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My adoptive father is a twunt. AIBU to politely tell him why?

(77 Posts)
Nancery Mon 29-Dec-14 21:52:41

Sorry if this ends up long. I've written posts (not about this) before and tried to keep it short but managed to leave out important details in the process!

My mother remarried when I was 4 and her new husband adopted me. Then, they do divorced extremely acrimoniously - it became increasingly acrimonious, both were ridiculous about things to the expense of me and my sister, who was born when I was 6 - and we eventually lost contact with AD (adopted dad) when I was about 18. Can go into why if necessary but trying to keep things short!

Four yrs ago my sister makes contact with him and I subsequently, 18 months later, pop into their new house which is about 50 miles from where we live now. He has stopped drinking, and seems far mellower and me and DH start to see them semi regularly and enjoy our time together. He and his partner also helped us finish the renovations in our house as we had a very tight deadline due to the arrival of DS! He could be a brat - he once stomped off in a strop because my DH wasn't decorating the front room in the order he thought it should be done in, for example, but nothing too awful or hard to brush off.

However... We had travelled to their house the night before (they moved south about 18 months ago, so aren't semi local any more) as we were picking up a sofa they had going spare. My DS was 21months at the time and didn't get to bed that night till gone 9, so was shattered.

The next day my DH was working from their house - we had to go during the week as AD wanted the sofa picking up ASAP or it was 'going on EBay' - so my AD and his partner L decided we were having a trip out to a wildlife / duck place nearby. DS fell asleep in the car on the way there, and I said I wasn't going to wake him up because he was so tired, so AD and his partner went to the wildlife centre alone.
I thought they were going to go and have lunch or something but they clearly hadn't because then they came out 45 minutes later and insisted I woke up DS, and subsequently made a lot of noise so he did. In the cafe it took a while for DS to come round, and he was clingy and grumpy. AD was sat twitching and complaining that myself, and more so DS, were taking too long, in his opinion, to eat our lunch. As a consequence, he kept telling us to hurry up, grabbing food off the plates, waving stuff at DS going 'eat this, hurry up' but then eating it himself (so it had gone) and generally complaining that he didn't want to sit there a moment longer. He also kept winding DS up because he kept saying 'no' to everything (he was 2!) like 'do you want some sandwich?' 'Do you want some fruit?' Do you want some cake?' No! Haha, all he says is no! No, no, no!"It was like watching a hyperactive and spoilt child. So, eventually, I chucked a tiny bit of apple at him - I had just bitten it off - and and told him to 'give it a rest'. It hit AD in the eye, I'm guessing the socket not the ball as his eye didn't even water, the only injury, I suspect, was pride.
His partner then muttered that I needed to apologise for throwing it at him, which I didn't really do (I said 'sorry I hit you in the eye, I meant to hit you on the forehead instead') as, frankly, I wasn't the one behaving like a brat. I said they could go on ahead etc but I was not, or rather my DS was not, going to jump to his timetable - although I didn't say that, I just said the first part about going on ahead.

Thankfully, the rest of the day had no further 'incidents' although it was a bit like walking on eggshells, and we looked around the wildlife / duck place (they've been numerous times before) apart from at the end where they wanted to stay to watch the wildlife being fed but, as it was 4.30, I said I wanted to get DS home which was half an hour away. This was ignored so me and DS waited an hour in the gift shop so they could watch the birds being fed and listen to the keeper talk about them. This pissed me off but I said nothing.

We all left the subsequent day and it seemed relatively ok (although he did turn the hot water off so DH couldn't have a shower, and AD seemed to spend quite a lot of time at the bottom of the garden looking grumpy), and they waved us off quite jovially etc.

Week later, we sent a card saying thank you very much, and heard nothing. On DS's 2nd birthday, they sent a card but that was it. I suspect this was to provoke some kind of response, which I think is disgusting behaviour and I also didn't rise to the bait. I had had no contact at all for six months (I became reluctant to contact them as was pissed off re the lack of present, point making, re DS and I also don't think I've been that out of order.) I then got, surprisingly, £40 in a card for my 40th (Sept) which made me wonder if they had thawed out about everything (which any normal rational adult surely wouldn't create into such a big deal?) but then, at Christmas, I get an email from his partner saying that AD has sent some DVDs for DS.

Three cheap nursery rhymes DVDs turned up today. It's not the fact he hasn't spent much money, if he had spent the same amount of money on something very thoughtful, or relevant or something that DS would've wanted or needed I'd possibly be more be more touched than I would've been if it was something expensive, as expensive extravagant things are often easier to get right than smaller gifts. (BTW, they are not remotely short of cash) It's the fact that absolutely no thought or effort has gone in, and it was clearly ordered in response to them getting the box of chocolates we sent them at Christmas - sent as we thought we'd try and be the grown ups.

