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To secretly throw away dc's birthday card from MIL?

(24 Posts)
AuntGeraldine Wed 17-Sep-08 16:27:37

It was dc1's (age 6) birthday a few weeks ago, she received nothing from MIL, card, present telephone call etc.
It was elder dc's (age 9) birthday last week and sure enough she received a card in the post (she is MIL favourite).
The same thing happened last year.
I threw the card away and told dh nothing had arrived. I suppose she'll have some explaining to do.
I think I may have been a bit U in going about this the wrong way.blushblush
I just don't want dc1 to find out/overhear and wonder why she was left out. sad

twoluvlykids Wed 17-Sep-08 16:30:17

how could MIL be so unfair to her gc?

weird. think you did the right thing.

ask the old bag to explain to your dc1. maybe not,she probably won't be pleasant.

hecate Wed 17-Sep-08 16:32:56

I can understand why you did it. I think a better approach might have been to phone up and say "I just thought I'd let you know that your birthday card to X (the one she doesn't send to) must have got lost in the post. Do you want me to buy another for you and sign your name, or would you like to send another? I know that you would be very upset to think of her not receiving a card from you on her birthday."

rebelmum1 Wed 17-Sep-08 16:37:35

i'd just say this one was lost in the post like the other

rebelmum1 Wed 17-Sep-08 16:39:47

i have difficulty keeping a straight face when winding up my MIL - funny we take such underhand approaches, you could be upfront and say you didn't think it was fair and get your dh to face her.

forevercleaning Wed 17-Sep-08 16:41:45

is she very old, or likely to be getting mixed up? I would give her a call, friendly like and just explain that you have received a card for one but not the other, and that it happened last year.

No harm in it, and she may well be mortified and make up for it.

I have so many nieces and nephw that i have quite often missed someone or other

sparklesandnowinefor6weeks Wed 17-Sep-08 16:46:23

i can understand why you did that, but i think you should tell your dh what she has done and at least then he can ask her why she didn't send DC1 anything

either that or just ask her outright and put her on the spot

its not a nice thing to do at all, my DS1 was the 1st born GC on both sides and was 'favorite' with all for a while even after any other GC were born but i always made sure that all GP's knew that it wouldn't wash with me from the off if i caught them favouring him instead of any of the others. The GP's now don't do it and all GC are treated the same smile

georgimama Wed 17-Sep-08 16:50:48

Yes you are being unreasonable.

Are you sure DC1's card wasn't lost in the post, and then MIL took offence when no thankyou call was forthcoming?

If she did forget, why not just ring her and ask about it?

Now both children think their grandmother forgot their birthdays. Is that really for the best? YOU will have some explaining to do if DC2 finds out that nanny did send a birthday card and mum put it in the bin.

georgimama Wed 17-Sep-08 16:52:13

Am stunned that other posters think what you did was reasonable. Good luck to all in being MILs one day, I'm sure it will be a doddle hmm

ScummyMummy Wed 17-Sep-08 16:57:04

This happened to me once when I was a kid- my nan remembered my birthday but forgot my sister's. My thank you card said "hey there granny, thanks awfully for the 2.50. I've decided to save it to buy something for wee sis's birthday because June 18th isn't that far away is it? Have you any ideas about what I should get her?" Or words to that effect. Could your elder kid copy this idea? It was one of my few ideas in life that has been remarkably effective while pretty darn painless and I am still pleased with myself 24 years later!

Upwind Wed 17-Sep-08 16:59:24

how can you have a dc1 (age 6) and an elder dc (age 9)? Are they both her grandchildren?

expatinscotland Wed 17-Sep-08 17:01:09


I'd ask her point blank why there was a card for one but not the other.

If it's because she plays favourites I'd tell her not to send a card to one if she's not going to send one to another because that's completely not cool.

