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I never thought I would start a MIL thread but here we are.
71

marvellousmaple · 21/07/2022 04:03

My MIL ( who I get on very well with and who is a fab grandma ) has seriously pissed me off but as it is almost a one off I feel I should let it slide. But then I'm a resentful old cow so maybe it would be better if I said something.
Incident was that MIL was at our house this morning ( helping as she was asked due to a car issue - she is great like that) and then she asked my 10yo DS "Do you have your bag" - as they were leaving for school - "and have you put your lunch and everything in it?"
My DS answers "yep , it's there at the front door and mum packed it for me"
And then she YELLS ( and she is an ex- school principal, so she can do the loud voice really well)
"You are such a spoilt brat!" Twice.
I was a bit flabbergasted. My DH says to ignore it as she often speaks without thinking ( classic example my DS passed a very important academic test - I had been trying to play it down by saying he probably wouldn't get accepted - when I told her he had been accepted she yells ( again) "and you didn't think he'd make it" to me . My DS then comes up to me and asks "didn't you trust me to do it mum?" with a sad face. I said of course - I just didn't want to pressure you".
ANyway
WOuld it be unreasonable to ask MIL to think before she says things to her 10yo grandson as she is old and set in her ways and is super helpful and kind and loves him
OR Not unreasonable as it's not good thing to be yelled at by your Grandma.
I get it is part of her personality and she means no harm but my DS is a gentle sensitive soul and I don't think being called a "spoilt brat" by your Grandma who you love is ever a good thing.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

avamiah · 21/07/2022 04:08

How old is she ?

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PizzaPatel · 21/07/2022 04:09

I put YANBU. The problem is (and my son is sensitive and well behaved like yours albeit younger) we all say things - parents included - that we regret or aren’t ideal to our kids when we’re ratty or whatever and I don’t think grandparents who are really helpful and involved and play some of the parental role should be held to a higher standard than parents. Did she realise that she’d upset him and apologise? Perhaps that’s the request you could make? That she tunes into his responses and feelings a bit more and responds accordingly eg by apologising when she’s got it wrong. Awkward though - don’t know how you’d raise it! Good luck

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marvellousmaple · 21/07/2022 04:18

SHe's 78. No she had no idea she had upset him either time. He is fine and forgiving. It's the Scorpio coming out in me ( ha - I don't really believe in that stuff) but I feel like if she does one more thing ( there have been others - even to her own son( my DH) then I might explode and it might be better to just try and casually say something. I'm crap at things like that though.
She's one of those people who greets you at the door when you have got all dressed up and even put on make-up ( that might be just me) with " you look tired , are you alright?" Well yes I was feeling great until you just said that!
And every single time I walk into the house I get a comment on my weight ( I am overweight but have been the same weight for a decade) "Have you lost weight?" Every single fecking time!
My DH says that is his parents trying to be nice - they both say it. I would never greet someone like that. I think it's awfully rude and intrusive.
Gah!
I guess I'll just leave it. Needed a whinge. Ta Mumsnet

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teezletangler · 21/07/2022 04:19

Would it be a reach to suggest something like dementia setting in? It does sound like a strange outburst, even if it's within the limits of her normal personality.

What was she like immediately after the outburst?

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ShippingNews · 21/07/2022 04:21

She is very helpful to you - if you raised this concern and she blew up about it, you could lose a very good ally. Maybe, since your son is old enough to understand, you could talk to him along the lines of " grandma loves you, but sometimes she might say thoughtless things. Try to ignore it , she doesn't mean any harm and she does love you. "

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avamiah · 21/07/2022 04:22

Has she always been like that as in being a bit nasty and rude ?

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marvellousmaple · 21/07/2022 04:31

@teezletangler She acted like nothing had happened. Then she told him to comb his hair off his face and he says he doesn't unless "mum and dad make me". We don't - he's 10 , he has curly hair, if he wants it wild then that's his business as far as I'm concerned. It will only stay straight until it dries anyway as he has a shower every morning. She says" Who's in charge in this house?" and he jokingly says "Me?" Then it's "we need to get you a naughty chair and take away all your games and computers" she was half joking by then I think.

She also hit my dog who is an overly affectionate labrador who loves to sit on peoples feet - for touching her shins! Apparently they are very sensitive. Never heard mention of this before . neither has my DH, but when I asked her she said she has had it for 30 years!!!

ANyway, you couldn't ask for a better behaved child ( and I have 3 older boys before anyone accuses me of pfb) and one of my olders was a total horror. Getting him in a shower was a miracle. So I know what I'm talking about. This one, my 10yo , came home a fortnight ago with as close as damn to a perfect report from the accelerated class he is in. He is not a BRAT!

