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to think my inlaws are bullying my son?

(65 Posts)
keresley Mon 22-Jun-09 22:37:19

I have just been on a caravan holiday with my husband, 2 children and in laws. My ds is allergic to nuts and eggs. Throughout the 4 day holiday my son had to put up with the following:
- being offered sausage, eggg and bacon for breakfast
- my fil having honey loops and singing/dancing round the kitchen saying I'm eating honey nut loops.
- my fil cooking a fried egg, showing the egg to my son saying 'look at this lovely yummy creamy egg'
- my ds being unable to have ice cream in a restaurant (had egg in it), my fil then continued to order the very ice cream that ds couldn't have saying 'I hope it's a big one' whilst waiting for it. Then eating it in front of him. The mil chaged her cream accompayment to the same ice cream.
- (on another occasion) my fil trying to buy my dd ice cream knowing that my ds couldn't have it.
- After ordering soup for lunch, my fil looks down the menu and says oh look cashew nuts- we could order cashew nuts'
- my fil insisting that he ate fried/scrambled egg for breakfast every day even though we asked him not to (it's my holiday is the response we get).
- my fil asking to 'swap' food at lunch time with my son knowing full well there was mayo in his sandwich.
I am so outraged and upset by the whole thing. I didn't make a fuss at the time as I didn't want my ds to think he had been the cause of a row. My dh put it all down to his dad being a bit thick - I put it down to active bullying. Please, please tell me what you think. Am I over reacting? Thanks so much in advance for your responses.

Thunderduck Mon 22-Jun-09 22:39:12

I'd have left.

Are they slightly unhinged?

andiem Mon 22-Jun-09 22:40:54

they sound awful I would have asked them to leave
they aren't thick they sound malicious.

dalek Mon 22-Jun-09 22:42:08

I admire your restraint in not losing your rag - I too would have left.

Hope your son is ok and not too upset by it all - how old is he?

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 22-Jun-09 22:42:27

God, they sound really inconsiderate. A bit like my ex mil hmm

Slambang Mon 22-Jun-09 22:44:05

Sounds awful. Do the ils really believe that ds is allergic? They sound very much as if they think you are an over fussy mother of a pfb.

Have you explained the consequences of ds eating egg.

Have you told them what the doctor said?

If they do understand but still behave like this then they are cruel and thoughtless and don't deserve to spend time with ds.

Chunkamatic Mon 22-Jun-09 22:44:09

Why would they be like that to their Grandson? Sounds like it was mostly down to you FIL what did MIL say? Maybe they think it's funny? hmm I don't think you're at all unreasonable to be upset with them

LadyGlencoraPalliser Mon 22-Jun-09 22:44:25

Are your PIL totally accepting that your son's allergies are genuine? TO me it sounds like your FIL is deliberately trying to feed your DS something he is allergic to -possibly because he thinks that your DS's allergies are not that bad and he is trying to "prove" it.

scaryteacher Mon 22-Jun-09 22:45:59

Perhaps they don't realise the seriousness of his allergies, and think he's being fussy. It can be a generational thing, as my Gran didn't believe in food allergies, even when ds came out in huge hives after she'd fed him a blue smartie.

winno Mon 22-Jun-09 22:46:27

Hi i am new to this site but your post cought my eye, i agree with you they shld try growing up how pathetic and childish...... well done you 4 not going off on 1, if it happened again id have a word or get your dh to do it 4 u. all the best smile

Doozle Mon 22-Jun-09 22:47:25

I also agree - sounds like they don't think the allergy stuff is real.

dittany Mon 22-Jun-09 22:48:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EyePeam Mon 22-Jun-09 22:49:11

they sound horrible. what sort of grandparents tease or taunt their grandchild like that? it does sound as though they think the allergy is not real but an affectation or something.

would you trust them to look after your ds including giving him a meal? sounds like they're keen to prove his allergy isn't real.

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Mon 22-Jun-09 22:49:14

They sound like stupid people who think allergies are a modern nonsense which would all be solved by a good beating and the return of Latin.

I'd make damn sure you never leave them in charge of your DS, they might kill him. Seriously.

mamas12 Mon 22-Jun-09 22:49:20

do you know what they just sound ignorant.
havce you sate them down to explain it all in detail?
If not you really need to asap if you have well they are being stoooooopid. and you and/or youdh needs to 'ave a word'

paisleyleaf Mon 22-Jun-09 22:49:40

do they think they're funny?
Or, like others have said....perhaps doubt the allergies are real.
But yanbu, and are right....that does seem like bullying.