And your DH should be completely ashamed for not standing up to his mother for such shocking behaviour.

takingitasitcomes Wed 17-Sep-08 17:01:14

I think you're right to be upset by MIL, but that you have acted wrongly to throw the card away. Be an adult and ring MIL up to let her know you haven't passed on the card to DC2 as DC1's card didn't arrive this year and you don't won't DC1 to become upset when she wonders why she didn't get one. That leaves the door open for MIL to explain/change her ways for next year.

moyasmum Wed 17-Sep-08 17:01:16

the op suspects that the mil is showing favouritism and has experience of it happening, so how is she supposed to deal with the slight her youngest will feel?
The eldest is of an age when they will be aware and may feel embarassed.
If nonone is addressing whats going on then the op is being resonable to make this call.

expatinscotland Wed 17-Sep-08 17:03:42

i'd have kept the card from the elder child until i got an explanation as to why MIL sent a card for one but not the other.

but not thrown it away.

seriously, why not phone MIL and find out what happened first.

ParCark Wed 17-Sep-08 17:03:57

Message withdrawn

ditheringdora Wed 17-Sep-08 17:05:54

I agree with hecate. Ring her up and thank her for the card and say that the other one never arrived. Apologise to her (swallow hard!) if she did send it, but say that her one didn't arrive last year either.
It needn't be an accusatory conversation just "you know what children are like, and Emily will be upset that she didn't get a card from her favourite grandma(through gritted teeth!) when Rose did. you know yourself. That way it is all out in the open, and better to expose the wound! do it now, before you chicken out!

georgimama Wed 17-Sep-08 17:09:19

But you don't know that ParCark, and even if that is the case, is it not better for the OP to be honest with her own children? Because what are they going to think if they find out she threw away a card from their grandmother(which is illegal, by the way, OP if it came through the post and was addressed to DC not you)? It just seems like a really immature way to deal with the problem rather than tackling it.

What expat said - tell MIL openly that if she is not prepared to treat both children the same, gifts are not welcome at all.

OrmIrian Wed 17-Sep-08 17:12:45

YABU. It's a subject that needs tackling with MIL but not confrontationally and not by throwing the card away.

expatinscotland Wed 17-Sep-08 17:14:40

this kind of thing always backfires, anyhow, then leaves you looking like the bad guy.

best to get it out in the open by having a chat and bringing up what for now is the truth: that the 9-year-old got a card but the 6-year-old didn't. Again.

see what the explanation is and go from there. then you heard it from the horse's mouth.

Cies Wed 17-Sep-08 17:17:20


If you suspect favouritism, you should tackle it.

Either indirectly, via a phone call where you make out that dc1´s card must have got lost in the post because it never arrived.

Or directly by getting DH to talk to his mother about it and tell her it is not on.

OrmIrian Wed 17-Sep-08 17:18:15

And unless your MIL is really nasty it's quite likely she forgot. My mum is getting quite vague and has forgotten b'days before now - she usually remembers (or is reminded!) just in time. Either way she needs to know that it's not OK for the sake of your DCs and family harmony.

PoorOldEnid Wed 17-Sep-08 17:21:19

agree with cies and ormirian

and am impressed with young scummy shock

nooka Wed 17-Sep-08 17:35:38

My parents never send cards. Actually they don't send cards to their children either. Sometimes they remember to ring. Sometimes I remember their birthday, but not always. This year my mother rang dd on her birthday. I was very surprised, and the fact that they didn't for ds's birthday didn't worry me at all. But that's because birthdays are not a big thing in my family and tend to be celebrated a bit haphazardly. Your situation sounds a little more deliberate, and I suspect there is some history behind it. I'm not sure you went about things in the right way, but can understand why you did. Favouritism is difficult to handle. My mother favours two out of her grandchildren, and one of her children. I can understand why to some extent, she is not good with girls, and my son and the eldest grandson just know how to appeal to her. Bad luck on all the rest, but there are plenty of other people who love them very much, so I don't think it will damage them too much (I certainly never felt any jealousy of my brother).

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