Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Slartibartfast on July 30, 2012, 10:17:28 AM

Title: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on July 30, 2012, 10:17:28 AM
Babybartfast turns 4 today (Monday), but we had a birthday party for her on Saturday.  A friend of mine made the cake and it was DELICIOUS.  Babybartfast pouted when she first saw it, however, because it wasn't what she expected/wanted.  MIL took Babybartfast aside and gave her a little talking-to and that was that - Babybartfast never really did tell us what she wanted on her cake, even though we asked several times, so she got a combination of things she likes:
(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y247/wendymarlowe/Sonjascake.jpg)
(BALLERINA ASTRONAUT BIKER DINOSAURS IN SPACE!  Cool, right?  She's played with the dinosaurs several times since then!)

Anyway, MIL called this morning - since Babybartfast was so disappointed with her cake, MIL wants to take her out to Baskin Robbins and get her ANOTHER cake today for her real birthday.  I told MIL I would really rather she didn't - I'm happy with MIL taking her out for ice cream, if she wants to, but Babybartfast already got her cake and I don't want to reward her for turning her nose up at it because it's not what she expected or wanted.  I get why she did - she's only four, and hasn't learned to smile politely even when disappointed yet - but I don't want MIL to run out and buy her another one.  MIL said the equivalent of "Fine, I won't pick her up then," and immediately called DH who then called me.  Apparently he had told her it was okay.  He's in favor of Babybartfast getting another cake "since it's her birthday" and just making no connection to her liking or not liking the other cake (which we still have quite a bit of left).

Rather than argue with DH over the phone I just said fine if it's a one-serving thing and is otherwise treated like going out for ice cream would normally be.  However, now I'm second-guessing myself - am I being unreasonably harsh?  DH and I usually don't disagree on parenting things like this (at least, I see it as a parenting thing) so that's making me less willing to blame it all on MIL not understanding our parenting boundaries.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: heartmug on July 30, 2012, 10:22:12 AM
It seems like more of a DH problem.  He probably should have said "Let me discuss it first and I will get back to you mom."  He might have seen it as not a big deal, but I agree with you because I would also want my kids to know that it is one cake per birthday not cake after cake until you get the one you really want.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: dharmaexpress on July 30, 2012, 10:23:42 AM
First I want to fawn over that cake; I think it's too cool for a 4-year-old to appreciate.  A T-rex with a tutu?  I'd be beside myself for a cake like that, and I'm in my 40s.   :D

Quote
However, now I'm second-guessing myself - am I being unreasonably harsh?  DH and I usually don't disagree on parenting things like this (at least, I see it as a parenting thing) so that's making me less willing to blame it all on MIL not understanding our parenting boundaries.

What I know about parenting would fit in a teaspoon, so I'll just ask how much this particular lesson matters at this age.  I think your DH's idea is a good one - it's another birthday cake, not a replacement for a cake that disappointed her.  She does seem young to grasp being gracious with disappointment.

OTOH, I see exactly where you are coming from - I get your point completely.  But you've said you and he don't usually disagree, so I take from that he's a reasonable guy.  In which case I'd bend a little here, since you are otherwise working on your BabyBartFast's expectations and manners when it comes to gifts and cakes and such.

I really just posted to fawn over that amazing cake.  Someone will have more useful comments for you, no doubt.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Darcy on July 30, 2012, 10:26:24 AM
The wrong was when MIL didn't get the answer she wanted and went to DH behind your back. Your original decision was fine, and your MIL shouldn't have circumvented it.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: bonyk on July 30, 2012, 10:32:12 AM
I agree that as long as it's treated as another cake, not a replacement cake, it's okay. 

That said, MIL getting huffy over your decision is not okay.  I would call her and explain why you said no, and that you were unaware that DH had already said yes.  Depending on your relationship with her, I might even say something about being more respectful of your decisions in the future.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: QueenofAllThings on July 30, 2012, 10:34:14 AM
I think you're absolutely right - whining (even if it is age appropriate) is not rewarded. Good for you!

Additionally  (and here comes the soapbox) I think that we (the generic, modern parent 'we') tend to overdo the whole birthday thing - from birth 'til adulthood, we teach them that the world STOPS because it is their birthday. Then they reach adulthood. I can't tell you how many young adults I know that fall into a funk when their birthday rolls around because they didn't get cake, balloons, attention, gifts, cards, phone calls, confetti, and the day off from everyone they know. Don't get me wrong - I believe in celebrating birthdays and making them a little special, particularly when children are little - but I do think we go over the top sometimes.

So - ice cream with Grandma? Thumbs up! A second cake because she didn't like the first one - no.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Judah on July 30, 2012, 10:42:37 AM
The wrong was when MIL didn't get the answer she wanted and went to DH behind your back. Your original decision was fine, and your MIL shouldn't have circumvented it.

I agree and it's the only wrong that I see here.  It sounds like your DH didn't know you'd said no when his mom called him, so I can't blame him for saying yes.  He's allowed to make parenting decisions too.  If he had known you'd already said no, then he's way wrong and needs to fix it with his mom. 

I don't think you are being too restrictive with your DD.  I understand completely where you're coming from. 

a. DD already had her birthday cake and she doesn't get another one just because she was disappointed in the first one.  Cake is cake and if she wanted something specific, she should have asked for it before.  Yes, I know she's only four, but I don't know of any four-year-old that is too shy to state her own preferences.

b. I think too much is made of birthdays.  She's had her party.  A small celebration with only family on the day in addition to the official party is fine, but she doesn't need another cake.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: wheeitsme on July 30, 2012, 10:45:18 AM
The wrong was when MIL didn't get the answer she wanted and went to DH behind your back. Your original decision was fine, and your MIL shouldn't have circumvented it.

This.

I would tell MIL that if she ever tried this again with Babyblartfast there would be consequences.  And then I'd make sure there were.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Slartibartfast on July 30, 2012, 10:48:07 AM
Clarification: from what I understand, DH had said "I see no problem with it" already, before MIL called me.  DH didn't tell me that beforehand, so it's not like she snuck around behind my back to go to the other parent.  However, I think she should have been willing to say "Oh, okay, would it be okay if we do ice cream instead then?" instead of getting in a snit about it.  I could see her wanting to get a cake if she and FIL had missed the birthday party - but they were there with us!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: wheeitsme on July 30, 2012, 10:56:21 AM
Clarification: from what I understand, DH had said "I see no problem with it" already, before MIL called me.  DH didn't tell me that beforehand, so it's not like she snuck around behind my back to go to the other parent.  However, I think she should have been willing to say "Oh, okay, would it be okay if we do ice cream instead then?" instead of getting in a snit about it.  I could see her wanting to get a cake if she and FIL had missed the birthday party - but they were there with us!

Oh.  That does make it a bit different.  So she asked your DH, he said "I see no problem with it" and then she called you to see if you were okay with it, too.  Only you weren't.  So she called your DH back and complained.

1.  I think you made a reasonable and rational case for not giving her another cake
2.  You da Mamma.
3.  MIL should not ask your permission and then complain because she didn't get the answer she wanted.  If she felt it was important enough to get both parents permission, she needs to accept the answer she gets.



(edited to add:  Awesome cake)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Judah on July 30, 2012, 11:04:10 AM
Clarification: from what I understand, DH had said "I see no problem with it" already, before MIL called me.  DH didn't tell me that beforehand, so it's not like she snuck around behind my back to go to the other parent.  However, I think she should have been willing to say "Oh, okay, would it be okay if we do ice cream instead then?" instead of getting in a snit about it.  I could see her wanting to get a cake if she and FIL had missed the birthday party - but they were there with us!

Ah, that makes a difference.  You are right, she shouldn't have gotten in a snit about it. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: TootsNYC on July 30, 2012, 11:18:21 AM
On the parenting note, I would want my child to learn how to deal with disappointment, and to learn that  there isn't a consolation prize for every disappointment, and their SURE isn't a "do-over."

And if this disappointment is what it takes for her to learn how to be more vocal about her preferences, that would be a good outcome, to me anyway.

(She may have had this image that you'd *surprise* her, that it wasn't as much fun to "order" her birthday cake; my son thinks similarly about presents, thought not about the cake. If that's the case, this is a good time for you to explore the b'day cake problem and figure out a way that she can drop you hints, or that you can "catch" any hints she does drop.)

Etiquette-wise, I wouldn't say or do anything further. With MIL, I think it's much the same as w/ a little kid--preserving your authority is worthwhile. She felt she needed your permission, and she thought you wouldn't give it, so she went to Dad first (OK, he's her son, so maybe it was just that). Then she called to get your permission.

Both she and DH thought that you should be the final choice, right? And you made your choice. Changing your mind now will be just the same as giving in to a kid after they've thrown a tantrum. So don't change your mind.

I'd be sounding out DH about the "coordination of authority" business--did he think he'd given permission? What things does he want to be the final decider on, etc.? I wouldn't want him to think I was shutting him out. So I'd try to explore that.

I think the fact that she got in a snit about it actually tells something about her motivation. She doesn't want to just take your DD for ice cream; she wants to be the "fixer" who does it right, and a part of her knows that her motivation isn't the right one. That's why she asked, and it's why she's upset that she doesn't get to do it.

Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Harriet on July 30, 2012, 11:30:58 AM
Oh my gosh, that cake is TEH COOLEST!!!!!!! Tutu biker astro dino! I am dying!

I agree with wheeitsme. I don't think four is too young to start on that lesson, either. Snit is not warranted.

A thought: you say your mother in law gave BabyBF a talking to at the birthday... could that possibly have consisted of "Don't cry honey, I'll take you out for a better cake next week"?

Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: RooRoo on July 30, 2012, 11:44:40 AM
Quote
The wrong was when MIL didn't get the answer she wanted and went to DH behind your back. Your original decision was fine, and your MIL shouldn't have circumvented it.
My POD is parked right next to Darcy!

So MIL talked to Dad, who "didn't have a problem" with it. That sounds to me as if he was giving you the final say. Then she calls you, and you do have a problem with it - and quite correctly, IMNSHO.

Then she calls Dad back and gripes, to get him to override your decision. I believe that's called "playing both ends against the middle," and it's usually the kids who master that technique!

PODs also to those folks saying too much is made of birthdays these days. I don't recall any family birthday parties with invitations and such; my sister and I would get a cake after lunch or dinner, and open presents then. Only the immediate family was there. So when I grew up and left home, I didn't expect anything from anyone.

Update: Big poddity pod pod to Toots, who has put her finger right on it.

OT: I did just throw myself a birthday party - ooh, bad RooRoo! But it was my 60th*, and consisted of my very DH, and my best friend that I hadn't seen for 23 years... I paid her lodging, and she paid her airfare. Best birthday present EVARR!

*That's always been my "line" between middle-aged and old, so I was pretty depressed about it. The idea was to cheer me up - and it worked!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Donovan on July 30, 2012, 11:47:56 AM
What did MIL say to BBF when she drew her aside and gave her a talking to? 

I have a sneaking suspicion it was 'don't make a fuss BBF, I'll get a you a better cake for your birthday on Monday.'

(in which case, MIL would be told NO)

Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Virg on July 30, 2012, 11:54:36 AM
My thought is that the presentation of the next cake is the important part of this.  Because she's four, Babybartfast is a little young to drag out a grudge against a cake unless she's reminded about it, so if MIL presents the new cake as "I wanted to get you this cake because you didn't like the last one" than that's bad but if it's "I wanted to get you this cake because I love you sooo much!" then all would be well.

As to not liking your answer, she asked your DH and got a "yes" then called you and got a "no", so I don't see calling him back as subversive because as a previous poster said, he's a parent too.

TootsNYC wrote:

"Both she and DH thought that you should be the final choice, right? And you made your choice. Changing your mind now will be just the same as giving in to a kid after they've thrown a tantrum. So don't change your mind."

I don't see it that way.  He didn't say anything like "ask Slartibartfast", he told MIL it was okay.  And so I see standing firm just because she called Slartibartfast to be not a hill worth dying on.  It's possible she asked her son for permission (and he said yes) and then called Slartibartfast to arrange the schedule rather than "moving up the chain".  In general, it's a good idea to maintain boundaries, but this particular fight could spin the wrong way.  There's nothing wrong with changing her mind after finding out he's okay with the idea, and such a thing would be acceptable even in front of a child because it shows that they discuss and come to an agreement, whichever side that agreement is on.

"I'd be sounding out DH about the "coordination of authority" business--did he think he'd given permission? What things does he want to be the final decider on, etc.? I wouldn't want him to think I was shutting him out. So I'd try to explore that."

Putting her foot down after he said yes has the effect of shutting him out, because calling a veto for something like this isn't a fight I'd want to take on.

Virg
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: scansons on July 30, 2012, 11:58:20 AM
First, my six year old son walked through as I started reading this thread.  Long story short, I need to know where you friend got her dinosaur tutu.  I've got a seventh birthday coming up in a couple months.  Obviously this is the coolest cake ever. 

Secondly, I think that as long as it's not handled as a replacement cake, but a normal treat, you're fine.  As others have said. 

I do wish your DH had checked with you first.  It would have circumvented MIL's snit.  I do hope you made it clear to MIL that the reason your daughter was unhappy was because she wouldn't tell you what she wanted.  Not because she made a request, and you ignored her.  Although, I'll be honest, MIL's snit would have made me dig in my heels harder.  Both because she went to DH to complain about you, and because it is a boundary breaker to me.  Mom says "no" then the answer is no.  Not whine until MIL gets her way. 

Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: gramma dishes on July 30, 2012, 12:01:05 PM
I agree that she should not get a second cake.  Four years old is NOT too young to know that you don't get another one just because the original one was not (apparently) the cake of her dreams.  Not only that, I think I would mention to Babybartfast that the person who MADE her the cake had done so with much love and that it took her a lot of time and effort and that Babybartfast's negative reaction might have hurt that person's feelings.

As far as Grandma taking her out for ice cream for her birthday?  Great.  But when Grandma then followed up by refusing to do that after learning cake was not part of the deal, she simply put herself on the same emotional level as the four year old.  "If I can't do it exactly my way, then I'm not going to do it at all!"  Good grief!

Sorry your husband dropped the ball here, but I think he did.  That's my opinion and it's worth what you paid for it!  LOL!   ;D
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: taffywduck on July 30, 2012, 12:25:57 PM
What makes this situation a little weird for me is that MIL didn't just tell you something like "Hey I just talked to DH and he said it was alright if I did X with Babybartfast so I'm checking up with you to see when I can come pick her up?".

Then you can say that you don't mind if she takes Baby out for ice cream, but you'd rather not have to deal with another whole birthday cake so MIL can then either just have a piece of cake (or fancy cupcake) with Baby or deal with having a whole sheetcake tempting her in HER fridge!

My main issue would be that MIL couldn't be bothered to tell you that your DH had already said yes and then she called him to tell that you were being a big meanie. If this is a pattern I'd have a talk with DH about it because it would make me feel like this is less about Baby getting a second cake than about MIL trying to drive a wedge between you and her son.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: FauxFoodist on July 30, 2012, 01:17:54 PM
I'd have to agree that MIL is acting with the same level of maturity as the four-year-old!  I think you and DH need to make sure you're on the same page, then have him call MIL and say, "We're okay with BBF going out for ice cream with you or having a single-serving of cake, but we don't want this to be a regular thing since we don't want to reward bad behavior" (or something like that), and it would be NOT rewarding both BBF AND MIL's bad behavior.

I would want to say no to the ice cream trip since MIL is being so immature, but I know if that were DF and me, he would be very unhappy with me so I'd have to be content to have a discussion with him about this time being okay but that this wouldn't be acceptable in the future should it occur.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: sparksals on July 30, 2012, 01:19:01 PM
The wrong was when MIL didn't get the answer she wanted and went to DH behind your back. Your original decision was fine, and your MIL shouldn't have circumvented it.

This and the fact dh took his mom's side and not that os his wife!  He not only disrespected OP, but also taught his mom the OP has no authority over her own child and she can go to her son around oP back. NOT cool!  I would be Livid if my dh did this. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: BeagleMommy on July 30, 2012, 01:40:59 PM
First, SUPREMELY AWESOME CAKE!

Second, I agree with PP that it would have saved a lot of confusion if MIL had said "Hey, I checked with your DH and he said it would be okay if I took BBF out for ice cream".  That would have allowed Slartibartfast to say "Sure, but only a small item so we don't have pounds of cake left over" or "No, we don't want to reward a whine"

If  I had not told my mother specifically what I wanted as a birthday cake (she made all of them) I would have gotten a square cake with white frosting and pink writing that said "Happy Birthday BeagleMommy".
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: SPuck on July 30, 2012, 02:01:57 PM
Could you use this issue as future lesson? Maybe explain to your husband that his mother was playing both ends, and what is going to happen in a few years if your daughter ever plays the same game?

Nothing like a double negative with "Mom didn't not say no."
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Zilla on July 30, 2012, 02:46:22 PM
Several things popped up for me.

MIL was wrong to ask you and then dh.  You are the parent and no matter what the answer is, it should remain so. My kids normally get 2 cakes, one for a party and on actual day of.  A fancy cupcake place would be ideal for her to pick out something just for her.  I don't see it as rewarding the child for turning her nose up at it but rather a special little something for her to have on actual day of.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Winterlight on July 30, 2012, 03:50:51 PM
What makes this situation a little weird for me is that MIL didn't just tell you something like "Hey I just talked to DH and he said it was alright if I did X with Babybartfast so I'm checking up with you to see when I can come pick her up?".

Then you can say that you don't mind if she takes Baby out for ice cream, but you'd rather not have to deal with another whole birthday cake so MIL can then either just have a piece of cake (or fancy cupcake) with Baby or deal with having a whole sheetcake tempting her in HER fridge!

My main issue would be that MIL couldn't be bothered to tell you that your DH had already said yes and then she called him to tell that you were being a big meanie. If this is a pattern I'd have a talk with DH about it because it would make me feel like this is less about Baby getting a second cake than about MIL trying to drive a wedge between you and her son.

This.

I also agree that a second cake is not needed. She's four and will probably forget it by next Tuesday unless someone makes a big deal about things.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: yokozbornak on July 30, 2012, 03:52:32 PM
I agree with you about this. I don't think it's about the cake, I think it's about her undermining the lesson you want to teach.  We have a rule in our house that you will never, ever get something you want by throwing a fit for it which seems to be the similar to the lesson you are trying to teach your daughter. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: JenJay on July 30, 2012, 04:03:02 PM
I would have felt the same way as you about not getting her another cake, and for the exact same reason.

