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To be irked that PIL called DD fat in a family-wide email?

(31 Posts)
marenmj Wed 30-Sep-09 16:41:06

DH's father and his wife came for a 10-day visit.

DD is 8 months old and BLW + BF and occasional supplement formula when I am unavailable.

She has only just started to swallow some of her solid food. Up until VERY recently it has been more of a chewing-on-tasty-things hobby.

Step-MIL positively hounded me the whole time she was here, utterly convinced that DD was not eating enough because I wasn't keeping track of ounces. (honestly, how?? oh, switch to formula. right)

DD is happy, healthy, and even though she was born at the 9th centile she has climbed to a very respectable 67th centile.

Ok, doubting step-MIL I can handle. Obsessing that DIL isn't feeding the baby enough seems to be standard MIL fare. What ticks me off is that upon arriving home, FIL sent out an email to everyone in the family giving the highlights of their trip. He reported that DD was "fat, fat, fat" followed by a tasteless race joke. (sigh, par for the course with FIL I'm afraid hmm). Well a) she really isn't actually fat, she's barely even respectably chubby for a baby; and b) why would you call her fat in the first place??

I know he isn't MALICIOUS, but this was a couple weeks ago and it is still niggling. It's been too long to try to bring it up with him now (and from past experience I don't know that addressing it would somehow magically impart more sensitivity, so I tend to save my battles).

Please tell me I am not BU to be secretly bothered by this - even if I know they mean well.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 30-Sep-09 16:43:33

surely 'fat, fat, fat' is a kind of shorthand for gleeful, isn't-she-lovely-and-chubby-and-snuggly.

Be bothered all you want wink but they probably mean it in a good way (and may be trying to make up for their insensitivity for her not eating enough)

GhostWriter Wed 30-Sep-09 16:44:53

Send your own family-wide email detailing your highlights of their trip.

FIL was a twat, twat, twat wasn't he?

Obviously, I don't seriously mean you should do this but yes, it's galling, insensitive and ridiculous.

Try to forget about it. I'd be more offended by the racist joke but calling a baby fat is rather silly indeed.

diedandgonetodevon Wed 30-Sep-09 16:45:18

YANBU at all to be upset by it but could he have meant it in a positive way? Some people describe babies as being fat meaning that they look chubby and healthy. Could he have been trying to undo his wife's comments about her not eating enough?

becstarlitsea Wed 30-Sep-09 16:46:01

I think your PIL was clumsily trying to undo the offence created by MIL suggesting your DD wasn't eating enough.

LittleOneMum Wed 30-Sep-09 16:46:11

Get voodoo dolls of MIL and FIL (obviously not a real, scary one, but a cheap barbie or something). Stick pins in it until you feel better. Take lots of deep breaths.

YANBU at all. They're both idiots. But they're your ILs and presumably you have to live with them. If it was me, I'd get DH to casually drop 'DD isn't fat' into the next appropriate conversation.


ILoveStripeySocks Wed 30-Sep-09 16:46:15

Id probably be miffed myself, but that would be because of my own insecurities. Was he racist about your baby? shock that would irk me far more!

MrsMerryHenry Wed 30-Sep-09 16:47:22

Even though your FIL sounds like a bit of a prick I think he did mean it in that 'lovely chubby baby' way. Is he piss-poor at expressing himself at the best of times?

PrincessToadstool Wed 30-Sep-09 16:50:46

I used to call my DS 'my little fattie', he was just deliciously chubby. Am I a shit parent?

marenmj Wed 30-Sep-09 16:51:41

lol, I doubt either of them registered that they caused offence re: eating. I know that he means it as shorthand for all sorts of good adjectives, which is why I don't want to get into it with him about it and I feel a bit unreasonable to be bothered by it.

I did privately tell him at the time I didn't appreciate the joke, and have had to do so before (picking battles and all).

When they came by in the mornings they always said that they hoped I had gotten more sleep the night before (when I let slip that I was tired) not realizing that DD was so excited to be around them during the day she actually wasn't eating as much as normal and so was after me all night for feeds to make up the difference.

