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WWYD Harry Potter or vacation w/ dad?? - Page 5

post #81 of 122
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post #82 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaraNicole View Post
i have to go with harry potter...but my judgement gets pretty cloudly when it comes to H.P.....
IAWTC
post #83 of 122
Thread Starter 
Wow, we just got back from up north (beach cottage on Lake Huron), and look at all the responses! I dont think i can respond to each one, but wanted to thanks everyone for their input and also clarify some things.

When i said i was going to be "unreachable" i just meant that this past weekend (sat until tues)we were up north (in MI) at the beach, and i had no cell phone, no phone, no internet access....so i couldnt be reached. I fully expected when i got home i would have a voicemail box full of messages, or at least an email, from either my son's father or Gma, but no one called. I really hope he got my email saying that my son didnt want to go on the vacation.

Quote:
Part of me can't help but wonder if this is more about the release party, the book, reading it right away before the "magic" is gone etc.. being just as if not more important to the OP than her son. Kids pick up on things. The OP's ds most likely knows how important this is to mom and doesn't want to dissapoint her, which may be influencing his decision.
Actually, i'll be going to the release party and reading the book whether or not my son is there. My sister and niece are also going, as we all went together for the last book too. I had actually been looking forward to my son going on vacation for a few days, i had big plans to totally clean our apt and reorganize (i'm preparing for another homestudy visit for adoption/foster care) and its alot easier to do if he's gone--if for no other reason than we tend to spend alot of time hanging out when we are together.

We were just down in Cincinnati in June, and at that time GM was planning a vacation to "somewhere" with ds, ds' dad, ds' uncle, uncle's wife and two small kids. Dates were not specified, nor location.

My son (who is actually still 10 yo, btw, and will be 11 in Oct)is very laid back, easy going, and if i "made" him go on the trip, he wouldnt be angry with anyone or hold it against anyone. But i think he'd be pretty bummed about missing the book, but he'd have a good time.

The thing is...for people saying that the book isnt the last printing, it will still be around....its like watching a tv series for years and years...lets say "Lost"....and you are a super fan, its a big part of your life. You have plans to hang out with a bunch of other Lost fans, who have been meeting each year for each season's finale, and its going to be a great time. And then, its the series finale, the episode when you find out Everything...the storyline is resolved, the secrets will be revealed. Its "the end"....and you can't watch it. Yes, you can Tivo it and watch it later, and thats better than nothing. But by that time, the "secrets" will be splashed all over the internet, news, radio, etc. I think it would be a bummer.

If this wasnt the LAST HP book, the resolution of the story line, it would be a no brainer, he'd go on the trip.

Ds' dad offered immediately to find a bookstore in TN, and he offered to read it to him. When i joked that Gma will probably offer to fly ds down there, it was to make the point that she will do just about anything to make *her* plans work, no matter how much it might impact other people...i've repeatedly told ds' dad that it would be nice, if she wanted to plan a vacation so that she could spend time with ds, that she do something like spend a weekend in a hotel water park, in which all the time could be focused on each other, instead of trips which involved hours and hours of driving, or flying out of the country. My son told me that gma said she wasnt going on any "fake vacations" (not a "real" destination) so i question how much of it is truly about the kids. Last year they went to Mackinac Island...do you realize how far that is from Cincinnati OH? Freakin' far! Like 500 miles! And yet thats the vacation she planned when the other grandchild was about a year old. No sense that maybe that isnt the best idea. So now she's planning this trip with a two yr old, and newborn, my son, etc.

Gma has big boundary issues...she's taken my son to the dentist and gotten major work down without asking me (leaving my son there scared to death while she ran errands), gotten his long hair cut w/o asking me, told him she was signing him up for tutoring since he was "behind in math" (???) and really disagrees with us unschooling. She is used to her kids bending to her will, and when i would refuse it freaked her out. She couldnt stand it, and we didnt speak for a couple of years.

Normally, i would immediately say "no" to any vacations now, since my son has told me he doesnt particularly enjoy spending so much time away from home...but i was feeling all positive after our recent trip down there, and trying to show how flexible i was. I felt like we had "mended fences" so to speak, and wanted to stay on good terms.

