Dear MIL... response post 18 - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-24-2008, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am sorry to inform you that dd(20mo) will not be able to visit your home until you put a childproof lock on the lever door handles you have on your front and garage doors. Dd was easily able to open the lever style on the pantry and the bathroom when we visited yesterday and I remember a time last year when Cousin J (age 2 at the time) walked right out the front door (and nobody knew). I have bought you these lever locks in the past and you never installed them so this time I am completely willing to do it myself. If you don't want me to install these locks we are very happy to have you over to our house, meet at the park or go on a hike together but we will be unable to visit your home until dd is old enough to understand street safety and has the self restraint not to go exploring in the garage or front yard by herself.

Joy

things that I would love to say but will not....

If Cousin J is standing at your side and crying because she wants to "love gamma" and you are too "busy" playing Scrabble so you kinda hug her say i love you too but im too busy don't be surprised if I immediately pick J up and if im glaring sorry but that was complete BS right there

Nope dd can't play with regular brand name play dough or walmart bubbles sorry and even though i said yeah maybe next year that'll be a no too, NOW homemade play dough with organic food coloring(provided by me) sure but neon orange no thanks

DON'T BUY ANYMORE FREAKING TOYS.... I don't care if there is 1 Melissa and Doug and a bunch of other plastic crap the point is WE DON'T NEED ANY MORE TOYS ALL TOYS FROM THIS POINT ON ARE GOING TO GOODWILL over:

Is my letter too harsh? Would you make any changes? TIA
Peace
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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72 views and nothing... why do people hate me here? I would really love some feedback about my letter am I being to harsh? Do you all just agree and have nothing to say?
Peace
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by treqi View Post

I am sorry to inform you that dd(20mo) will not be able to visit your home until you put a childproof lock on the lever door handles you have on your front and garage doors. Dd was easily able to open the lever style on the pantry and the bathroom when we visited yesterday and I remember a time last year when Cousin J (age 2 at the time) walked right out the front door (and nobody knew). I have bought you these lever locks in the past and you never installed them so this time I am completely willing to do it myself. If you don't want me to install these locks we are very happy to have you over to our house, meet at the park or go on a hike together but we will be unable to visit your home until dd is old enough to understand street safety and has the self restraint not to go exploring in the garage or front yard by herself.

Joy

things that I would love to say but will not....

If Cousin J is standing at your side and crying because she wants to "love gamma" and you are too "busy" playing Scrabble so you kinda hug her say i love you too but im too busy don't be surprised if I immediately pick J up and if im glaring sorry but that was complete BS right there

Nope dd can't play with regular brand name play dough or walmart bubbles sorry and even though i said yeah maybe next year that'll be a no too, NOW homemade play dough with organic food coloring(provided by me) sure but neon orange no thanks

DON'T BUY ANYMORE FREAKING TOYS.... I don't care if there is 1 Melissa and Doug and a bunch of other plastic crap the point is WE DON'T NEED ANY MORE TOYS ALL TOYS FROM THIS POINT ON ARE GOING TO GOODWILL over:

Is my letter too harsh? Would you make any changes? TIA
Peace
\


I absolutely think that is too harsh. What's stopping everyone from just keeping an eye on the kids? I'm not a big believer in keeping kids "safe" from the world, but rather teaching them how to live in it.

I also don't think that playing with neon orange playdough a few times isn't going to hurt anyone.
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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I can understand the lever door locks. I've known speedy escape artists. Those handles allow little ones to open doors WAY too early.

Everything else... I realize it's not in the letter, but I really think your expectations are over the top. Grandmas buy stuff for kids. Sounds like she's making an effort with the M & D stuff. And I agree. Some playdough or bubbles won't hurt anything as long as your child doesn't have severe allergies or something along those lines.

-Angela
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:52 PM
 
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I do not think expecting child locks on doors is unreasonable AT ALL. You never said your LO could never go back just when he's older. The wording might be a LITTLE tiny bit harsh but you are talking about a CHILD.

Oh and playing with neon orange playdough COULD be harmful for certain children and more importantly he's is YOUR child and If you don't want them to be exposed to chemicals and colors then so be it.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thats the point they will take dd(or my niece) to play and I will be eating or just talking to someone else(sil or bil or fil) and suddenly dd will come to the table/couch and MIL or FIL will be sitting in the play room waiting for the child to come back this happened last year I was feeding my niece at the table and then sent her to the play room (and yelled to mil "J is coming your way") to play with MIL (this was stupid on my part I should have walked her to the play room) and then went to feed dd(3mo at the time) 10 min later MIL comes out of the play room and asks where is J it turns out she had just walked out the front door and was playing in the driveway the next day I brought over lever handle locks for their garage and front doors and they never installed them........ now dd has opened the bathroom and pantry door (they are all the same lever style) and call me silly but I want a little extra precaution



and the neon play dough will not be brought up im picking my battles
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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The lever door handles are scary.

