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DM has made me cross again. I am not a happy camper.

(18 Posts)
LynetteScavo Sat 13-Aug-11 17:09:42

DM wants to take DS2 camping (he is her favorite grandchild)

DD wants to go too, so DM says yes, she can go with them.

I point out that DS1 will feel left out (this often happens when granny invites the younger DC over for a sleep over but not him. He puts on a brave "I don't care" face, but I know it hurts him. Even if he really doesn't want to go it would be nice if he were invited.)

So DM says DS1 can go too. All very well, but I don't actually trust DM with my three DC overnight in a field. In her home, which is around the corner from us is one thing, but camping is another. (Believe me on this - I won't go into the ins and outs now - there was once a thread about DM allowing DS to walk off in a huff, resulting in him spending 3 hours alone in the cold, and I was ultimately advised by MNetters not to ever trust DM with DS1 again.)

I then point out I will need to go too. (I bloody hate camping in this country, DM knows this) I say well, if we camp in X, we could go and visit<insert little known "tourist attraction"> which is a bit too far to go to in one day from where we live, and would be mildly educational for the DC.

DM says "OH NO! - you don't go and look at places when you go camping, you wander around looking at the country side and fields, and have a walk" DS2 will refuse to walk further than 500 yards, and DM isn't much more capable. I'm surprised she didn't add "and play cards".

So what the feck do you do when you go camping?

Would I be unreasonable to "out camp" my DM by throwing my self into it, insisting on a campsite in totally the middle of no where, and insist we all go on a long and jolly hike?

For some reason I am really wound up about this. As if I've been bullied into doing something I really don't want to.

PS
Last time she took DS2 camping they left at 5pm and were home by 9am. So obviously they didn't do that much.

LittleHousebytheRiver Sat 13-Aug-11 17:25:33

Why are you trying to manage the whole thing? It sounds exhausting!

I would say to DS1 this is a great chance for the two of you to have some special time together and let the rest of them go and get damp and muddy in a field while you two do something he enjoys without the younger ones getting in the way.

Camping can either be a cheap form of accommodation near to an attraction/event or it can be an end in itself. sounds like that is what your DM thinks.

Relax, and do something you want to do instead.

LittleHousebytheRiver Sat 13-Aug-11 17:30:15

Oh and addressing the "favourite grandchild" issue needs doing, but not in a field with the DC in earshot!

goodkate Sat 13-Aug-11 17:32:52

Will you relax - blimey are you a control freak or something?

Goodness me - your DM had you and you're OK aren't you.

You'll give yourself a heart attack. My DD's have just gone off with my DM for a week camping - she brought me and my 2 siblings up OK so I assume she's safe with them.

pictish Sat 13-Aug-11 17:42:08

What an ungracious daughter you are.
I don't understand you at all.

squeakytoy Sat 13-Aug-11 17:50:03

You go too, but go along with your mums plans... camp, relax, forget visiting touristy attractions, and "mildly education".. just have some bloody fun!! all of you...

rookiemater Sat 13-Aug-11 17:56:45

The reason no one does anything much when camping is because they are too bloody exhausted after having about 3 hours sleep - I go to the loo at least once a night and find all the faff of getting out of the sleeping bed and walking to the loos means I can't get back to sleep for at least an hour and also wake up at crack of dawn due to the light. Plus it takes 2 hours to fry sausages and boil some water for a semi decent cup of tea.

Once you habve done all these things there is very little time or energy left to throw yourself energetically into holiday activities. I tend to find a nice tea shop or just moan gracelessly whilst lying in the back of the car.

As others have said why don't you do something really fun with DS1 that you both enjoy. I assume there is some back history with your DM on this whole issue.

Flisspaps Sat 13-Aug-11 18:29:40

I vaguely remember your previous thread about DM letting DS wander off and so understand why you're trying to manage the situation and become involved. Had you not had this problem with her, I'd say loosen up and let them go and do what she wants.

Given the history though, I wouldn't let her look after any of the children overnight tbh, if she can't supervise one appropriately, she can't supervise any appropriately.

SaffronCake Sat 13-Aug-11 18:33:54

I'm a bit confused as to why she's not responsible enough for an older one but she can be responsible enough for two younger ones? What's the difference between your kids? Has DS1 got additional needs?

LynetteScavo Sat 13-Aug-11 18:45:53

Hmmm.....she is OK with one of them.....she may get a bit "muddled" with two. Three will just be too much, DH agrees.

DS1 has had anger problems in the past, and although he won't actually hurt the younger DC, he will walk away (as we have taught him to)...or he might wind DS2 up into a frenzy (which is happening every two or three days atm) DM is totally oblivious to all this, until one of the DC is crying.

