“vacation”

Sorry for being so MIA. DW was sick as a dog for like 2 weeks, I had a bit of depression around the BFN, and now we are at the beach with my MiL for a week (I’m working while we’re here). Things are fine, but I just can’t wait to go home. We knew this wasn’t going to be the most fun ever kind of vacation because we have difficulties with MiL, so spending a week with her wasn’t going to be easy. But I’m about to go rabid dog on her because she keeps trying to discipline Monkey even when both of his parents are here doing so. And she does things I really REALLY don’t like or agree with. It’s driving me kind of insane. I can’t decide whether I need to just let it go (which is what I’ve been doing) or if this is a test of my mothering and I need to step up and tell her to cut it out.

The two things that are really just not on and have my hackles up are:

  1. She YELLS out, “NO!” when he does something she doesn’t like/he shouldn’t be doing. Now we of course tell him no, but we do not scream or yell at him unless he is in physical danger if he doesn’t stop whatever it is he’s doing (and I can count on one hand the number of times that’s happened in his 2.5 years of life). Instead we try to gently explain why he shouldn’t do what he’s doing and redirect. Usually works, no need for the yelling.
  2. Last night he was pulling my hair and DW and I were telling him to stop, that it hurts mama, be gentle, etc. This has become a fun game for him and it is really annoying, but you know, he’s 2. We will continue to do as we have and one day he’ll be old enough to understand. What did MiL do? When it was all over she looked at him and said, “I’m disappointed in you.” OMG I wanted to slap her. If you want to say you’re unhappy with a behavior, okay, but don’t tell my child you’re disappointed in him. That shit is mean and if I don’t do it, I sure as hell don’t want anyone else doing it. He studiously avoided her for about an hour and she made some comment about having “shamed him.” Pissed. Me. Off. I really don’t think I can let something like this slide again. I am just so furious about it.

I know that part of this is that I don’t feel she has earned the right to do any sort of disciplining. She has had one health crisis after another since before he was born so she has never helped us with him beyond coming over to play with him while one of us is home. Not to mention when both of his parents are right there, there is simply no need for anyone else to voice their opinion in the matter.

We are also cooped up in a small, not at all toddler friendly home in a totally non-toddler friendly environment (there is no yard to play in, the beach across the street is down a steep staircase and there is a sheer drop from the road to the beach with no fencing or anything for the entire length of the street), so I feel like the deck is stacked against my poor baby. DW is being great and driving him to a park or an activity every morning and every afternoon, so at least there’s that. But when he’s here, it’s constant redirecting and her shouting NO and ugh, ugh, UGH!

We leave Saturday. It can’t come soon enough.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to ““vacation”

  1. Sorry about your difficulties with MiL and your vacation not being as relaxing as it could be. I’m a fairly strict disciplinarian, and I have no problem with saying a firm NO, which could sometimes be construed as yelling I guess. That said, if that’s not the way you want him to be disciplined, that’s your decision to make, not hers. But really, if he’s getting in her way, there’s not much you can do except remove him which is also difficult considering the circumstances. As for the “I’m disappointed in you”…oy. He’s 2 and she’s obviously forgotten that they can’t control themselves well at that age, and it’s perfectly normal and natural. Nothing to be disappointed in. But there’s this: he’s not going to remember this and with your and your wife’s love, he’s going to be just fine even if grandma says she’s disappointed. Lesson learned- no more vacays with grandma 😛 And maybe let her know that if he’s bothering her, SHE has every right to step out.

  2. Oh dear god. That sounds like hell and I’m so sorry your “vacation” is so miserable.

    Not sure if you’re lookin for feedback, but in case you are… In my experience, when someone has “disciplined” L in a way that I’m uncomfortable with, I absolutely respond to it. Usually it’s something like, “Thanks for helping. In general, we try to only use loud voices when his safety is threatened so he knows the severity of the situation.” Or whatever.

    Whether or not you choose to respond to it, I hope the situation gets easier and that you’re able to enjoy at lest a few moments of the trip!

  3. There is no reason for a two year old to feel shamed. Ever.
    I hope the rest of the week is uneventful in terms of your MIL’s discipline techniques. Would she catch your drift if you guys told her you had things covered when she tried to intervene?
    Hope that there are some redeeming times in there too… being at the beach sounds pretty nice.

  4. amy

    reading this post made me fearful of the 2 family vacations we have planned. i did literally lol at the “im disappointed in you” OMG lady relax he’s 2! oh good ol’ MiLs. i hope little man recovered quickly from that stern comment from grams. try to enjoy some of your time if its possible, vacation is supposed to be fun and relaxing. hoping things go smoother until saturday….

  5. Next in line

    You might need a vacation to recover from this “vacation.” Family dynamics are really tough to navigate. Oy!

  6. Okay – so that was your vacation!!! Aargh!!! Very smart to come home early. Sounded like a nightmare:((((

  7. PS I’m sure Monkey won’t remember the whole ” I’m disappointed in you” fiasco, but I remember when I was a kid I absolutely hated it when someone said that to me. It felt like I had no leeway on being naughty! And I yearned to be naughty without disappointing somebody!

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