I absolutely refuse to have my DS used as a tool to 'make a point' and I also will NOT have him exposed to someone who is capable of using a child like this. I don't think you can want to play doting grandad whenever you feel like it and that's it. Also, I cannot fathom what else he decided to take such umbrage about, not that I think, considering, it's that terrible anyway, but surely it's about me not DS?

Am upset about this but, most of all, fucking angry.

There's a lot more I could add but this has probably gone on too long anyway - thanks for reading, it's been therapeutic to write!

Quangle Mon 29-Dec-14 22:01:10

I'm really not sure what the complaint is here. I might be reading it wrong but it sounds like you had a rubbish day out two years ago since when they've sent various cards and gifts.

Perhaps both parties are totally hacked off with the other side but trying to make an effort now and again. Hence your chocs and their DVD for your son. Not sure why your chocs at xmas were more thoughtful than their DVDs iyswim?

I'm sorry if I'm missing the point but on a quick read it sounds like some miscommunication and irritability but not much more.

QuinnTwinny Mon 29-Dec-14 22:08:17

All I'm reading here is you are annoyed they didn't spend enough on your son. They are clearly trying to act normal after a bad day out ages ago. YABU in your attitude, imo and saying anything to him will result in you looking selfish and ungrateful.

Quitelikely Mon 29-Dec-14 22:10:47

I don't think you can really tell him why. After all how can you complain about some DVDs for your son. It's the thought that counts.

You can't say 'oh you didn't put much thought into ds present' blah blah.

It all sounds a bit petty tbh. I think the pair of you need to grow up. Life is too short.........

saoirse31 Mon 29-Dec-14 22:13:37

agree with posters. They sound more reasonable than you. not sure what's wrong with nursery rhymes dad's.

PenelopePitstops Mon 29-Dec-14 22:14:29

If this is the worst of it then it's petty central. You both sound about 5. One of you needs to grow up a bit, how angry can you be over a dvd.

AnnieLobeseder Mon 29-Dec-14 22:15:15

Sorry, I am absolutely failing to see what you're so worked up about. Your AD had a bit of an off grumpy day and now both you and he are barely speaking, but still sending cards and gifts? What am I missing? What's wrong with nursery rhyme DVDs? In what way is he "using" your DS? This whole sage seems to be more in your head than grounded in reality.

greenfolder Mon 29-Dec-14 22:15:21

If the relationship is such that a day out can still be causing functions suggest that you leave it.

Icimoi Mon 29-Dec-14 22:17:40

I'm with Quangle, I don't understand what your point is. The incident two years ago was odd, but hey, it was two years ago. It's not particularly surprising if they only sent a card on your DS' next birthday given that you haven't had that much to do with the family, and I really don't see how sending a card is to be construed as trying to provoke a response. As you hadn't been in touch I take it you didn't send cards for their birthdays? Sending the money was nice, and if you only sent chocs for Christmas after that I can't see how you can claim that you're any better than they are when it comes to putting thought into presents. And I certainly can't see how sending your son DVDs amounts to using him. So what is it that you're so angry about?

WoodenGo Mon 29-Dec-14 22:18:41

You threw food at your AD but didn't really apologise as "frankly I wasn't the one behaving like a brat". You might want to think about that one, again.

Ikeameatballs Mon 29-Dec-14 22:19:59

I think the big difficulty is that actually the relationship you have with your adoptive father and his partner is not a typical family one and so there is huge scope for different expectations on each side. Also if I read your list correctly it seems that AD doesn't have much experience of being around young children.

I would decide what level of relationship/involvement you are hoping for as being sustainable in the long-term for you and your dc; it doesn't sound like a grandparent/grandchild dynamic. Pitch your expectations much lower and you might find things are a bit smoother.

CheeseBuster Mon 29-Dec-14 22:22:03

YABU to spit food at someone. Tbh you both sound hard work.

aprilanne Mon 29-Dec-14 22:22:21

sorry but you sound as childish as each other .he should not harrassed a small child eating lunch .you should not have flung the apple .you only sent chocs .so hardly big thought .he send dvd,s .both need to grow up .

DeWee Mon 29-Dec-14 22:23:27

I think you both need to be put in time out. Then told to apologise nicely and say thank you for the nice presents in a nice not sulky voice.

My dc loved any nurery rhyme CDs at that age.

SanityClause Mon 29-Dec-14 22:24:43

I think you were very PFB at the wildlife centre. Why could you not wake DS up to see the animals?