Satsuma1 Mon 22-Jun-09 22:49:53

There's obviously something wrong with them. Do they understand the health implications of your DS being exposed to nuts and eggs?

Tbh I would have had strong words with them (out of the children's earshot of course!) and immediately left. In fact, if I was your DH I would have done it myself.

All in all, very annoyed on your behalf and very angry for your DS. What a way to treat a child. They should be ashamed.

FairLadyRantALot Mon 22-Jun-09 22:50:05

any reason for posting it in 2 areas, OP?
Just wondering really...

anyway, your fil, especially, sounds awful... but it does seem as if maybe your inlaws don't believe your ds has allergies....

what does your dh say...

Doozle Mon 22-Jun-09 22:50:56

PS. Time for holidays with just you, DH & DC from now on, I reckon!

mrsruffallo Mon 22-Jun-09 22:51:54

I think the older generation don't believe in allergies, and think you/ he are just being fussy

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Mon 22-Jun-09 22:52:09

Actually I would have had strong words in front of the children myself.

I know we're never supposed to argue in front of them blah blah, but I don't think it does them any harm at all to know that some behaviour is utterly unacceptable and Mummy won't tolerate it and neither should they.

I once flounced out left a family occasion because my insane relatives suddenly reverted to their dysfunctional selves and I didn't want my DC's being exposed to it. I wanted to make it very clear that this is not normal behaviour and we don't have to put up with it.

SolidGoldBrass Mon 22-Jun-09 22:56:03

THere are a lot of people who think that food allergies are just a matter of being precious and/or spoilt. (and in the cases of undiagnosed food 'intolerances', hey, sometimes they are...). However, this sort of sustained campaign to feed your poor little boy something that will make him ill and to make him feel miserable and as though he is being difficut on purpose is thoroughly unpleasant. Kids with food allergies have a miserable enough time not being able to eat whatever their friends or siblings are eating, without this sort of taunting.
I would keep contact with your stupid FIL to a minimum and avoid mealtimes. And definitely not leave your DS alone with him (OK so a dash to hospital for an adrenaline injection might teach your FIL a lesson but it's too rough on DS...)

Scorpette Mon 22-Jun-09 22:59:31

Sadly, this is a pretty normal behaviour - I have food allergies and it seems to turn normal, thoughtful people into complete arseholes. People suddenly start waving the things I'm allergic to in my face, trying to force me to 'try some', asking me repeatedly if I'm 'sure' I don't want any, trying to trick me into eating stuff that'd make me ill (like the incidence with the mayo you mention) and above all making a big song and dance about eating the things I can't. My own Dad does this and thinks it's hilarious.

But of course, I'm an adult and I can tell them to fk off and refuse stuff as I know what's in everything and if I can have it, which your DS can't. The fact of the matter is that far too many people think allergies are all 'in the mind' or it's just a fussy person being neurotic, or like in your case, a fussy parent mollycoddling a kid who doesn't really have anything wrong with them. People seem to be unconsciously threatened by allergies - it's like they think you're telling them that their lifestyle is bad or that you're not going to let them live their lives the way they want to and weird crap like that.

The cold, hard fact is that you're going to have to sit down with your ILs and tell them that their behaviour upset you and upset your DS (even if it didn't too much, lay on the guilt!) and made you nervous that he would become ill. Be very calm and speak as if you think they don't realise how serious it is - guilt-trip them without sounding blaming. Explain that constantly being reminded about things he has to miss out on makes your son feel excluded and weird (even if he's not expressed this, tell them this is how their behaviour will make him feel) and if they keep it up, he'll not want to see them. Really, though, your DH should do this, as it's his parents. It probably is his Dad being thick and perhaps he misguidedly thinks that making jokes and offering your son stuff is a way to relieve worries about his allergies (this is the reason my Dad gives!). You know how dense too many men can be! It sounds more like a poorly-judged and cack-handed way of dealing with something he can't understand rather than bullying per se.

I hope you have success, because I know as an allergy-sufferer how upsetting this behaviour will be to a child.

keresley Mon 22-Jun-09 23:01:09

Thanks for you responses. Yes they both know that the allergies are life threatening. The MIL was actually present when my son had an anaphylatic shock so she knows the implications exactly. Plus they have both been trained in emergemcy procedures, epeipen shots etc. Dalek, my son is 4. Chunkamatic, it's interesting that you say they find it funny - I feel that my fil is almost getting a kick out of it everytime he acts like this.

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Mon 22-Jun-09 23:05:41

Oh if they understand the life-threatening nature of it, then they are just bastards.

Simple really. grin

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