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AIBU to think FIL was spiteful?

(46 Posts)
MrsHelenBee Thu 04-Jun-15 21:47:17

Hi everyone.
Just wondered if people think I overreacted as I still feel really angry and upset about what happened yesterday.
I took my DS's to visit my inlaws, which has always been really nice. They're kind and loving people.
DS1 is 3 and was playing when his grandad asked him for a 'high five'. Any other time, he's grinned and obliged straight away, with lots of giggles to follow, so tbh, I was a bit surprised when he said no very flatly. I spoke to him quietly to say it wasn't the nicest way to talk to Pops and he apologised, then went back to playing with his toys.
A minute later, my FIL asked, "Are you coming on holiday with us in the summer?" We told our DS some months back that the whole family were going on holiday, and he's been so excited whenever we've talked about it, so he replied "Yes I am! It's very exciting, I'm going on a plane and going on holiday everyone!!" My FIL then looked deadpan and said "No you're not, you're not coming." My son looked confused for a minute, then smiled and said "You're silly Pops, yes I am." To which, my FIL said very firmly, "NO. You're not!" I was waiting for the laughter, but it never came, and I was shocked. I didn't know what to say and, after watching DS walk away and play in silence for 20 minutes, I made an excuse so we could leave. Now, I wish I'd said something and been a better mummy to my DS.
As we pulled away in the car, DS still looked so upset and told me he was very sad because Daddy had got it wrong. I asked him what he meant and he said, "Daddy was wrong. He said we would all go on a plane together but he's wrong. I'm not going." I told him Pops was joking and he was going on holiday with Mummy, Daddy, his baby brother, and all the rest of the fsmily but he burst into tears saying I was wrong and that he wasn't going, over and over. Nothing I could say would calm him and the next thing I knew he'd undone his seatbelt. I was on the motorway and I panicked. I yelled at him and was absolutely terrified for the next two miles? Until I could get off the mororway, stop and strap him in again. He was in such a state and kept saying he was very sorry and that it was all his fault.
He cried all the way home and was still very quiet when DH finally got home. My DS is the happiest, most loving and gentle boy I know, and DH asked what was wrong almost straight away. I spoke to him away from the boys, hoping for understanding, but all he said was "Did Dad really say that? And then he really laughed and walked away.
Am I being really stupid here not to have seen a funny side to it at all??? Who says that to a 3 year old?!!! My son is bright but couldn't possibly understand it as funny, and while my FIL has no idea what happened in the car, I'm still so angry with him. I'm really angry at myself for being too stunned to know what to say and put it right. To me, what he said was cruel and spiteful.

BrockAuLit Thu 04-Jun-15 21:53:23

I think you're over reacting a bit, but we've all been there and know how it happens.

I find the older (and grumpier!) generation forget the details of what having small ones is like. They can often behave in ways inappropriately advanced/mature for a small child to handle. Plus, each small child is different and grandparents can't always be expected to keep a handle on each child's progress.

I don't think it was brilliant behaviour on FIL's part, but there's a whole lot worse out there. It's fine - your DS will be fine, it will all be forgotten soon enough. He sounds loving enough and I'm sure they'll get back on track soon.

JammyGeorge Thu 04-Jun-15 21:56:07

Your FIL is an arse.

The whole point of a joke is that it is funny, saying that to a 3 year old is not funny.

MrsHelenBee Thu 04-Jun-15 22:12:11

Thank God I'm not the only one. DH's response made me feel like I was being a total frama queen, but if I didn't find it funny, bow was my son ever going to take it well?!! And it was totally off the back of him not wanting the high five, as if he wanted to punish him. Don't get it.

readysteady Thu 04-Jun-15 22:19:03

Awful thing to say! Was this in direct response to the high 5 thing do you think? Very odd!!!

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 04-Jun-15 22:20:36

Christ. Had your Fil taken the hump because of the high five thing? What a twat.

MustTidyUpMustTidyUp Thu 04-Jun-15 22:21:31

You're not overreacting that was mean. Horrible. sad

AssembleTheMinions Thu 04-Jun-15 22:24:43

Fil was mean and unkind but I can't think why you didn't say something. I would have said "don't be silly grandad, of course ds is coming on holiday" and then laughed it off.

MrsHelenBee Thu 04-Jun-15 22:33:50

Just seen all the typos in my posts so must apologise, only had my new phone with the world's tiniest keypad for a couple of days!
It was almost immediately after the high5 thing, so I assumed it was a direct response. Otherwise, where on earth did it come from?
If he'd said it was a joke and put him right, it wouldn't have been so bad, but he could see how upset he was, and he did nothing. He just let him stay miserable, and that hurt me.

