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Is my SIL a bit wierd and possibly toxic, or am I being paranoid?

(28 Posts)
LittleBella Mon 15-Sep-08 17:58:43

OK she's not my SIL, she's my DB's girlfriend, he's only been with her a year and I've met her a few times, she's been out with the kids with him and been to my house a few times and played with the DC's etc. Today they popped round and have just gone and she and DD (6) played a game upstairs while me and DB chatted downstairs, which consisted of her and DD tying up DS (9) and spraying perfume on him. She played a similar game last time she came round and now that she's played it twice, it has suddenly struck me as being something quite unusual.

I should mention that she's very young (my DB is a decade younger than me) and she's Russian, doesn't speak much English so it could be a cultural thing or whatever, but I just feel a bit uncomfortable about it because it's the sort of game I'd expect ghastly little girls to play, not a little girl aided and abetted by an adult.

Is my discomfort unnecessary? I'm so aware of toxic behaviour from all my mad relatives atm, that perhaps I'm seeing it where it isn't...

LittleBella Mon 15-Sep-08 17:59:34

Oops sorry posted two threads, I don't know how that happened

Tortington Mon 15-Sep-08 18:00:18


piratecat Mon 15-Sep-08 18:04:07

well how old is she?

I also think this is quite immature, but maybe she want's to please your dd, and your dd wanted to play the game?

Tanee58 Mon 15-Sep-08 18:07:58

Sounds a bit weird - how did DS seem about being tied up and sprayed? Once might seem like harmless horseplay, twice is a little - strange. I'd be a bit wary of leaving them alone for a bit!

LittleBella Mon 15-Sep-08 18:09:55

She's about 25

LittleBella Mon 15-Sep-08 18:18:58

Kama in response to your question on the other version of this thread, DS didn't seem very upset, just a bit bemused. I think he's quite pleased to be played with by her, she's this exotic adult and he wasn't upset as such. I didn't know waht to think really. Last time I didn't really notice, but the fact that she's done it twice just makes me a bit .... dunno.

3littlefrogs Mon 15-Sep-08 18:30:56

Very strange IMO. I would feel very uncomfortable about that TBH. Tying him up???!!

LittleBella Mon 15-Sep-08 18:32:52

It ws with little bits of dolls' clothes

ActingNormal Mon 15-Sep-08 19:02:54

I wouldn't like it at all, even if your DS didn't seem to mind. 25 is plenty old enough to know that this is weird behaviour which could confuse/worry a child.

quinne Mon 15-Sep-08 20:09:51

I think it sounds like either she is seriously weird or she's just unsure of herself, wanting to make a good impression and so she's using the formula that worked last time she visited your house. Next time she comes round give her something else to do that the kids would enjoy and if she grabs it with both hands then you'll know she just wants to be liked. If she doesn't, then supervise, supervise, supervise!

naturalblonde Mon 15-Sep-08 20:49:44

Wierd. I wouldn't like it.

LittleBella Mon 15-Sep-08 21:09:56

Hmm, that's a good point quinne, maybe it's the formula thing.

I think I'll try and make sure that they don't all 3 go upstairs next time. Somehow I'll arrange it so that the formula's different.

Glad others find it odd and that it's not just me being a bit mad.

Tanee58 Tue 16-Sep-08 11:30:06

I once tied a small cousin up, but that was 40+ years ago and we were playing Cowboys & Indians. And I didn't like him much grin. Children see so much slightly deviant behaviour now on the media - bondage in pop videos, for instance, which we didn't see, that their innocence is compromised enough as it is, and I would be very concerned about them playing games like this. The perfume spraying and tieing would make me feel very uncomfortable about just what was going on subconsciously in this woman's head. So yes, suggest some other game for them, and if they go upstairs to play, check on them!

stitch Tue 16-Sep-08 11:31:58

were the kids upset by the game? if they werent, then i don thtink it is a bad game. just culturally innapropriate perhaps

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Tue 16-Sep-08 11:33:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tanee58 Tue 16-Sep-08 11:34:52

Yes, Stitch, I agree it wouldn't cause any harm if the kids weren't bothered, and it was a one off. What would worry me, is that she played it on both visits - if I were LittleBella, I wouldn't want my children to get into the habit of playing bondage games. I'd start fearing a Turn of the Screw scenario!

SmugColditz Tue 16-Sep-08 11:35:24

Maybe she's not a victim of peedophobia so doesn't see the weirdness?

It's the sort of thing the six year old would suggest to do to Stinky Brother, and Stinky Brother, being good natured and tolerent, would go along with it, and Bewildered Childless Foreign Visitor would think - "Clearly this is how English children play. I won't upset them, the strange little creatures, but I really would rather play Junior Monopoly. Oh Well!"

Tanee58 Tue 16-Sep-08 12:20:25

Smug grin! But seriously, would a 25 year old Russian really be that naive? I have a Russian lodging in my spare room and whilst she is bewildered by some of our English customs, she has a sharp intelligence!

more Tue 16-Sep-08 12:29:52

Your children should not be encouraged to tie up other children. They should not be shown that this is acceptable behaviour.

I have never heard of a culture where tying up a child and spraying perfume or other stuff on them is acceptable behaviour.

How are you going to react if suddenly one day your son switches the roles and he ties up your daughter? Or he ties up one of his friends (girl or boy)? Or you daughter ties up one of her friends (boy or girl)?

I would sit them all three down and tell them that this is not an acceptable "game". It can very quickly turn scary and sour.

Tanee58 Tue 16-Sep-08 12:46:40

I don't think you have to be a victim of Paedophobia (shouldn't that be Paedophilia?) to think this weird at least, and wrong at most. If LittleBella has a toxic family, she will have an instinct about what's right or wrong, and she's right to follow that instinct. I would think tying people is wrong in any culture, except between consenting adults.

LittleBella Tue 16-Sep-08 12:52:41

Yes tbh it hadn't even occurred to me to have any suspicions about odd sexual proclivities - it's the potential malice of the game which disturbs me.

CrushWithEyeliner Tue 16-Sep-08 12:56:08

How odd!

SmugColditz Tue 16-Sep-08 12:59:21

Yes you should always follow your instincts, which is why, to be honest, it's a pointless judging regarding a situation needing delicacy and instinct - we weren't there, and we only bring our experiences of similar but not the same situations.

My experience of visiting young childess women is that they will just follow the lead of whatever the children suggest. I doubt very much she said to them "I know, let's tie each other up and play with perfume to freak your mum out", but I don't know that wasn't the case, so do do what you think is best.

My uncle used to tie me up - something like that would now require a SS investigation! But we were only playing, he was the policeman and I was the burglar and I had to escape the knots. He'd have been about 25

LittleBella Tue 16-Sep-08 13:06:14

I think what kind of disturbs me about it, is the "ganging up" aspect. DD has a couple of horrid little friends who when round for playdates, will gang up on DS in the little girls together kind of way unless I supervise very closely. I guess this behaviour just has that kind of resonance for me, maybe I'm just being over-sensitive.

I will discourage this game though!

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