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Ex Doesn't want to let DD take fave teddy to his house :(

(86 Posts)
NancyPiecrust Fri 27-Oct-17 16:40:00

Just had an unnecessarily irritating handover with abusive, NPD controlling ex-partner - DD's Dad.

This is by far the tamest complaint I will ever have posted on Mumsnet about him..and things have gotten a lot better, but it's like he still finds any way he can to have some sort of control, power game or let a bit of his rage towards me leak out at handovers... Funnily enough though if anyone else is there during handover eg. my parents he is the nicest most charming, respectful person in the world!

DD is only just 3 and has a favourite teddy that she always sleeps with and asks for in the night if she can't find him.
Recently her Dad has been just taking him out of her hand and giving him back to me saying "We don't need this. I've got plenty of teddies at mine. Just one more thing to forget to bring back" (He's got this weird thing about the "special teddies" at his house - one of which was a childhood teddy that his Mum (also controlling, NPD, obsessive about DD) always plays with DD with & one rare antique one which he bought off the internet for £80 for her....

He only took one small bag with him with waterproofs, hat ...that's all he has to remember, plus the special teddy.

I know it's not really about him or her having to "remember" to bring the teddy back, this has happened many times. Always a small power struggle about the teddy every time that he sees she's clutching him and has chosen/asked to bring him with her. He then has the most annoyed face on when he hands the teddy to me as if he's sneering/seething with annoyance. She then cries and reaches for the teddy as he's literally just almost snatched it out of her hand without even asking her ....She says she wants the teddy & I say "She wants to take him" and his response: "Well, in future, distract her from it. She doesn't need it". I said "No, it's a transitional object. She wants to take him."

So then she sees us having mildly passive aggressive crossed words about her beloved teddy. WHY?! Why can't it just be simple & why can't he consider what SHE wants. She's there in the middle probably feeling guilty about wanting to take the teddy. And powerless when he just takes it off her (for no reason other than his own ego). What is my option to avoid the drama? Take the teddy and go "Ok." walk away. And she sees her Dad just commanding me what to do, overriding what she wants & what message does that send to her? I feel I have to stand up for what she wants, I've always taught her that it's not ok to snatch teddies out of other children's hands at playgroup but then her Dad does it to her? ????!! I try and teach her that we must respect others wishes etc. But he doesn't respect what she wants. Granted a 3 year old can't always get what she wants and I say no to her plenty eg. sweets, too much TV. But...this is harmless and a source of comfort for her. sad

It's like he's trying to deprive her of the one thing that reminds her of home, and her Mum when having overnights ? It's clearly not about HER but about him..and him trying to have ONE thing to control because I've shut down all other avenues of control that he's become used to using to manipulate me, upset me, undermine me etc.
I would never think about persuading her to not take a favorite teddy or something she is so attached to. There's no harm in it. It's not like he thinks she's too young to be attached to a teddy & wants to wean her off it, it's because he want her to be attached to HIS special teddy that he bought her. And resents her attachment to the one from my house.

She even likes to take this teddy to nursery sometimes...he stays in her bag on her peg the whole time I'm pretty sure but she likes the fact that he's there and has come with her. I feel annoyed that he'd even want to take that comfort away from her, just so he didn't have to entertain the "special teddy from Mummy's that reminds me of her".

ARRGGGG. It has really annoyed me and just wanted to rant and see if anyone knows how I should handle it. He's being very petty and selfish in my eyes & you could see how he loved telling me to take it back & seeing me squirm when I tried to "fight her corner" and say she should take him. And how annoyed he was when he gave it back to her, with a horrible fake smile on his face barely concealing his contempt for me - and the fact that I'm a free person from him now and he can't control my life anymore.
I am also annoyed that he had to make some little tiny drama in whatever way he could in the handover when all he had to do was take the bag, take her, and leave. hmm angry

Another thing he always makes a point of doing is taking out her hair plaits or ponytail and clips that I have done (to keep her hair out of her face, and stop it from getting food in it) and always hands them back to me, in my hand, when he brings her back. Like he couldn't just put them in her little hairband/hairbrush case in her bag. It's like he makes a point of it. He does it every time. And every photo I see of her at his eg. I'm still close with his Dad so sometimes pics pop up on his social media of her, he has always taken out the hair bobbles and the plaits & clips and her hair is just down and in her face. She never asks the staff at nursery to take her hair stuff out, or me. When I asked her where did her plaits go, she said "Daddy says they're annoying, so he took them out".

