Author Topic: MIL is peeved at me - is she right? (inc. pic of awesome cake!) NEW UPDATE #75  (Read 37618 times)

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TootsNYC

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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."

johelenc1

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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 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.

MacadamiaNut

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I just came for the cake.  And I could not leave without saying it is an awesome cake, indeed!
Paperweights, for instance - has anyone ever established what, when, and why
paper has to be weighed down? ::) ~Don Aslett

QuiltLady

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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.

SoCalVal

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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.



Iris

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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.  :)
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TootsNYC

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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?

O'Dell

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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.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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TootsNYC

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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.

Iris

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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.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

thunderroad

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"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. 

magicdomino

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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.

Iris

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"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)
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Slartibartfast

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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  :)

thunderroad

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"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!