to not be able to let this go.(251 Posts)
I've posted about this before, sorry.
16 months ago my 7 year old had an accident at my parents house. They were doing some renovations and their bannisters had been removed. It was an accident, we were being careful, there's no blame to dole out. She came off the stairs and suffered a skull fracture. It was awful. My parents were devastated. I was very careful not to make them feel bad, and to be honest I played down how awful it was in hospital and how long it took her to recover.
She's fine now. She's 9, she has no lasting effects. We were very very lucky.
But there are still no bannisters on the stairs. They have continued to do up the house, but show no signs of doing the stairs. I haven't left the DC there without me since it happened (they used to go for weekends fairly often). I have told them that the DC are still nervous about the stairs (we have a younger one too who witnessed the accident). Every time I bring it up I get long emotional messages about how bad they feel and how nothing is more important than the DCs. But I don't think they are going to do the stairs. I don't want to talk about it any more, I just want them to make it safe. If I talk to my siblings about it they tell me not to criticise my parents because they feel bad enough about the accident as it is. I feel like I'm going mad sometimes. I have now stopped bringing it up altogether, but we don't visit nearly as much because I struggle to be in the house. They never mention this, ever.
But they adore the DC. Adore them. They want to be with them. They are amazing grandparents. And I know stairs are expensive, but, but, AIBU to feel like this? I just can't get my head round why they won't do it. It's getting to the point where I need to just accept it, but I can't.
Yanbu to feel like this. I am boggled that your parents are effectively refusing to make their house safe
Tbh I would be considering not going there at all, and meet parents out or have them come to mine.
YANBU. You are not mad. You do not need to accept it.
Your siblings are being silly to translate your legitimate concerns as criticism.
I would not visit at all, and tell your parents why.
Welcome them to your house for visits.
They are fucking lucky you haven't sued them from arsehole to Christmas. As you could. Dozy buggers.
Yanbu, under the circumstances I'm surprised you still go there! They need to make their house safe. They know what they need to do, I don't understand why they didn't address this immediately after the accident. Sod upsetting them, if they really do 'adore' the gcs then make the house safe for them, or they won't see them there.
How awful for you and your DC's .
It would not be expensive for your parents to put a temporary bannister in place to make the stairs safe for everyone, not just your children, until they eventually get to 'do the stairs'. And that is what they should have done in the first place, and prevented this appalling accident. I cannot imagine being as forgiving as you have been in this situation.
I'm with DonkeyOaty on this, and would be very reluctant to take my children there until the house is safe.
I am totally agreed that there should be bannisters on the stairs and that you should consider only ever meeting up at an outside place or at your house. It also depends if there is a downstairs toilet. If there is one the DC do not need to use the stairs at all while visiting DGP. It would still mean no overnights at DGP. The other thing to consider is that the DGP are only ever going to get older and it does not sound particularly safe not to have bannisters at all. I know there is a lot of open plan but that is a bit more than I would be happy with.
If the DGP are actually doing the work themselves perhaps asking DS/DB or SILs if they would provide practical help or if there are contractors doing the work it would be unsafe to leave an inhabited house without stair bannisters. This is a job that needs urgent attention now and not to be held back for another 2 years or so.
Are they crazy? That is so unsafe for them, never mind children. And tbh if that happened in my house the bannisters would be up before the gc was out of hospital. You were so lucky that there were no lasting effects. How come they're not putting their money where their mouth is and doing something about it?
It's not just the practical, safety aspect though is it?
Emotionally, after such a traumatic experience you need some sort of closure of the whole incident being done and over...and it sounds like the stairs being finished will bring that closure.
I think you need to tell them that you are not blaming anyone, it was a terrible experience, and it's hard for you and the DC to put it behind you while the stairs remain unfinished and present a continual reminder of that time.
Unfortunately if they just can't afford it right now you might just have to avoid going there. Though there's can't be many more things that would be prioritised over a safe staircase, beyond basic sanitation.
Thank you for responding. It feels amazing just to have someone say I'm not being unreasonable.
I am worried about them falling off too. The while thing is a mess. My mum hates confrontation and takes things very personally. I don't want to damage their relationship with the DC. I don't talk about it in front of the DC. At the moment we're in this state of limbo where we fiercely ignore the issue. The problem is, I'm dwelling on it, all the time. It won't end well.
I shot myself in the foot by protecting their feelings, didn't I? It just didn't occur to me that they wouldn't fix the stairs.
Thanks for letting me vent.
I wouldn't go to their house at all.
"Sorry Mum, Dad, but after DD's horrendous injury I can't have them in that house without any bannisters. You'd better come to us."
How can they argue?
This sounds awful, YANBU OP! They should have got them fixed asap - not least to make you feel that they do care and realise the risks. After what happened, how could they not see how important it is?
I'm wondering if they are having some kind of mental block where they won't do it because that would somehow mean taking responsibility for the accident, so they're just in bannister limbo.