MrsHelenBee Thu 04-Jun-15 22:42:03

Assembletheminions: believe me, I hate myself for not saying anything until I spoke to ds in the car. My FIL is lovely with everyone, but only speaks to me to criticize or put me down, and I say little now. I also got distracted by DS2 who hss just learned to crawl and was making for the open front door.

spad Thu 04-Jun-15 22:42:55

My DH and I don't always agree on everything but there is no way he would have found that funny. And honestly there is no way I would be going on that holiday, and neither would my boys.

Selks Thu 04-Jun-15 22:49:58

Your poor little boy. I'm sorry he was so upset.
Hopefully he will have forgotten about it tomorrow.

spillyobeans Thu 04-Jun-15 22:51:49

Bit of a childish way for your fil to behave! I would have been pissed off too!

lottiesatitagain Thu 04-Jun-15 22:56:18

If your fil is always horrible to you why are going on holiday with him? I wouldn't and I would not call in without dh either

OhHolyFuck Thu 04-Jun-15 23:00:08

Yes, that was mean and bullying behaviour from your fil
Your poor DS - mines like that too, would have gotten very upset in that situation

FujimotosElixir Thu 04-Jun-15 23:07:09

going against the grain here i would be having words with fil about his bad his behaviour was , and how it triggered a huge meltdown in ds , i would not let him get away with that,and get ur dh to give a shit about his obviously upset son whats wrong with him?

Enjoyingmycoffee1981 Fri 05-Jun-15 06:35:27

Agreed. Who says that to a three ye a r old.

But who doesn't jump in immediately and say "no ds, do the worry. OF COURSE you are coming. Mummy and daddy wouldn't want to go on holiday with you, no way!!". I can't believe you just stayed quiet tbh

Enjoyingmycoffee1981 Fri 05-Jun-15 06:36:16

"With you" should read "without you!"

Costacoffeeplease Fri 05-Jun-15 06:40:13

I too can't believe you didn't intervene in some way 'silly grandad, of course we're all going'?

And yes, if he isn't ever nice to you, don't go there alone and don't go on holiday with them, why on earth would you?

Enjoyingmycoffee1981 Fri 05-Jun-15 06:48:50

Having read your later posts, I would be limiting severely contact with man. If you are unable to stick up for you son, then you should remove him from the nastiness of your fil.

petalsandstars Fri 05-Jun-15 06:49:01

If it were me I'd be looking into how to change the holiday booking so your little family can go alone without FIL

thehumanjam Fri 05-Jun-15 06:56:28

I don't understand why you didn't step in. My relatives have said things like this before and I have said "oh Grandad is being silly of course you are coming" then the child knows it's a joke and plays along with it telling Grandad they are not coming and that they are a silly Grandad or whatever. Because you didn't step in your ds probably thought that he wasn't coming because mummy never reassured him.

The whole situation is very weird.

DinosaursRoar Fri 05-Jun-15 07:07:45

Did your DH go and reassure Ds that he is still going, or is your DH repeating his fathers headfuckery and bad behaviour with the next generation?

If your DH hadn't stepped in to cheer up ds and tell his dad it's not ok to upset ds, you need to have a conversation with him along the lines of "this isn't an ok way to behave, I need you to keep your dad in check or else I will lose respect for you." Use the word bullying and be frank that it's not normal grandad behaviour. (Remember your DH grew up with him, he will think FIL is normal)

If you can't change the booking, this would be the last time I'd go away with DHs family.

Penfold007 Fri 05-Jun-15 07:08:53

H knows full well that FIL thinks it's funny/clever to behave so spitefully, he's just immune to it.
Sadly because you didn't challenge him this nasty behaviour is going to increase.
Stop visiting pils on your own and work on your assertiveness skills. Your FIL treats you and the children badly and you need to protect them.

MrsHelenBee Fri 05-Jun-15 07:25:09

Fil has only ever been hard with me, never my children, so I'd never felt the need to stay away. And no one else ever hears what he says to me.
We visited because my Mil has just come out of hospital, normally we only visit as a whole family when DH is home, but I was there to help my Mil.
For her 70th birthday, she has paid for the whole family to go on holiday, and with her failing health, I know how happy it has made her to do it, and how much she's looking forward to it. We haven't paid a penny towards it, and neither have my brothers and sister in law and their families.
Shock silenced me. I always stand up my kids, DS1 especially because he has a number of problems, and I wanted to yell at him, but running out of the room after the baby, and then I packed our stuff to go to avoid Mil seeing me angry and upset. She has no idea and would have been in a state if she did, which isn't what I wanted after the surgery she's had.
Anyway, thank you to everyone who has been supportive when I've felt so low.

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