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Family arguments over 'shy' FIL.

(10 Posts)
PrammyMammy Wed 28-Oct-09 10:36:19

I am just passing today, but have a problem only you guys can fix :P.

I had a dd 5 weeks ago, and we moved house 3 weeks ago from a small second floor flat in a close to a larger house with big garden. The house is great but was a complete mess when we moved in - needing a full new kitchen, a new bathroom, all new plug sockets and lights and every single room stripped and fixed. So this obviously took us a few weeks, and we still don't have the kitchen decorated as it was only fitted Monday.

To the point. Obviously pil wanted to visit their gc's during this move. I was living at my parents with them until the house was ready. So while my dp, my dad, my friends and myself were all over scrubbing and painting the house my il's sat im my parents place with the dc's.
One day my mum came in from her work, to find fil in the conservatory. mil was at the shops. DD was asleep, Fil was reading a paper, and DS (22mos) had drawn all over the floors, the windows and the walls with crayons/pens/chalks from my nieces art set. Fil left him to do it. My mum was very angry with ME over it as they had been all over the house and let ds draw on things. My mum didn't mention it to fil though, just me. He then went to my house and made a coffee and stayed away from everyone else there, didn't speak or answer them, just smile and nod kind of thing. After some friends and my dad mentioned that he was just hanging about watching them and not speaking, i had a word with DP about the drawings at my mums and him hanging about like a supervisor, he spoke to fil who said he didn't think it was that bad, plus it was kids crayon and chalk so would wash. (true - it did wash, and it was that bad - even the CREAM cushion covers were scribbled on like road maps with pink felt tip) Fil said he thought DS was allowed the set as it was in the toy box (which is in the living room, not the conservatory - alongside paper). So dp defends fil, saying he didn't realize etc. Moving on to later when my mum says 'Must be something in the name, because John from up the road is a bit weird too' (talking about fil in front of my dp). This was 2 weeks ago.
Il's visited last night and fil just sat again. After they left i pointed out that that was quite strange to visit someone and just watch the TV. Causing a huge argument and DP saying his dad is just shy (i've known him 7 years now - he has not always been 'shy') I said it was ignorant to ignore people in their own home, while flicking through their tv and drinking their coffee. Which made dp even more defensive. Now dp says he isn't talking to my mum until she says sorry for saying fil was weird like john along the street lol and he isn't planning on talking to her till she says sorry. Isn't talking me either. Argh.

posieparksherbroom Wed 28-Oct-09 10:40:22

Sounds like my FIL, if he isn't centre of attention he barely speaks. Sounds as if he's ignorant and not shy.

sowhatis Wed 28-Oct-09 10:41:46

can see both sides. i think fil was a bit 'dim' where the crayons etc were concerned, and your mum has every right to be angry. but i would have talked to fil about it, not my dp.

can see your dps pov as his dad is being slated, but him not talknig to your mum is childish.

i think you just need to draw a line under it and mvoe on.

as for fil wierd behaviour - maybe he has something on his mind and if this is out of character behaviour, then maybe there is something wrong?


pipWereRabbit Wed 28-Oct-09 10:44:56

So what's changed for your FIL, as you say he's not always been 'shy'?

Could there be some sort of underlying problem that makes it harder for him to interact? hearing loss or similar?

It does sound like a very odd situation - especially the failure to supervise a child when left in charge.

thedollshouse Wed 28-Oct-09 10:46:37

A tricky one, a lot of men from our parents generation don't really communicate properley and your fil sounds like the fathers of many of my friends.

I think the problem is your mum is irritated by his behaviour and I don't blame her. I think it is unreasonable for your mum to have to entertain people who aren't related to her in her own home. I wouldn't be happy about that. Can't you visit them in their home? Not sure why they have to come to your mums house.

diddl Sat 31-Oct-09 15:01:21

I don´t get why FIL was alone with children at your Mums house.

That aside, I don´t understand why he let your son draw everywhere.

Not sure how old FIL is, but perhaps the poor thing dozed off!!

qwertpoiuy Sat 31-Oct-09 15:14:03

Thank goodness your DS was drawing and not climbing units or trying to drink dangerous liquids, because it sounds like your FIL would not have stopped him!

diddl Sat 31-Oct-09 17:28:59

Did he leave him doing what he wanted rather than upset him& have to deal with it?

Sort of thing my ILs would have done,tbh!

NanaNina Sun 01-Nov-09 16:05:36

Prammymammy - are you maybe a little more emotional than usual given that your baby is so young. You say you've known your ILs for 7 years so I wonder why you have only just become upset at your FIL not being sociable. Do you really want to have a conversation with him - wouldn't have thought so - it sounds like he is just irritating you for some reason. I disliked my FIl intensely but I would have been glad for him to keep quiet and be unobtrusive, rather than doing what he did, being overbearing etc.

I think the crayon incident may have been innocent on his part. It is amazing how your forget what is OK and what isn't when you get to be GPs. I am a MIL and a GP and I wouldn't leave my GC with my H as he wouldn't really take much notice of what was going on - just being out of touch really rather than anything else.

I also think it was a little tactless of your mother to make that comment to your H about his dad. I do think sometimes that some of the MN posters who complain about PILs and about their Hs and Ps who try to defend them, aren't being very reasonable. I do think that Hs and Ps should be loyal and supportive to their wives and partners but I don't find it surprising that they are also loyal to their parents. As the mother of 3 adult sons I am rather glad about this! I wonder how you might have felt if one of your ILs had made a similar comment about your mother or father?

Anyway hope it all gets sorted.

greenwoodpecker Sun 01-Nov-09 16:22:51

i would stop arguing over whether FIL is weird or not - does it matter? so what if he is weird? but I would be making sure that DC were never left with him in sole charge again, as he doesn't seem capable of supervising them well enough for their own safety

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