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To ask my FIL to please stop hissing at DD

(38 Posts)
ThinWhiteDuchess Thu 04-Sep-08 18:30:43

Following on from another thread which I did not want to totally hijack, can anyone please tell me how I can get my very sweet (step) FIL to stop bloody hissing at my 12 month DD? She hates it and screeches as soon as she sees him now, when she's normally a very calm, smiley little girl. If I am honest, I think I hate it more than she does!

FIL is in his 70s and very sadly had a massive heart attack last year which he only survived due to the very prompt actions of SIL who is a medical professional. He is a really nice man who wouldn't hurt a fly and I would hate to upset him, but everytime he sees DD (only a couple of times a month thankfully), he hisses at her! When they came the other day, DD & I went outside to greet them, she saw who was in the car & didn't stop crying until they left a couple of hours later. FIL hissed at her for pretty much most of those 2 hours! I hate it and just want to shout at him. DH just ignores it, although I know it winds him up too. What to do without causing any hurt?

cornsilk Thu 04-Sep-08 18:31:45

what do you mean by hissing?

ThinWhiteDuchess Thu 04-Sep-08 18:32:49

He just goes pssssttt pssssttt pssssttt at her. God, it winds me up!

Ronaldinhio Thu 04-Sep-08 18:35:33

is your father in law a snake?
Does he speak slytherin?
If so, YABU.

n5rje Thu 04-Sep-08 18:36:37

I don't have a solution but you have my sympathies - I have exactly the same problem but with whistleing at my DSs - does he think they're dogs ?They just ignore it but it drives me mad.

ThinWhiteDuchess Thu 04-Sep-08 18:37:37

I am lol at this at the moment, as written down it does seem ridiculous, but I now start to dread seeing my (very nice really) ILs.

Guadalupe Thu 04-Sep-08 18:38:04

I would say, she really doesn't like that sound for some reason. Aren't babies funny? How aboout we try beep beep beep. Or something.

Twiglett Thu 04-Sep-08 18:38:28

I know old people who do this .. I think my dad does too .. they consider it baby-talk

the hissing is designed to calm and quiet .. so if your DD is screeching it's going to encourage him

you have to tell him that you've realised that she has hyper-sensitive hearing and certain frequencies upset her you've particularly noticed it when you go shhhh shhh and you were wondering if he could try not shhhing her for a bit till her hearing settles down

FrannyandZooey Thu 04-Sep-08 18:39:09

how bizarre
why on earth would he carry on if she clearly doesn;t like it?
and why do it in the first place?

Can you ask your MIL to talk to him?

Mungarra Thu 04-Sep-08 18:42:11

My FIL whistles at my children when they're babies. He seems to think they should be enchanted by the whistling, but I've never seen it happen. I've also seen other old men doing it. I don't get it either and it is annoying.

Sorry, don't have any advice, but it annoys me too.

ThinWhiteDuchess Thu 04-Sep-08 18:44:57

Well, MIL doesn't really help the situation. Obviously not realising why DD is screaming(!), she makes comments like "oh she's crying because she's used to just you. You should leave her with other people more so she gets used to it". Erm, DD is fine with other people, just not FIL. Because he hisses at her.

ThinWhiteDuchess Thu 04-Sep-08 18:46:35

Thanks Twiglett, I might get DH to say that to him!

pointydog Thu 04-Sep-08 18:48:36

Is he a bit ga-ga? Old people do odd things. It's part of their charm. When your dd gets a bit older, you can laugh about it together.

JuneBugJen Thu 04-Sep-08 18:53:18

My Uncle-in-law (who is a mid 60's batchelor BTW) does a demented tweeting noise to my dd. She loathes him and I cant say I blame her if that is the only 'conversation' he can come up with!

No solutions, just to know that some people don't have the foggiest that wierd noises should be used sparingly on babies!

Twiglett Thu 04-Sep-08 19:09:48

I'm wondering if your FIL is Indian or Asian because it's a fairly common baby response amongst older generation Indians and Asians IME

bamzooki Thu 04-Sep-08 19:10:38

Perhaps he doesn't really know how to interact with a little baby - even if he did when younger, perhaps he's forgotten how. Seemed fairly common with the men of that generation in my family wihen dd was tiny anyway.
Could you try showing him the sort of things she likes you doing with her?

ThinWhiteDuchess Thu 04-Sep-08 19:15:07

Interesting Twiglett, FIL is Jamaican. No idea if that has anything to do with it or not (know lots of Jamaicans and none of them hiss at DD!).

DD is the youngest grandchild by a very long way, so it is also possible that he has indeed forgotten how to interact with a small baby. Just thinks hissing at her will win her over in the end. If nothing else, he's persistent!

percent Thu 04-Sep-08 19:23:45

OMG my FIL (80's) does this almost the whole time he is here visiting. It drives me mad. None of my children have been upset by it though. The cat however thinks the psst psst pssst noises are for her and constantly tries to go to him.......he doesn't like cats.

So we have the same conversation every week. It goes like this
FIL "Pssst, psst pssst." at dd
Cat "Miaow, purrrrrr."
FIL "Go away cat. I don't like cats."
DH "Then stop calling her then!"
FIL "I wasn't."
Every bloody week.

To make it worse he some times brings his friend who "cuckoos" at the kids too. So sometimes all you can hear are two old men going "psssst psssst psssst" and "cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo" It's great fun here on a Saturday morning!

JuneBugJen Thu 04-Sep-08 19:25:29

LOL percent

FrannyandZooey Thu 04-Sep-08 19:46:13

thank god my barmy inlaws at least don't do this

Jahan Thu 04-Sep-08 20:17:18

Sorry no advice but Lol grin

nelliesmum Thu 04-Sep-08 20:21:22

My MIL always pretends to steal my dd's in "Oh, is that for me?", the poor kid hides her grub when she sees her coming. Its not funny anymore (never was!) but it does seem petty to say anything, you have my sympathy.

idontbelieveit Thu 04-Sep-08 20:22:48

lol percent, my pil both used to shhhhhhhhush my dd when she was small. She ignored it but it drove me INSANE! Just ignore it, he'll stop doing it when she gets a bit older and probably start doing something else equally madenning, taking her round to see his neighbours without asking you for example!

SmugColditz Thu 04-Sep-08 20:32:45

he he he

Ds1 was asked when he was about three "Are those sweeties for me? Oh thank you!"

He cried. He visibly sagged, and handed them over with such resignation and grief, then burst into gulping sobs!

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