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To say no to outings/ treats for DS(9) until DD(4) gets one too?

(111 Posts)
DrSeuss Wed 12-Aug-15 20:20:24

DH aunt has no children and has always shown a strong interest in DS. We are very grateful for this as my parents are dead and DH's are three hundred miles away. Since he was a toddler, she has taken him out for day trips, as he has grown up she has had him to stay for a couple of nights three or four times a year. He adores her, she adores him. She always plans something special, be it at home, (she lives an hour away) or an activity. As I said, we are very grateful for her care for our son and try never to abuse it.
However, DD scarcely gets a look in. In the last two years, she has had two three hour trips to the local park, both of which she has had to share with her brother.
Auntie said she would take her out more when she was four and fully potty trained ( potty training was delayed for various reasons but she is now fully dry day and night.). She turned four in May. Auntie knows all of this. I imagine that some people will think I am being entitled but it isn't that I think Auntie should look after my children. She has always volunteered to take DS out or have him to stay, we have never asked.
Auntie now wants DS to visit for a few days next week. No invite for DD to go anywhere. AIBU to say that this time, DD goes for a special day out before DS goes anywhere? As yet, DD has not noticed the discrepancy but it can only be a matter of time till she begins to wonder.
As the un-favourite child of my mother, I spent thirty years coming a poor second to my amazing brother. Maybe I am reading too much into this? I just don't want DD to ever ask why she can't have trips and treats with Auntie when her brother can.

KrevlornswathoftheDeathwokClan Wed 12-Aug-15 20:22:42

yanbu. Maybe you and dh should have a chat with her together.

PosterEh Wed 12-Aug-15 20:23:13

I agree OP. It is ok to want to take them out separately but it is not ok to favour one over the other so obviously.

Glitteryarse Wed 12-Aug-15 20:27:30


I was the favourite grandchild and my cousin still brings it up - we are in our late thirties!

Have a chat with her

Mrsjayy Wed 12-Aug-15 20:28:05

Thats a shame your poor dd she will start to notice speak to your Aunt without the dc around its not favour. 1 of my Aunts favours 3 grandkids over the other 4 it is so obvious

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Wed 12-Aug-15 20:28:42

YANBU that there should be more parity between your DC, though with the age difference it shouldn't be that they both have to do exactly the same things for it to be fair. And I wouldn't say that DS can't go until DD has had her turn. But you could say something like "DS would love to come and visit you but he's got a few things on over the next couple of weeks. DD doesn't though, and she would love to spend more time with you. She's a bit young to sleep over, but a day trip would be wonderful - do you want some suggestions for where she might enjoy?"

CrapBag Wed 12-Aug-15 20:29:59


Not quite the same but last year my 17 year old sister (who I literally see once or twice a year) texted out of the blue to ask if she could take DD out for the day with her friends (she isn't a mature responsible 17 year old). DD had only recently turned 3 and barely knows her given how on the odd occasion my sister sees my DCs, she hardly interacts with them at all. I said no, because I don't trust her with my young child and there was no such offer for my 6 year old son. I know full well she just wanted the cute little girl to show off as some sort of accessory. She never even asked about my son which made me annoyed and sad and I know he would have been asking why he couldn't go.

MIL used to do it too, DD was younger but she used to occasionally take DS out or have him for an afternoon. Never been any such offer for DD and she hasn't offered for a while now. I won't have people playing favourites at all. There has been so much of it in my family and all it does is breed jealousy and resentment towards the favoured child so YADNBU.

BarbarianMum Wed 12-Aug-15 20:31:49

YANBU but, to be fair, May wasn't very long ago. How old is your aunt? Young / in good enough health to cope with a 4 year old? Are they close? I can see why you don't want her blatantly playing favourites but I think you should be careful of assuming the worst. Rather than saying that she can't have ds until she's had dd, why not invite her along to an outing you are having with both of them so she can get to know your dd better. Or could your dh have a tactful word?

I think it is fine for some adult/child relationships to be closer than others due to personality etc. Grown ups must always be scrupulously fair and kind though and if it does transpire that she is only interested in your ds, you will have to make it clear that favoritism won't be tolerated.

FryOneFatManic Wed 12-Aug-15 20:32:08

I think you and your DH need to discuss this with the aunt together. YANBU.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Wed 12-Aug-15 20:32:49

I duno. I may be in the minority, but I think she's obviously built up a special release with your DS. And she has had DD. Bearing in mind shes getting older so maybe finds a 4 year old quite hard going after getting used to an older child.

Charis1 Wed 12-Aug-15 20:34:04

I think YABU. their relationship is personal, and not just automatic, based on genetics. Allow your son his special relationship. Your DD will develop a different relationship with her, and her own relationships with various other friends and relations. Meanwhile, use her brothers absence to make a huge fuss of her yourself, and give her lots of special one to one time and attention.

DrSeuss Wed 12-Aug-15 20:34:40

I have suggested places DD would like. Aunt took both of them to the local park when it was supposed to be just DD. Then took DS home with her after three hours. I dread the day DD begins to notice.

