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Mum's Christmas presents(13 Posts)
For those who don't know or recognise me, I was formerly known as Chiggers. My story is briefly that mum is a suspected narc and my younger brother (Br2) is even worse, as he tends to make everything his business, even if it has nothing to do with him at all.
Anyway, managed to get Xmas over with relatively quietly, and phoned my youngest and older brother to wish them a very merry Xmas (they are lovely and have had their eyes opened to mum's and Br2's treatment of me). So DS(11yo) and DD (10yo) open their presents that mum gave them, to find clothes. Now, what is bothering me is not that mum bought clothes, but that the sizes were far too small. DS is 12 in Feb, and most of his clothes were ages 8-9yo. DD's clothes were either 7-8yo or 8-9yo at most, even though DD is 11 in March. The problem is that I'm trying to figure out whether she did this deliberately or not, possibly to try and make a point.
It's not that the DC haven't been round there, so mum could simply asked them what age they would be on their next birthday, so as to get appropriate aged clothing. My youngest brother (DB3) also gets clothes for DS and DD, but has always phoned and asked what top and trouser sizes they are. Mum, who usually rings DB3 and could have asked him to ring me or even got DB1 to do the same.
The problem is that if I don't pass on my appreciation, she complains, to all who will listen, that I am an ungrateful person, but even if I was to ring her in person and express my appreciation for the presents, but I'd need to change them as they are too small for the DC, she'd likely complain that I didn't tell her what sizes to get. She is more than capable of ringing me and I'd not be one bit bothered by giving her the sizes and would thank her for thinking about the DC. BUT, in her exact words she "Doesn't phone people", yet expects everyone else to ring her and do all the work.
DH said that if she really wanted to get the DC a decent present, she would have at least made the effort to get the right top and trouser sizes, so the fact that she bought clothes that are too small says that she CBA to make any effort. AFAI see, this is inadvertently saying that my DC are not worth as much effort as her other GC. I feel this way because I know that my Step niece and nephew and my nieces have all got the right sizes from mum, as DB3 had spoken to Br2 (step niece and nephew are the DC of DB3's OH).
There is more to this, but this is a brief overview of what has been happening this year. TBH, I don't know what to think. TIA for any advice given, even if it means I have to take a good look at myself.
Why would she have to ask them how old they are?
Is this really something you want to spend time and brainpower thinking about? Can you not just tell the kids to be polite and say thanks for any present they get whether they like it or not, then shrug and say 'oh well, never mind, you're not going to be without clothes' and give them to a relative, friend or charity?
Urgh I'd give the clothes away and either thank her to keep the piece or not bother and just go NC seriously I couldn't be doing with the drama!
Its deliberate. My aunt is like this ( and has a diagnosis) . Disengage.
Thanks for the quick replies Raven, Random and That, they're much appreciated
That, it's funny you have picked up on that as I wasn't sure TBH. I can see that all the hallmarks are there for it being deliberate. Can I ask how you figured out your aunt was doing things deliberately and what sort of person she is, as well as any issues she has with you?
Like I say, there is a massive backstory, but it would take far too long to tell you, so anything I tell you all are the main and important bits.
Do the gift-giving equivalent of the 'smile and nod'. Say "Thank-you," and give them to a friend's children or to charity and don't mention it again as it's not worth the effort.
My MIL does this. She does it so that she can make a comment about not seeing her grandkids enough and how quick they grow and she doesn't see them enough again.
I'd rather get too small clothes for the charity shop than see her more often though.
I'd be age appropriate honest with your DC "I'm sad DM has given you an unsuitable gift to make a point, you know how she is; she'll never change. Who do you think would appreciate them?" Involve them I'm selecting a charity shop or refuge. I think it is important to verbalise to your DC that her behaviour is neither nice nor normal and for them to be able to bat her away emotionally.
I agree, it's deliberate. She wants to force you to phone her, so she gets to blame you. Then she gets to complain to everyone about how ungrateful you are.
That's win win to her.
Of COURSE she doesn't want to get the kids a decent present - why woduo she want to do that. She wants attention for herself and to control you.
Why are you taking your kids round to have contact with a narc? What's in it for them ?
It could be she genuinely doesn't see your dcs as people who could have changed at all, she last bought that clothes size so that's the one she's bought. She's not thinking of them as real people who can change.
I would write a thank you card, "dear granny, thank you for the clothes you gave me for Christmas." Get both dcs to sign it, post today, she'll get it before the end of the week. They don't need to get into conversation about the gifts, don't have to lie that they like them or will wear them when they won't. She's had her "thank you".
Can you take the clothes back to wherever they were bought and exchange for bigger sizes...most shops will let you exchange even without the receipt.
As pp has said, take them back and exchange for the correct sizes. Even without a receipt most places will allow a straight swap. If you can't get the exact items in bigger sizes you may be able to swap them for something else. If the items have gone to sale you'll get less than what was paid for them but may be able to swap them for other sale items. Worth a try and at least then your kids will not lose out.
You already know your DM doesn't behave as a normal person would.
A normal loving relative buying clothes would do one of:
a) already know how old they are (or check) and ring you to check what ages they are wearing now
or b) not be fussed when you said they are lovely but too small already and can you have the receipt
I'd suggest ravensmum's approach of teaching your kids early that Granny buys weird presents and to always be thankful that she did buy something. Then straight down the charity shop (if you can't take them back to the shop without a receipt).
Don't leave yourself open to any opportunity for being told you don't bring them up properly, she doesn't see them enough or any other wounded martyr shit.
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