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To be upset that my sister told my baby to 'get lost'?

(64 Posts)
MetalLaLa Mon 21-Apr-14 10:40:03

Me, my DH and our nine month old DD live a good hour away from my side of the family, so we only visit around once a month with the occasional visit from them to our area. For Easter Sunday, my family invited us to lunch for the day, so we went and generally had a nice day, except for my sisters increasingly spiteful and odd behaviour to me and our DD. Our DD is going through a growth spurt and as such is having longer and more frequent naps in the day, and we decided to leave yesterday around 6.30 in order to get home at a reasonable time. My sister doesn't have any children of her own, and is always quite forceful with picking up my DD and then complaining at us if she starts to cry or doesn't want to play with her, which usually we just explain that it's what babies sometimes do etc. however, yesterday at one point she our DD started to REALLY go for it at one point when my sister was holding her as she was tired, my DH asked politely if she could hand her to him so he could go put her down, and she said 'no, she's MY baby, my baby' but she did relent when she saw that DD wouldn't stop crying until one of us had her (which did happen). My point is that just before we left, we were doing goodbyes and DD was getting goodbye kisses and quick cuddles from people, but when my sister held her, she started to cry, gave her back to me but then took her back, DD cried even harder and this led to my sister shouting, 'oh get lost then you weird little thing!'. I tried not to cry (as pathetic as that sounds) my parents, and my sisters DP just looked completely shocked at what she said with lots of 'you can't say that to a baby, that's horrible' but with no apology from my sister. Afterwards, I told my DH what had happened as he was putting things away in the car at the time and he told me he was glad he wasn't in the room at the time or things would have been said. Sorry for the long ramble, but was I right to feel (and still feel) upset at what my sister did and her possessive behaviour towards our DD? Should I say something to her to let her know she needs to apologise to us?

AwfulMaureen Mon 21-Apr-14 10:42:16

How old is your sister?

Nerf Mon 21-Apr-14 10:42:25

She just sounds immature that's all. Frustrated that the baby doesn't respond how she wants.

AmberSweet Mon 21-Apr-14 10:46:16

Obviously your sister is old enough to know better if she has a dp I assume? That's a horrible thing to say to a baby and I don't blame you for being upset sad

I wonder if she's a very insecure person? Maybe she feels like she needs some sort of acceptance from your dd or something? It's all very odd!

Hulababy Mon 21-Apr-14 10:46:22

How old is the sister?
Is she normally like this towards people?
Is she young enough for it to be jealousy related?

Mind you, even a teen or preteen should know better tbh. My 12y would know not to.

Hulababy Mon 21-Apr-14 10:46:52

Ah - just seen about her having a DP. She definitely can't blame age.

MetalLaLa Mon 21-Apr-14 10:47:21

My sister is 28. Not to drip feed but she has constantly stated in the past that I've done things 'before' her that should have been her first, like getting married and having a child but always says she's not jealous of me in those respects.

MetalLaLa Mon 21-Apr-14 10:48:35

Oh and to add I'm a few years younger than her (mid twenties)

Shockers Mon 21-Apr-14 10:48:38

Sounds like some gentle assisted relationship building is needed. Your sis doesn't know how to behave around babies and this is damaging her future relationship with her niece.

Cornettoninja Mon 21-Apr-14 10:56:22

It does sound like her brain to mouth filter isn't working.

Being generous I would conclude that she's just massively uncomfortable around children that are beyond her capabilities of comforting. Hand on heart any crying baby in my arms gets handed straight back to the parents smile, it can be hard to not think you've done something horribly wrong. If you're not used to little ones your instinct only registers crying with upsetting someone so it can be hard to adjust it for babies when you're not around them much.

But the defensiveness and aggression is odd. Only you know if it's part of a bigger picture with her general personality and whether you can write it off as a major foot in mouth panic moment.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 21-Apr-14 10:58:03

She sounds awful, quite immature. If baby wasent responding to her a quick hand back to her mum and dad is all tat was needed, I knew tat at 15, 28 year old most certainly should!

Thattimeofyearagain Mon 21-Apr-14 11:02:33

She sounds unhinged & I'm glad the other adults pulled her up on it.

IsChippyMintonExDirectory Mon 21-Apr-14 11:10:50

I don't think she sounds nasty, just insecure, I imagine she expected her niece to adore her and when she doesn't she gets frustrated. Maybe she's upset because you live so far away now too and the precious time she has with you is short. When your DD is older and gets over the crying phase she will grow to love her Aunty, she just has unrealistic expectations of a 9 month old. I feel sorry for her, I don't think you should mention it there's no need - unless she does it again!

