To never visit again?(29 Posts)
Currently staying with my DF. We have a tricky relationship to say the least and lots of old baggage. He lives alone, but his long term partner is staying too (as we get on well and it generally makes things easier.) I'm here with DD who is nearly 3 and DS who is just 10 months. It's the first visit since DS was born (once a year is more than enough...) and I have been reluctant for a variety of reasons. DH has refused to come due to a lack of suitable sleeping arrangements ( DF has a 4 bed house and a variety of spare beds but all apart from 1 are over 40 years old and give anyone but small children horrendous backache... And I always bagsy the 1 )
Anyway after a 3 hour trip I find that DF has not done anything to modify his
death trap of a house for our visit. Open 'mock' gas fire place with filthy polystyrene coals, check. TV balanced on a wobbly stand in a sea of random wires, check. Not to mention the stairs, the low level surface clutter in every room etc. Which was all a bit disheartening when we had spoken at length on the phone about how 'active' and in to everything DS is. So DF expressed surprise about how 'active he is and went to faff in the kitchen for an hour. I couldn't even leave DS unattended to go to the loo or get essentials out of the car so was a bit stuck.
Then food. It has been a mission to get anything to eat for the kids, never mind me. He won't either dish up and give us what there is or put it out for us to help ourselves, because he doesn't know how much we want. I know there is food in the kitchen but getting it on plates and too the table is a major issue. He wanted salad, I said DCs didn't like salad but would be happy with a sandwich. Que huge strop cos he wanted salad but he couldn't put it out without knowing how much we might eat??He also wanted DD to be sat at the table waiting before he put stuff in the oven as he didn't want to make it until we were ready??? If this sounds confusing I really don't know how to put it better, I certainly didn't know what he was on about, all I know is that me and the kids were hungry.
Then finally with the DCs in the bath I asked him for some towlels and he gave me 1. I asked for another but he ignored me and so I decided to get DS out first and that they would share, of course DD decided she wanted out too and was just left to drip!
I am also shocked that DF referred to DS as 'she' and the DCs as ' the girls' the whole day ( and I am never precious about ransoms mistaking DS for a girl other times) I just think he might get it right for his allegedly much wanted only grandson! Not to mention that the only reason the house is clean is because his partner came round early to do it for him??
AIBU to expect that if you invite ( put lots of
emotional blackmail pressure on) guests you make some effort to accommodate them. That you feed them and you provide linen and towels ( he still hasn't offered me a towel). As it is I don't want to be here and I am feeling very strongly that I won't be coming again. AIBU?
Anyway sorry that this has turned into a missive, I'll be amazed if anyone makes it to the end. If you have many thanks for reading!
My first thought was does he have dementia? He seems confused with your DS being a girl...and he's very black and white about the food... He's not able to get the social cues about the extra towels for your DD and for you.
YANBU. If he can't be bothered then why should you?
I would go home if a chat tonight didn't get some joy.
Oh Dear, sounds like you are having a horrible time !
I think you have two choices, you either just make the best of it and take what you need (sandwiches, towels etc) when uou need it or you just pack the kids up and head home.
I think it's easy to fall into the trap of playing the child when with parents or grandparents but you are a grown woman and mother and need to get a bit assertive here.
Hope things improve for the rest of your stay
Sounds awful . have you talked to your Dads partner about any of this ? Was she present when all the food shenanigans were going on? Is he normally like this or is this a new thing ?
Sounds like you'd both be happier if he came to you next time. Or you could cede the decent bed to DH!
It sounds difficult but I think you are maybe overthinking some things a little. With a 10 month old you should be able to navigate going to the loo or getting stuff out of the car without an adult to assist, and one towel, 2 children is not beyond your powers to manage.
He sounds a bit confused and stressed about catering for you all tbh, and the whole visit generally. Obviously he is not being a good host but he sounds a bit out of his depth.
Agree with facepalm. You're a grown woman and need to act like one.
Go into the kitchen and "help" with the sandwiches.
Get another towel yourself, maybe he didn't hear you when you asked for another.
And calling your son a girl, I'd just ignore.
How old is he?
