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to want to call out dad's wife on her attitude to grandson

(36 Posts)
Hubnut Sun 17-Jan-16 22:03:10

My dad is a lovely grandpa to my 16month son. We visit every week and he plays, cuddles and chases. His wife of 20 years however sits on her arse barely glancing his way other than to say "don't let him touch that" "he can't play with that". She seemed quite keen when I was pregnant, asking if she could be called grandma (no problem at all with me) but once he arrived the mood turned and she went months without seeing him due to popping out to the shops.

I'm actually getting angry about this now. If I see a child at a bus stop I will smile and engage, this is her husband's only grandson and she can't bear to acknowledge him. When I was pregnant they displayed a scan photo but that's gone and there's only pictures of her family up. She has two grandkids,she's always been critical of their behaviour but at least they made it into photo frames.

I'm at the point where I don't want to visit their house. I don't want my little boy to be exposed to this cold attitude.I'd rather meet in a cafe or something.

Do I just tell my dad that? Or should I put up for his sake and hope she always "pops to the shops"? Visiting tomorrow and can't sleep cos upset by this.

SpendSpendSpend Sun 17-Jan-16 22:05:30

It may be that she doesnt class him as her grandson and thinks you are there to see your dad so she buggers off out.

Hubnut Sun 17-Jan-16 22:12:32

Maybe. I'm taking it personally cos it seems like an active disinterest. Like when I do see her she'll make small talk but it's never about my son, or when we visited after he'd been I'll she never asked how he was. It offends me.

Hubnut Sun 17-Jan-16 22:13:05

*ill not I'll

knobblyknee Sun 17-Jan-16 22:13:08

I dont think YABU.
In my family, we are not all aware of the precise relation between each other! We have loads of adopted members, especially in the WW2 generation. We loosely use the terms uncle or cousin, without meaning an actual blood relative.
When my MIL remarried, her new husband and DC1 took to each other like a duck to water. He's an actual Grandad as far as we're concerned.

SuperCee7 Sun 17-Jan-16 22:15:21

Sounds like she isn't crazy over kids. That's fine. She doesn't have to be. Don't punish your dad for his wife's attitude.

PeridotPassion Sun 17-Jan-16 22:16:17

Just wondering how old you are op? If she's his wife of 20 years...were you a child when they married and how did she treat you? (nosy)

Morganly Sun 17-Jan-16 22:16:27

I don't think you should say anything to either her or your dad as it could put your dad in a really difficult position and as you say, he is a lovely grandpa, and it would be a shame to make a mess of that.

She isn't related to him so there is no reason why she should dote on him. You obviously love children with all that smiling at and engaging with strangers' children but that doesn't mean that everyone has to. She may have liked the idea of a child in the family before it arrived but if she isn't used to them the reality may have come as something as a shock. They do kind of take over all social occasions with their need for constant attention and the inability of the adults to have any sort of sustained conversation or relax because of needing to be vigilant re safety and damage to property etc.

Calm down with the anger and upset and not sleeping stuff. It really isn't worth getting yourself so worked up about this.

Hubnut Sun 17-Jan-16 22:16:44

Exactly. That's what I'd hoped for. In stark contrast is my mum's husband who has embraced the role of grandpa and they love each other to bits.

lastqueenofscotland Sun 17-Jan-16 22:19:12

I really really really don't feel comfortable round small children/don't find them cute, a good friend of mine has just become a step mum to a girl of a similar age your son and I just cannot feign a proper interest in playing with her/talking to her. Some people just aren't massively fussed about or comfortable around babies/toddlers and I'd feel really got at if someone tried to pull me up on it!

fastdaytears Sun 17-Jan-16 22:19:23

Is there any chance that she's trying to be sensitive and give you dad time with his grandson without her around?

The photo thing is odd. Have you given any nice photos if they never get round to taking any?

Hubnut Sun 17-Jan-16 22:20:06

No I was an adult when they married.
I'll try and shrug it off maybe I'm expecting too much.

SaucyJack Sun 17-Jan-16 22:21:04

Could your dad come to you instead?

I don't think YABU to not want to take your child somewhere he won't be hosted graciously, but if it is her own home then unfortunately I think she can behave how she likes.

Headofthehive55 Sun 17-Jan-16 22:23:40

Perhaps she goes out to allow your dad precious time on his own with your son. She perhaps isn't interested in your son as he isn't a grandchild in her eyes. Perhaps they gave always kept their children separate. My children, your children. My grandchild, your grandchild.

allnewredfairy Sun 17-Jan-16 22:32:12

I'm a stepmother and my DH is a grandfather to four under sixes. I'm not that into kids despite having had three of my own so have kept well and truly in the background as each grandchild has arrived. Maybe your stepmum feels the same.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 17-Jan-16 22:34:48

He is not her grandchild so you cannot complain about her not acting like one however she should not be being so critical.

That's just not plesant

Rainbunny Sun 17-Jan-16 22:38:04

Maybe she's just not a baby person, her relationship with your ds may well change as he grows.

Hubnut Sun 17-Jan-16 22:38:45

I think it's probably correct that she isn't a fan of kids and she can't muster up the enthusiasm to interact with my son. She is a bit of a cold fish generally to be honest. I'll count my blessings that my dad is happy.

sleeponeday Sun 17-Jan-16 22:39:43

In all honesty, given your description of her attitude to her own grandchildren I would hope she didn't see him as one of her own.

Can you not give your father some framed photos of your DS? Is he good at putting photos up? I don't see why it should be down to her to do that, when he is not her grandchild - why isn't your father doing it?

DinosaursRoar Sun 17-Jan-16 22:42:24

Did your mum's DH take more of a 'parenting role' with you? If you were an adult when she married your dad, then she's not been a step-mum really, you were an adult relation of her DH, not a dependent. If your Mum's DH moved in when you were still living at home, he'll have to have taken on a caring role of you, and therefore more likely to view your DS as his DGC.

if you don't like visiting their house with DS, invite your dad and his DW to you. If she's 'busy' fine, your DS can see his grandad without any bad feeling.

Jessbow Sun 17-Jan-16 22:50:56

Doe she have any other grandchildren?
What is she like with them if she does?

FlatOnTheHill Sun 17-Jan-16 22:57:54

Do you think she could be jealous. Just a thought!
Attention is not on her when you visit. Some strange folk about.

squoosh Mon 18-Jan-16 00:29:25

Lots of people aren't wildly enthusiastic about babies but she seems to be making a lot of effort to make her lack of interest clear to you. Ignoring him, not asking after him when she meets you, well it's odd behaviour and it would irritate me.

Do you think she might be possessive of your dad and resents your son for 'monopolising' his attention?

MidniteScribbler Mon 18-Jan-16 00:48:25

I wonder if something happened between your father and stepmother that you aren't aware of? Something like him commenting that he's finally a granddad and her then getting upset because she took that as him thinking that her grandchildren aren't his, or a careless comment comparing your son to the other grandchildren, or anything really. It could be lingering resentment over an argument that you weren't party to.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Mon 18-Jan-16 01:42:46

this is her husband's only grandson and she can't bear to acknowledge him

You can't have it both ways. You said she has grandchildren. Does your father take an interest in them?

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