To my DH I would say "I don't appreciate you sending your Mom to me for an answer and then not backing me up when I gave it." and to MIL I would say "I don't appreciate you asking me a yes or no question and then complaining to my husband about me when you didn't get the answer you wanted."  >:(

I guess I don't understand why your husband and MIL bother to consult you about your kids if they're going to huddle together and overrule you anyway. I'd be ticked.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Judah on July 30, 2012, 04:12:34 PM
I guess I don't understand why your husband and MIL bother to consult you about your kids if they're going to huddle together and overrule you anyway. I'd be ticked.

But that's not really what happened.  I don't see where the OP's DH has done anything wrong.  MIL called her son to get permission to do something and he gave his ok.  Then she called the OP and OP said no.  MIL has a snit and called OP's DH to complain and he called the OP probably to clarify. There was no conspiracy here.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: JenJay on July 30, 2012, 05:05:12 PM
I guess I don't understand why your husband and MIL bother to consult you about your kids if they're going to huddle together and overrule you anyway. I'd be ticked.

But that's not really what happened.  I don't see where the OP's DH has done anything wrong.  MIL called her son to get permission to do something and he gave his ok.  Then she called the OP and OP said no.  MIL has a snit and called OP's DH to complain and he called the OP probably to clarify. There was no conspiracy here.

I just re-read the OP and you are absolutely correct. I think I took a few memories I had of past situations and allowed them to color my judgement here, which wasn't fair. My apologies to Slartibartfasts's DH!!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Slartibartfast on July 30, 2012, 05:08:55 PM
I guess I don't understand why your husband and MIL bother to consult you about your kids if they're going to huddle together and overrule you anyway. I'd be ticked.

But that's not really what happened.  I don't see where the OP's DH has done anything wrong.  MIL called her son to get permission to do something and he gave his ok.  Then she called the OP and OP said no.  MIL has a snit and called OP's DH to complain and he called the OP probably to clarify. There was no conspiracy here.

Yeah, I guess I should clarify - MIL had talked to DH earlier, and all DH relayed is that "MIL might be picking up Babybartfast after preschool today instead of me doing it."  Then MIL called me this morning to verify plans - as she has FINALLY learned to do - and that's when she mentioned the whole new cake thing.  When she pulled the "fine, I won't pick her up" thing, she had to call DH back to let him know to pick Babybartfast up instead.  Usually I do it, but I had a dentist appointment today so DH was planning to, and then MIL offered, etc.  It wasn't going behind my back as much as complaining to DH about me.  Luckily, DH usually just shrugs it off when she does that - her usual M.O. is to make little PA digs at people when they're not around, and DH couldn't care less what she's hinting at unless/until she comes out and actually says something.  (It's one of his more endearing and simultaneously more annoying traits.)

Anyway, the update: MIL did in fact pick up Babybartfast from school, they did go to Baskin Robbins, and as I understand it, did get a single-serving-style cake or ice cream or somesuch treat.  I don't know what exactly happened, other than DH was the one who brought Babybartfast home so I think they may have all done lunch together (MIL, DH, and Babybartfast) while Bittybartfast and I were at my dentist appointment.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Arianoor on July 30, 2012, 05:15:46 PM
He probably should have said "Let me discuss it first and I will get back to you mom."

I do wish your DH had checked with you first. 

I don't understand this.  It's okay for the OP to make a decision about this, but her DH has to check with her first?
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Judah on July 30, 2012, 05:24:10 PM
He probably should have said "Let me discuss it first and I will get back to you mom."

I do wish your DH had checked with you first. 

I don't understand this.  It's okay for the OP to make a decision about this, but her DH has to check with her first?

This attitude bugs me.  DH is as much a parent as I am. He does not have to check with me before making a decision for one of the kids.  We discuss all really big decisions, but whether or not the kid can have cake is not a big decision.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: FauxFoodist on July 30, 2012, 07:02:04 PM
Bittybartfast and I were at my dentist appointment.

Loving the name you decided upon for the latest Bartfast!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: gramma dishes on July 30, 2012, 07:18:47 PM
This attitude bugs me.  DH is as much a parent as I am. He does not have to check with me before making a decision for one of the kids.  We discuss all really big decisions, but whether or not the kid can have cake is not a big decision.

No, it's not a "big" decision in the grand scheme of things.  The problem here is that MIL tried to get one of the parents to override the other.  That IS a big thing. 

The child already had had "a" cake.  So that wasn't the question.  The issue was whether or not the child could have ANOTHER cake since the first one didn't immediately suit her.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: kherbert05 on July 30, 2012, 07:46:54 PM
I get why she did - she's only four, and hasn't learned to smile politely even when disappointed yet - but I don't want MIL to run out and buy her another one.  MIL said the equivalent of "Fine, I won't pick her up then," and immediately called DH who then called me.  Apparently he had told her it was okay.  He's in favor of Babybartfast getting another cake "since it's her birthday" and just making no connection to her liking or not liking the other cake (which we still have quite a bit of left).

This is what I have a problem with.

You said NO
MIL acted like a 2 yo and pitched a fit
MIL call's your DH
Your DH does not back you. (Assuming MIL told DH that you said no).

I am the indulgent Aunt/Cousin. The first parent I talk to says NO then that is what I do. I do NOT call up the other parent like a petulant teenager to get the answer I want. Sis and BIL have been married 13 years I think. There has been 1 time that I did something one of them asked me not to. In that case there was an unforeseen safety issue. My BIL loves peanut butter for breakfast and at that time didn't clean up the dishes just left them soaking in the sink. Sis fixed that - at least on the days I'm babysitting.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: bonyk on July 30, 2012, 08:08:13 PM
This is what I have a problem with.

You said NO
MIL acted like a 2 yo and pitched a fit
MIL call's your DH
Your DH does not back you. (Assuming MIL told DH that you said no).

That's not quite what I understand happened.  From my understanding:

DH asked MIL to pick up Baby.
MIL said, yes, and that she would get him another cake.
DH said OK.
MIL called OP to let her know that she would be picking up Baby and getting him a cake.
OP said no cake.
MIL pitched a fit and said she would not pick up Baby.
MIL calls DH and tells him to pick up baby.
DH calls OP to ask what happened.

I don't think OP's DH did anything wrong here.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Rivaini on July 30, 2012, 09:11:49 PM
He probably should have said "Let me discuss it first and I will get back to you mom."

I do wish your DH had checked with you first. 

I don't understand this.  It's okay for the OP to make a decision about this, but her DH has to check with her first?

This attitude bugs me.  DH is as much a parent as I am. He does not have to check with me before making a decision for one of the kids.  We discuss all really big decisions, but whether or not the kid can have cake is not a big decision.


It bugs me as well. I don't understand the double standard.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: scansons on July 30, 2012, 10:06:05 PM
He probably should have said "Let me discuss it first and I will get back to you mom."

I do wish your DH had checked with you first. 

I don't understand this.  It's okay for the OP to make a decision about this, but her DH has to check with her first?

This attitude bugs me.  DH is as much a parent as I am. He does not have to check with me before making a decision for one of the kids.  We discuss all really big decisions, but whether or not the kid can have cake is not a big decision.


It bugs me as well. I don't understand the double standard.

Speaking for myself, it's not that my DH can't parent, or make decisions regarding the kids.  It's that if DH is changing plans for the kids, it's only polite to consult with me first, before things get set in stone.  Likewise, I talk to him about things before I set them up for the kids.  Espeically when we're dealing with people who have been a source of irritation before.  As I believe is the case with the MIL here. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: LifeOnPluto on July 30, 2012, 10:12:46 PM
He probably should have said "Let me discuss it first and I will get back to you mom."

I do wish your DH had checked with you first. 

I don't understand this.  It's okay for the OP to make a decision about this, but her DH has to check with her first?

This attitude bugs me.  DH is as much a parent as I am. He does not have to check with me before making a decision for one of the kids.  We discuss all really big decisions, but whether or not the kid can have cake is not a big decision.


It bugs me as well. I don't understand the double standard.

I tend to agree with this too.

I also think the MIL was rude, for threatening to pull out of picking up her grand-daughter the way she did. That is quite childish behaviour!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: johelenc1 on July 30, 2012, 10:23:10 PM
If it matters, I think saying no to the cake was unnecessary in the first place.  Who doesn't like a little cake on their birthday - whether 4 or 40!  Yes, she already had a cake, but it's not that unusual to have a "big" celebration and then something smaller on one's birthday.

The child is 4.  As you said, she's not really at the stage of knowing not to express disappointment over her cake.  I think if she straightened up after "the talk", then I'd say she did pretty well for 4.  Even if MIL's talk was, "I'll get you another cake later", that's MIL's fault, not your daughter's.  I wouldn't have "punished" your daughter for not liking her cake because of grandma.

So, I'm kind of pleased Baby got another taste of cake on her birthday and hope both celebrations were fun for her!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Mental Magpie on July 30, 2012, 10:50:04 PM
He probably should have said "Let me discuss it first and I will get back to you mom."

I do wish your DH had checked with you first. 

I don't understand this.  It's okay for the OP to make a decision about this, but her DH has to check with her first?

This attitude bugs me.  DH is as much a parent as I am. He does not have to check with me before making a decision for one of the kids.  We discuss all really big decisions, but whether or not the kid can have cake is not a big decision.


It bugs me as well. I don't understand the double standard.

Speaking for myself, it's not that my DH can't parent, or make decisions regarding the kids.  It's that if DH is changing plans for the kids, it's only polite to consult with me first, before things get set in stone.  Likewise, I talk to him about things before I set them up for the kids.  Espeically when we're dealing with people who have been a source of irritation before.  As I believe is the case with the MIL here.

When it involves plans, I think it is necessary to consult one another.  What if OP had a different plan for the toddler that day and DH just ruined that because he promised something else to his mother?  It is also comes down to teaching the little one different things simply because OP may think DH is on board with her and he thinks she is on board with him, and all that leads to is mixed signals for the little one.

Let me make it clear that I am not equating raising children with having pets.  I am just making a comparison as far as mixed signals go.
Skeletor, my dog, would not stop jumping up on me when I came home.  I tried for weeks to teach him to not do this but it was to no avail.  I lamented to my boyfriend at the time (not Dark Boyfriend) that it was annoying.  What was his response?  "Oh, I tell him to jump up on me when I get home so I can say hi to him."  This is why it is necessary for DH to check with OP and OP to check with her DH.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: bopper on July 30, 2012, 11:24:06 PM
I would have said to MIL "MIL, I understand as a Grandma you don't want to see Babybartfast disappointed.  We did ask her lots of time what kind of cake she wanted and never really got an answer. So we made a guess based on things she likes.  I just don't want her to get the impression that if she whines about something then she gets another one.I wouldn't have a problem if you take her out for icecream sometime."
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: kherbert05 on July 30, 2012, 11:36:44 PM
He probably should have said "Let me discuss it first and I will get back to you mom."

I do wish your DH had checked with you first. 

I don't understand this.  It's okay for the OP to make a decision about this, but her DH has to check with her first?

This attitude bugs me.  DH is as much a parent as I am. He does not have to check with me before making a decision for one of the kids.  We discuss all really big decisions, but whether or not the kid can have cake is not a big decision.


It bugs me as well. I don't understand the double standard.


Simple because she was asked first. Then the MIL went behind her back and the DH reversed the decision without talking to the OP - knowing she had said no.


The DH should not reverse his spouse's decision. He should have called her and discussed it.


I would be saying this if it was the other way around. If MIL had called the DH, and gotten permission then told the OP. The OP objects, she calls her DH and they discuss their parenting decision - and inform the MIL if there is a change.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Rivaini on July 30, 2012, 11:51:20 PM
He probably should have said "Let me discuss it first and I will get back to you mom."

I do wish your DH had checked with you first. 

I don't understand this.  It's okay for the OP to make a decision about this, but her DH has to check with her first?

This attitude bugs me.  DH is as much a parent as I am. He does not have to check with me before making a decision for one of the kids.  We discuss all really big decisions, but whether or not the kid can have cake is not a big decision.


It bugs me as well. I don't understand the double standard.

Simple because she was asked first. Then the MIL went behind her back and the DH reversed the decision without talking to the OP - knowing she had said no.

The DH should not reverse his spouse's decision. He should have called her and discussed it.


I think you need to re-read the update for clarification. That is not what happened.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Virg on July 31, 2012, 09:00:10 AM
kherbert05 wrote:

"I would be saying this if it was the other way around. If MIL had called the DH, and gotten permission then told the OP. The OP objects, she calls her DH and they discuss their parenting decision - and inform the MIL if there is a change."

It was the other way around.  MIL called DH first and he said yes.  Slartibartfast posted a clarifying timeline.

Virg
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Reason on July 31, 2012, 09:04:03 AM
I don't have anything to add, but the cake is awesome.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: SuperMartianRobotGirl on July 31, 2012, 09:09:47 AM
I don't personally think getting an ice cream cake is such a big deal that I'd have to second guess my husband saying "yes" to it. If I'd been asked first in this case, I'd say no, but if he'd been asked first and had said yes, I would have gone with that.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: TootsNYC on July 31, 2012, 11:04:50 AM
If it matters, I think saying no to the cake was unnecessary in the first place.  Who doesn't like a little cake on their birthday - whether 4 or 40!  Yes, she already had a cake, but it's not that unusual to have a "big" celebration and then something smaller on one's birthday.

The child is 4.  As you said, she's not really at the stage of knowing not to express disappointment over her cake.  I think if she straightened up after "the talk", then I'd say she did pretty well for 4.  Even if MIL's talk was, "I'll get you another cake later", that's MIL's fault, not your daughter's.  I wouldn't have "punished" your daughter for not liking her cake because of grandma.

So, I'm kind of pleased Baby got another taste of cake on her birthday and hope both celebrations were fun for her!

I don't regard it as "punishment" to deny my child a treat, especially not when the kid doesn't know about it, isn't counting on it, excited about it, etc.

I would have said to MIL "MIL, I understand as a Grandma you don't want to see Babybartfast disappointed.  We did ask her lots of time what kind of cake she wanted and never really got an answer. So we made a guess based on things she likes.  I just don't want her to get the impression that if she whines about something then she gets another one.I wouldn't have a problem if you take her out for icecream sometime."

I agree with this.

In my case, my DH would sort of expect me to second-guess him, or to provide a different perspective--and given that my DD had whined, etc., I would not be wanting her to get a cake labeled "another birthday cake." (though I'll also say that I would have been the one to take my whiny/tantruming kid aside and talk to her about how to handle her disappointment, not my MIL.)  And other than being exasperated that the logistics have changed, he'd have said, "Oh, yeah, I didn't think about it that way."
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Arianoor on July 31, 2012, 11:11:50 AM
He probably should have said "Let me discuss it first and I will get back to you mom."

I do wish your DH had checked with you first. 

I don't understand this.  It's okay for the OP to make a decision about this, but her DH has to check with her first?

This attitude bugs me.  DH is as much a parent as I am. He does not have to check with me before making a decision for one of the kids.  We discuss all really big decisions, but whether or not the kid can have cake is not a big decision.


It bugs me as well. I don't understand the double standard.

Speaking for myself, it's not that my DH can't parent, or make decisions regarding the kids.  It's that if DH is changing plans for the kids, it's only polite to consult with me first, before things get set in stone.  Likewise, I talk to him about things before I set them up for the kids.  Especially when we're dealing with people who have been a source of irritation before.  As I believe is the case with the MIL here.

That is true.  However, no one is taking OP to task for making a unilateral decision and several people have said that OP's husband should have consulted her first before making the same decision.  That is what myself and other posters are having an issue with.

Of course, the funny thing about this whole thing is that, in fact, OP is the one who changed a decision that the husband had already made!  Not her fault, because the MIL didn't bother to tell her that her DH had already said yes.

Overall, I thinks it's obvious that the MIL is the rude one and that OP and her DH just got caught in her manipulations.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: JoyinVirginia on July 31, 2012, 12:18:03 PM
I have read entire thread. when my kids were small and we had birthdays, there would have been no question like this because my mother would have shown up at the party with a second cake to start with! And no she would not have asked first. It was a given, birthday, you can't have to many cakes! And of course you have a cake for the parry and then family celebrates again on the actual birth day because, well, you can just never have too much cake!
in this case, I think mil meant well. I am glad grandma and birthday girl got to have an outing, sounds perfect!
But seriously, can there ever be too much cake? Really?
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: scansons on July 31, 2012, 12:34:14 PM
Quote
Yeah, I guess I should clarify - MIL had talked to DH earlier, and all DH relayed is that "MIL might be picking up Babybartfast after preschool today instead of me doing it."  Then MIL called me this morning to verify plans - as she has FINALLY learned to do - and that's when she mentioned the whole new cake thing.  When she pulled the "fine, I won't pick her up" thing, she had to call DH back to let him know to pick Babybartfast up instead.  Usually I do it, but I had a dentist appointment today so DH was planning to, and then MIL offered, etc.  It wasn't going behind my back as much as complaining to DH about me.  Luckily, DH usually just shrugs it off when she does that - her usual M.O. is to make little PA digs at people when they're not around, and DH couldn't care less what she's hinting at unless/until she comes out and actually says something.  (It's one of his more endearing and simultaneously more annoying traits.)

Anyway, the update: MIL did in fact pick up Babybartfast from school, they did go to Baskin Robbins, and as I understand it, did get a single-serving-style cake or ice cream or somesuch treat.  I don't know what exactly happened, other than DH was the one who brought Babybartfast home so I think they may have all done lunch together (MIL, DH, and Babybartfast) while Bittybartfast and I were at my dentist appointment.

See, I read the bolded as MIL called DH, DH gave Slarti half the info, and then Slarti got all the info when MIL called.  So, if DH gave MIL the okay, and then didn't mention it to Slarti, DH caused the problem through a lack of communication. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: Arianoor on July 31, 2012, 12:48:32 PM
Quote
Yeah, I guess I should clarify - MIL had talked to DH earlier, and all DH relayed is that "MIL might be picking up Babybartfast after preschool today instead of me doing it."  Then MIL called me this morning to verify plans - as she has FINALLY learned to do - and that's when she mentioned the whole new cake thing.  When she pulled the "fine, I won't pick her up" thing, she had to call DH back to let him know to pick Babybartfast up instead.  Usually I do it, but I had a dentist appointment today so DH was planning to, and then MIL offered, etc.  It wasn't going behind my back as much as complaining to DH about me.  Luckily, DH usually just shrugs it off when she does that - her usual M.O. is to make little PA digs at people when they're not around, and DH couldn't care less what she's hinting at unless/until she comes out and actually says something.  (It's one of his more endearing and simultaneously more annoying traits.)