BUT it seems like maybe the bigger picture here is that MIL does not adequately supervise kids. Personally, if it were my child and I felt they were not being adequately supervised, then I would not count on that person to supervise them- EVER. Not for 10 minutes.

-Angela
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:08 PM
 
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I don't think you should write a letter and I don't think "sorry to inform you" is a good phrase to use. I realize you've brought this up before, but the best you can do, I think is for you or your dh to call on the phone and say, we are truly worried about this safety concern and we can't leave our daughter with you until the doors lock properly. (If you are visiting with your daughter, the request is unreasonable, you are capable of watching her and keeping her safe, this only applies if you are leaving her with them.)

Honestly, my inlaws house was not safe enough for me. They frequently left the basement door open and had a long stairway with a cement floor at the bottom. They had other hazards and a casual way of (not)-watching kids. So I never, ever left my kids alone there and I followed them around the house keeping a close eye and I closed the darn cellar door again and again. I would never have considered not visiting her home with my kids though, nor would I have considered bringing these issues up. I just chose not to leave my kids there unsupervised.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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with dh he lives in Japan (military) and all of the kid stuff falls on me anyways.... and personally I don't want to follow dd around the whole time every time we go there (2-3 times a week for 1-5 hours) it just takes any enjoyment I might have gotten out the visit(playing with my niece or talking with my SIL) and really feel they should make a small effort to make their home a bit safer (they don't have any outlet covers, have chemicals under their kitchen sink and no cabinet lock, smoke in the house when there are no children there so it still stinks, barley ever have the heat on so it is absolutly frigid in the winter..... im sure there is other stuff but hey) I already hover in the kitchen and dd hasn't been to interested in outlets and I try to encourage outside activities when we are there to stay away from the residual chemicals...... ugh and on top of it all MIL is hugely passive aggressive and I have a really hard time dealing with it sometimes I almost end up either screaming or crying (normally bitching to my mom after ever visit with MIL)
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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Ummm... are you my SIL, because I think we have the same MIL? Only the ages of our kids are off so it can't be. Seriously, lever latches, no outlet covers, huge fireplace with brick edges everywhere, breakables and china galore, no cabinet latches, doors open to stairways, no child gates, and me chasing three children all over the house the entire time we are there. And no one understands why I am so tired when we come home and DREAD going over to visit.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh yeh i did forget the fire place no gate in front of that either oh and all the blind cords.....
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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I think the safety devices are definately not uncalled for. I asked my parents to use the latches on the drawer where the knives are b/c the kids can easily reach that drawer, they have a latch under the sink where the chemicals and outlet covers. They dont really put up the breakables but thats easy to deal with, my kids listen very well when we tell them not to touch this or that.

As far as the toys, I dont see a problem with that. If the playdoh is kept at gma's and he only plays with it on occasion, I dont see a problem at all.

ETA: They do have a fireplace but the girls are usually good about staying off of it so that isnt a concern for me either.

single mommy to identical twin girls (3/06) Non-traditional mama just : through life.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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I think that the letter is ridiculous. Watch your children, and they won't go outside into the street. They do not live at your MIL's house, so she should not have to adjust things as if your child lived there. You wouldn't (or maybe you would, but you shouldn't) expect your friends to do the same, would you? And I mean, the whole playdough thing - while you have every right to restrict what your child is exposed to you have to realize that other people are not your child's parents and they may not share the same opinions or even have the same knowledge about parenting. I think that the majority of people if they were looking for something to buy for a child would probably head to walmart - especially if they don't have small children and need some ideas. And too many toys? REALLY? Isn't it what you do with those toys that matters? And how you interact with your children when they are playing with the toys? As grandparents, if they can't have you over to visit and they can't spoil their grandkids, what role do they get to play at all? I'm sorry, but yes, I think that your letter is WAY too harsh, and probably unnecessary.
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do watch my child but when another adult takes her to play I kinda expect them to know where she is and transition her from adult to adult...... I want these locks as an extra precaution on top of me watching her and would rather inconvenience my ILs than have my daughter in an environment where she could easily walk out the front door(as my niece has done)

ETA: Again the toys,play dough and ignoring of the niece will not ever be mentioned i was just bitching
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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I understand your frustration because I don't like taking my 2 year old to unchildproofed houses but honestly, I think you are expecting a little much. When I take him to houses that are not childproofed to his level, I don't let him leave my sight. I don't think that I should be able to change locks etc. Apparently, MIL doesn't want to have them or she would have put them up by now.