It was also near her birthday, so I gave her a present I'd bought - a lovely delicate coffee mug in a beautiful box. SHe said " Oh I needed more mugs , I bought some yesterday from the second hand shop - it's great. Not open on the weekends though". WTAF?

Such a strange morning.

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Princess28 · 21/07/2022 04:33

My mil called my son spoilt on his actual birthday. He’d had some nice but pretty bog standard presents. She claimed it was a normal thing to say. It was one of the few times I’ve pulled her up on anything. Although, my mil criticizes everything- which is why she doesn’t get invited round any more. DH says it’s just how she is so doesn’t say anything. She’s also in her 70s.

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Paslaptis · 21/07/2022 04:37

WOuld it be unreasonable to ask MIL to think before she says things to her 10yo grandson

Why not ask her about the specific comments she made and explain why they might have upset your son, and you?

... as she is old and set in her ways You know you should not be ageist, right?

It's not good thing to be yelled at by your Grandma.
Ideally she shouldn't yell... if that's your issue it's a separate issue from her criticism, which you may or may not find valid. Don't confuse a 10yo (or, I guess, a 78yo) by straying from the core issues.

I get it is part of her personality and she means no harm but my DS is a gentle sensitive soul and I don't think being called a "spoilt brat" by your Grandma who you love is ever a good thing. Well, it could be if he IS a "spoilt brat" and his parents aren't addressing the issue.

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marvellousmaple · 21/07/2022 04:37

@Princess28 So weird. Maybe it's a standard thing people say in their 70's? My parents are older and haven't said anythng like that. I think I could have coped with the spoilt. The repeated "brat" bit got me though as he is so far from it.

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marvellousmaple · 21/07/2022 04:41

Paslaptis · 21/07/2022 04:37

WOuld it be unreasonable to ask MIL to think before she says things to her 10yo grandson

Why not ask her about the specific comments she made and explain why they might have upset your son, and you?

... as she is old and set in her ways You know you should not be ageist, right?

It's not good thing to be yelled at by your Grandma.
Ideally she shouldn't yell... if that's your issue it's a separate issue from her criticism, which you may or may not find valid. Don't confuse a 10yo (or, I guess, a 78yo) by straying from the core issues.

I get it is part of her personality and she means no harm but my DS is a gentle sensitive soul and I don't think being called a "spoilt brat" by your Grandma who you love is ever a good thing. Well, it could be if he IS a "spoilt brat" and his parents aren't addressing the issue.

Well , as I've just explained he's not a spoilt brat so I don't really get your quote.
I'm not ageist - someone asked how old she is. She has been the same since I met her when she was early 60's.
If you are looking for an argument maybe pick someone else? I'm too tired with the amount of stuff I have going on. You can just vote that I am unreasonable if it makes you happy.

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autienotnaughty · 21/07/2022 05:14

Playing it down is more 'I'm proud of you either way' than 'I doubt you will pass' the second is really writing someone off. In the future I'd just take more care what you say to mil as she clearly very tactless. I think say something to her won't help as it's likely she's not deliberately being shitty. I would address it at the time. I find a "sorry what did you say?" And have them repeat it back makes people think about their words. If she says ds is spoilt. I'd say I don't agree and then move on. Hopefully being made to feel uncomfortable will make her subconsciously change her way of speaking.

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champagnetruffleshuffle · 21/07/2022 05:19

I would try and call her out, in as light a hearted tone of voice as you can, when she actually does it.

'You are such a spoilt brat!'
'Hey, don't blame him! I'm the one that packed it!'

'Have you lost weight?'
'No, are you suggesting I need to then?!'

It might not cure her 78 year old ways but at least you'll feel you're not just taking it.

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champagnetruffleshuffle · 21/07/2022 05:20

Getting her to repeat is a good tip.

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Fraaahnces · 21/07/2022 05:22

Call my kid names and smack my dog…. Would make the French Revolution look like a kid’s birthday party.

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fallfallfall · 21/07/2022 05:37

Sounds like it’s her personality and if her comments did upset your son he should tell her.
gran I’m not a brat would go a long way towards her being more careful.
their relationship might involve some fun banter.
i have several loud proud teachers types in my circle of friends and they certainly are straight shooters.

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Onlyhuman123 · 21/07/2022 05:50

Call my kid names and smack my dog…. Would make the French Revolution look like a kid’s birthday party.