Anyway, the update: MIL did in fact pick up Babybartfast from school, they did go to Baskin Robbins, and as I understand it, did get a single-serving-style cake or ice cream or somesuch treat.  I don't know what exactly happened, other than DH was the one who brought Babybartfast home so I think they may have all done lunch together (MIL, DH, and Babybartfast) while Bittybartfast and I were at my dentist appointment.

See, I read the bolded as MIL called DH, DH gave Slarti half the info, and then Slarti got all the info when MIL called.  So, if DH gave MIL the okay, and then didn't mention it to Slarti, DH caused the problem through a lack of communication.

I guess I see it like this, if my mom called me and asked something that was not a big deal to me, like, "Can BabyBelle wear a purple shirt on our outing?"  I would say yes, but wouldn't necessarily mention it to my hubby because it just wasn't a big deal to me.  I'm guessing (guessing here, sorry OP!) that the cake thing wasn't a big deal to her DH and therefore it didn't occur to him to mention it. 

While it was a big deal to the OP (and would be to me as well), I can see where her DH might think it equated with the purple shirt.  Which, considering that we have no other evidence that DH wantonly doesn't communicate, means that the rudeness is solely on MIL's part.  JMO.   ;)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (includes picture of awesome cake!)
Post by: bonyk on July 31, 2012, 12:53:36 PM
I guess I see it like this, if my mom called me and asked something that was not a big deal to me, like, "Can BabyBelle wear a purple shirt on our outing?"  I would say yes, but wouldn't necessarily mention it to my hubby because it just wasn't a big deal to me.  I'm guessing (guessing here, sorry OP!) that the cake thing wasn't a big deal to her DH and therefore it didn't occur to him to mention it. 

While it was a big deal to the OP (and would be to me as well), I can see where her DH might think it equated with the purple shirt.  Which, considering that we have no other evidence that DH wantonly doesn't communicate, means that the rudeness is solely on MIL's part.  JMO.   ;)

Agree with this.  If my mom called me up and said she wanted to get DD a cake, I wouldn't think to consult DH first.  But if she was offering something bigger, I would make her hold off untill DH and I could discuss.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Salvage3 on July 31, 2012, 01:35:15 PM
My problem with all of this is MIL taking the child aside to correct.  Had MIL been babysitting and alone with the child, that would be one thing; but in the child's home, with parents there, absolutely not.  And that, alone, would make me have issues with MIL's boundaries.  I would definitely not agree to another cake.  Geez, I really sound snarky; but I really have a problem with this. 

I grew up in a large family where any relative might correct a child in an emergency situation or the like when a parent was not in the immediate vicinity; but this would never have happened.

ETA -- I totally love the cake.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Judah on July 31, 2012, 01:50:46 PM
My problem with all of this is MIL taking the child aside to correct.  Had MIL been babysitting and alone with the child, that would be one thing; but in the child's home, with parents there, absolutely not.  And that, alone, would make me have issues with MIL's boundaries.  I would definitely not agree to another cake.  Geez, I really sound snarky; but I really have a problem with this. 

I grew up in a large family where any relative might correct a child in an emergency situation or the like when a parent was not in the immediate vicinity; but this would never have happened.

ETA -- I totally love the cake.

Every family is different.  In my family it is expected that any adult will correct any child that is misbehaving and it's not crossing any sort of boundary.  That aspect didn't even register with me.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Arianoor on July 31, 2012, 01:56:56 PM
My problem with all of this is MIL taking the child aside to correct.  Had MIL been babysitting and alone with the child, that would be one thing; but in the child's home, with parents there, absolutely not.  And that, alone, would make me have issues with MIL's boundaries.  I would definitely not agree to another cake.  Geez, I really sound snarky; but I really have a problem with this. 

I grew up in a large family where any relative might correct a child in an emergency situation or the like when a parent was not in the immediate vicinity; but this would never have happened.

ETA -- I totally love the cake.

Every family is different.  In my family it is expected that any adult will correct any child that is misbehaving and it's not crossing any sort of boundary.  That aspect didn't even register with me.

POD.

Especially, if the parents were hosting a large-ish party and could be distracted.  I actually thought it was awesome when I first read about it in the OP, like, "Wow, a MIL that is in line with the parent's behaviour guidelines, how rare to hear on the board!"  Of course, then we got into the manipulations of the MIL and it made me wonder what was specifically said to the child.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: gramma dishes on July 31, 2012, 01:58:56 PM
Am I the only one who thinks there's a difference between a 'cake' and a 'piece of cake'?

If MIL wanted to get ice cream at Baskin Robbins with a PIECE of cake for her birthday, or a piece of ice cream cake, I would be okay with that.  I was under the impression that MIL wanted to buy a whole new birthday cake for the child because she hadn't been happy (initially at least) with the first one.

I wouldn't have a problem with MIL correcting the child since Mommy was probably quite busy being the hostess.  But I confess to wondering what she said.  If her "correction" was about appreciating what you got and how neat the cake really was with all her favorite stuff on it, then fine.  If her "correction" was "Don't worry, Honey.  Grandma will buy you a brand new cake -- anything you want", then that would be a whole different story.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Slartibartfast on July 31, 2012, 04:30:22 PM
Am I the only one who thinks there's a difference between a 'cake' and a 'piece of cake'?

If MIL wanted to get ice cream at Baskin Robbins with a PIECE of cake for her birthday, or a piece of ice cream cake, I would be okay with that.  I was under the impression that MIL wanted to buy a whole new birthday cake for the child because she hadn't been happy (initially at least) with the first one.

I wouldn't have a problem with MIL correcting the child since Mommy was probably quite busy being the hostess.  But I confess to wondering what she said.  If her "correction" was about appreciating what you got and how neat the cake really was with all her favorite stuff on it, then fine.  If her "correction" was "Don't worry, Honey.  Grandma will buy you a brand new cake -- anything you want", then that would be a whole different story.

Honestly, I could see either of those situations being the case.  MIL really does have her heart in the right place, and she means well, but she tends to discipline a lot less than DH and I do.  (Not surprising - I hear this is common for grandparents!)  She's got no problem taking a stand when she thinks it's necessary, but she thinks a lot less is "necessary" than we do.

There were quite a few people at the party and DH and I were indeed busy (trying to find where the birthday candles ended up), so that's why MIL was the one to pull Babybartfast aside.  I'm sure she imparted the message of "don't fuss at your cake," but I don't know whether she presented it as "Don't fuss because it's rude" or "Don't fuss because I'll buy you a better one"  :-\

Either way, it seems to have all blown over by now :)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on July 31, 2012, 05:04:55 PM
First of all: That cake is awesome!   And yeah, I'm always telling my kids that if they don't ask for something, they're getting what I figure they may like.   

I agree on birthdays.   When I was growing up, the older you got, the less elaborate your birthday celebration was.  In my teen years it was usually just one or two friends sleeping over the weekend before or after.   If that. Sometimes it was just going out to eat.  So when I got to my adult years and a big deal wasn't made, it wasn't a huge shock.  For my oldest's recent birthday back in April, I just took him and his brother out to see a movie.   Part of it was mainly cause many kids around here don't rsvp or attend parties.  We had a good turnout for their first parties in this town but since then we're lucky if two kids show up.

And thirdly, I agree, the MIL was out of line. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Dindrane on July 31, 2012, 06:33:08 PM
After reading the thread, I think that the cake/no cake thing is kind of a red herring in this situation.

Basically, what you have here is a MIL who has very different boundaries than you do and isn't shy about sticking her nose in, and a husband who (having grown up with those different boundaries) isn't always on the same page as you and doesn't always recognize when you want him to check in to make sure the two of you can present a united front.

On the big parenting issues, I think you are absolutely reasonable to expect your DH to know to check, and to give no firm answers to anyone until he has.  That's what gives the two of you the space and privacy to get on the same page before giving any firm information to others.

But on the smaller parenting issues, I think you both have an equal responsibility to check in.

In this case, I think you could have avoided the snit if your MIL had let you know that your DH had already said it was okay.  Since she didn't, and since your DH didn't mention it (I agree with the person upthread who said he probably just didn't think of it), I think it's fair for you to ask your MIL if she's already talked to DH, or for you to say that you need to talk to DH before you can really talk to her.  I suspect that if you'd known your DH had already said it was okay, your answers might have been somewhat different.  You also would have been able to talk to your DH about your reservations, and either convince him or be convinced, so that your MIL didn't have the ability to complain about you later.

Essentially, you can't change your MIL (and I know you know that).  You can't even really change your DH.  What you can do is model the behavior that you are asking him to work towards, and then use that to reinforce the idea that you both have to check in with each other when it comes to your MIL and your children.

If you both make it an automatic question, "Did you talk to Slarti/DH already?" then you'll probably end up with fewer arguments and fewer snits.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: TootsNYC on July 31, 2012, 06:44:25 PM
If you both make it an automatic question, "Did you talk to Slarti/DH already?" then you'll probably end up with fewer arguments and fewer snits.

This is what we did.
and my MIL always asks us both, and then says to the 2nd person, "I already asked him/her."
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: johelenc1 on July 31, 2012, 07:19:02 PM
If it matters, I think saying no to the cake was unnecessary in the first place.  Who doesn't like a little cake on their birthday - whether 4 or 40!  Yes, she already had a cake, but it's not that unusual to have a "big" celebration and then something smaller on one's birthday.

The child is 4.  As you said, she's not really at the stage of knowing not to express disappointment over her cake.  I think if she straightened up after "the talk", then I'd say she did pretty well for 4.  Even if MIL's talk was, "I'll get you another cake later", that's MIL's fault, not your daughter's.  I wouldn't have "punished" your daughter for not liking her cake because of grandma.

So, I'm kind of pleased Baby got another taste of cake on her birthday and hope both celebrations were fun for her!

I don't regard it as "punishment" to deny my child a treat, especially not when the kid doesn't know about it, isn't counting on it, excited about it, etc.

I used the word "punished" because it seemed to me that the OP was trying to make a point to her daughter that whining about one cake does not earn you another cake (which, in general, I agree with).  My point is that at 4, daughter is still learning about graceful receiving and if Grandma promised her a new cake, that's on Grandma, not the BD girl.

I don't see any problem with Grandma taking BD girl out for a special treat on her actual birthday regardless of what other celebrations have taken or will take place.  A whole cake - not necessary.  A slice or ice cream or whatever the BD wants for a treat - no problem.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: MacadamiaNut on July 31, 2012, 10:17:49 PM
I just came for the cake.  And I could not leave without saying it is an awesome cake, indeed!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: QuiltLady on August 01, 2012, 08:15:29 AM
Having raised three children I totally agree with you.  At 4 years old it is certainly reasonable that they begin to learn to graciously accept what they are given.  She also learned the lesson that if she doesn't say what she wants, she doesn't get to pout when it's not what she wanted.

My biggest issue is, "When she pulled the "fine, I won't pick her up" thing."  THAT is a much bigger problem in my book.  My reaction would be to NOT let her pick up DD after saying something like that.  Take her at her word.  When she is allowed to get away with that kind of P/A comment AND gets what she wants into the bargain, it is a slippery slope to start going down.  Your DD is only 4 and she will learn P/A behaviors very quickly.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: FauxFoodist on August 02, 2012, 10:34:21 PM
My biggest issue is, "When she pulled the "fine, I won't pick her up" thing."  THAT is a much bigger problem in my book.  My reaction would be to NOT let her pick up DD after saying something like that.  Take her at her word.  When she is allowed to get away with that kind of P/A comment AND gets what she wants into the bargain, it is a slippery slope to start going down.

Same here.  It wasn't so much about going out for cake after DD didn't get the cake she wanted and threw a fit.  It was MIL throwing a fit.  I had a discussion with DF about this thread.  He first laughed and said my mom and his parents (if they were still around) never would pull this on us.  I agreed.  However, my DAD (if he were still around) totally would've had this tantrum.  I would've said, "Fine, don't pick her up then."  He was prone to temper tantrums; I learned not to give in.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Iris on August 03, 2012, 02:07:40 AM
I've been following this thread and my biggest reaction is amazement that a 4 year old (who apparently cares) didn't choose her birthday cake in advance. We have a few birthday cake decorating books and DDs start perusing them *months* before their birthday. If she didn't care enough to decide on something, then she doesn't get to complain about what she ends up with.

That's a long way of saying I think you are completely right.  :)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: TootsNYC on August 03, 2012, 08:08:30 AM
I've been following this thread and my biggest reaction is amazement that a 4 year old (who apparently cares) didn't choose her birthday cake in advance.
. . .
If she didn't care enough to decide on something, then she doesn't get to complain about what she ends up with.


I can understand it. It's sort of like asking your husband to bring you flowers, so he does. That's not NEARLY as much fun as him thinking of it on his own and surprising you with it. And if you actually specify

In the story books, the kids are always surprised by their birthday cakes, aren't they?
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: O'Dell on August 03, 2012, 09:29:36 AM
I've been following this thread and my biggest reaction is amazement that a 4 year old (who apparently cares) didn't choose her birthday cake in advance.
. . .
If she didn't care enough to decide on something, then she doesn't get to complain about what she ends up with.


I can understand it. It's sort of like asking your husband to bring you flowers, so he does. That's not NEARLY as much fun as him thinking of it on his own and surprising you with it. And if you actually specify

In the story books, the kids are always surprised by their birthday cakes, aren't they?

I popped into this thread late and was puzzled by your comment here, Toots, until I went back and read your earlier post. In my family it was the opposite: the fun was in getting to dictate the flavor of the cake (it was always homemade and not fancy/decorated.) I chose yellow cake with chocolate frosting as did my uncle. When I got older I began to choose what the adults did which was my mother's specialty of German Chocolate cake. Yum!

I suspect part of this will come down to family tradition and teaching kids that tradition. At some point they have to learn the family rules regarding B-day celebrations. I'm not sure that the "consolation" piece of cake from MIL is all that big a deal, as long as Babybartfast learns how to handle the cake issue the day of. In fact I can see it becoming a nice part of family tradition that Grandma takes each grandkid out for a slice of Baskin Robbins cake after their B-day as a special treat. Now if it's going to be presented as a piece of cake to make up for mommy and daddy getting a icky cake for the Bday then that's not good.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: TootsNYC on August 03, 2012, 11:05:51 AM
Oh, don't assume you know anything about how birthday cakes work in my family, just because I can understand this point of view.

In my family the birthday cake--the entire birthday party, but definitely the cake--is a huge production, with a great deal of planning, sketching, downloading images from the Internet to copy, etc.

I have always asked my kids what they wanted, and I think my own 4yo asked me if she could have a round cake, with white frosting and pink flowers, well in advance.

But when someone asked my son once what they should get him for his birthday, he was offended, and he said, "I'm not supposed to pick out my own present, YOU are!"

(and even then, my kids understand the value of a surprise--they may say that want something on their cake, but sometimes they expect the actual finished cake itself to be a surprise; and my DD has insisted that I can't come peek when she's putting the decorations on MY cake. She's "treating" me with her decorations.)

So I can understand both the stereotypical look that a little girl might really want for her cake, and I can understand that she might have trouble conveying what she wants if she was simply asked, "what kind of cake do you want?" (to me, that's batter & frosting flavors, not decorations) or "what do you want on your cake?" if she doesn't quite know how to put her mental vision into words. And she might expect the stereotype of a birthday cake--what do they look like in all the children's books? Not like her actual cake, that's for sure! They're white or pink, with frosting curlicues around them, etc. (I'll be honest--that black frosting is pretty unappetizing to look at; and other than sticking the dinosaur on, there's not much decoration.)
   She may have thought she didn't need to say; that "birthday cakes" are actually a specific design and all those other cakes were not technically "birthday cakes." I don't know what she's used to seeing, or what the conversations were like on the topic. She clearly had some expectation that was not just "not met" but was deeply "not met."
   Sure, she likes dinosaurs, but maybe that cake was so different from her expectations that she also feels, instinctively, that "the essence of her identity" was ignored by the cake maker in favor of something cool the cakemaker liked.

Not to say that anybody did anything wrong.

Just to defend the poor disappointed 4yo who cares what her cake looks like but doesn't think she should have to dictate it.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Iris on August 03, 2012, 11:12:32 AM
I've been following this thread and my biggest reaction is amazement that a 4 year old (who apparently cares) didn't choose her birthday cake in advance.
. . .
If she didn't care enough to decide on something, then she doesn't get to complain about what she ends up with.


I can understand it. It's sort of like asking your husband to bring you flowers, so he does. That's not NEARLY as much fun as him thinking of it on his own and surprising you with it. And if you actually specify

In the story books, the kids are always surprised by their birthday cakes, aren't they?

Not mine :) But then I and my children both grew up in the land of the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake Cookbook, which may change things. I mean, you *know* you're going to get a cake for your birthday party, so what difference does it make if you say "Can it PLEASE be the number 10 with the whipped cream and chocolate shavings*?"

It was mentioned in the OP that birthday girl was asked in advance what she would like. To me, once you have that opportunity, you either take it or you take the consequences. But then, I'm the worst mum in the world (I'm told  ;)).

*Actual birthday cake that I chose and my mother made for me. Still remember it as a highlight of my youth.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: thunderroad on August 03, 2012, 03:02:27 PM
"But then I and my children both grew up in the land of the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake Cookbook, which may change things. "

Is this a real thing?  If so, it sounds awesome

In our family as we were growing up, birthday person got to pick the kind of cake--my mom is a great baker but not so great on the decorating end.  So, I started doing some cake decorating, and started making cakes for my son and the nieces/nephews.  Imagine my surprise when I asked my four-year-old niece what she wanted on her cake and she asked for a seal! 

I headed to the nearest cake decorating store and said "Please.you.need.to.help.me!"  They did, thank goodness. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: magicdomino on August 03, 2012, 04:06:37 PM
I've been following this thread and my biggest reaction is amazement that a 4 year old (who apparently cares) didn't choose her birthday cake in advance. We have a few birthday cake decorating books and DDs start perusing them *months* before their birthday. If she didn't care enough to decide on something, then she doesn't get to complain about what she ends up with.