I think your letter is a bit harsh but perhaps you should try and meet up at your place and parks or what have you. Maybe this is not the season to hang out at MILs. I would just try and talk to her more diplomatically about that.
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:26 AM
 
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I wouldn't do the letter. I'd just show up with the tools, safety locks, outlet cover, etc and install them. That way I'd avoud the inevitable uncomfortable discussion/conflict and the job would be done.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I bought child safety locks for your front and garage doors on Amazon and they will be arriving next week and I would like to install them asap.... what time is the story time at the library? thursday at 10 right? I would be interested in going to the "Lapsit" toddler story time on tuesdays at 10 that sounds like it would be a better fit for leila..... oh i don't know if i gave you my cell # its blah blah
Peace
Joy
ok this is what i sent i guess i'll talk to her more about not coming over if she refuses.... thanks for all of your input.... peace
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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<snip>About the locks, when we raised K
and R(BIL and DH) we used safety latches on the cupboards at the appropriate age,
because they lived with us. Parent have to watch their children and
accomplish lots of other tasks. As Grandparents we are not responsible 24/7
as parents are. J and Leila visit, and during the visit we devote our
attention to them, teaching them, playing with them and loving them. If they
want to go outside, we go out with them. If they want to look in a drawer, we
look too. We keep them safe and happy...that's what Grandparents do. We
respectfully decline the offer.<snip>
Well I guess I'll have to bring up the time J wandered outside when FIL, MIL and I were all there(I was kinda focused on feeding my dd but still feel horrible) and then explain that I don't feel comfortable with such easy to open doors and that I am sorry that we won't be able to visit their house until dd is older.
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:42 AM
 
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I don't know. I think it is unreasonable for someone, say a parent like me, to assume and or mandate that someone else, like my mom, child proof her home. She has no more young children and it would just make life difficult for her.

If I did not trust her to adequately supervise my children, which I don't, I would do all the supervising myself at the visit. It does not matter that it would interfer with MY visit, because that is just part of my being a parent. I am the one to watch them in the stores, when we go shopping, on vacation, at friends houses, at restaurants, and so on. It is just my job. I routinely have my viists interrupted and interfered with, but that is just how it is. I do would not let my mom watch my children without me there, but I would never stop taking my children over for a visit just because she would not child proof the house.

It seems very unreasonable to me. But that is just my experince in that area.

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Old 03-25-2008, 05:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would not let my mom watch my children without me there, but I would never stop taking my children over for a visit just because she would not child proof the house.

It seems very unreasonable to me. But that is just my experince in that area.
I'm not asking for childproofing of the entire house just the 2 doors leading to nowhere my dd needs to be alone EVER until she is like 10..... I mean if you could see the "play" room half it is her sewing stuff, they just put a couch that had been in the garage for at least 3 years in the playroom and the fish tank in the room smells like poo (MIL said this herself)
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:03 AM
 
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Sorry, I agree with your MIL.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, I agree with your MIL.
why? I get the feeling she expects me to leave dd with her (i actually did for 10min on saturday to run to the store(MIL can't really drive) then dd started opening doors and now I'm worried) especially since J's parents do all the time I would never allow them to drive her anywhere but now that they don't want to use the lever locks I'm not comfortable being there so she will never be there alone.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:19 AM
 
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I understand an unsuitable house. My MIL's house used to be horrid. She had a ferrit that ran loose and they kept small tins of cat litter behind every door, and the thing used to still pooh all over the place. The house stunk. I would cringe every time I took a child over there, and really did not want to go anyways, but we went. I followed behind the babies to make sure they stayed out of the yucky stuff and out of trouble.

My mom's house is totally different. She like it clean. Perfect. And she has about a gazillion glass nick nacks that she HAS to have all over the place. On every table, every shelf, some even on the stairs and on the floor. EVERYWHERE! And she gets really uptight about having them touched. It is not exaclty the same safety issues, but it is close, as they are all breakable and glass. But I just deal with it. My mom does not like to come to my house because it is too "dirty" (meaning it looks like children live there) and makes her uncomfortable.

I don't go over to visit as often as I should, I suppose, but not because of those issues (more because I have a large family and life keeps us on the go a lot).

Perhaps I have just become more "layed back" about it all, having had seven babies running through the house over the years and dealing with this for over eighteen yeas now. But really, if I had waited until either my MIL's or my mom's house was suitable for a baby, I would have not visitied for 18 YEARS! And since I am baking another little one, it would still be a while yet. That is just too long for me to keep the children from visiting. They need to know their grandparents, even if they are not perfect. For the grandparents will not be here forever, and I really want my children to know them before time runs out. You never know what tomorrow will hold and when someone is going to be snatched away. They already missed out on knowing their grandfather, I will not take their grandmother away too.