🤣😂🤣😂 I'm using that one!! Haha

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marvellousmaple · 21/07/2022 05:52

autienotnaughty · 21/07/2022 05:14

Playing it down is more 'I'm proud of you either way' than 'I doubt you will pass' the second is really writing someone off. In the future I'd just take more care what you say to mil as she clearly very tactless. I think say something to her won't help as it's likely she's not deliberately being shitty. I would address it at the time. I find a "sorry what did you say?" And have them repeat it back makes people think about their words. If she says ds is spoilt. I'd say I don't agree and then move on. Hopefully being made to feel uncomfortable will make her subconsciously change her way of speaking.

I get what you mean, but I hadn't said anything to my son I just downplayed it to family so there wasn't any expectations. Yes - tactless is a very good word for her.

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marvellousmaple · 21/07/2022 05:54

Fraaahnces · 21/07/2022 05:22

Call my kid names and smack my dog…. Would make the French Revolution look like a kid’s birthday party.

Haha. I did storm into my bedroom and say to DH " your mother just hit my dog!!!!!" Wasn't happy. Awkward though as she was doing us a favour and around her birthday. Deep breaths. I put dog outside after that with lots of cuddles and let her straight back in when she was gone!

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marvellousmaple · 21/07/2022 05:59

I will try the repeating back to her strategy. "Did you just say xxx? " And the light hearted tone. Thanks everyone. ( her mum did die in her late 70's from dementia but I'm not sure on the hereditary aspect). My parents are even older. We are truly stuck in sandwich generation here and it's very hard to know what to do. FIL seems to have become a recluse and won 't really leave the house. It's all very difficult.

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Kitkatcatflap · 21/07/2022 06:06

Sorry - had to comment on the birthday present. You have known her over 10 years and you bought her a delicate boxed mug for her birthday. At 78 a lone coffee mug is a rubbish gift especially to a ex teacher. As to her response, I admire her restraint, but perhaps she should have aimed her pointed remarks to her son for his lack of effort.

I think you are taking things too literally, you say she is a retired school Principal with a foghorn voice. Instead of bringing it up now and turning an itch into an open wound, I would play her at her own game. Next time she shouts something like 'You are a spoiled brat ' Laugh and bellow back 'And Granny is dragon'. Challenge her with humour. Don't let it fester. It sounds like your son has the measure of her when he laughed and said he was in charge.

Next time she comments on your weight. Say what you told us, 'My weight is the same as it as been for a decade, do we need to get your memory tested'.

Good luck

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ABrotherWhoLooksLikeHellMugYou · 21/07/2022 06:06

marvellousmaple · 21/07/2022 04:37

@Princess28 So weird. Maybe it's a standard thing people say in their 70's? My parents are older and haven't said anythng like that. I think I could have coped with the spoilt. The repeated "brat" bit got me though as he is so far from it.

Yeah, no. My mum and lovely ex MiL are miss 70s and late 60s and would never say this to my children even when they are acting a bit spoilt. My mum might quietly say it to me, but they are both super conscious of the DC's feelings are far nicer to them than I am!

I think it might be worth having a word with her and for the love of God teach your DS to speak out when someone says something unfair.

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Impracticalbongos · 21/07/2022 06:08

He was joking he was in charge of the house. That does not seem that he was upset with his gran to me. That comment makes him sound like a brat.

When you tell people you don't think he will get in. You are telling them you think he will fail. Now you are upset that your comments are coming back at you and your son knows you did not believe in him.

The birthday gift was uninspired. We all have far to many mugs. But it was rude of her to point it out.

Anyone who hits my cat would get a good slap themselves and never be allowed in my house again.

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DrainedHelp · 21/07/2022 06:10

champagnetruffleshuffle · 21/07/2022 05:19

I would try and call her out, in as light a hearted tone of voice as you can, when she actually does it.

'You are such a spoilt brat!'
'Hey, don't blame him! I'm the one that packed it!'

'Have you lost weight?'
'No, are you suggesting I need to then?!'

It might not cure her 78 year old ways but at least you'll feel you're not just taking it.

This is what I'd do/

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marvellousmaple · 21/07/2022 06:13

The reason I got the mug was because last time we were at their place she commented she had broken heaps and needed more! Which apparently she did yesterday from the 2nd hand store. It's also very pretty and delicate, hard to explain, not a big thick coffee mug. Anyway, I tried. Last time I asked her what she wanted for a present she said "nothing - it will just be more junk for you and (my DH, her son) to sort out when we die in a few years". Doesn't leave me with a lot of options. I got her a huge bouquet of Australian native flowers last year . Anymore ideas I'd be very happy to hear.

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