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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My MIL spends a lot of time with us and all in all is great with my daughters. She does have one habit which drives me crazy. MIL very frequently will spell things out in front of my daughter so that she doesn't understand what MIL is saying. Usually the spelled word isn't anything that "needs" to be spelled. I don't get why she feels the need to be secretive so much of the time. My husband and I sometimes will avoid mentioning certain things, speak obliquely, or throw in a foreign language phrase if we want to head off an upset toddler. However, I have a problem with all the spelling out on MIL's part because I think it is really disrespectful to my daughter. I think when stuff is spelled out she knows that words are being spoken in a way deliberately to foil her understanding and I don't think that is fair or respectful to a child. On the occasions my husband and I do it we make it as seamless and unoticable as possible so that doesn't happen.

I would love to hear your opinions Mama's....am I making a big deal about this or should I have a chat with MIL?
 

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Ha! I was just reading this:

http://daddyzine.typepad.com/daddy_z...also_hire.html

His daughter learned to spell the words that they were spelling to keep her from thinking about them! Ho ho!

Maybe this is, in fact, what your MIL is secretly plotting.

The same thing can happen if you use a foreign language, by the way. This is how several of my peers learned a lot of dirty words in Yiddish.
 

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well..... does it bother you enough to say something about it & will saying something cause a problem/hard feelings? Honestly, if it were me, I'd probably just ignore it & move on. To me, life is too short & I'm sure I have annoying habits too. But that's just me
 

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I would think they would learn spelled words just like they would learn spoken words - it's just another way of referring to something. A C-A-T is also a cat. So yeah, I would just consider it spelling lessions and ignore the MIL's antics just as smoothly as you talk in code with your dh.
 

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You could say, "Oh, I get it, you're trying to teach her to spell!"
I know kids can learn that way...even my MIL's dogs know how to spell by now. Whenever they say, "We're out of b-i-s-c-u-i-t-s for the d-o-g-s" the dogs perk up and run down to the kitchen, waiting for their doggie treat.
 

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I would respond with the word.

MIL: "Can DD have a c-o-o-k-i-e."
You, either: "I don't think now is a good time for a cookie"
OR: "DD, would you like a cookie?"

I have always said that my kids understand we can't have *everything* and to just talk about it. In addition, I am horrid at deciphering spelling like that--- I'm not good at it and rapidly get "lost."

That said, DH was very young when he started constantly asking for "I C R E R" (ice cream), lol
 

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My mom and grandma did this around Ainsley while we were visiting. Mostly about snakes in the water and stuff like that, stuff they thought she would be scared of. I just told them, she doesn't have a fear of snakes, doesn't really even know what they are because there are none in HI so you don't have to spell. Saying that, we do spell things around her like pool or something that we know will set her off, but she is picking up on it quickly and now knows b-e-a-c-h is beach and p-o-o-l is pool.
 

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My mom does that lots around my dd, and dh and I actually do it some too. The funny thing is that dd (15 months old) starts imitating us, and making random letter sounds! It's like she's trying to communicate the same way we are. Sometimes now we spell around her just to hear her try to spell as well.

I don't see it as disrespectful to her, just as another way of communicating that, soon enough, she'll be proficient at as well.
 

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My MIL does this too, and like yours, seems to spell words that aren't terribly important! Like, "Do you think she might W-A-N-T to G-O for a walk?" or "Did she E-A-T D-I-N-N-E-R?" Why can't she just ask? Makes no sense whatsoever. We usually pretend that we can't figure it out (she must think we're complete idiots, lol), by respelling it slowly and then AHA! saying it: "W...A...N... oooohhhhh, want, right?" You are not alone!
 

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I laughed when I read your post, beacause my MIL does the same thing all the time. By now, my dd can understand most of the words her Grandma is oh, so cleverly spelling. It's frustrating to me, too, but I've decided to use her compulsion to spell words she doesn't want dd to hear and turn it into a teaching tool
They are actually pretty easy for dd to figure out because although the word is being spelled, it is easy for her to infer its meaning since Grandma always uses it within context.
 

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DD1 was 2YO I said to a friend of mine, "want to go get some i-c-e c-r-e-a-m?" To which Nicole sat up and said, "ICE CREAM!!!!! YUM!!!!!" Don't worry, it WILL bite her in the butt eventually. Won't it be hilarious to see the look on her face when it does!!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by captain optimism
..The same thing can happen if you use a foreign language, by the way. This is how several of my peers learned a lot of dirty words in Yiddish.
T This is how we're teaching our pixie Spanish!!!


And when he understands that, we'll switch over to french. Then either the DH will have to learn german or I have to learn catalan.


We're plotting that our little charming Aries-with-saggitarius-rising, water horse will grow up to be a diplomat.
 

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A funny little story I thought I'd share for a laugh-
One evening DH was getting DS ready for bed and I was running out to rent a video for the two of us. DH said, "If you have any money left over will you pick me up an o-r-a-n-g-e s-o-d-a?" Something we NEVER have in the house, btw. DS then said, "Mama, will you pick me up a p-i-27?" I asked him what that spelled and he shrugged his shoulders and said, "orange soda." :LOL

That one got written down in the baby book!

lisa
 

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My kids are ten years apart and my first thought at reading the OP was "sh-t, I forgot all about that." It really annoyed me and contributed to the still-stressful relationship I have with MIL today, but she doesn't handle perceived criticism well. I also thought it was disrespectful and just stupid, like people are afraid of having to say no to a toddler, or if he hears "cookie" all hell will break loose. I didn't want to have to do it, either, and I thought it was counter-productive if I wanted my child to be interested in and part of the conversation whenever she wished. My SIL still does this with her almost 7 year old and it really does feel disrespectful. Their kid is supersensitive to it, also.

I would repeat the word in conversation and the inlaws actually thought I was missing the point!
uh, no, *you* are missing the point! But such things can become huge issues esp in families so it depends on your relationship how you handle a lot of this nonsense. I just about alienated all my inlaws with my "crazy" ideas but just as well, kwim?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all your input. I think I will just chill out and try to turn this into a positive. LOL I will love to see the day when my daughter first shows off her spelling skills.

Erika
 

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*snort* my mother and her siblings learned to curse like sailors in Pennsylvania Dutch because her parents used it to keep them from hearing certain words. Never bothered to teach them to speak the language, but they sure learned some choice words...

I agree that you should reapeat back any words she spells. It'll tick her off at first, perhaps, but she'll get the hint. Either that or start spelling words that have no reason to be spelled, and if she asks why, say that it's because you thought she was giving your daughter a spelling lesson
 
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