DrSeuss Wed 12-Aug-15 20:42:49

Aunt is over sixty but still plays tennis at county level! She has made little effort to build a relationship with DD. When she visits us or we visit her, I look after Dd, DS gets most of her attention. Aunt's own mother had a strong tendency to openly prefer boys, as did my mother. Coming in a poor second to your brother for no reason other than that you are female scars you for life. I know this for a fact. I will not allow anyone to do that to my DD, even if it means giving offence to an aunt who has been very kind to us. The stakes are too high. I still have issues today because of how my brother was openly favoured.

spicyfajitas Wed 12-Aug-15 20:48:36

I think you're being terribly unreasonable. It's a totally different kettle of fish taking a nine year old out to a four year old.
Much easier. Much different company.
I know your aunt took your older child out as a toddler, but that was a few years ago. She may not feel up to it now.
Be pleased your nine year old is getting a treat and enjoy some time with your younger child. Make it a treat for them. Your aunt does not owe your younger child anything, not should your older child miss out.

DrSeuss Wed 12-Aug-15 20:51:50

OK, and when DD finally realises and asks the question?

PLUtoPlanet Wed 12-Aug-15 20:54:20

It's a totally different kettle of fish taking a nine year old out to a four year old.

But DS seems to have been the same age, or younger, when he had his first solo treat.

Theycallmemellowjello Wed 12-Aug-15 20:54:54

YANBU OP and I think the suggestion of insisting on a trip for DD is a good one. But given that there's a reason to suspect she prefers boys you might have to have a plan B lined up in case she doesn't put in the effort building a relationship with your DD that she did with your DS.

Siennasun Wed 12-Aug-15 20:57:45

If you think she is openly favouring DS because he's a boy, I would seriously consider how much contact she has with either of your children.

sleeponeday Wed 12-Aug-15 21:05:03

I think there's a massive difference between a parent, and a great aunt. Your mother's behaviour was downright emotionally abusive, but a great aunt is not the same role in your children's lives.

She has a special bond with your son that for whatever reason she doesn't with your daughter. In your situation, I'd focus on the time she has DS as time you can do something special and meaningful with DD yourself, one to one. To most kids, that's the ultimate, anyway.

Be careful not to over-compensate, though. My mother was the chopped liver child as the younger, and the daughter. She then decided I (younger, girl) was the golden child and my elder brother the useless one. As it happens I didn't know that, as he also had some disabilities that meant all the activities etc centred around him, and her idea of favouritism was an intensive expectation that wasn't a lot of fun (being the golden child is sometimes a lot more fun in theory than practice), but old letters etc to her friends tell the story very plainly. Now, she adores my (older) son and is impatient and snide with my daughter.

Patterns repeat even without the repeater having the least idea, often. It's very sad. Your aunt isn't the issue, I don't think, but try to compensate your daughter while also making special time with your son.

Minicaters Wed 12-Aug-15 21:13:52

I would leave it a bit. As PP said, May is still not very long ago. Let him have the trips for a few more months, and in the meantime make sure aunty is made to feel very welcome by your family and she gets to spend time with DD too without having to invite her or take on sole charge of her. I would worry about the sexism thing too but give her every chance first.

If it still happening next summer, consider pushing it a bit. Or consider aunty a pseudo godparent to DS and seek out someone else to take on a similar role with DD.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 12-Aug-15 21:42:04

I totally agree with you op, it is obviously favouritism and I would ave a chat with her. We have the same arrangement with dd8, my friend has always been very involved with dd bit ds 3 nit so. Tbh with ds he is hard work and tires you out, whereas dd is easier even at 3. He wrecks and destroys when he explores which is very wearing so I don't blame my friend for not taking him out. Hopefully in a couple of years time when he's older and more settled.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 12-Aug-15 21:47:23

sleep that doesent help a child though. She is seeing her brother being treated by her Aunt but not her. It will hurt when she eventually realises, yes I would have a chat with the Aunt. You have to protect your children. My friend buys both kids lovely presents and when she visits it's ds she really dotes on, as did Gas ASD and is not that interactive, whereas ds really us and loves it when my friend comes around. She's just nit ready to take him out yet as he is very hard work.

ApocalypseThen Wed 12-Aug-15 22:17:03

There is a risk that if you start putting down conditions your aunt will just say to hell with the lot of you and not bother with your son. She doesn't have to take anyone anywhere and probably won't want to if she's dragged into having to be scrupulously fair rather than having fun.

She loves your son, they have a relationship. Of course she thinks of him when she has time to spend with a child. Rather than complain to her, why not help her to build a relationship with your daughter? Isn't it time you brought her for a day out, just for the girls?

brokenhearted55a Wed 12-Aug-15 22:23:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DeeWe Wed 12-Aug-15 23:12:37

I would come at this from a different angle if it were my dc.

She's built up a lovely relationship with your ds and that's fantastic. She may be one of these that prefers older children, and, as a tennis player myself, there is a huge difference in energy needed for a tennis match and looking after all day (and night) an energetic 4yo. My dm (70yo) can play tennis all day, but admits that a morning with the younger grandchildren can bring her to her knees

But my dc think a day with mummy on their own is the best thing ever-and they're 14, 11 and 8yo. They would choose to have a day with me doing pottering type things and a little treat at the end (ice cream/tea in a cafe) over things that are much more exciting.

So my response would be to say great, and make those days special mummy days for your 4yo. I suspect both of them will think that she's getting the better deal.

If you're really bothered about your aunt, then rather than deny your dsm which he may resent his dsis for, why don't you suggest something she could take your dd to. Something short to begin with, but something that they'd both enjoy.

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