That's a long way of saying I think you are completely right.  :)

I suspect the young lady did choose ahead of time.  Monday, she wanted scary dinosaurs.  Tuesday, she wanted twirly ballerinas.  Wednesday, she saw a really cool motorcycle, and promptly decided that her cake just had to have a motorcycle on it.  Thursday, she was back to dinosaurs, but the dinosaur was a ballerina dinosaur (But not a T-rex.  Can an apatosaurus dance en pointe?   ;) )  Friday, it was a motorcycle in a tutu.  Or maybe a ballerina in a tutu riding a motorcycle.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Iris on August 03, 2012, 06:08:49 PM
"But then I and my children both grew up in the land of the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake Cookbook, which may change things. "

Is this a real thing?  If so, it sounds awesome

In our family as we were growing up, birthday person got to pick the kind of cake--my mom is a great baker but not so great on the decorating end.  So, I started doing some cake decorating, and started making cakes for my son and the nieces/nephews.  Imagine my surprise when I asked my four-year-old niece what she wanted on her cake and she asked for a seal! 

I headed to the nearest cake decorating store and said "Please.you.need.to.help.me!"  They did, thank goodness.

Definitely. We had a whole thread go crazy with Ehellions discussing the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake cookbook once. I believe I promised to make Redsoil one :)

 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_14?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=women%27s+weekly+birthday+cake&sprefix=women%27s+weekly%2Caps%2C202

There are a couple listed here, but there are about 4-5 altogether. They are a *huge* part of childhood for many Aussie kids. As I said, my kids start looking through them for *months* before their birthdays :) I have also had adult family members do the same  ;D

Slight brag: One of the ones that I am proudest of is the fairy toadstool that is on the cover of one of the books on that page. The first one I ever made is the train on the other cover [/brag]

And yes, there is at least one seal cake in one of the books (can't remember which one)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 03, 2012, 07:32:41 PM
I've been following this thread and my biggest reaction is amazement that a 4 year old (who apparently cares) didn't choose her birthday cake in advance. We have a few birthday cake decorating books and DDs start perusing them *months* before their birthday. If she didn't care enough to decide on something, then she doesn't get to complain about what she ends up with.

That's a long way of saying I think you are completely right.  :)

I suspect the young lady did choose ahead of time.  Monday, she wanted scary dinosaurs.  Tuesday, she wanted twirly ballerinas.  Wednesday, she saw a really cool motorcycle, and promptly decided that her cake just had to have a motorcycle on it.  Thursday, she was back to dinosaurs, but the dinosaur was a ballerina dinosaur (But not a T-rex.  Can an apatosaurus dance en pointe?   ;) )  Friday, it was a motorcycle in a tutu.  Or maybe a ballerina in a tutu riding a motorcycle.

Yep, this is pretty much it :)  The only answer she gave more than once was a variation on "a motorcycle going through a tunnel . . . with the Wonderpets, and Pinkie Pie [from My Little Pony], and my [imaginary friend] granny who lives in Tanzania."  I don't know where she got the motorcycle idea from, but it's not something she's showed any interest in before so I assumed she'd be changing her mind again.  DH and I picked up the motorcycle on the cake at a dollar store so we'd have it just in case there was a meltdown.  My friend came up with the rest - she said the last time she played with Babybartfast they were playing dinosaur princesses and dinosaur astronauts, so she figured she'd combine a few things.  I think she was planning on painting more of a "space" theme on the black fondant but she got the time of the party mixed up so she didn't get to finish  :)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: thunderroad on August 03, 2012, 08:23:51 PM
"But then I and my children both grew up in the land of the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake Cookbook, which may change things. "

Is this a real thing?  If so, it sounds awesome

In our family as we were growing up, birthday person got to pick the kind of cake--my mom is a great baker but not so great on the decorating end.  So, I started doing some cake decorating, and started making cakes for my son and the nieces/nephews.  Imagine my surprise when I asked my four-year-old niece what she wanted on her cake and she asked for a seal! 

I headed to the nearest cake decorating store and said "Please.you.need.to.help.me!"  They did, thank goodness.

Definitely. We had a whole thread go crazy with Ehellions discussing the Women's Weekly Birthday Cake cookbook once. I believe I promised to make Redsoil one :)

 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_14?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=women%27s+weekly+birthday+cake&sprefix=women%27s+weekly%2Caps%2C202

There are a couple listed here, but there are about 4-5 altogether. They are a *huge* part of childhood for many Aussie kids. As I said, my kids start looking through them for *months* before their birthdays :) I have also had adult family members do the same  ;D

Slight brag: One of the ones that I am proudest of is the fairy toadstool that is on the cover of one of the books on that page. The first one I ever made is the train on the other cover [/brag]

And yes, there is at least one seal cake in one of the books (can't remember which one)

Yet another reason that Aussies rock.   :) These look amazing!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. picture of awesome cake!) UPDATE #29
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 06, 2012, 06:49:18 PM
ANOTHER UPDATE

I was talking to MIL on the phone today and she mentioned "I had the last piece of Babybartfast's birthday cake today."  Wait, what?

Me: "I thought you were just getting a single-serving thing."
Her: "I never actually said that, I just told [my DH] we'd get the smallest cake."

So yeah, points that came to light:

1) She bought a $25 cake which yielded six pieces

2) Every time she picked up Babybartfast from her toddler art class this summer (which was frequently, since I was home with Bittybartfast on the other side of town), the two of them would go to Baskin Robbins and get ice cream and look at the ice cream cakes and talk about birthdays and birthday cakes.  I now have a pretty good idea why Babybartfast was disappointed at her cake - MIL (either explicitly or not) had primed her to expect a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake instead.

3) It wasn't just "go get ice cream" - they bought the cake and MIL brought candles and everyone in the store sang to Babybartfast before they cut the cake there in the store.

4) The big one - DH WAS THERE at the "do-over" birthday party!  I'm REALLY peeved at him for this - he knew how I felt about treating this as a replacement birthday cake, and even if he didn't agree with my stance, I think he should have stepped up and said something.  Apparently it was DH, Babybartfast, MIL, and FIL all at Baskin Robbins together, and nobody thought to tell me.  I assumed it was just MIL and Babybartfast and maybe DH joining them for lunch, but DH never bothered to tell me their outing was any different than how it had been represented to me before.

Since DH was there, I can't really blame MIL for this anymore  >:(  She knew just as well as DH did how I felt, and she chose to ignore it, but DH bears more responsibility for the parenting decision IMHO and I don't blame MIL for thinking it was okay (or pretending to think it was okay - she does that a lot) when DH didn't say anything.

On the plus side, I asked what she said to Babybartfast at the party, and it was indeed along the lines of "You have to be gracious about the cake you've got" instead of promising her something else.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 06, 2012, 07:07:07 PM
I don't have kids...but boy would I be upset right about now.  DH would be getting it with both barrels for sure
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: BarensMom on August 06, 2012, 07:09:53 PM
Evil me would buy the biggest BR cake they make and "surprise" your DH with it - right in the kisser.

As is, from this point on, I would no longer participate in any b-day parties for your kid.  Attend - yes.  Do all the prep and cleanup - no.  Since DH and MIL decided that your party was so bad that it needed a do-over, they can do it all by themselves from now on.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 06, 2012, 07:13:31 PM
Wow.  Just wow.  I can still blame MIL a little for doing it anyway despite knowing how you felt, but your DH really went over a line there.  Now MIL is going to think overriding your decisions is always okay because her son won't say no, either.  I'm sorry, this really sucks.  I'd be so angry I couldn't think straight.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 06, 2012, 07:17:38 PM
I hope you have a big, comfy, dog house because if he were my DH, that's where he'd be sleeping until he apologized for not supporting me in a decision about our daughter and then LYING about it.  >:(

Way to teach MIL that she can circumvent anything you want by going through her son.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: scansons on August 06, 2012, 07:20:31 PM
Wow!  I think no more MIL picking up DD after anything when you aren't going to be there.   And I think  DH gets to tell her and why. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 06, 2012, 07:23:38 PM
Wow!  I think no more MIL picking up DD after anything when you aren't going to be there.   And I think  DH gets to tell her and why.

Poddity pod pod pod.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: FauxFoodist on August 06, 2012, 07:57:38 PM
Other than hugs, (((((Slartibartfast))))), and an "I'm sorry for this latest update," I have nothing useful to add, I'm afraid.  I'd feel so betrayed by my spouse that I'd want to either take off for a week or do so with the kids (like go to my mother's house, or something).  However, I know that running away wouldn't solve the issue (although I'd be running away to deal with it emotionally before discussing it with my DH).

The only I can't see that MIL did wrong was look at the ice cream cakes with Babybartfast (it just would've helped if she'd mentioned that when Babybartfast wasn't clear about what cake she wanted).
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: BeeGee01 on August 06, 2012, 08:09:04 PM
Babybartfast turns 4 today (Monday), but we had a birthday party for her on Saturday.  A friend of mine made the cake and it was DELICIOUS.  Babybartfast pouted when she first saw it, however, because it wasn't what she expected/wanted.  MIL took Babybartfast aside and gave her a little talking-to and that was that - Babybartfast never really did tell us what she wanted on her cake, even though we asked several times, so she got a combination of things she likes:
(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y247/wendymarlowe/Sonjascake.jpg)
(BALLERINA ASTRONAUT BIKER DINOSAURS IN SPACE!  Cool, right?  She's played with the dinosaurs several times since then!)

Anyway, MIL called this morning - since Babybartfast was so disappointed with her cake, MIL wants to take her out to Baskin Robbins and get her ANOTHER cake today for her real birthday.  I told MIL I would really rather she didn't - I'm happy with MIL taking her out for ice cream, if she wants to, but Babybartfast already got her cake and I don't want to reward her for turning her nose up at it because it's not what she expected or wanted.  I get why she did - she's only four, and hasn't learned to smile politely even when disappointed yet - but I don't want MIL to run out and buy her another one.  MIL said the equivalent of "Fine, I won't pick her up then," and immediately called DH who then called me.  Apparently he had told her it was okay.  He's in favor of Babybartfast getting another cake "since it's her birthday" and just making no connection to her liking or not liking the other cake (which we still have quite a bit of left).

Rather than argue with DH over the phone I just said fine if it's a one-serving thing and is otherwise treated like going out for ice cream would normally be.  However, now I'm second-guessing myself - am I being unreasonably harsh?  DH and I usually don't disagree on parenting things like this (at least, I see it as a parenting thing) so that's making me less willing to blame it all on MIL not understanding our parenting boundaries.

I just read the update and saw that your DH was there for the cake cutting for the 2nd cake.  I know you are upset, and I know that your DH should have been more upfront with you....but per your original post, he was okay with the additional birthday cake. 

Your DD is also your husbands child, and he was okay with the 2nd cake.  I mean, when two parents disagree over parenting, who is to say who gets their way?  I know you said you didn't want to argue with your DH and you said it was fine if it was a one-serving cake, but again, your husband was okay with a multi-serving cake...so, as her parent, wouldn't he also get a say in her getting a 2nd cake?

I can kind of understand why he didn't tell you to be there, you had already said you forbid her to  have the 2nd cake.  So if they had invited you, and your DH was okay with it, and they bought and paid for it, what would you have done if you had been there?  From what you have said about the situation, had they invited you, would there have been an issue since you did not agree with her getting the 2nd cake?

But, with that said, your DH should have been the one to tell you what happened, not your MIL.  If he wanted to make a decision as your DD's parent that she get a 2nd cake, he is allowed to do that.  But he should also take ownership of his decision and tell you that he made that decision. 

I know with my husband that he doesn't always agree with my parenting choices, and I don't always agree with his.  (I let the girls (17 and 16) go to the Batman premier at midnight...DH was not happy and did not want them to go, but I told him that I was okay with it and was allowing them to do that.  There have been times when DH has allowed the girls to do something I didn't agree with and said I didn't want them to do.  And DH over-ruled me on those instances. I guess my point is that as parents you are not going to always agree, there are times that you will get your way on a decision with your children, but that also means that your DH gets his way on decisions with your children.  It goes both ways.

AGain, your DH should have told you, even if it was after the fact. 

But I have another question for you, have you asked your DH why he didn't tell you.  Is he a "avoid confrontation at all costs" kind of guy?  Was he afraid of your reaction to finding out that he went against your wishes and made his own decision on something with  your daughter? 

Just my thoughts....
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Harriet on August 06, 2012, 08:12:22 PM
I hope you have a big, comfy, dog house because if he were my DH, that's where he'd be sleeping until he apologized for not supporting me in a decision about our daughter and then LYING about it.  >:(

Way to teach MIL that she can circumvent anything you want by going through her son.

I agree except I hope the dog house is not that comfy.

BIG BOO HISS!!!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: GrammarNerd on August 06, 2012, 08:17:46 PM
And there is NO WAY that someone...anyone....celebrates my kid's birthday if I'm not there.  No way.

Maybe that doesn't matter to DH, but make sure that he knows it matters to YOU.  Let those postpartum hormones shine!

(And this is spoken entirely for situations when the parents are not divorced or separated, which is obviously OP's case and my case.)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Harriet on August 06, 2012, 08:21:03 PM
snippage
I mean, when two parents disagree over parenting, who is to say who gets their way?  I know you said you didn't want to argue with your DH and you said it was fine if it was a one-serving cake, but again, your husband was okay with a multi-serving cake...so, as her parent, wouldn't he also get a say in her getting a 2nd cake?

I think that on decisions at this kind of level, the person who feels more strongly about the issue should prevail. If Slartibartfast's DH felt strongly about it, they should have had more discussion til they could work out a compromise. If he didn't feel strongly about it and knew she did (which was the case as far as I can tell,) then he should have upheld her decision.  It's a huge cop-out to just fade out of the argument and then go ahead and do it anyway.

I should add I don't have kids, so am basing this on relationship-type decisions.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: scansons on August 06, 2012, 08:22:10 PM
Babybartfast turns 4 today (Monday), but we had a birthday party for her on Saturday.  A friend of mine made the cake and it was DELICIOUS.  Babybartfast pouted when she first saw it, however, because it wasn't what she expected/wanted.  MIL took Babybartfast aside and gave her a little talking-to and that was that - Babybartfast never really did tell us what she wanted on her cake, even though we asked several times, so she got a combination of things she likes:
(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y247/wendymarlowe/Sonjascake.jpg)
(BALLERINA ASTRONAUT BIKER DINOSAURS IN SPACE!  Cool, right?  She's played with the dinosaurs several times since then!)

Anyway, MIL called this morning - since Babybartfast was so disappointed with her cake, MIL wants to take her out to Baskin Robbins and get her ANOTHER cake today for her real birthday.  I told MIL I would really rather she didn't - I'm happy with MIL taking her out for ice cream, if she wants to, but Babybartfast already got her cake and I don't want to reward her for turning her nose up at it because it's not what she expected or wanted.  I get why she did - she's only four, and hasn't learned to smile politely even when disappointed yet - but I don't want MIL to run out and buy her another one.  MIL said the equivalent of "Fine, I won't pick her up then," and immediately called DH who then called me.  Apparently he had told her it was okay.  He's in favor of Babybartfast getting another cake "since it's her birthday" and just making no connection to her liking or not liking the other cake (which we still have quite a bit of left).

Rather than argue with DH over the phone I just said fine if it's a one-serving thing and is otherwise treated like going out for ice cream would normally be.  However, now I'm second-guessing myself - am I being unreasonably harsh?  DH and I usually don't disagree on parenting things like this (at least, I see it as a parenting thing) so that's making me less willing to blame it all on MIL not understanding our parenting boundaries.

I just read the update and saw that your DH was there for the cake cutting for the 2nd cake.  I know you are upset, and I know that your DH should have been more upfront with you....but per your original post, he was okay with the additional birthday cake. 

Your DD is also your husbands child, and he was okay with the 2nd cake.  I mean, when two parents disagree over parenting, who is to say who gets their way?  I know you said you didn't want to argue with your DH and you said it was fine if it was a one-serving cake, but again, your husband was okay with a multi-serving cake...so, as her parent, wouldn't he also get a say in her getting a 2nd cake?

I can kind of understand why he didn't tell you to be there, you had already said you forbid her to  have the 2nd cake.  So if they had invited you, and your DH was okay with it, and they bought and paid for it, what would you have done if you had been there?  From what you have said about the situation, had they invited you, would there have been an issue since you did not agree with her getting the 2nd cake?

But, with that said, your DH should have been the one to tell you what happened, not your MIL.  If he wanted to make a decision as your DD's parent that she get a 2nd cake, he is allowed to do that.  But he should also take ownership of his decision and tell you that he made that decision. 

I know with my husband that he doesn't always agree with my parenting choices, and I don't always agree with his.  (I let the girls (17 and 16) go to the Batman premier at midnight...DH was not happy and did not want them to go, but I told him that I was okay with it and was allowing them to do that.  There have been times when DH has allowed the girls to do something I didn't agree with and said I didn't want them to do.  And DH over-ruled me on those instances. I guess my point is that as parents you are not going to always agree, there are times that you will get your way on a decision with your children, but that also means that your DH gets his way on decisions with your children.  It goes both ways.

AGain, your DH should have told you, even if it was after the fact. 

But I have another question for you, have you asked your DH why he didn't tell you.  Is he a "avoid confrontation at all costs" kind of guy?  Was he afraid of your reaction to finding out that he went against your wishes and made his own decision on something with  your daughter? 

Just my thoughts....

My husband and I don't always agree on parenting choices either.   But we talk about it until we do agree, and then we act.  Not before.  Also we don't hide our parenting decisions from each other.  And we don't allow either set of parents to 1) play us off each other 2) do something with the kids that the other parent isn't comfortable with. 

I'm sorry there is no excuse.  He took his mother's side against his wife, the child's other parent. This was not a split second decision.  He knew how she felt, and  he chose to ignore it. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: gramma dishes on August 06, 2012, 08:24:17 PM
If it had happened and he TOLD her, that's one thing.  But he deliberately lied about it.  Or at least withheld information.  I'd be FURIOUS at both my DH and my MIL!  But much more so at my DH.   >:(

Disagreeing is one thing, but doing things behind the other's back is altogether different.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: BeeGee01 on August 06, 2012, 08:27:54 PM
snippage
I mean, when two parents disagree over parenting, who is to say who gets their way?  I know you said you didn't want to argue with your DH and you said it was fine if it was a one-serving cake, but again, your husband was okay with a multi-serving cake...so, as her parent, wouldn't he also get a say in her getting a 2nd cake?