My son never actually agreed to the trip, i did for him, which i now regret doing. I really think that ds' dad's issue has more to do with fear of his own mother, than about the trip and feeling like he doesnt have enough time with his son. Everyone is still going to go on the trip, including two other grandchildren. I didnt have the final dates for the trip until very recently, and by that time everything was booked. Yes it was my mistake, and i feel really bad about it.

My sister was really irritated that ds' dad wanted him to miss HP, because in her words "he has no problem disappointed Seamus when it suits him! But now that Seamus has something that's really important to him, he's supposed to just skip it to make other people happy?!?" There have been times he's gone down to Cincy to visit his dad, and ends up staying with Gma, running errands, and no one planned anything special for him to do. Once, i spent a whole hour on the phone, reading to him, because he was scared at night and everyone else had gone to bed. His dad has gotten tons better, but its hard (for my son and myself)when we live a certain way (Radical unschooling/mindful parenting), and his dad just isnt there yet....so he sometimes gets yelled at, or talked to disrespectfully, or that sort of thing. As i said my son is super easygoing, so he's not scarred by these things, but he has decided not to go down there by himself until he's much older---which is why i made this last trip with him, and will probably continue to do so just so he can continue to see his other family more regularly. Mainly, because his 2 yo cousin adores him, and i want them to keep up that relationship. S. dad comes up here alot, and its been that way for years.

Yes, we moved away from the area a few years ago, so i could help take care of my mom who had a stroke, and homeschool my son (he had a terrible time in school, and ds' dad would even drag him bodily into the school.) Ds' dad's reason for not moving up here is that his social life is down there. Which is fine, but i dont see how my son won't view that as choosing his lifestyle over his son. But again, he knows thats just who his dad is. We were never together, there is no custody arrangement, no child support, no legal establishment of paternity (such as on the BC).

Anyway, this is too long, sorry....i havent heard from ds' dad yet, he was supposed to pick him up this evening and i'm not sure if he got my email last saturday...i guess i should call him and find out!


Katherine
post #84 of 122
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to update....talked to ds' dad on the phone today, he said gma is very upset, and has been crying for days...he said that he's been instructed by his mother to talk to ds directly (i guess she thinks i'm the one not letting him go, we've had this problem before where ds will tell me something and then they insist on talking to him so they can talk him into whatever it is)...so i said sure. They talked for awhile. Ds' dad said that he really wished that ds would call gma to talk to her, but he understands if he doesnt want to. But that ds should not agree to come if he truly doesnt want to. He also said that he totally understands being a "fan" of something, so he "gets" why ds can't come. I told him its totally my fault for screwing up the dates, so if gma wants to be mad at someone it should be me. So ds called gma, it was a short conversation because gma hung up on him (there's ds holding the phone "She hung up on me!!" : )...she was crying and kept asking ds why he wanted to hurt her. It seems totally weird and inappropriate to me.

My sister explained to my son that *he* wasnt "hurting her" but that she was hurt about the circumstances. She's so very very manipulative, and it sucks because people (that is, her kids and grandkids)would actually *choose* to spend more time with her if she wasnt such an emotionally bully. I just can't believe she hung up on a 10 yr old. All he said to her was that he was sorry for not being able to come, and that if it were any other weekend he'd be able to come, but that his mom(me) messed up the dates and he didnt know.

Ds' dad is worried about having to spend six hours alone in a car with her. Luckily we're getting to see him in a couple of weeks since he's coming up here for some event and stopping by to see ds.

Katherine
post #85 of 122
i am glad your ds is being allowed to choose, and seriously i would keep your ds way, way away from gma, i think her behaviour was amazingly inapporpriate and i feel so sorry for your ds that he was put in that position by her. i also think it was a bit naughty of your dh to tell your ds to call her, i feel that perhaps he was trying to deflect some of the pressure away from himself, i dont think he ought to have told your ds to call her, however i suppose at 10 perhaps it is right that they are involved in these things. my eldest is only 6 so i am not familiar with what is age appropriate for a 10 year old.

anyhow - relax and enjoy hp it is SO exciting! i have bought my ds a costume and we are going to a party at waterstones on friday night - we are really looking forward to it and dh has said he will keep the little ones busy saturday so ds and i can get stuck in to the book
post #86 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by oliversmum2000 View Post
i feel that perhaps he was trying to deflect some of the pressure away from himself
I agree. Especially in light of the following comment where he was concerned about having to spend 6 hours alone in a car with her. A child shouldn't have the responsibility of being the buffer.