Anyways, I am not suggesting one way or another for you, just explaining what my experience has been.

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Old 03-25-2008, 05:22 AM
 
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why? I get the feeling she expects me to leave dd with her (i actually did for 10min on saturday to run to the store(MIL can't really drive) then dd started opening doors and now I'm worried) especially since J's parents do all the time I would never allow them to drive her anywhere but now that they don't want to use the lever locks I'm not comfortable being there so she will never be there alone.
This is where I have drawn the line. I don't leave my babies with my mom, or MIL for that matter. Period. If I have to go somewhere I take them.

So, you can visit but not leave the baby. Sounds like the thing to do.

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Old 03-25-2008, 05:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I also guess I don't agree with her
Quote:
J and Leila visit, and during the visit we devote our
attention to them
as I said earlier on Easter she repeatedly ignored J and FIL is a cool guy but I never expect him to give his full attention to dd or J I guess when we were playing Scrabble I got a score of 50 and SIL, BIL and MIL got way over 100 I think that would probably have to do with the fact that I was always more focused on dd and J than the game, because normally I'm pretty good at Scrabble
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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and for my last post of the night

dd is my first and i guess i have "high standards" but she will probably be my only so i really want to do the best i can to keep her out of harms way I am more than happy to facilitate visits(ie pick mil up and go somewhere else) but don't want to feel i'm not doing my best to keep dd safe I also forgot to mention that i have adult ADD (i know its all classified as ADHD now but i'm not really hyper) and when things get chaotic I like to know there are safe guards in place to help me I guess it also doesn't help that MIL and FIL are long time pot smokers and so in order for me to feel i have the situation under control I would at least like to know the order of likeliness of places my dd could be at any point in time(i would like the the garage and front of the house to be at the bottom of that list)
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:40 AM
 
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I have to agree with the PP's who said that it is not their responsibility to childproof their home for a visitor.

MIL and FIL have a house that we call "The museum" because it's full to the brim of breakables and collectables and all sorts of things that just make me want to run screaming. So, when we're there, we're always around DS. He doesn't go anywhere near the stuff unless an adult is with him. MIL has very expensive porcelain dolls, and the only time DS touched them is when she invited him to. They did borrow a baby gate when DS was smaller for the basement stairs, because there isn't a door to them.

Point is, he's our child, it's our responsibility to watch him and keep him out of trouble. Not MIL's responsiblity to put away her vaulables or modify their house to suit our needs.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:40 AM
 
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Wow. I think she sounds really mean! Its not as if installing two childproof locks on her outside doors is going to ruin her home or make her life difficult. If you are going to have children over regularly I think you should make sure your home is safe for them. (I am not obsessed with child safety. We don't have stairgates or things like that, but I ALWAYS keep my doors locked when I have toddlers around. Once ds opened the front door and ran off down the street - naked!!!)

I think maybe you went about it the wrong way though. Why did you need to send a letter? Couldn't you have talked about it with your MIL? I think if you'd just showed up with the locks and reminded her about the time cousin J escaped and tell her you were worried/stressed that dd might escape too, and asked if you could install the locks then it might have gone better.

p.s - if the grandparents are drug users I would NOT be bringing my child to their home. Or having them watch my child. They could come to ours or we could meet up somewhere for a day out.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by treqi View Post
Well I guess I'll have to bring up the time J wandered outside when FIL, MIL and I were all there(I was kinda focused on feeding my dd but still feel horrible) and then explain that I don't feel comfortable with such easy to open doors and that I am sorry that we won't be able to visit their house until dd is older.
You already said you aren't visiting, you don't need to repeat that. They declined the offer, so now you have them to your house or meet at the park, unless you change your mind and relax your standards. You can't force them to do what you want. Now you work within the situation you have.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:17 AM
 
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I have experienced *some* of the things you experience at your MILs at mine so I don't go there w/out DH. I understand that your DH is away and honestly if mine were away, I wound't go over there except for maybe a holiday. There is NO WAY I would be going over weekly. I find it exhausting to take my kids places that I KNOW they are safe forget about not safe. Now that 2 of my kids are older, I will let them stay there w/out me but not DD2 (she's 2.5). MIL is known for just disappearing to nap for hours and not designating the kids to anyone. I'm sure someone here will think I'm horrible but that's me. If it makes ANY difference, my ILs almost NEVER come here and we live about 40 minutes from each other. Good luck!

Kerrie Mama to DD 10 yo, DS 8 yo and DD 5  

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