I think that on decisions at this kind of level, the person who feels more strongly about the issue should prevail. If Slartibartfast's DH felt strongly about it, they should have had more discussion til they could work out a compromise. If he didn't feel strongly about it and knew she did (which was the case,) then he should have upheld her decision.  It's a huge cop-out to just fade out of the argument and then go ahead and do it anyway.

Oh, absolutely.  I agree that her DH dropped the ball on that big time.  Some people would call it a "lie of omission" because he knew that his wife was not in agreement with him, so he just did it with out telling her.  Wrong, wrong, wrong to not be honest with his wife. 

And what was up with MIL having to make it a point tell her DIL she was eating the last of the cake....KNOWING that Slart was not in agreement.  That was most certainly a dig to let Slart know that MIL/DH did something behind her back.

I guess my point was that her DH was not wrong to let their DD get the second cake, but he was TOTALLY WRONG for not be honest and up front about the fact that he was agreeing to her getting the second cake.  And I think that is what Slart should really be angry about, was the sneaking around that was done by MIL and her DH.

I guess a lot of people were saying that the DD should hot have gotten the 2nd cake, and I was thinking "well, the child's dad is okay with it, so doesn't he get a say in what she gets?"  So again, to me, the real issue is DH's "let's just avoid confrontation and not tell Slart what we are doing."


Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 06, 2012, 08:28:51 PM
BeeGee, our normal M.O. so far has been to default to whichever parent feels the strongest about something.  Usually this ends up being the more restrictive parent, although to be honest we really don't disagree on much.  In this case, though, MIL has a history of trampling on our parenting decisions and DH has a history of choosing to avoid conflict unless he feels very strongly about whatever it is.  My guess is it went like this:

DH to MIL: Sure, whatever, cake is good!
Me to MIL: Dude, not okay!  No backup cakes!
MIL to DH: Your wife is such a whiner!  She said no!  Can you believe it?
DH to me: What's up?  Why do you disagree?
Me to DH: blah blah blah reasons
DH to me: She was just talking about a one-serving cake.
Me to DH: I guess that would be okay.
DH to MIL: She said a one-serving cake would be okay.
MIL to DH: Cool!  Want to join us for lunch and cake?
DH to MIL: Sure.
*MIL buys the cake*
*DH sees this, realizes MIL didn't mean a one-serving cake at all, knows I didn't want her to, knows he doesn't care one way or the other, but sees it's making Babybartfast happy and doesn't want to confront his mother*
DH: Whatever.

(Significantly shortened and with a healthy dose of snark and assumption, but . . .)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Dindrane on August 06, 2012, 08:33:17 PM
I can totally understand why you don't really blame your MIL anymore -- she was 110% out of line, but talk about futile battles.

I would be EXTREMELY angry with your DH, if I were in your shoes, though.  That is just not okay between spouses.  You had clearly communicated what you were not okay with, and it never occurred to him that maybe "thing Slartibartfast is not okay with" happening maybe deserved a mention.

I can believe he might have done it unintentionally and with no actual intent to deceive you, but man, what an oversight.  It's big enough that it really doesn't matter what his intentions were.

I really don't know what the answer is here, though.  It seems that, through your DH failing to keep you looped in and everyone ignoring your expressly stated wishes, your daughter got exactly the opposite lesson in manners and birthdays that you wanted her to have.  I think I'd be having a come-to-deity meeting with my DH right about now, about all the many reasons why that is not acceptable and is his fault.  Although it might be more productive to at least start the conversation by asking what you could have done differently to make your views on this subject clear.

And I definitely think my previous advice still stands -- no matter what she asks you about, both you and your DH need to get into the habit of asking MIL if she's talked to the other one of you.  At least you can start the process of getting (and staying!) on the same page before all the damage has been done that way.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: BeeGee01 on August 06, 2012, 08:36:46 PM
Well, he does sound like he gets caught in the middle of the situation, and doesn't know how to stand up to either one of you.  I bet he was mad at MIL for telling you, because he was just hoping to get away with it.  But I know from your original post he said he was okay with it and didn't put it together that it was sending a message to your DD.  I figured he was still on board with it, but just didn't want to tell you because he knew you didn't want it.  So he figured he would just deal with it by avoiding the whole situation - wonder if he told his mom that you were okay with it after all?  I wonder if he was trying to tell each of you what you wanted to hear just so that neither of you got mad at him.

I was just trying to throw another point of view into the mix.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: buvezdevin on August 06, 2012, 08:37:45 PM
Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: AustenFan on August 06, 2012, 08:38:13 PM
snippage
I mean, when two parents disagree over parenting, who is to say who gets their way?  I know you said you didn't want to argue with your DH and you said it was fine if it was a one-serving cake, but again, your husband was okay with a multi-serving cake...so, as her parent, wouldn't he also get a say in her getting a 2nd cake?

I think the parent responsible for planning the party gets this decision. If DH felt so strongly about it he should have been planning with Slarti (SBF), not helping his mother undermine Slarti after the party happened.

The issues for me are:
1) MIL set Babybartfast (BBF) up for disappointment with the cake by not mentioning to Slarti that she had been showing BBF cakes at Baskin Robbins beforehand. It wouldn't have mattered what kind of cake SBF produced, it wasn't what BBF was rightfully expecting, so SBF was set up for failure at her own kids birthday party. I think that's just cruel.

2) MIL did an end run around the primary care parent when she got an answer she didn't like from SBF. After SBF compromised in an attempt to keep the peace (she was ok with a single serving style thing) MIL went ahead with her original plan, which she knew SBF was not ok with.

3) Your DH aided and abetted her.

I think you have every right to be hella angry, and MIL should not be allowed to spend time alone with BBF until she can be trusted not to undermine you with your own child. All it would have taken was MIL saying "BBF saw some cakes as Baskin Robbins she really liked, I said maybe we could get one for her birthday. Is it OK if I get one?" and then SBF could have put her own (awesome) topper on it. Or she could have said no and been prepared for BBF not liking her cake.

DH should be shot. What was he thinking??? Probably nothing, as men so frequently do when their mothers are involved...
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 06, 2012, 08:47:28 PM
Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 06, 2012, 08:54:11 PM
Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"

Gosh bless you for putting up with this nonsense.  Virtual cupcake/brownies for you
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: scansons on August 06, 2012, 08:57:47 PM
Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"

The problem with that IME is that what you really have to do to end it is put the fear of her dear and fluffy lord in her.  Which is hard to do, if her son isn't on board.  Much easier to deal with it if she was doing a victory lap.  Yeessh.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 06, 2012, 09:00:30 PM
Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"

The problem with that IME is that what you really have to do to end it is put the fear of her dear and fluffy lord in her.  Which is hard to do, if her son isn't on board.  Much easier to deal with it if she was doing a victory lap.  Yeessh.

Yeah, and I can't really say anything now either.  Since it's already done with, and the only one who cares is apparently me, if I make a big deal after the fact both DH and MIL would (metaphorically) look at me with their heads cocked to one side like I was a tantrumming toddler and would just shrug it off.  I do plan to have a talk with DH, but it's going to have to be a "I'm mad, this is why, but let's move on" kind of thing.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: BeeGee01 on August 06, 2012, 09:01:10 PM
Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"

Gosh bless you for putting up with this nonsense.  Virtual cupcake/brownies for you

I think MIL KNEW when she told you the last piece of cake that she was opening that can of worms.  Do you think she knew your DH was not going to tell you what all happened at BAskin Robbins?  I agree that it sounds like your MIL wanted to make certain you knew, it was her "nana nana boo boo.....I did what I wanted!" moment. 

I have to ask, what was the look on your DH's face when you told him his own mother ratted him out?
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: SPuck on August 06, 2012, 09:26:21 PM
Slartibartfast, ummm, just wondering given how it seems your MIL operates could include enjoying a victory lap - do you think she mentioned finishing the last piece of what was supposed to be a "single serving" cake on purpose?  If so, you might want to mention that in any follow on discussion with your DH about sticking to agreed upon boundaries.

Honestly, she just doesn't think this long-term.  Once she gets away with something she thinks "yay me, glad that's over!" and goes blithely on with her life.  I'm guessing once she got home from Baskin Robbins she figured the whole thing was over and done with and probably put it completely from her mind.  She doesn't see disagreements as antagonistic as much as "Why on earth would anyone have a problem with the way I want to do things?"

The problem with that IME is that what you really have to do to end it is put the fear of her dear and fluffy lord in her.  Which is hard to do, if her son isn't on board.  Much easier to deal with it if she was doing a victory lap.  Yeessh.

Yeah, and I can't really say anything now either.  Since it's already done with, and the only one who cares is apparently me, if I make a big deal after the fact both DH and MIL would (metaphorically) look at me with their heads cocked to one side like I was a tantrumming toddler and would just shrug it off.  I do plan to have a talk with DH, but it's going to have to be a "I'm mad, this is why, but let's move on" kind of thing.

Slartibartfast, I can appreciate that you want to let this go but you have the right to be angry. Your mother-in-law undermined your parenting decisions and your child's birthday and your husband is as the worse ignorant and at the best an accomplice. She's not a confused, overly loving old woman, she's manipulative and other words I can't use in polite conversations.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: kudeebee on August 06, 2012, 09:33:55 PM
Your mil went against your wishes and bought a whole cake instead of the single serving that she said she would.  Your dh knew you did not want another cake for BBF but instead of standing up for you, his wife, he gave in to his mother.  So, why wouldn't she do what she wants to do?  DH won't stand up for you and there are no consequences.

You and dh need to have a long talk about this and come to an agreement, especially concerning MIL.  For the near future, I would not have mil pick up BBF and take her anywhere but directly to your home and there would be no unsupervised time with BBF.  After the time period you agree upon--say a month--she gets to try taking BBF somewhere again, but if she pulls another stunt, that is it.  If you don't nip this in the bud now and you/dh become a team all of the time, you could have serious problems when BBF gets older and mil pulls her stunts.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Sophia on August 06, 2012, 09:43:04 PM
... I do plan to have a talk with DH, but it's going to have to be a "I'm mad, this is why, but let's move on" kind of thing.

I see this as a HUGE mistake.  He knew that you REALLY cared about no do-over cake.  But, he went along with his mother to avoid conflict.  I think you really need to let him know completely and totally how it makes you feel.  Choosing his mother's feelings over yours needs to be the more painful choice for him
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: scansons on August 06, 2012, 09:46:09 PM
Talked a little to my DH, he's good at these things.  He suggests maybe you need to spreadsheet it for him.  Say five instances when this sort of thing has happened with MIL.  Headings: Situation, What we decided to do, What MIL wanted to do, What ended up happening.  See if you can get an agreement on the facts.  Just the facts.   Then point out to him  that it's not good for your marriage, or your daughter, that MIL is reversing your collective parenting when  she feels like it, and that it needs to stop. 

My DH says if   you can do  it without being mad, and while stressing that you are not keeping score, it could help to get threw to  him.  But he needs to see it as a pattern you two are establishing that is going to be trouble later,  rather than an attack on  him, or his mother. 

Cause if your DD was 16 and the cake was car, you have a whole other world of hurt happening. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: scansons on August 06, 2012, 09:48:36 PM
Although to be honest, if it had been me in your shoes, MIL would have heard about it on the phone, then DH would have, and DD would be taking a long break from outings with grandma.  But that's just me. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Onyx_TKD on August 06, 2012, 09:55:44 PM
Your DD is also your husbands child, and he was okay with the 2nd cake.  I mean, when two parents disagree over parenting, who is to say who gets their way?  I know you said you didn't want to argue with your DH and you said it was fine if it was a one-serving cake, but again, your husband was okay with a multi-serving cake...so, as her parent, wouldn't he also get a say in her getting a 2nd cake?

One parent was OK with the kid getting a second cake. The other parent (the OP) was not OK with the second cake. Once this disagreement came to light, the OP offered a compromise: a one-serving treat instead of an entire 2nd cake. If the OP's husband wasn't satisfied with this compromise, then the right thing to do was to say so and either counteroffer a different compromise or explain why he was in favor of the 2nd cake. Then they could discuss until they came to an agreement. Agreeing to the compromise and then blithely proceeding to do what he originally intended (or green-lighting the MIL to do so) is incredibly deceptive and childish. Not even bothering to tell the OP that he unilaterally decided to ignore their agreement to avoid fallout just compounds the deception and childishness.

That's an even worse lesson for a 4-year-old than the lesson that whining gets you a new cake--"If mommy says we can't do something, but daddy says we can, then we can just tell mommy "Ok, we won't," do it anyway, and not tell her." If she learns that daddy or daddy and grandma together can pull that, then why shouldn't she and grandma do something that mommy and daddy said no to? Or why shouldn't she do something she wants to just because mommy and daddy said no? As long as they don't find out, it's ok to overrule them, right?
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 06, 2012, 10:16:48 PM
Your DD is also your husbands child, and he was okay with the 2nd cake.  I mean, when two parents disagree over parenting, who is to say who gets their way?  I know you said you didn't want to argue with your DH and you said it was fine if it was a one-serving cake, but again, your husband was okay with a multi-serving cake...so, as her parent, wouldn't he also get a say in her getting a 2nd cake?

One parent was OK with the kid getting a second cake. The other parent (the OP) was not OK with the second cake. Once this disagreement came to light, the OP offered a compromise: a one-serving treat instead of an entire 2nd cake. If the OP's husband wasn't satisfied with this compromise, then the right thing to do was to say so and either counteroffer a different compromise or explain why he was in favor of the 2nd cake. Then they could discuss until they came to an agreement. Agreeing to the compromise and then blithely proceeding to do what he originally intended (or green-lighting the MIL to do so) is incredibly deceptive and childish. Not even bothering to tell the OP that he unilaterally decided to ignore their agreement to avoid fallout just compounds the deception and childishness.

That's an even worse lesson for a 4-year-old than the lesson that whining gets you a new cake--"If mommy says we can't do something, but daddy says we can, then we can just tell mommy "Ok, we won't," do it anyway, and not tell her." If she learns that daddy or daddy and grandma together can pull that, then why shouldn't she and grandma do something that mommy and daddy said no to? Or why shouldn't she do something she wants to just because mommy and daddy said no? As long as they don't find out, it's ok to overrule them, right?

Pod to Onyx_TKD.

DH did something he knew was expressly against the OP's wishes.  Instead of talking it out with her and coming to a compromise, he went against what he had already compromised.  That's not Slartibartfast only getting to make the decisions, that's DH ignoring her opinions.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: JoyinVirginia on August 06, 2012, 10:44:21 PM
I ask going to disagree with just about everyone. I think you should let this go completely. It is a cake, an ice cream cake. It is ok for a four year old to have more than one cake. This is not the item to have a big confrontation with mil about.
My perspective: my mom is now in a nursing home and demented and very frail. The special times she had with my dds, her granddaughters, were so fun and what the girls remember from being little and spending time with grandma.  edited to add: in the grand scheme of things, this is so not worth worrying about. The more posts here I read about how horrible the mil is, the more I want to defend her. The more I want to stand up and shout Its a CAKE, its a BIRTHDAY, why is this becoming such a power struggle? Grandmothers are supposed to bring cake! two cakes are BETTER than one cake!
Talk to your dh and get some kind of agreement. He obviously did not feel as strongly about cake issue as you. I think the only thing he did wrong was to not tell you right that day that dd got her ice cream cake. you are fortunate your mil loves your dd so much. Focus on the good things here! And tell your dh he does not have to be scared to tell you things he doesn't think you want to hear.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 06, 2012, 10:57:51 PM
I ask going to disagree with just about everyone. I think you should let this go completely. It is a cake, an ice cream cake. It is ok fora for year old to have more than one cake. This is not the item to have a big confrontation with mil about.
My perspective: my mom is now in a nursing home and demented and very frail. The special times she had with my dds, her granddaughters, were so fun and what the girls remember from being little and spending time with grandma. 
Talk to your dh and get some kind of agreement. He obviously did not feel as strongly about cake issue as you. I think the only thing he did wrong was to not tell you right that day that dd got her ice cream cake. you are fortunate your mil loves your dd so much. Focus on the good things her. And tell your dh he does not have to be scared to tell you things he doesn't think you want to hear.

I'm sorry to hear about the health of your mother.  However, I have to disagree with you completely.  Just because my dad was awesome and he is now gone, I can't tell anyone else that they can't be annoyed with their fathers because he'll be gone someday.  That's just not fair and minimizes the problems through which that other person is going.

OP is lucky that her MIL loves her children, but that doesn't automatically give MIL the right to behave however she wants without regards to the feelings of her grandchildrens' parents, especially the parent that is not biologically hers.  OP is rightfully annoyed with this behavior, especially with her DH expressly going against her wishes.  Yes, OP should eventually let it go, but not without having a stern talking to with her husband first.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: WillyNilly on August 07, 2012, 12:08:05 AM
I think to me it just sounds like you MIL is too involved.  Cut the apron strings a bit and don't have her as part of every day life - there's a reason people move out and start their own lives.  Seriously a mother in law/grandma should be on a once a week schedule at most I think.  Especially when you live nearby.  Its tempting to utilize the help, but independence is better.  Cut back on MIL/grandma time and take control over your lives as independent and separate from hers.  Work on your own nest so it strong and well established for when you need it most.

I grew up just a few miles from my grandparents.  And they were super involved - came to see me in the parades, we spent every holiday with them, grandpa did handiwork at our house, if I or my brother was sick and my mom had work, we'd go there.  We had toothbrushes at their house - that's how involved we were.  I think we called every night to say goodnight.  It was close.

But day to day life was my parents.  Grandma and grandpa were there for anything remotely big, or in any bind, but they weren't in the foreground most of the time.  And really, I think it worked out well.  I grew up to be very close to my grandparents. And I have a very warm and healthy relationship with my parents.  And they are totally different sets of people in my mind.

SBF - who do you want to think raised your kid?  Like years from now, when your MIL passes, at her wake do you want to overhear your daughter say "she was like a second mom to me, she practically raised me, I always remember her being there" or would you rather hear "she was such a good grandma, whenever I had something important she was there rooting me on, and all my holidays, she was always happy to see me..."