And her behavior was so far beyond the bounds of appropriate... I'm sitting here furious for him. Shame on her. :
post #87 of 122
You've been planning this HP release party for over a year. His dad's been planning this little vacation (one of many) for what, a few weeks? Once in a lifetime opportunity vs. another family vacation he has no particular desire to go on.

I'm glad you stood up for DS and are allowing him to miss the trip. It sounds like his grandma is a real piece of work, and that his dad needs help learning how to stand up to her.
post #88 of 122
I cannot believe she hung up on your son. How immature of her. How manipulative of her. And lots of other things that would be a UA violation if I typed them out.

Enjoy the HP release party, what a great way to make meaningful memories with your son.
post #89 of 122
let us know how you get on at the party
post #90 of 122
Grandma has some letting go issues, I think. How positively weird to hang up on the kid. I can understand her being annoyed with the parents but hanging up on her grandson? :
post #91 of 122
And anyway, has anyone asked Grandma whether she would really like him there when he would rather be somewhere else? Wouldn't that kind of defeat the whole vacation?
post #92 of 122
if i was grandma my main concern would be to make sure that g'son didnt feel bad and was reassured that i love him.
post #93 of 122
OK I have to chime in here, this has been bothering me a bit ever since I read this the other day.

1. 11 year old can choose for himself. He wants to go to the book release then go to the book release.

2. Mom made the mistake don't make the kid pay for it by missing something he wants to do. Don't make him miss it because the mom made a mistake. He would probably hold it against all that he wasn't allowed to go.

3. See 1. Kid should be allowed to make his own decision. I have seen several of you mention that kids should be allowed to make decisions when they are old enough. And here you are saying his decision doesn't matter.....

So seems pretty clear cut to me kid goes to book release. mom talks to extended family and makes apology.
post #94 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frisha View Post
1. 11 year old can choose for himself. He wants to go to the book release then go to the book release.

2. Mom made the mistake don't make the kid pay for it by missing something he wants to do. Don't make him miss it because the mom made a mistake. He would probably hold it against all that he wasn't allowed to go.

3. See 1. Kid should be allowed to make his own decision. I have seen several of you mention that kids should be allowed to make decisions when they are old enough. And here you are saying his decision doesn't matter.....

So seems pretty clear cut to me kid goes to book release. mom talks to extended family and makes apology.
Sounds good to me
post #95 of 122
Yes, Grandma acted extremely innapropriate. BUT..let's look at the outcome of this whole situation.

Grandma is ticked off at dad, mom and grandson most likely causing future problems and tension (I'm not saying she's justified..but she does sound pissed so it is what it is).

Dad is now subjected to the wrath of Grandma because of a mistake he didn't make.

Grandson is most likely upset because he thinks he "hurt" Grandma (I'm not saying that he should be, or that it wasn't manipulative of her to behave that way but he still most likely can't help but feel that way after their conversation...he's 11).

Grandson (and Dad) miss out on a trip together where who knows what could have happened in the ways of father/son bonding.

All this..for a book. Sorry, no matter how attatched you are to HP, I just don't get it.

Bowing out now, enjoy your book party .
post #96 of 122
just because grandma is well known for making a fuss doesnt mean she should always get her way regardless of the feelings of others, we shouldnt have to give in to bullies. i think her ds has been taught a valuable lesson - that his feelings are important and are not always secondary to the feelings of others.

we need to teach our children to value themselves and what is important to them, not to teach them to live for others and that pleasing others is more important than being true to ourselves.
post #97 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkingByFaith;8679709[/quote
All this..for a book. Sorry, no matter how attatched you are to HP, I just don't get it.
The fact that you're insisting this is all just "for a book" is a pretty clear indicator that you're not on the same page as most of the rest of us. It's not just about a book. It's about the child having a voice in his own life and being respected.
post #98 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkingByFaith View Post
Yes, Grandma acted extremely innapropriate. BUT..let's look at the outcome of this whole situation.