Actually I'd go home. If your dc aren't safe and fed, why stay? Don't leave in a huff but do go.
Could you go back on your own another time to figure out whether this is just normal or has become a problem?
If you can't leave I agree with pp that you need to be very assertive. "Dad, where do you keep your towels?", " Dad, I am making sandwiches for the DC. Do you want one?" Shut doors to keep dc within eyesight.
Yes I know I should just take what we need and end up doing so in the end. But he won't let me do these things without making an issue out of it. I also just have this feeling that he has invited us and I expect him to host. he's never been a welcome host but it just seems more extreme this time... And he wonders why people rarely come and visit.
You're going to have to take over, you can't be a passive guest. It sounds like he's trying but hugely out of his comfort zone.
Sounds like you are getting wound up about things more because you don't get on. In an unfamiliar environment with a mobile baby you have to watch them constantly regardless of childproofing you just don't know what's lying around that they could swallow etc. Not sure what you expect him to do with his TV for eg while you are staying? Could you not just ask him or his partner to watch the baby for a few minutes while you go to the car etc?
Can you not ask for towels if you need them? More than once if you've not been heard? Going without and then being annoyed you weren't offered is just bizarre. And 1 towel between 2 kids should be fine. When your dd wanted to get out of the bath all you had to do was ask her to wait a minute while you dry her brother.
The food thing I didn't quite follow tbh.
plotter yes I'm sure I should be able to manage 2 kids better, but unfortunately there is not a single room in the house where DS can be safely out down. So I would have had to have carried him back and forth with bags etc. and I have medical issues with my neck and shoulders which makes this difficult. I only needed 30s to fetch the travel cot but didn't get a chance.
If I have to manage I can, but my point is is supposed to be a pleasant experience not an endurance exercise IME.
Give the baby to your dad/his partner to hold?
I'd be a bit annoyed that DH dipped out due to dodgy beds, but I second bakeoff, try and assert yourself, just ask for what you need or sort it yourself. However tricky the relationship has been (and don't want to minimise as obviously don't have the background), see if you can make it manageable for a short time. Honestly, I don't see it's his job to make his house safe for your children, I realise it makes it stressful for you , but it sounds as if he's trying but struggling. I have GC now and it's hard when they come as it's such a long time since I had to worry about stairs etc. It doesn't mean I don't want them to come but it's a big adjustment!
Maybe ask him to yours next time if that makes things easier?
My immediate thought was is this his normal behaviour or maybe dementia too, sorry. Perhaps talk to his partner if you can, you say you get on well. If not and you're not comfortable staying just leave and tell him why it's difficult to manage. I do agree with pp that you need to be more assertive and ask for help or tell them your needs more forcefully though. It does sound bad though, I have been in similar positions at my in laws and we got by but haven't stayed for a long time.
I'd say he's hugely out of his comfort zone and not used to having people there. My dad loves us visiting but he's also happy when we leave, and i have to be hugely respectful of his way of doing things, even if it takes longer and is a pain in the backside. People get very stuck in their ways when they are older and live alone, it's a massive thing to have you there. Make the best of it for your kids.... go out and buy some food so you can take over, and just say that the kids are fussy, you're sure he understands. No one without kids that age has a baby proof house, and you just need to adapt. Keep smiling.
If he has always been a bit of a PITA but has become markedly worse then that would suggest he may have some form of dementia, especially "the girls" thing.
He clearly has his comfort zone (not cooking until everyone is ready) and you being there has taken him out that, but also he clearly wants to see you so take comfort from that.
Could you contact his GP while you are there and voice your concerns? They wont be able to tell you anything but they will keep that info on file so that they can keep an eye on him.
Put the baby in car seat n toddler in pushchair if house is not babyproof. Get in the food u need so u can feed ur self n the kids.
I mean secure them when u need to go to the loo or into the kitchen.
It's awfully to visit relatives and then feel unwelcome.
I think it sounds like he's having trouble coping, for whatever reason. I don't think it sounds like he's being horrible. Maybe a hotel is a best option, or he comes to you? Or at least bring plenty of snacks/spare towels/etc so you don't have to rely on him. You being stressed out isn't the best way to facilitate good relations between him and your kids.
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