You get to define the perimeters people have in your child's life, its part of your job as a parent.  And sometimes, less is more.  Less seeing grandma in everyday life, and make more of a big deal for special occasions.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Fleur on August 07, 2012, 12:41:52 AM
I ask going to disagree with just about everyone. I think you should let this go completely. It is a cake, an ice cream cake. It is ok fora for year old to have more than one cake. This is not the item to have a big confrontation with mil about.
My perspective: my mom is now in a nursing home and demented and very frail. The special times she had with my dds, her granddaughters, were so fun and what the girls remember from being little and spending time with grandma. 
Talk to your dh and get some kind of agreement. He obviously did not feel as strongly about cake issue as you. I think the only thing he did wrong was to not tell you right that day that dd got her ice cream cake. you are fortunate your mil loves your dd so much. Focus on the good things her. And tell your dh he does not have to be scared to tell you things he doesn't think you want to hear.

I'm sorry, but I really couldn't disagree with this more. As Slartibartfast said, normally their 'rule' is that the parent who feels more strongly prevails, so it was wrong to allow his mother to undermine his wife. It was very disrespectful, on both their parts. And while it is certainly good that grandma loves her grandchild, that doesn't mean that she gets to undermine her DIL's parenting decisions. I don't believe in this 'count your blessings' approach to a breach of trust, which is what this situation boils down to. And I think trivializing it as 'just a cake' minimizes the real issue, which is that grandma feels ok about undermining her DIL's decisions and co-opting her son to do so as well. That is never ok.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 07, 2012, 12:59:27 AM
I ask going to disagree with just about everyone. I think you should let this go completely. It is a cake, an ice cream cake. It is ok fora for year old to have more than one cake. This is not the item to have a big confrontation with mil about.
My perspective: my mom is now in a nursing home and demented and very frail. The special times she had with my dds, her granddaughters, were so fun and what the girls remember from being little and spending time with grandma. 
Talk to your dh and get some kind of agreement. He obviously did not feel as strongly about cake issue as you. I think the only thing he did wrong was to not tell you right that day that dd got her ice cream cake. you are fortunate your mil loves your dd so much. Focus on the good things her. And tell your dh he does not have to be scared to tell you things he doesn't think you want to hear.

I'm sorry, but I really couldn't disagree with this more. As Slartibartfast said, normally their 'rule' is that the parent who feels more strongly prevails, so it was wrong to allow his mother to undermine his wife. It was very disrespectful, on both their parts. And while it is certainly good that grandma loves her grandchild, that doesn't mean that she gets to undermine her DIL's parenting decisions. I don't believe in this 'count your blessings' approach to a breach of trust, which is what this situation boils down to. And I think trivializing it as 'just a cake' minimizes the real issue, which is that grandma feels ok about undermining her DIL's decisions and co-opting her son to do so as well. That is never ok.

I fully agree with Fleur.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Iris on August 07, 2012, 01:05:59 AM
Your DD is also your husbands child, and he was okay with the 2nd cake.  I mean, when two parents disagree over parenting, who is to say who gets their way?  I know you said you didn't want to argue with your DH and you said it was fine if it was a one-serving cake, but again, your husband was okay with a multi-serving cake...so, as her parent, wouldn't he also get a say in her getting a 2nd cake?

One parent was OK with the kid getting a second cake. The other parent (the OP) was not OK with the second cake. Once this disagreement came to light, the OP offered a compromise: a one-serving treat instead of an entire 2nd cake. If the OP's husband wasn't satisfied with this compromise, then the right thing to do was to say so and either counteroffer a different compromise or explain why he was in favor of the 2nd cake. Then they could discuss until they came to an agreement. Agreeing to the compromise and then blithely proceeding to do what he originally intended (or green-lighting the MIL to do so) is incredibly deceptive and childish. Not even bothering to tell the OP that he unilaterally decided to ignore their agreement to avoid fallout just compounds the deception and childishness.

That's an even worse lesson for a 4-year-old than the lesson that whining gets you a new cake--"If mommy says we can't do something, but daddy says we can, then we can just tell mommy "Ok, we won't," do it anyway, and not tell her." If she learns that daddy or daddy and grandma together can pull that, then why shouldn't she and grandma do something that mommy and daddy said no to? Or why shouldn't she do something she wants to just because mommy and daddy said no? As long as they don't find out, it's ok to overrule them, right?

This. In all honesty, the tradition in my family is that even if you have a party on another day, you get something a little special on the actual day - whether it is your favourite dinner or a one-slice (or small) cake or Mum and Dad singing Happy Birthday. So on the original issue I am probably more on DH's side. However, after he expressed a wish for this to happen Slarti came up with a reasonable compromise which he then totally ignored.

I am also very very suspicious that BBF didn't come home talking 19 to the dozen about her cake and people singing Happy Birthday and Daddy being there. It's the kind of thing a 4 yo shares with their mother, so I'm wondering if she was told not to tell mummy. Maybe that's just my nasty cynical side showing but if that was the case I would be sooooooooo angry. Sooooooooo angry.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 07, 2012, 02:33:36 AM
Thanks, everyone.  I did talk to DH a bit after Babybartfast went to bed tonight.  He was honestly surprised I was upset, because he interpreted our compromise completely differently.  He thought I was okay with the cake as long as it wasn't presented explicitly as a replacement, and as long as it was the smallest one in the store.  (I do understand that - I assumed they had single-serving cakelike treats, but this may have been the smallest option there.  So this may have been me expecting a compromise which didn't exist.)  I can't tell whether DH felt more strongly about Babybartfast celebrating on her actual birthday than I realized or whether he was just feeling a bit defensive (we've all been a bit sick and grumpy here recently), so if he really wanted her to have recognition on her birthday and he thought this WAS the compromise, I understand why he did what he did.  Apparently he did stop MIL from going even more overboard (she was going to bring balloons and party hats to the store???).

It was actually a good jumping-off point for us to discuss another whole mess his parents have dragged us into  ::) and he did concede that his mother has a pattern of saying she acknowledges our decision, then stomping all over it and saying "Oh, I didn't know you MEANT that!"  We aren't going to be forbidding her from seeing Babybartfast or anything, but DH now knows to check with me on things like this in the future because he can't always tell when I'll disagree with MIL's way of doing things.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: wonderfullyanonymous on August 07, 2012, 08:26:03 AM
This is just over the top. I'm so angry for you, Slartibartfast. I realize you and your DH talked, but I would be furious if my MIL had done something like that.

Party or no party, my kids had one birthday cake, and if my MIL had pulled a stunt like that, there would have been no outing alone for a while.

Thankfully, she was and still is a wonderful grandmother to them. She once said to me that if they were in trouble at home and were grounded from something when she took them, to let her know, and she would carry on with whatever punishment. I love that lady.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: JoyinVirginia on August 07, 2012, 08:31:18 AM
OP, thanks for the update. As long a you and the dh agree, that is the most important thing.
This its one of those stories you will be telling at future birthdays! And laughing about.
And yes, everyone should have cake on their actual birthday if at all possible.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: JenJay on August 07, 2012, 10:02:51 AM
Everyone gathered around BB and sang Happy Birthday to her, well everyone except her uninvited Mother! How was that not a replacement Birthday Cake?

Thinking back to some of your other posts, I think your MIL likes to pit you and DH against each other so she can sit back and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing him choose her, and I think he's either completely blind or feigning ignorance because he lets her.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: MacadamiaNut on August 07, 2012, 10:03:04 AM
I think I'd be more upset with MIL in this situation.  It sounds like she had a whole cake conspiracy going on!  Seriously.  She perused birthday cakes with BBF and *knew* BBF wanted ice-cream cake and didn't bother to tell you.  She kept this little secret in her back pocket and never mentioned it to you, even after BBF's cake tantrum at her birthday party.  She used that to get close to BBF.  She then manipulated DH into participating in the conspiracy.  She didn't bother to invite you to your child's second birthday party. :o

Basically, she used her secret knowledge of BBF's desire for an ice-cream cake to her advantage in every way possible, and in the process, she undermined you, DH and your parenting decisions. 

From the story, your DH sounds a little more innocent in all of it.  Not fully innocent, and the reasons have already been listed by you and others here so I won't go into them.  But MIL?  Yeah, I wouldn't be letting her off the hook so easy.  What she did sounds very underhanded.  I think her intentions were more hurtful than DH's intentions.  MIL was the mastermind in all this.  DH was just a pawn in her cake conspiracy, IMO.  He was simply the easier one for MIL to manipulate.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 07, 2012, 10:11:55 AM
I think I'd be more upset with MIL in this situation.  It sounds like she had a whole cake conspiracy going on!  Seriously.  She perused birthday cakes with BBF and *knew* BBF wanted ice-cream cake and didn't bother to tell you.  She kept this little secret in her back pocket and never mentioned it to you, even after BBF's cake tantrum at her birthday party.  She used that to get close to BBF.  She then manipulated DH into participating in the conspiracy.  She didn't bother to invite you to your child's second birthday party. :o

Oh, she was harping on me for weeks before the party about the cake - she offered to buy one, and I told her thanks but a friend was making it and the cake was already spoken for.  Then she kept reminding me that the cake last year didn't work out - the same friend made a (I'm told) fabulous cake for Babybartfast but she had to slam on the brakes on the way over to my house and the cake ended up smeared all over her backseat  :'(  I don't see how that's in any way her fault, but MIL commented on it at least a dozen times (including several times at the party before my friend got there).  Annoying but really the expected behavior from my MIL  ::)  She did mention going to get ice cream with Babybartfast and looking at cakes, but I assumed it was a one-time thing.

As for not being invited, it's a weird dynamic but it's not really like that either :)  DH, MIL, and I will frequently call each other when we find we'll be eating lunch out of the house, just in case the others are interested in coming along.  In this case, I was home with Bittybartfast (less than two months old) and the plan was for MIL to pick up Babybartfast from school and "go out on a little adventure" before dropping her off at home.  She called DH while they were out and asked if he wanted to join them.  Usually they would have called me, too, but I was desperately trying to catch up on sleep while Babybartfast was out  :)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: wolfie on August 07, 2012, 10:16:23 AM
If I were you I would seriously reconsider MIL and BBF alone time. Or MIL, BBF and DH alone time - since it seems like he can't stand up to his mom. From now on I would make sure I was there anytime MIL is with any of the children - so I know what is going on and could put a stop to things that I don't agree with.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: MacadamiaNut on August 07, 2012, 10:20:47 AM
I seriously don't understand MIL's obsession over cake!  Was she some sort of cake expert in her past?  Is she the "cake boss"?  LOL. ;D
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: greencat on August 07, 2012, 10:30:15 AM
I don't even have kids and the whole idea that the in-laws threw a birthday party for your child and included your husband but deliberately excluded you absolutely makes my blood boil.  Usually when parents-in-law act in that kind of exclusionary manner it's meant to try and separate the couple - since the anger of the excluded one typically gets turned on the partner for letting his/her parents do that.  It also appears that your MIL is trying to poison BBF against you already.  I POD the other posters who said to avoid leaving your daughter alone in MIL's company.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: gramma dishes on August 07, 2012, 10:56:05 AM
I think I'd be more upset with MIL in this situation.  It sounds like she had a whole cake conspiracy going on!  Seriously.  She perused birthday cakes on several occasions with BBF and *knew* BBF wanted ice-cream cake and didn't bother to tell you.  She kept this little secret in her back pocket and never mentioned it to you, even after BBF's cake tantrum at her birthday party.  She used that to get close to BBF.  She then manipulated DH into participating in the conspiracy.  She didn't bother to invite you to your child's second birthday party. :o

Basically, she used her secret knowledge of BBF's desire for an ice-cream cake to her advantage in every way possible, and in the process, she undermined you, DH and your parenting decisions. 

From the story, your DH sounds a little more innocent in all of it.  Not fully innocent, and the reasons have already been listed by you and others here so I won't go into them.  But MIL?  Yeah, I wouldn't be letting her off the hook so easy.  What she did sounds very underhanded.  I think her intentions were more hurtful than DH's intentions.  MIL was the mastermind in all this.  DH was just a pawn in her cake conspiracy, IMO.  He was simply the easier one for MIL to manipulate.

I totally agree with MacadamiaNut.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: wyliefool on August 07, 2012, 11:06:21 AM
... I do plan to have a talk with DH, but it's going to have to be a "I'm mad, this is why, but let's move on" kind of thing.

I see this as a HUGE mistake.  He knew that you REALLY cared about no do-over cake.  But, he went along with his mother to avoid conflict.  I think you really need to let him know completely and totally how it makes you feel.  Choosing his mother's feelings over yours needs to be the more painful choice for him.

Plus there was a whole birthday thing w/ the whole family except Mom! Oh NO they DIDN'T!!  >:(
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: MacadamiaNut on August 07, 2012, 11:20:41 AM
I think I'd be more upset with MIL in this situation.  It sounds like she had a whole cake conspiracy going on!  Seriously.  She perused birthday cakes with BBF and *knew* BBF wanted ice-cream cake and didn't bother to tell you.  She kept this little secret in her back pocket and never mentioned it to you, even after BBF's cake tantrum at her birthday party.  She used that to get close to BBF.  She then manipulated DH into participating in the conspiracy.  She didn't bother to invite you to your child's second birthday party. :o

Oh, she was harping on me for weeks before the party about the cake - she offered to buy one, and I told her thanks but a friend was making it and the cake was already spoken for.  Then she kept reminding me that the cake last year didn't work out - the same friend made a (I'm told) fabulous cake for Babybartfast but she had to slam on the brakes on the way over to my house and the cake ended up smeared all over her backseat  :'(  I don't see how that's in any way her fault, but MIL commented on it at least a dozen times (including several times at the party before my friend got there).  Annoying but really the expected behavior from my MIL  ::)  She did mention going to get ice cream with Babybartfast and looking at cakes, but I assumed it was a one-time thing.

As for not being invited, it's a weird dynamic but it's not really like that either :)  DH, MIL, and I will frequently call each other when we find we'll be eating lunch out of the house, just in case the others are interested in coming along.  In this case, I was home with Bittybartfast (less than two months old) and the plan was for MIL to pick up Babybartfast from school and "go out on a little adventure" before dropping her off at home.  She called DH while they were out and asked if he wanted to join them.  Usually they would have called me, too, but I was desperately trying to catch up on sleep while Babybartfast was out  :)

Great, now *I'm* obsessed over the cake too!  Just call me MIL ;).  OP, I think your justification for the non-invite doesn't convince me.  It's not the same thing as an impromptu lunch.  It was a premeditated birthday party for BBF.  You said as much yourself.  Not trying to argue with you.  Just wanted to show you from another set of eyes.

And the fact that MIL is all about the cake (harping about it beforehand, last year's hullabaloo, etc.) makes her even *more* guilty about not telling you of BBF's desire for an ice-cream cake.  She'd be less guilty if she wasn't so into birthday cakes, but she clearly is.  Just not birthday cakes where *you* look good.  Only in situations that make *her* look good.

I don't know other things about MIL, but in the future, I would definitely watch my back with her when it comes to cakes.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: WillyNilly on August 07, 2012, 11:28:46 AM
I think you should ask your DD about the cake.  Ask her why she didn't tell you about getting sung to the other day with the cake.  Tel her your feelings are hurt they had a party without you (not to guilt her, but as a parent teaching empathy).  I think an age appropriate discussion about not keeping secrets from Mommy is in order.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: AustenFan on August 07, 2012, 12:21:09 PM
Usually when parents-in-law act in that kind of exclusionary manner it's meant to try and separate the couple - since the anger of the excluded one typically gets turned on the partner for letting his/her parents do that. 

That is a really good point. It may not be applicable to Slarti's situation, but it's a subtle way to come come between a couple.

I think you should ask your DD about the cake.  Ask her why she didn't tell you about getting sung to the other day with the cake.  Tel her your feelings are hurt they had a party without you (not to guilt her, but as a parent teaching empathy).  I think an age appropriate discussion about not keeping secrets from Mommy is in order.

That's a good point, too. Was DD coached to lie about the follow up party? To be honest, I can't see an entire store singing happy birthday to a kid being something they keep quiet about naturally.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 07, 2012, 12:25:22 PM
I think you should ask your DD about the cake.  Ask her why she didn't tell you about getting sung to the other day with the cake.  Tel her your feelings are hurt they had a party without you (not to guilt her, but as a parent teaching empathy).  I think an age appropriate discussion about not keeping secrets from Mommy is in order.

That's a good point, too. Was DD coached to lie about the follow up party? To be honest, I can't see an entire store singing happy birthday to a kid being something they keep quiet about naturally.

If I remember correctly, DH ended up carrying Babybartfast in from the car and putting her in her bed for her nap because she was already asleep  :)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: gramma dishes on August 07, 2012, 12:48:18 PM
There are several things wrong here:

1.  MIL repeatedly took BBF to the ice cream store and repeatedly looked a birthday cakes with her, discussing what BBF would like on her cake, but NONE of this information was conveyed to the child's mother!

2.  MIL played DH and Slarti against each other with the second cake issue.  Deliberately I think. 

3.  I don't think Slartibartfast would have really objected to ice cream and a slice of cake or even a whole small cake on BBF's "real" birthday if she had been informed about it as long as it wasn't a reward for BBF's not appreciating the cake she actually had at her party.  But that information was kept from her.

4.  MIL deliberately let SBF know that she had been misled about prior events by letting her know that she was just now finishing up the second cake.  (Na na, na na na, your husband sided with ME, his MOTHER, over you, his WIFE!)

5.  I absolutely agree with WillyNilly that it is not normal for a child not to mention anything about that second party.  Any kid would certainly mention how much fun she had with Grandma and Daddy at the ice cream store and the beautiful cake and how all the other people sang to her, even if she was asleep when she got home.  She'd have mentioned it the next day unless she was specifically told NOT to mention it to Mommy.  No, no and NO!  You do NOT keep secrets from Mommy!!!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Dindrane on August 07, 2012, 02:41:23 PM
Slartibartfast, I think this is just yet more of a reason that you and your DH should both train yourself to refuse to give your MIL an answer, to anything, until you have talked to each other.

Seriously, get so that it's automatic to say, "I need to discuss that with [Slarti/DH] -- I'll get back to you [today/soon/next week/whatever]."  Even if it's something small.  Even if it seems like total overkill to check in with each other.

Your MIL has shown that she can't be trusted to share the whole story when the whole story doesn't get her what she wants.  You and your DH have shown each other that you have very different priorities at times, and that it can backfire in a huge way to not be on the same page when your MIL is involved.

