Author Topic: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75  (Read 37532 times)

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Reason

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I don't have anything to add, but the cake is awesome.

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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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.

TootsNYC

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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."

Arianoor

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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.

JoyinVirginia

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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?

scansons

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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. 

Arianoor

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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.   ;)

bonyk

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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.

Salvage3

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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.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 02:48:06 PM by Salvage3 »

Judah

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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.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

Arianoor

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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.

gramma dishes

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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.

Slartibartfast

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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 :)

Piratelvr1121

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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. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Dindrane

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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.