The apple throwing was childish, and your non-apology was rude.

I don't really understand what is so bad about some nursery rhyme CDs for a 2yo. Seems a nice enough present to me. I'm not sure why you wouldn't deem it a thoughtful gift.

I understand you have had a difficult history with his man. Perhaps some counselling sessions might help you deal with your issues, and you can decide how much contact you would like in the future.

Nancery Mon 29-Dec-14 22:26:44

Thanks for responses - I have clearly omitted too many details!

We had been in touch weekly / fortnightly till then. I stayed with them regularly, or called. Previous birthdays or Christmas had an exchange of gifts, subsequent one for DS didn't. Which is why I think it's to make a point. His sisters, both of whom he is estranged from, say he is very single minded.

Will read other responses and post this, hold on

Malabrigo Mon 29-Dec-14 22:28:29

Maybe he just doesn't like chocolate?

momieplum Mon 29-Dec-14 22:29:37

The way I read it is that you are upset that he has made no effort to have a relationship with your son, and that would have hurt me too, and I would have been extremely pissed off if someone had woken my 21 month old on purpose and been mean over lunch (which he was) and keeping you waiting. I would probably have popped dc in the car and then run to them and say I am really, really sorry but he is only 21 months and he isn't happy and needs his tea and so I need to go and if you don't want to come now please can you call a tax, sorry, bye : ) I wouldn't be upset about the present though unless I felt sure he was being a git on purpose and you would know that better than us. But otherwise YANBU at all.

1981 Mon 29-Dec-14 22:29:50

we had to go during the week as AD wanted the sofa picking up ASAP or it was 'going on EBay'

decided we were having a trip out to a wildlife / duck place nearby. DS fell asleep in the car on the way there, and I said I wasn't going to wake him up because he was so tired

So, eventually, I chucked a tiny bit of apple at him

On DS's 2nd birthday, they sent a card but that was it. I suspect this was to provoke some kind of response, which I think is disgusting behaviour and I also didn't rise to the bait. I had had no contact at all for six months

£40 in a card for my 40th (Sept) which made me wonder if they had thawed out about everything

Three cheap nursery rhymes DVDs turned up today. .... absolutely no thought or effort has gone in, and it was clearly ordered in response to them getting the box of chocolates we sent them at Christmas - sent as we thought we'd try and be the grown ups.

TBH I'm usually on the poster's side when it comes to these things, but here it reads like you're reading far, FAR too much into things, and reacting in a fairly childish way yourself.

If you have a problem with your relatives, can't you sit down and have an adult conversation with them at a suitable time?

Don't chuck food at them, question their motives internally whilst patting yourself on the head for being a better person than them, conjure up all sorts of motives (which might or might not be accurate, etc).

Most of the behaviour you're "fucking angry" about seems to be in your head, not examples of truly unreasonable behaviour that an objective party would side with you on.

I honestly thought this was going to be a post from an unusually immature 20 year old, not someone who then mentioned a 40th birthday hmm

Nancery Mon 29-Dec-14 22:30:04

Reading from bottom up - sanity he, DS, was tired after the late night and early morning so I knew he'd be grumpy if he woke up too soon. He used to sleep for 2 hrs each lunchtime so I said they should go have lunch while he slept, giving him an hour to sleep.

erin99 Mon 29-Dec-14 22:32:10

The big issue is obviously the history.

You've both made steps towards reconciliation. Him the cash, you the chocs. I think the DVDs are part of that - I don't see why you think it's cheap, or thoughtless, or why on earth you are angry about them. Are you perhaps choosing to interpret them as a crap or loaded present because of your general anger towards him? If you're angry with him fair enough, but don't be pissed off just because you think it's a crap present.

Quangle Mon 29-Dec-14 22:34:04

But this tiredness was two years ago OP. It's a small event in all of your lives. Perhaps AD doesn't have much experience of babies and toddlers.

I would take the exchange of chocs and DVDs as a new start and leave the whole day at the wildlife centre in the past. I'm sort of amazed that you can still remember the details of when DD slept/woke up etc.

Jodie1982 Mon 29-Dec-14 22:35:04

My 2yr old girl loves Nursery Rhymes, I have to put Busy Beavers (from YouTube) on for her a couple of times a day.

AppleRings Mon 29-Dec-14 22:36:58

YABU, how do you know no thought went into the present? If you don't have children that age it's difficult to remember/think about what they may like

SanityClause Mon 29-Dec-14 22:37:29

I still think you were PFB, even after your further comments.

You just sound like you are looking for reasons to be upset with him, TBH.

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