From experiences with my own husband, there is a limit to what I can expect him to remember or extrapolate about what my priorities and expectations are.  If we have a situation like yours, where I'm not okay with another cake and he doesn't really care or think it's a big deal, I can talk to him after the fact and get him to admit that yes, he should have talked to me.  But if I ask him to use the cake situation as a lesson on my priorities for anything except cake situations in the future, he's not going to be able to do it.  Even if he says he will, he's not me, and he can't read my mind.

I think you may find the same thing with your DH.  It's really hard to step out of your own head and see someone else's point of view, and it's even harder when the conflict is that your DH doesn't think something is a big deal and you do.  When it's not a big deal to him, he's less likely to make the mental connection that he should talk to you about it.

So I think that, in the end, a better solution will be to just collectively withhold permission for anything from your MIL until you have a chance to talk to each other.  Unless it's an emergency, she shouldn't be getting any answers that are not coming from a joint decision, and explicitly stated as a joint decision.  It will save you having to remember to talk to each other when she goes to both of you for answers, and it will save both of you from having to backtrack (or look like you are backtracking).
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: buvezdevin on August 07, 2012, 03:20:43 PM
Dindrane's suggestion seems soooooooooo very good for handling SBF's MIL.  Not least because MIL cannot grasp that anyone would not agree with her, and this approach would underscore that in all things, big or small, the parent's decide, not the grandmother.  Plus, if both SBF and her DH consistently express the need to check with the other, it lessens any appearance to MIL that SBF is calling all the shots, or that there is anything to be gained by going to either first or second.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Xandraea on August 07, 2012, 04:22:12 PM
I ask going to disagree with just about everyone. I think you should let this go completely. It is a cake, an ice cream cake. It is ok fora for year old to have more than one cake. This is not the item to have a big confrontation with mil about.
My perspective: my mom is now in a nursing home and demented and very frail. The special times she had with my dds, her granddaughters, were so fun and what the girls remember from being little and spending time with grandma. 
Talk to your dh and get some kind of agreement. He obviously did not feel as strongly about cake issue as you. I think the only thing he did wrong was to not tell you right that day that dd got her ice cream cake. you are fortunate your mil loves your dd so much. Focus on the good things her. And tell your dh he does not have to be scared to tell you things he doesn't think you want to hear.

I'm sorry, but I really couldn't disagree with this more. As Slartibartfast said, normally their 'rule' is that the parent who feels more strongly prevails, so it was wrong to allow his mother to undermine his wife. It was very disrespectful, on both their parts. And while it is certainly good that grandma loves her grandchild, that doesn't mean that she gets to undermine her DIL's parenting decisions. I don't believe in this 'count your blessings' approach to a breach of trust, which is what this situation boils down to. And I think trivializing it as 'just a cake' minimizes the real issue, which is that grandma feels ok about undermining her DIL's decisions and co-opting her son to do so as well. That is never ok.

Throwing in my POD to Fleur.  This is NOT about the cake.  It's about the MIL's complete disregard for the parents' right to raise their own child, and the DH's failure to stand up to his mother, to stand by his wife, and a four-year-old learning that if she doesn't get what she wants, she cries to grandma, if mommy says no, ask daddy, and if she keeps secrets from mommy, she gets away with doing things mommy doesn't approve of.  What we have here is a failure to communicate.  Parents need to be a united front, discuss parenting decisions together, compromise when necessary and be honest. This going behind Slarti's back and hiding the do-over party from her is not about the cake, it's about dishonesty and disrespect.  I also totally agree with gramma dishes:


There are several things wrong here:

1.  MIL repeatedly took BBF to the ice cream store and repeatedly looked a birthday cakes with her, discussing what BBF would like on her cake, but NONE of this information was conveyed to the child's mother!

2.  MIL played DH and Slarti against each other with the second cake issue.  Deliberately I think. 

3.  I don't think Slartibartfast would have really objected to ice cream and a slice of cake or even a whole small cake on BBF's "real" birthday if she had been informed about it as long as it wasn't a reward for BBF's not appreciating the cake she actually had at her party.  But that information was kept from her.

4.  MIL deliberately let SBF know that she had been misled about prior events by letting her know that she was just now finishing up the second cake.  (Na na, na na na, your husband sided with ME, his MOTHER, over you, his WIFE!)

5.  I absolutely agree with WillyNilly that it is not normal for a child not to mention anything about that second party.  Any kid would certainly mention how much fun she had with Grandma and Daddy at the ice cream store and the beautiful cake and how all the other people sang to her, even if she was asleep when she got home.  She'd have mentioned it the next day unless she was specifically told NOT to mention it to Mommy.  No, no and NO!  You do NOT keep secrets from Mommy!!!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: BabyMama on August 08, 2012, 08:05:49 AM
POD to everyone. I am really upset for the OP--her MIL really undermined her and made herself look like the hero. "Oh, so sorry, BBF, your mommy didn't get you the cake I knew you wanted...but look! Gramma has your real cake right here! Yay me!" Even without the bulldozing of Slartibartfast's parenting decisions, MIL's not coming out in a good light.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Sophia on August 08, 2012, 08:38:39 AM
I can totally see myself actually writing down anything she seems to agree to unwillingly, and then making her sign it.  Her claiming afterward that she didn't hear what was said would drive me absolutely batty.
After the last update, I wouldn't be upset at OP's DH any longer.  That sounds like a normal misunderstanding on his part. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on August 08, 2012, 09:02:03 AM
POD to everyone. I am really upset for the OP--her MIL really undermined her and made herself look like the hero. "Oh, so sorry, BBF, your mommy didn't get you the cake I knew you wanted...but look! Gramma has your real cake right here! Yay me!" Even without the bulldozing of Slartibartfast's parenting decisions, MIL's not coming out in a good light.

Yeah, MIL set this whole thing up to take the specialness of BBF's birthday for her own credit.  Got the child all wound up about an ice cream cake, and then swooped in with her sneaky superhero cape and made it all about herself. 

It sounds so familiar.  My parents stole every first from my sister with her kids.  First birthday party, first haircut, first bike and rubbed sis's nose in it every time. 

(((hugs)))
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: MommyPenguin on August 08, 2012, 09:23:22 AM
I'm inclined to take the MIL's actions a little less seriously than the others.  If taking BabyBartfast to Baskin Robbins is a usual thing, then it seems to me not unnatural that while they're waiting for their ice cream to be made one day near BBF's birthday, the MIL might say, "Oh, look, there are some cakes here!  You're going to have a cake for your birthday in a few weeks, BBF!  Won't that be fun?"  BBF wanders over to look at cakes and has fun picking out her favorite, etc.  The next week, they're there, and BBF remembers looking at cakes and her birthday coming up and wanders over to look at cakes again.  Etc., for each of the next few weeks.  It's not so much the MIL pushing, as the MIL seeing the cakes, being reminded that BBF's birthday is coming up, and thinking it fun to let BBF look at them.  It may not have occurred to her (depending on whether previous cakes were similar to this one) that the cake would be significantly different... after all, a cake is a cake, right?

I do have to say that, as cool as the cake in the picture here is, for an *older* kid, it is nothing like what I'd expect from a cake for a little kid.  I can really see why BBF was surprised and disappointed to see it.  It looked black, or close to.  And while she might like all those things separately (dinosaurs because they're big and ferocious and make kids feel powerful, ballerinas because they're beautiful and graceful, space because it's exciting), put all those things together and it's a bit... eclectic.  I'm not saying the cake is bad, because I can totally see why people think it's awesome, but I think it's coolness is in a way much easier for adults to appreciate than kids.  I can see why BBF wasn't really sure what she wanted on a cake, and yet was disappointed with what she got... she was probably imagining the traditional cake with light-colored frosting and little puffs at the edges, and wasn't sure whether she wanted a picture of a ballerina or a dinosaur or whatever on it.

And it does sound like your DH had a valid misunderstanding with what the problem was.  He did clamp down on the parts that he probably felt made it like a party, and limited it to only those things that seemed reasonable for "recognizing somebody's birthday, on the day, while out and about."  Is having a small birthday cake and having the staff sing "Happy birthday!" so different from, say, when you go out for lunch on your birthday and mention to the waiter that it's your birthday, and they bring you out a dessert and clap and sing "Happy birthday?"  So I can see him thinking that it was within bounds.

I also have a similar issue with my mother, who desperately wants to spoil my girls.  And the degree to which we let her varies a bit, depending on how far away we live (too many snacks are not as much a big deal during a one-week visit as they are if we're living in the area and she's seeing them every week or so).  She's very much a gifts=love type of person, so she always wants to buy them treats, both of the food and of the toy variety.  If only I could get her to think that homeschool books=love.  Alas.  So there's a constant pressure to push back against what we see as "too much" and it can sometimes be rough on the relationship.  But if I were in your shoes?  I'd probably a) have the second cake be "today is your *actual* day," and not play it as a replacement cake, and be okay with it, and b) if not a, then I'd at least be reasonably satisfied with DH's explanation and agreement to discuss MIL ideas in the future so that you both understand exactly what is okay and what isn't of MIL's ideas.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: gramma dishes on August 08, 2012, 09:51:51 AM
...   I'd probably a) have the second cake be "today is your *actual* day," and not play it as a replacement cake, and be okay with it, and b) if not a, then I'd at least be reasonably satisfied with DH's explanation and agreement to discuss MIL ideas in the future so that you both understand exactly what is okay and what isn't of MIL's ideas.

Your whole post makes a lot of sense and I think is applicable to a lot of situations.  But the thing that makes this different is that it was all done behind Slartibartfast's back.  Very secretively.  And apparently (it seems) the child was also "encouraged" to keep the secret from Mommy.  That secretiveness changes the dynamics of this situation from what would be "normal".
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: MyFamily on August 08, 2012, 09:57:09 AM
I just went back and reread the OP's first post.  Why did your MIL talk to your daughter about her attitude?  I understand you were busy hosting, but you are allowing your MIL to take an active role in raising and disciplining your child.  It was your or your husband's job to stop hosting and take your daughter aside and tell her to knock it off. 

I believe your MIL is absolutely over-stepping her bounds, but honestly, I think you are just as much to blame for that as your husband is, and you really need to review how this relationship works. 
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: bonyk on August 08, 2012, 10:05:57 AM
I don't think that DD was necessarily coached to keep quiet.  First, I've never met a 4 year-old who could keep a secret.  Second, if DD was used to going for ice cream with MIL, and she was sleeping when she got home, it may just have slipped her mind by the time she saw the OP.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Shoo on August 08, 2012, 10:06:35 AM
I just went back and reread the OP's first post.  Why did your MIL talk to your daughter about her attitude?  I understand you were busy hosting, but you are allowing your MIL to take an active role in raising and disciplining your child.  It was your or your husband's job to stop hosting and take your daughter aside and tell her to knock it off. 

I believe your MIL is absolutely over-stepping her bounds, but honestly, I think you are just as much to blame for that as your husband is, and you really need to review how this relationship works. 

My impression is that the MIL wasn't exactly scolding the OP's daughter.  My guess is she was probably saying something like, "Grandma is going to get you a real birthday cake, but you have to pretend like you like this cake today.  Okay?  Grandma will get you that ice cream cake we talked about, but you have to be a good girl right now." 

Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: AngelicGamer on August 08, 2012, 10:22:44 AM
I just went back and reread the OP's first post.  Why did your MIL talk to your daughter about her attitude?  I understand you were busy hosting, but you are allowing your MIL to take an active role in raising and disciplining your child.  It was your or your husband's job to stop hosting and take your daughter aside and tell her to knock it off. 

I believe your MIL is absolutely over-stepping her bounds, but honestly, I think you are just as much to blame for that as your husband is, and you really need to review how this relationship works. 

My impression is that the MIL wasn't exactly scolding the OP's daughter.  My guess is she was probably saying something like, "Grandma is going to get you a real birthday cake, but you have to pretend like you like this cake today.  Okay?  Grandma will get you that ice cream cake we talked about, but you have to be a good girl right now."

Actually, the OP answered that in her update in post 75:

On the plus side, I asked what she said to Babybartfast at the party, and it was indeed along the lines of "You have to be gracious about the cake you've got" instead of promising her something else.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: WillyNilly on August 08, 2012, 10:30:32 AM
I just went back and reread the OP's first post.  Why did your MIL talk to your daughter about her attitude?  I understand you were busy hosting, but you are allowing your MIL to take an active role in raising and disciplining your child.  It was your or your husband's job to stop hosting and take your daughter aside and tell her to knock it off. 

I believe your MIL is absolutely over-stepping her bounds, but honestly, I think you are just as much to blame for that as your husband is, and you really need to review how this relationship works. 

My impression is that the MIL wasn't exactly scolding the OP's daughter.  My guess is she was probably saying something like, "Grandma is going to get you a real birthday cake, but you have to pretend like you like this cake today.  Okay?  Grandma will get you that ice cream cake we talked about, but you have to be a good girl right now."

I don't think that is MyFamily'sa point though (I could be wrong of course).

I *think* her point, which I agree with and mentioned earlier, is that MIL is taking over the role of raising the child in many ways.  The MIL is essentially co-parenting.  She's not in a strict "grandma" role but rather a "Mom2" role.

And that, IMO is unhealthy and dangerous [to the overall emotional health of the family unit].  Yes kids are a lot of work.  But that's what you signed up for when you had them.  Grandma should not be so entrenched in every day life that she replaces the role of parent for important things - and teaching how to behave at one's own birthday party is a definitely IMO a parenting role.  OP and her DH dropped the ball and straight up had MIL act as parent when they should have.  And it appears they do that a lot.

MIL could have stepped up and done hostess duties - serving cake is not an important parental role.  Instead OP served cake and let MIL step in and handle the real issue at hand, the emotional and mental growth of the OP's child.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Mental Magpie on August 08, 2012, 11:37:31 AM
I really don't see anything wrong with having MIL parenting sometimes.  That is some families' dynamics but it is not for other families.  The problem I see is that when MIL doesn't like what she is told about how to "parent" (I'm using that term lightly here) she does what she wants instead.  MIL is not crossing parenting boundaries because that is the dynamic the family has; she is crossing boundaries because she's not listening to what the primary caregivers say.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: SPuck on August 08, 2012, 11:44:30 AM
I really don't see anything wrong with having MIL parenting sometimes.

I actually agree with this. My neighbor admitted that her nanny and Mother-in-law were both like a second and third mother to her child. The difference is here is that when it comes down to the wire if the added on parents don't step back when asked to by the actually parents, you have boundary issues. I can imagine the birthday cake is a prelude to larger issues. There is nothing like the child's first summer camp experience being followed by an unplanned visit to Disney world after all.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 08, 2012, 12:19:52 PM
I just went back and reread the OP's first post.  Why did your MIL talk to your daughter about her attitude?  I understand you were busy hosting, but you are allowing your MIL to take an active role in raising and disciplining your child.  It was your or your husband's job to stop hosting and take your daughter aside and tell her to knock it off. 

I believe your MIL is absolutely over-stepping her bounds, but honestly, I think you are just as much to blame for that as your husband is, and you really need to review how this relationship works. 

My impression is that the MIL wasn't exactly scolding the OP's daughter.  My guess is she was probably saying something like, "Grandma is going to get you a real birthday cake, but you have to pretend like you like this cake today.  Okay?  Grandma will get you that ice cream cake we talked about, but you have to be a good girl right now."

I don't think that is MyFamily'sa point though (I could be wrong of course).

I *think* her point, which I agree with and mentioned earlier, is that MIL is taking over the role of raising the child in many ways.  The MIL is essentially co-parenting.  She's not in a strict "grandma" role but rather a "Mom2" role.

And that, IMO is unhealthy and dangerous [to the overall emotional health of the family unit].  Yes kids are a lot of work.  But that's what you signed up for when you had them.  Grandma should not be so entrenched in every day life that she replaces the role of parent for important things - and teaching how to behave at one's own birthday party is a definitely IMO a parenting role.  OP and her DH dropped the ball and straight up had MIL act as parent when they should have.  And it appears they do that a lot.

MIL could have stepped up and done hostess duties - serving cake is not an important parental role.  Instead OP served cake and let MIL step in and handle the real issue at hand, the emotional and mental growth of the OP's child.

MIL happened to be the one carrying Babybartfast into the kitchen when the cake was brought in.  DH and I were trying to find the birthday candles which I knew I had bought (which turned out to be in the diaper bag in my car) so it really was natural for MIL to say something.  You are right to an extent - MIL does play a pretty significant parenting role for Babybartfast, since we see her so frequently.  And I would say a good 90% of the time, she does enforce the same things we would (going to bed, not too much TV, manners, etc.)  It's just the 10% of the time when we disagree that she drives us nuts by being stubborn about doing things her way  ::)  She really is a lovely woman, and I'll say again that I really don't think any of this is malicious - she just lives her life in a very by-the-by kind of way.  This manifests as being passive aggressive sometimes (never confronting someone head-on), rarely planning things ahead of time with any finality, constantly being surprised when things turn out differently than she expected, and honestly being confused why the rest of the world doesn't drift through life the same way she does.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 08, 2012, 02:25:02 PM
Another eye-roller, which isn't directly related but does show how MIL thinks -

Babybartfast got a late birthday present from MIL today: a box of ladybugs.  1600 live ladybugs, to be precise.  Babybartfast does love ladybugs, but a) we don't have THAT big a yard, nor do we live out in the country, and b) the window in Babybartfast's room has a wonky seal which lets ladybugs in EVERY year.  Babybartfast spends a month or so each spring catching ladybugs when she should be napping.  Releasing 1600 ladybugs in our yard will probably result in another infestation.

I do appreciate that MIL got something Babybartfast will like, and I appreciate how she wants to make Babybartfast happy, but sometimes she just doesn't think.  Babybartfast now believes she as 1600 new pets and she's going to be kind of disappointed when we have to let them go.  I think we'll split them into two groups - let a few loose in the yard, so from now on when Babybartfast sees a ladybug she'll think it's one of those, and we'll let the rest loose in the nearest field.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: taffywduck on August 08, 2012, 02:45:25 PM
Another eye-roller, which isn't directly related but does show how MIL thinks -

Babybartfast got a late birthday present from MIL today: a box of ladybugs.  1600 live ladybugs, to be precise. 

**snip**

Wow, talk about a weird present to impose on you with no prior discussion! You're a better person than I because that box would not have made it into my house and MIL would have 1600 bugs to deal with herself.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: MyFamily on August 08, 2012, 02:47:56 PM
WillyNilly explained what I was trying to say very nicely.  Thank you, WillyNilly!!

