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Did my MIL overreact?

(76 Posts)
EnglishRose13 Tue 12-Mar-19 18:40:46

My in-laws came over today, as they do every Tuesday.

My son, who is 3 next month, grabbed a wooden knife from his play kitchen and said "I'm going to cut you, nanny!" to my MIL. My MIL fled to the kitchen in tears. I sat him down, explained that it wasn't a nice thing to say and told him to say sorry. I thought that would be the end of it but MIL was in a mood for the rest of the day and was honestly quite horrible to my son after, being snappy and telling him off a lot more than usual.

AIBU to think this was a massive overreaction and while it was a horrible thing to say (I've no idea where he got it from!), he's 2 so doesn't understand?! They're looking after him this weekend and I'm worried she will still be upset with him.

Weebitawks Tue 12-Mar-19 18:41:47

Yeah she was completely over the top

FuzzyPuffling Tue 12-Mar-19 18:43:21

Looks like an overreaction on the face of it, but it may have been a trigger for something you don't know about. Cut her some slack.

I'd be far more worried where my small son was getting those words and actions from.

SnuggyBuggy Tue 12-Mar-19 18:43:29

Did it bring up something traumatic for her? Only sensible explanation I can think of.

Whatsnewpussyhat Tue 12-Mar-19 18:43:57

She fled to the kitchen in tears?
I would've laughed at her. Ridiculous overreaction

kaytee87 Tue 12-Mar-19 18:44:17

I'd assume there's some past trauma

LostwithSawyer Tue 12-Mar-19 18:44:29

Bit of an odd thing for him to say but she should have replied along the lines of don't be silly.
She sounds dramatic!

Whatsnewpussyhat Tue 12-Mar-19 18:45:05

Unless there is a big dripfeed that he plays fortnite 12 hours a day.

GreatDuckCookery6211 Tue 12-Mar-19 18:45:05

Without knowing your MIL it’s hard to say.
Only you know the answer OP.

TheLightSideOfTheMoon Tue 12-Mar-19 18:45:46


I can't stand children with toy weapons. Provokes a weird reaction in me.

Although I wouldn't have cried. But I'd have excused myself and gone home.

Guineapiglet345 Tue 12-Mar-19 18:45:48

Total overreaction, even if it brought back traumatic memories for her she should be able to see that he’s only little and put them to one side after the initial shock. I don’t think I’d leave him with her this weekend if I were you.

Singlenotsingle Tue 12-Mar-19 18:47:17

Oh, he didn't mean it. Silly woman! She obviously took it personally. No idea how to you can deal with this; it's all in her hands, isn't it?

Takethebuscuitandthesink Tue 12-Mar-19 18:48:25

Sounds like there is more than meets the eye here. I would try to cut her some slack and get your son to never do anything like that again. But seriously I would try and find out what is happening.

NameChange992 Tue 12-Mar-19 18:50:14

Are you sure there’s not something else going on that had her already upset, so it only took something very small to set her off?

If her behaviour all day was generally uncharacteristic i’d get in touch with her to see if there’s something wrong/ she’s worrying about something.

EnglishRose13 Tue 12-Mar-19 18:50:28

I honestly have no idea where it's from. It's not something we'd say!

Unless when helping with the washing up (he likes to help) we've said not to wash a knife as they cut, so he's made the connect? Or while playing with him one of us may have used the wooden knife to "cut" some food or something. I really don't know. I was shocked!

No previous trauma that I know of, but of course I don't know everything. I hadn't considered that.

It's not even the crying immediately after, it's how she's been with him all day since. I feel like it was an unfair way to treat a toddler! I hope she moves on from it by Friday.

AmIRightOrAMeringue Tue 12-Mar-19 18:51:52

Children that little have literally no empathy, they wouldn't think it might sound bad to the other person or if they did it it would hurt.

When my daughter was 2 she got some plastic scissors and said 'mummy I cut you face'. She is almost 4 now and hasn't tried to murder me

I think she was over reacting. Kids say and do some shitty things at times and it can feel hurtful but the rational part of the adults brain should not react badly as we know there is no malice behind it. We just need to explain to them why it's unacceptable

Maybe she did have some past trauma or somrthi mg

EnglishRose13 Tue 12-Mar-19 18:54:05

A past trauma would explain her initial reaction but not how she carried on for the rest of the day.

No Fortnite in this house, yet! 😂

sue51 Tue 12-Mar-19 18:57:41

Weird reaction from mil. My granddaughter plays with a wooden toy tool kit play hammering and sawing bits of play wood. It would never occur to me to see these things as weapons.Your little boy is only 2 and probably meant somethig like be careful granny knives can cut you.

GreatDuckCookery6211 Tue 12-Mar-19 19:01:06

If anyone I knew reacted like that I’d grab them to one side and ask if they were ok.

Cranky17 Tue 12-Mar-19 19:03:40

Canyon speak to her
? Say you weee concerned by such a strong reaction and is everything ok?

EnglishRose13 Tue 12-Mar-19 19:07:39

My husband went to check on her while I spoke to our son. He's brushed it off so I didn't say anything to her about it, other than sorry, but it's been weird here today since so it's been playing on my mind.

I'll check in on her later in the week.

Just to illustrate how my son usually is; I've got a cold and he's just brought me a pillow. I didn't ask him to, he's just trying to help. He usually is lovely (doesn't get that from me!).

Ninkaninus Tue 12-Mar-19 19:17:51

Good grief.

The normal reaction to that kind of very normal comment from a young child is to say no, we don’t cut people, we only cut vegetables (or whatever), in a cheerful, matter-of-fact way.

She either doesn’t understand child development at all or there is something else going on with her.

I’d be asking your DH to ask her not to be sulky, snappy and moody in future with a child who is too young to realise what they’ve said or done.

Duckee Tue 12-Mar-19 19:18:52

Your MIL overreacted. Kids say weird stuff, especially when they're little and have no idea what they're babbling about. My dd once (when she was around 3) asked whether she could cut my face off, and another time said she wanted to take my skin off. She's now 5 and isn't showing any signs of being a psychopath or wanting to harm me or anyone else 😄

FuckertyBoo Tue 12-Mar-19 19:21:52

Maybe she’s had some bad news or something? So she was already in a bad mood and that’s why she overreacted.

Mine would’ve said that as a joke in the same way she’d have said “I’m going to whisk you / stir you / fork you nanny”. I really don’t think they mean cut knowing what that is.

RomanyQueen1 Tue 12-Mar-19 19:23:12

Could she think that it's part of a bigger problem with him/ I'm sure it's not. Or as others have said could have triggered something.
The only other thing is if she hasn't been close to small children for a long time and has forgotten that they repeat things, it could have been on a tv add or anywhere, but maybe she is worried where he picked it up.

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