Your mum "hating confrontation" is essentially shutting down your very valid feelings about this and making progress impossible. And what are your siblings on? No wonder you feel so frustrated and upset.
I can understand you just withdrawing, but you can also mention it – there is nothing wrong with mentioning it. OK so your mum might kick off, let her. "I am quite upset that since the accident the bannisters still haven't been fixed, and that's why we don't come round so much." Even if you don't get the response you'd like, you have a right to say it.
Aspergallus is right - you need closure and you can only achieve that if the bloody bannisters are put up! You must think of her falling every time you look at the open bannisters. They are being completely unfair and your siblings, too, in not taking them to one side and having a very firm word with them.
They're being incredibly unreasonable. This could be a matter of life and death for your children as they well know. I'm sorry to say this as it is but they don't care half as much as you think they do. My parents adore my kids and would never knowingly put them in harms way.
That is exactly what your parents are doing to your DCs. And I would say that even before that horrible accident. I'm so sorry you went through that with your poor daughter.
Make a stand for your own piece of mind and your children's safety. Tell them you will not be visiting their house until it is safe.
Let anyone, siblings or otherwise say what they like. You'll feel happier in yourself knowing you've made a strong decision.
The fact that you keep having to revisit (both the house and the memories) is causing you too much upset.
Make a decision and don't let anyone move you. You are doing the best by your children, the others are not.
(And I think you're dwelling on it because you've been made to feel you can't say it. Which is ridiculous and unfair of them. THEIR unsafe house caused your DD a serious injury, yet you're having to tiptoe around their feelings and not ask them to take perfectly reasonable action to make it safe. It will fester until you give yourself permission to feel how you feel and if possible, express it.)
Can you afford to get their stairs fixed if they can't?
Or could you rig up a temporary bannister? My sil has had a 'temporary' bannister for about 3 years
That's odd! Why are they like this? You say they feel awful about what happened so what did they do to show remorse? The least they would have done was at least to fix the stairs!
Sorry I wouldn't even go to this house not safe and you ll end up watching over all the time
I'm really upset on your behalf that's not on!
They are putting your DCs at risk... Disgusting really after what you've all been through and after could have happened ...
Totally not unreasonable and that must have been so dreadful for you
Given the circumstances I'm shocked they didn't get the stairs sorted asap
It's a safety issue
No way I would let my kids go there till its sorted. I think your parents are being incredibly insensitive and your siblings should be backing you up
You need to tell them clearly and calmly and ONCE. With no prevarication, no hints or caging or half truths; "We will not be coming to your house until you have made if safe for the children, especially the bannisters"
And then don't discuss it at all anymore until the only topic is "yes we have fixed the bannisters".
Have you tried talking to them about it in terms of their own safety and actually asked them when they plan to put the bannisters back in? I always keep a hand free to be able to grab the bannisters in my own home, so maybe they have got so used to the status quo that they have forgotten how reassuring it is to have them there.
You're totally right. I'm never going to get closure until they're put up. I hadn't seen it that clearly before.
Money is definitely part of the issue. But they went on to do up a whole other room after the accident, and every time I have to say how lovely it is it hurts me that that's what they chose to spend the money on instead. They're oblivious.
I hate criticising them. They are lovely people. They do a lot for us. But I just need them to do one thing.
I would be very resentful about this and absolutely would not take my children there.
They might be very loving grandparents but not living of thoughtful enough to make you, their daughter, feel her children are safe in their care or their house.
How old are your parents? If they aren't elderly I can see that they might not be concerned for their own safety, but having had the experience of the stairs resulting in what could have been a fatal injury to their DGC, they are being very unreasonable.
I think it's a dealbreaker. Either they make their home safe to your standards or you don't visit them there.
How long had they been without banisters when your dd had the accident? I get it was not their fault if it had only been down a short time but if they'd just left it open and unsafe then I'd be blaming them more.
If they are saving up for something fab a b&q basic one or plaster board in the stairs would have done. ( I know nothing about DIY!!)
For now just refuse to go round. As others have said they can come to you of you can meet then out.
If they accuse you of criticism sat it's just a statement of fact that the stairs are unsafe and the house unfit for children, as your dd's accident proves.
Are any of the siblings any good with DIY. I'd just arrive one day with a stack of wood and railing and just say the kids are missing not being able to come and stay, so we are going to do a temporary repair until you get the work finished. But that's my family and that's how we are.
In the seventies a bannister saved my life. I'd spotted thebus outsidemybedroomwind
If there'd been no bannister, I'd have been dead or a broken neck.
it was a old house, with high ceilings and steep stairs.
I was so shaken up I can't remember if I caught that bus. I actually think I did!
It's the e.ephantin the room sweetheart . Just present it as a fait accompli. It's dangerous for them too. I was Only 19 at the time.
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