I'm going to be really blunt here, but, Slartibartfast, you can't have it both ways.  You can't have MIL co-parent and then put restrictions on her co-parenting.  It doesn't work that way for her.  If you give it to her, she is going to expect to have that right 100%.  Every time you allow her to do this, she will assume she can do it anytime she wants.  You either have to accept this and work with her; or you have to take steps to set-up stricter boundaries.  If allowing her to do this makes your life easier, than that 10% of the time is the payment you will have to pay now; and it may be larger as your kids get older.  It isn't fair to her to expect her to have parenting rights when it works for you and to not have those rights when it doesn't work for you.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Jones on August 08, 2012, 02:49:26 PM
Oh my goodness.

I have held off on commenting, as other people have succintly said what I was thinking, but I have to jump in here.

She sent you a box of 1600 live ladybugs for your daughter. What on earth did she think you were going to DO with them? One or two ladybugs in an aquarium she put together herself, fine; but 1600 bugs in a box?

Good heavens. I don't know what I would think about that.

ETA: Totally release the majority of them at MIL's house. Extra points if the releasing happens inside the house.  >:D
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: ClaireC79 on August 08, 2012, 02:52:58 PM
I think those 'pets' need to be homed at 'Grandma's' - as a special thing for them to share (or if you can't do that the local park/field and everytime you go she can 'visit' them)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: wolfie on August 08, 2012, 02:56:22 PM
Oh my goodness.

I have held off on commenting, as other people have succintly said what I was thinking, but I have to jump in here.

She sent you a box of 1600 live ladybugs for your daughter. What on earth did she think you were going to DO with them? One or two ladybugs in an aquarium she put together herself, fine; but 1600 bugs in a box?

Good heavens. I don't know what I would think about that.

ETA: Totally release the majority of them at MIL's house. Extra points if the releasing happens inside the house.  >:D

They sell them at my local Agway - I believe they are meant to control aphids in your garden. They come in boxes of hundreds - she probably couldn't get any less. Not that that makes it okay but if you are going to get ladybugs you are going to get a lot of them.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 08, 2012, 02:56:34 PM
WillyNilly explained what I was trying to say very nicely.  Thank you, WillyNilly!!

I'm going to be really blunt here, but, Slartibartfast, you can't have it both ways.  You can't have MIL co-parent and then put restrictions on her co-parenting.  It doesn't work that way for her.  If you give it to her, she is going to expect to have that right 100%.  Every time you allow her to do this, she will assume she can do it anytime she wants.  You either have to accept this and work with her; or you have to take steps to set-up stricter boundaries.  If allowing her to do this makes your life easier, than that 10% of the time is the payment you will have to pay now; and it may be larger as your kids get older.  It isn't fair to her to expect her to have parenting rights when it works for you and to not have those rights when it doesn't work for you.

Quite honestly, if it were just me, I'd probably be stricter with her.  DH needs a say in parenting our girls too, though, and a lot of the things that drive me crazy about MIL don't even register on his radar.  (Not that he necessarily agrees with her, just that he shrugs and says "that's how she is" and that's that.)  So life dealing with MIL is a constant series of compromises between me and DH about how upset to be (and how hard a line to take) whenever she does something we don't like.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Outdoor Girl on August 08, 2012, 03:05:22 PM
OT re:  the ladybugs.  If you have a local horticultural society or botanical gardens, you might check with them to donate most of the lady bugs.  Let BBF release them and then go back to visit 'her' friends.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: JoyinVirginia on August 08, 2012, 03:13:20 PM
Ladybugs! Hooray!  Can I have some? They will go well with the swallowtail caterpillars chomping down on my fennel plants!
I can no longer be objective. Yes, your mil has a somewhat different view of the world, and I just love her! I bet she knows all the people who work at that ice cream store by name, too,, so of course you let them help celebrate BBF birthday!
Yes, let most of the ladybugs go at a park or field or even at yard of neighbor with lots of plants. your daughter is lucky to have a grandmother like your MIL. You..... will always have great mil stories to tell! Yeah,  that's the ticket!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: FauxFoodist on August 08, 2012, 07:07:45 PM
Could you "compromise" and keep the LOVELY live ladybug present at MIL's house?  >:D
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: SPuck on August 09, 2012, 06:56:00 AM
On the opposite end of objectivity, its 1600 ladybugs that if let loose near buildings are going to be invading people's homes and probably end up getting stomped and killed. What is a sweet gift one moment ends up turning sour as you have to figure out what do do with them. This is like a situation where grandparents take their grandchildren to get baptized or their hair cut. It is not physically harming them, but the situation is troubling.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Fleur on August 09, 2012, 08:26:57 AM
On the opposite end of objectivity, its 1600 ladybugs that if let loose near buildings are going to be invading people's homes and probably end up getting stomped and killed for once. What is a sweet gift one moment ends up turning sour as you have to figure out what do do with them. This is like a situation where grandparents take their grandchildren to get baptized or their hair cut. It is not physically harming them, but the situation is troubling.

Yes, exactly this. What a bizarre gift.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: cutejellybeen on August 09, 2012, 08:56:55 AM
I'm more than curious what she expected you guys to DO with that many lady bugs!!

Your MIL sounds trying. I think you have a lot of patience to deal with her and her not thinking. I fear that my MIL will be similar. My parents will also try to control - but will do it much more openly as opposed to PA (meant or not)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Shoo on August 09, 2012, 08:58:18 AM
1600 insects.  That's what your MIL gave your daughter.  Lady bugs are kind of cute, but they are still insects.  What does she think you are going to do with all of those insects?  If it were me, I'd give them back to her and make her take them to HER house.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Harriet Jones on August 09, 2012, 09:01:12 AM
Another vote for "keeping" the ladybugs at Grandma's house.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: JenJay on August 09, 2012, 09:11:14 AM
Is there a local botanical garden that might appreciate them? I'd call around and see. Then you can release a few at home, talk to DD about how your little yard doesn't have enough aphids, etc. for all those ladybugs and they'd be much safer at the special gardens. Then take her and make a big, special deal about how happy they'll be and promise to come back and visit her ladybugs soon.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: BabyMama on August 09, 2012, 10:58:49 AM
Huh. You can buy ladybugs for a low, low price on Amazon. Who knew.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Lauren on August 09, 2012, 11:04:08 AM
Quote
I really don't see anything wrong with having MIL parenting sometimes.  That is some families' dynamics but it is not for other families.  The problem I see is that when MIL doesn't like what she is told about how to "parent" (I'm using that term lightly here) she does what she wants instead.  MIL is not crossing parenting boundaries because that is the dynamic the family has; she is crossing boundaries because she's not listening to what the primary caregivers say.

Exactly. I grew up spending three days a week at my grandparents. Until I was 12 my grandmother would be babysitting us for about three hours two nights a week. But she was always my grandma, not my mother. She never, ever disagreed with a decision my parents made. To me anyways. I realised she'd disagreed with a lot when they were discussing my auntie and how my mum and grandma thought she was too harsh on her kids at times, and I asked why she never said anything. Her response was that they are my auntie's children and that she gets to make that decision, not her. I asked if she agreed with everything my parents did and her response was 'of course not, but I'll back them every time'

The thought of my grandmother taking me somewhere behind my mother's back is just unfathomable to me. SB MIL is not co-parenting, she's trying to parent against the wishes of the actual parents.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: azleaneo on August 09, 2012, 06:30:15 PM
SBF, just so you don't think that you were imagining things, Baskin Robbins does have single serve ice cream cakes called cake bites. They're on the website under ice cream novelties and treats. I got one for my DF and they even wrote his name on it for me. They may not have had them in the store your MIL went to, but you weren't making it up.

I think your MIL really wanted the birthday cake to be something special between your daughter and her, but I think she forgot just how important birthday are for the MOM! This is just as much celebrating for you.

Also, the ladybugs thing is just weird, I would actually ask her what she was thinking on that one. This is one of those things where I wouldn't believe it to be rude to ask her "So why a box of ladybugs?" I'm sure there's a polite way to ask that, but I can't think of one of the top of my head.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on August 09, 2012, 06:39:16 PM
Huh. You can buy ladybugs for a low, low price on Amazon. Who knew.

I bought some for the rose bushes outside at the Kroger garden center.  The aphids were overwhelming the bushes and they seem to be doing much better now.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Peregrine on August 09, 2012, 06:53:34 PM
I can sort of see why MIL may have gone with a cake vs. single serve thing.  If there are three people going out for ice cream, MIL, DH, and BBF, that's three potential people having ice cream cake.  Each probably had a slice.  If everyone wanted cake, why buy three separate single serve pieces of cake? 

I can totally see MIL and DH taking baby in for a treat on her birthday and things sort of snowballing.  From a store employees perspective, I would often ask questions as someone was buying something....

Employee:  Oh I see someone is having a birthday!
BBF:  Yay it's my B-Day
MIL:  Yup we came to get a little treat for the b-day girl
Employee:  How fun, we should sing to her!
MIL/Dh:  Ummm ok, fine.

Thats not to say that this situation didn't happen because of a larger issue of not respecting boundaries....But I certainly don't think there is malicious intent for the MIL to top SBF's birthday celebration for her kid, then a collusion between MIL and DH trying to get BBF to lie to her mom and hide the extra b-day celebration.  I guess this is one of those situations where I wouldn't apply malice when it was possibly stupidity or just plain a snow-balled situation.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Reason on August 10, 2012, 02:25:23 PM
I can sort of see why MIL may have gone with a cake vs. single serve thing.  If there are three people going out for ice cream, MIL, DH, and BBF, that's three potential people having ice cream cake.  Each probably had a slice.  If everyone wanted cake, why buy three separate single serve pieces of cake? 

I can totally see MIL and DH taking baby in for a treat on her birthday and things sort of snowballing.  From a store employees perspective, I would often ask questions as someone was buying something....

Employee:  Oh I see someone is having a birthday!
BBF:  Yay it's my B-Day
MIL:  Yup we came to get a little treat for the b-day girl
Employee:  How fun, we should sing to her!
MIL/Dh:  Ummm ok, fine.

Thats not to say that this situation didn't happen because of a larger issue of not respecting boundaries....But I certainly don't think there is malicious intent for the MIL to top SBF's birthday celebration for her kid, then a collusion between MIL and DH trying to get BBF to lie to her mom and hide the extra b-day celebration.  I guess this is one of those situations where I wouldn't apply malice when it was possibly stupidity or just plain a snow-balled situation.

If that happened, why would the husband try to conceal it though, instead of just saying what happened and how the situation snowballed out of control due to a store employee's enthusiasm?
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 10, 2012, 02:32:15 PM
DH didn't try to conceal it, he just doesn't talk much  :P  I've also been really out of it recently (see new baby and lack of sleep, above), so we really don't take the time to sit and swap stories about our day much anymore.

Again, I don't believe this was malicious on DH's part, and I'm confident Babybartfast wasn't coached to lie.  If anything, MIL likes to encourage Babybartfast to tell me all about any adventures" right away, especially when it's something about which she suspects I'll have something to say  ::)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: MacadamiaNut on August 10, 2012, 03:06:34 PM
<snip>

Again, I don't believe this was malicious on DH's part, and I'm confident Babybartfast wasn't coached to lie.  If anything, MIL likes to encourage Babybartfast to tell me all about any adventures" right away, especially when it's something about which she suspects I'll have something to say  ::)

Makes total sense.  If BBF was coached to lie or hide the cake secret, MIL wouldn't have just spilled the beans like that when she spoke to you about how she was eating the last bit cake.

MIL sure did have her cake and eat it too though.  In more ways than one! ;D
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Xandraea on August 10, 2012, 04:22:43 PM
1600 insects.  That's what your MIL gave your daughter.  Lady bugs are kind of cute, but they are still insects.  What does she think you are going to do with all of those insects?  If it were me, I'd give them back to her and make her take them to HER house.

I lived in a rural area in KY for two years and I had to vacuum (at least) THREE TIMES PER DAY because of the freakin' Asian Beetle invasion.  They'd come in somehow, by the hundreds, and die all over the windowsills and floor around windows, after leaving brown spiraling trails everywhere.  My dogs had the most horrific breath when they ate the ones I missed.  It was ridiculous.  Come to find out, Asian Beetles were brought in as a "solution" to another bug problem, but they multiplied out of control. 

I would not consider 1600 Ladybugs to be a gift.  Add my vote to those for releasing the insects at grandma's house, if you can't find a local plant nursery that could make use of them.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: bansidhe on August 10, 2012, 05:55:45 PM
(http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y247/wendymarlowe/Sonjascake.jpg)
(BALLERINA ASTRONAUT BIKER DINOSAURS IN SPACE!  Cool, right?  She's played with the dinosaurs several times since then!)

I'm way late to this thread. Sounds like the whole thing is blowing over and it was more miscommunication than ill intentions. Yay!

I just wanted to say that you need to save a picture of the Coolest Cake Ever. Ten to one when your daughter gets older, she'll remember that cake, not the ice cream cake.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 26, 2012, 06:59:34 PM
Slartibartfast -- did you know your cake pic is now making the rounds on FB? (Cake Wrecks posted it on their page as a positive; I just came across it in my newsfeed)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: laud_shy_girl on November 26, 2012, 07:25:52 PM
I love that it's had 942 likes and 240 shares. It's the next CW legend.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: LEMon on November 26, 2012, 07:26:11 PM
Where?  I went looking for it and can't find it.
(Thanks in advance)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Jones on November 26, 2012, 07:45:19 PM
Where?  I went looking for it and can't find it.
(Thanks in advance)
Let's see if this  works (https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=10151109489925824&set=a.159430530823.129724.24601455823&type=1&theater)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: JenJay on November 26, 2012, 07:59:19 PM
I logged into my FB account and did a search for "cake wrecks". It's the most recent pic they've placed in their timeline album. Crazy!!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 26, 2012, 08:46:58 PM
I am in a similar relationship, but DS is now 14, so pretty good about knowing when not to go along with his grandmother. I don't believe your MIL is malicious, but I also don't believe she thinks you will ever follow through with these decisions. With you and your DH not being completely on the same page, these kinds of conflicts will continue.

OTOH, even if we had a birthday party on a day that was not my DS' actual birthday, we had a family party for DS. That may be something to do in the future. As long as your MIL has so much unsupervised time with your daughter, you will have situations like this.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 26, 2012, 09:22:24 PM
Slartibartfast -- did you know your cake pic is now making the rounds on FB? (Cake Wrecks posted it on their page as a positive; I just came across it in my newsfeed)

That's fantastic  ;D ;D ;D  The extra-cool part is that my friend who made this met Jen (the lady who does CakeWrecks) at DragonCon this year and they're always teasing each other online now.  And I don't think Jen knows it was my friend who made this cake  :P
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: KenveeB on November 26, 2012, 10:01:37 PM
Slartibartfast -- did you know your cake pic is now making the rounds on FB? (Cake Wrecks posted it on their page as a positive; I just came across it in my newsfeed)

That's fantastic  ;D ;D ;D  The extra-cool part is that my friend who made this met Jen (the lady who does CakeWrecks) at DragonCon this year and they're always teasing each other online now.  And I don't think Jen knows it was my friend who made this cake  :P

I just saw this on CW's FB feed and came here to make sure you knew about it! :D
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on November 26, 2012, 10:10:32 PM
I guess you could call this an update: Babybartfast still plays with the dinosaurs (there was an anklyosaurus in addition to the T-rex).  I found a pirate ship backdrop (like this one (http://images.amazon.com/images/G/01/toys/detail-page/B000OC2W0K-1-lg.jpg)) which is in no way the correct size for the dinosaurs but she plays with them anyway.  Along with a random assortment of her other small toys - cars, princesses, dragons, astronauts, army men, plastic frogs, etc.  It's fascinating to just sit outside her room when she doesn't know I'm there and eavesdrop on her play sessions  :P
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: rigs32 on November 26, 2012, 10:18:52 PM
I shared it on my fb page just now, too.  I find the confused comments the best cause who cares if it makes sense.... it's just awesome!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Iris on November 26, 2012, 10:41:47 PM
Add me to the people who just checked facebook and went "Hey! I know that cake!" :)
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: diesel_darlin on November 26, 2012, 10:50:10 PM
I just "liked" Cake Wrecks so that I could "like" the picture of that cake.  ;D
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: kckgirl on November 27, 2012, 05:09:13 AM
I just "liked" Cake Wrecks so that I could "like" the picture of that cake.  ;D

I did the same!
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Itza on November 27, 2012, 07:05:44 AM
I just "liked" Cake Wrecks so that I could "like" the picture of that cake.  ;D

I did the same!

Hmm, I managed to click like and share without liking Cake Wrecks.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Syfygeek on November 27, 2012, 08:17:54 AM
I love this comment!

Ooh, ooh. Cake Rex!

And I'm glad that BBF is still playing with the tutu wearing dino biker
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: sparksals on December 01, 2012, 06:11:02 PM
I just "liked" Cake Wrecks so that I could "like" the picture of that cake.  ;D

I did the same!

Hmm, I managed to click like and share without liking Cake Wrecks.

Right.  The point of Cake wrecks is not to praise the cakes on it.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: crella on December 01, 2012, 06:23:05 PM
They do have pages of good cakes, though.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: sparksals on December 01, 2012, 07:17:34 PM
Didn't know that.  I stopped going because I thought it got a bit mean at times.

Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: Slartibartfast on December 01, 2012, 07:56:28 PM
Sundays are "Sunday Sweets" where she showcases some truly amazing and gorgeous creations.  It often has a nerdy slant because Jen is a nerd, but so am I so I'm cool with that  :P
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: KenveeB on December 01, 2012, 08:01:56 PM
Didn't know that.  I stopped going because I thought it got a bit mean at times.

She does make a point of only using professional cakes. So she's not just making fun of amateurs trying their best in their home kitchens, it's people who do this for a living and should be able to do better!

The Sunday Sweets are truly spectacular. A lot of the cakes she posts on her FB feed are amateur efforts that she posts because she likes them, not as wrecks.
Title: Re: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75
Post by: laud_shy_girl on December 02, 2012, 05:35:20 AM
Sunday sweets is one of the highlights of my week. I would be over the moon to get a cake on CW.
I would have cake-geek squeals of delight.  ;D

I am trying to think of what to have for my little girls first birthday and I am totally going to try and come up with something as cool as this. Ohhh! we could start a cake thread in TFACB!