My gut feeling is to let her take one of them (DS2)....how to handle it with the other 2 DC, though? I need to address the favoritism, but don't know how.

grin @ pictish.

rookiemater Sat 13-Aug-11 18:58:47

Why don't you let her take DS2 this time but have a word with her and say that it would be nice if she could take the other DCs out by themselves from time to time. If she doesn't do any solo activities with them then don't let her take DS2 on his own again.

FWIW I don't think that she has to show absolute equality to all of the DCs I don't think its so terrible that she has a favourite and wants to spend time with him as long as she doesn't completely ignore the others.

LynetteScavo Sat 13-Aug-11 22:13:01

Hmm, maybe you are right.

She does very occasionally do things with the others, but picks DS2 up from school once a week, just because she adores him. It's hard, and embarrassing to see the other grandchildren (I'm including my DC's cousins here) not given the same treatment.

The whole thing is really complex. confused

So realistically the choice is we all go and I more than throw myself into it.....or only DS2 goes.

SageMist Sun 14-Aug-11 08:52:37

So you are enabling this favouritism by allowing her to pick one child up weekly from school?

I think this camping is just highlighting the inequalities in your familiy. Is this really what you want? From an outsider's perspective it looks as though you are letting her be like this. Allowing her to take DS2 on his own would support this perception.

BTW, you have a third option, you take them camping without her.

pickgo Sun 14-Aug-11 09:06:19

Poor woman can't win though can she?
If she takes one its favouritism. If she takes two, she's muddled. If she takes three she just can't cope!
(One thing to bear in mind, DCs tend to be much better behaved with GPs! Often they don't get the problems you do with the DCs)
But if you are worried I'd say no to the whole thing. Let them camp in the garden if the DCs are bothered. Suggest a day out with 2 then 1 with GP, so it's manageable but fair.
And talk to her about showing equal treatment to all her GCs. REmind her they will want to know why if she has been unfair when they get older. Not nice at all.

LynetteScavo Sun 14-Aug-11 10:08:23

Well, last year, I did say no to the whole thing.

OK, re the after school thing tbh, I did need her to collect DS last year. This year I won't and told her he was booked into after school club. She still wants to collect him once a week, which is fine (I will still have to pay for after school club to keep the place if she is on holiday) but she wouldn't offer to collect DD. <shrugs>

No, she can't win, and neither can I, which is why it's all so complicated! This whole thing is causing me so much stress...I really love my DM, but can't be with her for more than 1.2 an hour without feeling the need for a stiff drink.

I feel like I'm stopping DS2 having a really special relationship with his grandma, just so the other 2 DC don't get upset. <bangs head on wall>

(Oh, she would be really upset if I took them camping!..She really loves camping, I don't...she would feel really snubbed)

rookiemater Sun 14-Aug-11 10:24:42

Why don't you just have a conversation with her and lay down some ground rules.
"Mum we know that you love to spend time with DS2 and that's great we think he is very special too. However you may not have noticed this but sometimes the other DC feel sad that they are not included and think that you don't love them as much - I'm sure that's not the case.
So whilst I'm fine that you do somethings once a year just with DS2 i.e. camping, for school pick ups if you are picking up DS2 then either you need to pick up DS2 and DD or do turn about.
I hope you are ok with this as all the children love spending time with their granny "

Then if she can't do this, she spends less time with all her DCs.

oldenoughtowearpurple Sun 14-Aug-11 10:25:56

Yup, you are stopping DS2 having a really special relationship with his grandma just so the other 2 DC don't get upset. Which is a shame for both DS2 and for DM and completely pointless. Presumably your DD and DS1 already know DM favours DS2, and anyway one of life's nastier but more valuable lessons is that we can't be the best/most popular/richest/prettiest to everyone all the time but that that's OK.

And look at yourself - you would rather go CAMPING with DM and 3 DCs than let this happen?? Get a grip woman. Let DM and DS2 go and hang out with some cows, take advantage of DS2's absence and do something a bit more grown up with the other DCs as a treat. Or let them both have a big sleepover or something. And CHILL.

LynetteScavo Sun 14-Aug-11 16:58:53

Well, she just collected DS2 and DD, and tried to take them out with out booster seats. She usually has them in her car, but had taken them out for some reason. When I asked her to hold on, as I'd get the ones out of DH's car she had a strop, and said she thought it was legal for short journeys. I tried explaining it wasn't about legality it was about safety, and it wasn't her driving I was worried about, it was other people on the road. Apparently I was holding her up, and so I said, "I'm sorry, but my children's safety is paramount."

This is part of the problem, she thinks I'm over protective, and I don't think she has a grip on safety. We have a similar dispute over bike helmets and smoke alarms.

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