Grandma is ticked off at dad, mom and grandson most likely causing future problems and tension (I'm not saying she's justified..but she does sound pissed so it is what it is).
I don't think this needs to cause "future problems and tension" for the OP's son. The OP has already stated she'll be going with ds on future visits with them, as ds really doesn't like going off on long trips with these people, and seems to prefer having his mom around.

This means Mom can observe the situation and they can leave early if Grandma starts shifting into B!+c#--mode. It sounds like Grandma is the type who causes "problems and tension" for everyone, whenever she doesn't get her own way about anything.

With controlling people like this, it's best to quit walking on eggshells, assert yourself, and protect your children by getting them away when you sense this is one of "those" times (of manipulation and guilt). I honestly think the only way to avoid "problems and tension" with these sorts of people is to cut them out of your life.

I'm not saying ds "should" cut Grandma out of his life: this is a choice only he can make -- though Mom should help him deal with the situation however he chooses. I'm just saying that in relationships with controlling people, "problems and tension" are just part of the territory for anyone who has his/her own ideas and preferences, and chooses to assert them.

And those who choose to be unassertive and "get along" all the time, are likely to end up being passive-aggressive and transferring all the "problems and tension" into their own inner psyches.

This is a good learning opportunity for ds: he can start thinking about how much and how often he wants to interact with Grandma, if at all. And Mom can be right there to help him and back him up. When he's grown, he'll have a whole repoirte of knowledge for dealing with difficult people.

Quote:
Grandson (and Dad) miss out on a trip together where who knows what could have happened in the ways of father/son bonding.
A caring, creative Dad will find lots of other ways to connect with his son. If the relationship is so fragile that missing this one opportunity means they don't "bond" -- well, I'm inclined to think the son's better off just hanging out with Mom and letting Dad continue to do his own thing.

From the post I just read from the op, it sounds like Dad "has no problem disappointing (his son) when it suits him." So let's be real here.

Quote:
All this..for a book. Sorry, no matter how attatched you are to HP, I just don't get it.
Yeah, you really just don't get it -- if you think it's all about a book. It's about people listening to and respecting one another, regardless of age.

It's about putting relationships before agendas. I don't know Grandma, but judging from her recent treatment of her grandson, it sounds like she puts her own personal agendas ahead of relationships -- then twists things around to make other people feel bad for "hurting" her by not putting her agenda ahead of their own.

The op has communicated ds's preference for trips that don't take him so far from home, where he doesn't have to be away from his mom (and his life), so much (such as spending a weekend in a hotel that has a water-park) -- and Grandma referred to this as a "fake vacation." It sounds like the destination is way more important to her than her grandson's preferences.

So no, it's not "all this...for a book." It's "all this...to show ds his preferences are just as worthy of respect as Grandma's and everyone else's."
post #99 of 122
I just think you have an amazing kid. He seems so patient and kind with his grandma, even when she is overbearing. Obviously your "radical" upbringing is doing a lot of good for him. I hope you are able to work something out. Good luck!
post #100 of 122
Oh please.

This has nothing to do with "respecting choices" and everything to do with a fanatic obsession over a book : . The OP even said herself that her ds doesn't care one way or the other and he'd be fine if he had to miss the book release party and would still have fun on the vacation. I have a strong feeling that if this was something that was important only to her ds (say the release of a new video game or the season premiere of a new cartoon that she cared nothing about) he'd be going on this trip. What I see happening here is a mom who is just as (if not more) invested in HP manipulating this situation because SHE really wants him to go to the release party.

What are you teaching a child by telling him it's okay to do whatever he wants as long as "it's his choice" even when it means putting others in an awkward postion, disrespecting other peoples feelings and breaking commitments that have been made?

Oh..and for the record, if I "respected" all of my child's choices we'd spend everyday eating oreos and watching Star Wars : .
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