not the other way round. The toys did belong to DN though.

sashh Fri 27-Dec-13 06:38:00

No where in your post have you said what your SIL said to your ds. How can anyone say YABU or YANBU without the relevant information?

LindyHemming Fri 27-Dec-13 06:45:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ll31 Fri 27-Dec-13 06:48:22

Yabu,tho her comment wasn't nice,but think about her for a but too,she is probably desperately worried about dn and may slightly overreact to what she perceives as other kids not being fair to him.

shabbiegurl Fri 27-Dec-13 06:48:38

Off face value reading your post I'd be inclined to think your SIL is a quite a highly strung person IMO these people tend to take on much more than they can handle, are quite stressed, & frazzled, want to organise everything down to tiniest detail, & generally don't cope well when things don't go according to plan.
On top of that she must be feeling extremely sensitive about the obvious developmental differences between your child & hers & appears reading your post she's employed the defensive coping mechanism, especially if she feels people are judging her/comparing her child.

From what you wrote she wasn't really telling your child off imo but more cottonwooling her own child.

I wouldn't be getting upset over this one, celebrate the fact your own child appears to be meeting many of his developmental milestones & perhaps consider reaching out in the new year & rekindling that friendship (if her child has genuine developmental delays/learning disabilities it will be a long road ahead for this family & they will need lots of support & friendship along the way).

Btw I wouldn't have a problem with any host telling my children off if they were mis behaving in their home.

olympicsrock Fri 27-Dec-13 07:07:28

Ok maybe she didn't tell him off in a big way but I didn't like her saying he was being deliberately mean. I thought it was more mean for a host to give her own child a treat but not the visiting child.
Shabbie I'm sure you're right about the cottonwooling , I included the back story as I do understand that she is protective. FWIW I don't have a problem with children being told off if misbehaving, I'm quick to say something if visiting children jump on my sofa but this wasn't bad behaviour imo.

Moreisnnogedag Fri 27-Dec-13 07:09:36

I think you are over-reacting here. By the sounds of it she barely got involved. I would be irritated by a mom ignoring her child saying 'mine' all the time (apart from saying play nicely) especially if my child had developmental delay and I felt couldn't stand up for themselves.

With the biscuit thing, are you sure she knew exactly what he wanted? Whilst he may sound clear as day to you others may not understand.

I think this something over nothing, you didn't want to really be there and became irritated at every thing.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 27-Dec-13 07:10:56

I think you're projecting your opinion of your SiL onto her treatment of your child

Bakerof3pudsxx Fri 27-Dec-13 07:13:16

The biscuit thing would have made me angry

But I wouldn't have considered her to be telling your ds off. Sounds to be like she's a bit over protective but she is probably worried about her child and giving little thought to anything or anyone else

selsigfach Fri 27-Dec-13 07:16:38

You clearly think you were not being unreasonable and won't accept any criticism, so why bother posting?

TheGreatHunt Fri 27-Dec-13 07:19:35

You should step in if you don't like it. Eg if your ds asks for a biscuit, you get him one if the SIL doesn't etc.

She will be comparing your two children and will be feeling a bit crap, I'm sure. Take a step back and be the bigger person.
If she makes plans which are not suitable for your ds then make your excuses and explain why. She's made them suitable for her ds so she should understand <maybe>

DeepThought Fri 27-Dec-13 07:22:49

You ignored a plea to go over earlier and went at the originally arranged time? Did your husband mind looking like an inflexible ingrate?

And yes to letting it wash over you. You obv don't like SIL (not a crime, can't abide one of mine) and this colours your reaction.

ReticulatingSplines Fri 27-Dec-13 07:23:26

In a toddler situation I'm happy for whichever adult is nearest to deal with immediate discipline. I can't watch my toddler at all times so might miss something. I would also tell off toddlers I saw misbehaving.

BohemianGirl Fri 27-Dec-13 07:25:03

Your definition of 'boisterous' and mine will wildly differ. People have different tolerance levels. Even in toddlerdom a larger, marginally older child interfering with my child playing quietly would get short shift from me. You may think it's cute and endearing that your child is banging his ball in a game of snap but no one else knows that game apart from you and him - everyone else sees him banging his ball - and banging is an aggressive term to use.