ILoveStripeySocks Wed 30-Sep-09 16:53:28

PT, I call my son my fatty tatty too blush but I would be annoyed of someone else did it

marenmj Wed 30-Sep-09 16:54:13

'Is he piss-poor at expressing himself at the best of times?'

YES. Oh yes. He once wrote DH a letter detailing all the money that had been spent on him throughout his childhood and ending it with "this is how much I love you".

Piss-poor expression doesn't even scratch the surface of PIL. How DH managed to come from him I will never know grin

marenmj Wed 30-Sep-09 16:57:07

The joke was about DD but not her race ("XXX has more chins than a Chinese phone book" specifically).

He always makes me feel so SENSITIVE all the time. Like I shouldn't be bothered but I AM.

ConFuschias Wed 30-Sep-09 16:57:59

shock at thinking money equates with love

MrsMerryHenry Wed 30-Sep-09 16:58:16

What a tit. Marenmj, I can understand why you would feel the way you do. Sadly I think there'll be many more demonstrations of this man's complete absence of emotional intelligence to come. Steel yourself, and just laugh over it with DH when it happens.


ConFuschias Wed 30-Sep-09 16:59:18

and well done you for tolerating them for a 10 day visit. I wouldn't even put up with my own parents for that long

morningpaper Wed 30-Sep-09 17:00:36

Older people tend to come from 'a time' where 'fat babies' is a good thing - particularly in wartime - which is why sugar sandwiches were popular for small toddlers - to fatten them up. If you kept your child fat during rationning you were a really good mum. So I wouldn't worry about it.

marenmj Wed 30-Sep-09 17:01:52

ConFuschias the letter was an attempt to make amends after he had publicly confronted then-teenage DH because he thought he was gay (PIL gets better and better the longer you know him!)

MrsMerryHenry agreed. I think it's getting under my skin more because the comment is about DD. DH's reaction is "yep, that's my dad, get used to it, he's never going to change"

marenmj Wed 30-Sep-09 17:06:07

'and well done you for tolerating them for a 10 day visit. I wouldn't even put up with my own parents for that long'

My mum came out for 3 1/2 weeks when DD was born. We wanted her here for the birth and couldn't guarantee when that would be so cast a wide net. IL simply couldn't understand why, at 9 1/2 months preggo and mum staying in the spare room, I was wearing a bit thin with her.

Unfortunate as PILs have just moved to the same town as my parents so now they all run into and chat with each other!

clop Wed 30-Sep-09 17:06:28

Gosh, I come from a time when fat babies are a good thing! Fat means well-nourished, better than the alternative, really. Fat child is a problem, but fat babies are cute. I had a couple myself...
So YABU, I think you're being a bit precious about the fat remark, OP.

marenmj Wed 30-Sep-09 17:10:16

Fat babies are adorable. No argument from me. But telling me to my face that I'm not feeding her enough and then calling her fat to everyone else? Bothers me a bit.

Have just now realized that MIL might not agree with the fat sentiment and PIL might not agree that DD isn't well-fed. Hmm.

Jamieandhismagictorch Wed 30-Sep-09 17:10:30

YANBU, but you will drive yourself mad if you don't take it all with a massive pinch of salt.

Oh, and I agree with ConFuschias about the 10 day visit.

beaniesinthebucketagain Wed 30-Sep-09 17:41:05

my pils called our ds anorexic, after saying when he was 6mnths he was obese, he is two and runs everywhere, quite possible does dream running like a puppy, the child never stops, but he also never stops eating, pils are just insensitive without realizing! You will get to a stage where you smile and ignore, it takes practice, and btw YANBU!

cat64 Wed 30-Sep-09 17:47:40

Message withdrawn

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 30-Sep-09 21:45:54

Given the age of his Chinese phone book 'joke', I'd hazard a guess he's from the generation that would describe a baby as being fat with great pride - it would be seen as a wonderful achievement. Especially the repetition of the word - that suggests pride to me, I was picturing an old duffer in a tweed suit rubbing his hands with glee as I read that.

Since the e-mail was family-only, they all must know what he's like. Try not to let it get to you. Oh, and YANBU.

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