GAH! hmm

RhiWrites Fri 27-Oct-17 16:47:48

You're right, it's a control thing. The hair bobbles part makes that clear.

What could you do to keep control on your side? I'd start with not engaging. Take the teddy back without protest. Accept the passive aggressive bobbles. Ignore the drama.

Columbine1 Fri 27-Oct-17 16:48:46

That's so mean of him! And unfair to DD - surely he observes her looking for teddy at night or when she's upset?
But I'm not sure what you can do...

honeyroar Fri 27-Oct-17 16:49:04

Oh he sounds a nightmare!

You sound like you're dealing with him pretty well. I'd be telling him, in front of her, when he kicks off, "you're being pretty silly" then asking her "do you want teddy or shall I take him?" Then telling him her decision stands, it doesn't matter what he or you thinks.. Don't fight about it, just be matter of fact?

As for the clips etc, it's not as big a deal, it's not going to upset her. I'd just laugh as I took them back and say, "oh dear, couldn't you manage again!" As though he's a bit useless.

It must be hard.

SmileEachDay Fri 27-Oct-17 16:49:32

Ignore his drama. Don’t engage.

Put favourite teddy into the bag your daughter takes? Then she still has it but ExP doesn’t have the opportunity to make a fuss.

Nikephorus Fri 27-Oct-17 16:52:14

I'd just laugh as I took them back and say, "oh dear, couldn't you manage again!" As though he's a bit useless.
This, definitely. He sounds like a right tosser.

Leeds2 Fri 27-Oct-17 16:53:01

I would actually be a bit nervous about teddy going with her, just in case he is "accidentally forgotten" for the return journey.

NancyPiecrust Fri 27-Oct-17 17:02:28

Thanks for responses...Yes I need to not engage as much as I can. The hair bobbles isn't an issue really as she doesn't care but the teddy...he's really special to her and it bothers me that he thinks it's ok to just disregard her decision or put her in the middle and almost snatch the teddy off her, and hand back to me without even him looking back for a second to see her reaction and her little face fall/contort into cry.

When she or I put the teddy into her bag, he will just take out of the bag and give back to me. I don't want this object to become a war or point of contention either ! As she's very perceptive, she will pick up on that and maybe start to feel shame about needing to have a connection to Mummy whilst she's with Daddy. He doesn't think there is any importance in the Mother-Child connection and dismisses it as nonsense, arguing that the Father connection is just as important..which is not untrue but there is something particular about Mother-Child bond due to her growing in my body and being breastfed for 21 months & living with/being cared for mostly by me.
I do feel like emailing him about this point and saying something along the lines of

"Please could you refrain from taking DD's special teddy out of her hands or her bag and handing him back to me, If she is holding him, it means she has specifically chosen/asked to take him with her as a comfort/transitional object and I respect her wishes to do this, as it is not just any normal random toy, it is her connection to home & it helps make the transition easier for her, even if she leaves him in her bag the whole time she's at your house. I don't think it's fair to her that you disregard her feelings or undermine my standing up for her wishes, in front of her, during handovers, with her being left in the middle with a sad little face as her teddy has been taken away from her without even a backward glance at her reaction or disappointment. This is creating unnecessary power games and drama during handovers which leaves DD in the middle and is divisive, stressful & damaging for her to experience. It is interesting to note that during the handover on Wednesday when my Dad was present, your demeanour was completely different, nice, respectful and charming. "

SmileEachDay Fri 27-Oct-17 17:08:04

I think you’re engaging with that email.

Is it possible to always have someone else present for handovers? It sounds as though he’s using them as an opportunity to continue exerting control.

Ellendegeneres Fri 27-Oct-17 17:12:31

Posts like this make me thank my lucky stars ds2s dad isn't a dick. We share pram, he'll buy outfits for baby that he loves and so will i that go back and forth, toys don't have one home. Because the items belong to our ds, not us, and we aren't petty cunts. And a cunt is what your ex is. Making a small child upset and depriving her of her comfort item is bloody awful. I'd go mad if ex ever pulled this.
I'm so sorry you and your dd have to deal with this twat 🙁

TempusEejit Fri 27-Oct-17 17:13:20

Could teddy be "looking after" your DD's room for her whilst she's at her dad's?

QuiteLikely5 Fri 27-Oct-17 17:14:29

Seriously op. You’ve got a nerve moaning about him!

You are well over involved in minor issues that do not matter a jot.

You are still over invested.