The biscuit - I have a feeling that SIL wouldn't be able to do anything right - had she given a biscuit I'm guessing your thread would be entitled "SIL gave DS a biscuit without asking". Only SIL knows how prickly you may be with things - personally I would have given a biscuit to each child - but with the history and your admittance that you don't like her I'm guessing she wouldnt dare! All that sugar. Or starch. Or teeth. Or between meals. or Something Equally Annoying.

Out of curiosity, is she your brothers wife or your husbands sister?

BlackholesAndRevelations Fri 27-Dec-13 07:26:11

The biscuit thing was a bit mean but I'd have just asked her if my dc could have one.

Otherwise I agree that you need to let it go as she is clearly worried about her son and is comparing yours with hers. Have some compassion!

JeanSeberg Fri 27-Dec-13 07:26:18

SILs are the new MILs as objects of hate on MN aren't they.

NicknameIncomplete Fri 27-Dec-13 07:28:59


I tell my dn(5) off even when my dsis is there & she tells my dd(9) off if i am there. We are comfortable enough with each other to know that it is not done as a bad thing.

Maybe that is the problem because you dont like your SIL you think she is being mean & nasty.

Jinty64 Fri 27-Dec-13 07:39:20

SIL went to a lot a trouble cooking a special meal yesterday the full on Christmas dinner but was v controlling about the plans for the family get together.

I don't know what you mean by "very controlling" but she would have to have it pretty organised with this number of people to cater for.

I got a text on Christmas day saying that due to some relatives not coming evening meal was now late lunch and could we come earlier.

She had last minute cancellations and asked that you go a bit earlier but, to save yourselves any inconvenience you just went at the time you had planned arriving just in time for the meal.

I think your SIL would have been quite stressed producing a lovely meal for so many people (I wouldn't have done it) with people cancelling, others doing their own thing and still having her little dc to deal with.

She did not tell your ds off she just didn't like what he was doing and, perhaps, she didn't offer your dc a biscuit as she wasn't sure he was allowed one and thought you would say something if you wanted him to have one. After all you clearly heard him asking and didn't intervene.

I'm afraid YABU but you could always host next year. I'm sure SIL won't.

MrsDavidBowie Fri 27-Dec-13 07:44:06

You know, next year just don't go.
You didn't want to be there, you didn't enjoy it, you don't like your SIL.

Why do it?

CoolaSchmoola Fri 27-Dec-13 07:47:02

YABU and incredibly petty.

saintlyjimjams Fri 27-Dec-13 07:56:10

If her son has developmental delay it will be incredibly difficult for her to see other children of a similar age. Whether she's highly strung, completely chilled, selfish or mother Teresa - it doesn't matter - it will still be hard. It gets easier but not for years tbh - well depending on the progress your own child makes. I'd cut her some slack because of that tbh. She quite possibly cried after you went home. <just remembering back>

BalloonSlayer Fri 27-Dec-13 07:57:09

"walking at 19 months, poor dexterity, no words can't or doesn't use a cup." Blimey my DCs had all those things and no one in my family took it upon themselves to tell me to get them to a paediatrician, let alone the extended family. I can just imagine how devastated I would have felt if that had happened.

You do realise that "borderline developmental delay" also means "borderline developing completely normally" don't you?

And if your DNs dexterity is so poor, then people need to be particularly vigilant that the DC does not lose out to more dextrous children who snatch toys off them that they are not as able to hang on to, due to said lack of dexterity.

I think your SIL sounds extremely patient actually. She has obviously had 21 months of the whole extended family telling her that her DC is not as good as yours, and it sounds as if she has put up with it with fortitude. She made one very mild remonstrance to him and you storm off to AIBU. hmm

Oh and maybe she didn't give him a bic bic because he didn't say please? Would not have bothered me but some people are hot on that sort of thing from a very early age.

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