BlondePieceOffFluff Mon 21-Apr-14 11:12:09

She sounds like she is insecure and is feeling quite helpless around your baby. Unless you are very used to babies you can feel quite useless holding a crying baby that will not be comforted by you and this naturally escalates as the baby picks up on you being uncomfortable. You being the younger sibling "having it all" while she can't even be a "proper aunty able to comfort her darling niece" might add to it.

Still she should not speak to your child like that and she should be told so. No reason for you to feel hurt though, as she is probably hurting herself more than anyone else.

sarinka Mon 21-Apr-14 11:22:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

springsummerautumnpresents Mon 21-Apr-14 11:27:29

Your sister sounds nuts!!! Do not let her go near your DD again!

wonderingsoul Mon 21-Apr-14 11:35:02

SPRING Thats a little harsh dont you think>?

i would say that she want to be the favourite aunty and have a good relationship with your dd, but living far away means she cant have that.

the "my baby my baby" things sounds like that, and in a werid way she is saying how much she loves her.

the last thing.. whilst its not a nice thing to say and glad it was brought up i would take as she was trying to make a joke to cover her hurt feelings.

trufflesnout Mon 21-Apr-14 11:37:05

She just sounds awkward. Maybe you could try encouraging her & your DD when you're around, rather than just leaving someone to get on with it and expecting them to know how to interact. I don't think she does sound nasty - babies are weird and she was probably (irrationally) hurt that she just gets cried at by her niece.

MetalLaLa Mon 21-Apr-14 11:46:34

Thanks for the replies. Me and my sister have never had a proper sisterly relationship, always felt picked on by her and it's taken my family a while to realise that I'm an adult with a family and life of my own now. They can be quite controlling over me and has caused several big arguments in the past few years so this sort of incident doesn't surprise me, but I think I reacted more strongly as it involved my own child and I wanted to protect her. My sister in particular struggles to accept sometimes that she is a good aunt to my DD, but her crying or wanting someone me or DH doesn't mean she hates her. Sorry for drip feeding again but perhaps if and when she has a child of her own she will understand, as I certainly didn't grasp it fully as an Aunty myself pre-DD.

I read it slightly differently. I think your sister was trying to compete and out parent you so she could show she was better with your DD than you. I think she got pissed off when she couldn't do it as well as you.

I think it was a jealousy thing.

DontLookNowTheresABearBehind Mon 21-Apr-14 12:37:21

I am not at all happy about your sister's behaviour! I'm outraged on your behalf. I hope you are angry with her. Her behaviour is entirely unacceptable.

She has no right to hold your baby longer than the baby or you or your dh wish. She should not be unpleasant to the baby.

I do find myself wondering if your sister has additional needs, something greater than just being insecure or wanting to be better at 'parenting' than you are. Even if this is the case, you should not pander to her. Your priority is to care for your baby, not to care for your [excuse me, but 'brattish'] sister!

You are lucky to live so far from her. Do talk it over with your dh and have a plan of action for dealing with the sister and any other ridiculous relatives before you visit again.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 21-Apr-14 12:53:41

I agree Chaz, I think it's plain jealousy, you said in your op she was a bit hmm that you did everything before her (get married, have children). She told you she wasn't jealous, but I think she is and was trying to show you up, but backfired when dd woulden't settle for her.

MissMysticFalls Mon 21-Apr-14 13:14:04

YANBU to be upset. What a silly thing to say to a baby in front of her mother!
Are you the kind of family where it's "traditional" to be rude about/tease each other? Although it's a different kettle of fish to say it to the children.

I would guess she is feeling insecure - her little sister is changing in becoming a Mum and that might be a bit intimidating and most families hate change - she's taking her niece's reaction personally and she's lashing out rather than being aware of what's going on for her.

I'm finding it helpful these days to treat adults like toddlers and not take their behaviour at face value or take it personally.

I think the fact others showed their disapproval means you don't need to do anything.

And if she's rude to your DD again don't be afraid to stand up for her. But if you want DD and your sister to have a good relationship it might be worth having her visit alone - where she won't have to feel embarassed if DD cries again - it just occurred to me that she might feel "shown up" in front of the rest of your family.

Family can be so tricky!

BackforGood Mon 21-Apr-14 13:25:20

I have to admit, on reading the op, I assumed your sister was about 12, and was just going to say that it's difficult at that age as you want to have lots of love and cuddles with a gurgling, giggling baby and take it personally that they don't seem to like you if they cry instead.

Not sure what the excuse is with someone of 28 though.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Mon 21-Apr-14 13:36:18

I agree with Chaz too.

Your sis said, "Shes MY baby", which could be a big hint there, shes obviously annoyed that your DD doesnt seem to like her much. I think your DD doesnt get a good vibe from her.

My DN doesnt seem to like me very much, hes autistic and I treat him the same as my DNiece. He has his moments with me, so I dont take it personally.

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