If the pair of you cant be sensible during hand overs then you need an appropriate adult who can do it.

SocMcDuffin Fri 27-Oct-17 17:14:48

I'd worry that he'd escalate and permanently 'lose' her teddy. He sounds that awful, and may do it to cause you distress not caring that it causes his own DD distress as long as it achieves is objective of pissing you off.

My DS has a transitional teddy too. From about 2.5 or 3 he was able to understand the simple reasoning that if he brought Ted to nursery and it got lost or taken by another child he would be very sad so it would go into my handbag to 'mind' it and DS would choose a different teddy to bring on those days. Similarly he did likewise with going on holiday or out for the day. Ted stays home. He's normally a stubborn wee lad so I did expect resistance but it was actually fine because he understood how upset he would be if it was gone forever. He did lose it for a week and I found it wedged behind some books in the bookcase so it gave him a taste of loss and delight to have it back I think that's what swayed him.

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 27-Oct-17 17:15:47

I'd be tempted to gleefully point out to him that she's going to end up hating him for taking her teddy. Might make him think twice.

MyKingdomForBrie Fri 27-Oct-17 17:21:08

over invested because she wants her daughter to be safe and comfortable.

What’s the betting you’re a deadbeat fucking dad too quite

dataandspot Fri 27-Oct-17 17:21:51

Don't send the email- it's far too long and emotive.

Detach from him. Don't give him the reaction he wants.

SchadenfreudePersonified Fri 27-Oct-17 17:21:53

Could teddy be "looking after" your DD's room for her whilst she's at her dad's?

I was going to suggest the same as eedjit - he could be keeping her bed warm, and making sure the other toys behave themselves.

You could have a special tea when she comes back - perhaps with a cake that teddy helped to make for her

JonSnowsWife Fri 27-Oct-17 17:25:22

Very mean of him. DD & DS are 11 & 8 and both still take their teddies with them. (Neither would admit this to their mates obviously but I think it's cute). In fact I think this week is the first time neither has taken the teddies but that's only because they rushed out and forgot!

timeisnotaline Fri 27-Oct-17 17:25:59

Poor 3 year old sad I'd go with the keeping safe line rather than push it, but I'd say to him you realise she will always remember you snatching her teddy off her and ignoring how she feels
Plus I like the 'oh couldn't you manage?' For the hair bobbles! Lighthearted, every time!

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 27-Oct-17 17:28:24

Do not send that email, it translates as ‘this is a weapon our using that works please carry on’

Rheged Fri 27-Oct-17 17:31:16

Gosh, it’s not over invested at all! My DCs are 5 and 7 and they both take a special teddy to dad’s house EOW. It would really upset them to leave them behind as they always sleep with them and are a comfort to them.

OPs ex is a dick for depriving his DD of that.

keeponworking Fri 27-Oct-17 17:32:54

It really rankles me when PPs pipe up with 'you're over invested' when someone is only dealing with something really really important to them that they want to sort out, not for themselves, but for someone else!


From bitter knowledge, trying to communicate rationally with someone like this is akin to smacking your head against a brick wall - it will achieve nothing.

If you are going to call him out on it (in a "naice" way, in front of DD) then maybe do it on a day where you parents are at handover - then he probably won't say something. But I'd probably be worried about the more than likely deliberate loss of teddy as a fairly unpleasant but possibly predictable action he might take...

What the hell is WRONG with people like this that they can't have any sensitivity to a young child's needs? Baffling and very very hard to deal with. My XH doesn't have NPD, he's got 'character disorder'. Which means his how 15 yo daughter wants nothing to do with him sadly.

cestlavielife Fri 27-Oct-17 17:35:09

No dont send that email. It gives him more power.

Say nothing.
Try and build dd resilience to you looking after teddy or teddy watching her room .

Is contact court ordered?

Record and keep a record .

Justanothernameonthepage Fri 27-Oct-17 17:35:52

Can you maybe tell her a secret, that her Dad is scared of the teddy bear, and that even adults are sometimes scared of things which is why he's so silly.

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 27-Oct-17 17:36:30

Manage it with your dd. Tell her a story such as because daddy doesn’t want her to take her teddy with her, he/she’s sending her magical hugs from home. Tell her to pick a teddy at her daddy’s house and that teddy can help get the magical hugs from home to give them to her. (Her daddy doesn’t know about the magic so it’s no point telling him). My dd is 9 and decided a few years ago her sleepy toy is magic so your dds toy can be magic too.

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