Author Topic: Babysitting and Haircuts  (Read 16291 times)

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Mental Magpie

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Babysitting and Haircuts
« on: January 17, 2013, 07:35:07 PM »
This was relayed to me secondhand via Eagle (DF).  Niece is the daughter of his brother (FBIL) and BIL's wife (FSIL).  FSIL wants our advice because she knows I read E-Hell and because we are removed from the situation yet close enough to care about our Niece (her words).

Niece will be 2 in April and, since she first started growing hair, has had what we like to call Einstein Hair: it is all over the place and untamable.  Within the last 6 months or so, it has finally grown long enough that it, for the most part, lies flat.  FBIL and FSIL were finally over the frustration of her having unruly hair...or so they thought.

Just before Christmas, FBIL and FSIL dropped off Niece at her Grandma's (not my FMIL, but SIL's mom) for a fun day.  When they returned to pick up her that evening they discovered that Niece's bangs had been cut.  FBIL asked Grandma who cut Niece's hair; Grandma said it wasn't cut, that it had always looked like that.  FBIL again insisted for an answer to his question.  Grandma denied it, said that she hadn't cut Niece's hair and that it had always looked like that.  FBIL, FSIL, and Niece immediately left.

I don't know how much time passed between events, but Grandma called her other daughter and confessed to having cut Niece's bangs.  Other Daughter called her sister (FSIL) and told her that their mother said she had cut Niece's bangs.  Now Grandpa is demanding an apology from FBIL for the way he treated Grandma*.  FBIL refuses to apologize (I think rightfully so).

The question is, how do they proceed from here?  FSIL wants to maintain a relationship with her parents but she is furious.  I'm pretty sure FBIL is still so angry that he doesn't even want to think about them or about resuming a relationship with them.  FSIL doesn't know how to tell them that they erred (big time!) and that she can't trust them to watch their daughter until they can rebuild that trust.  She wants to write a letter but doesn't know if that will be PA or if she should just do it in person.  Any suggestions?

ETA: the reason for the *.

*The Eagle and I don't know what FBIL said to Grandma, but it was probably direct and upset language (not swearing or anything, but rightfully upset/angry and telling Grandma so).
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 07:50:55 PM by Mental Magpie »
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SPuck

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 07:38:58 PM »
I feel like this is a situation where they are never going to see themselves as wrong, and the only thing I can suggest is not leaving them alone with the baby and leaving any time they try to undermine the parents when they are around.

Ceallach

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 07:40:59 PM »
I think it should definitely be addressed either via letter or in person, otherwise it will simmer for a long time. 
 
"Mom, we were disappointed that you cut our daughter's hair without telling us.   But what really upset us was that you lied to us about it - I don't understand why you would lie and I find that hurtful.   We need to be able to trust you to be honest with us if you are caring for our child."   

I'm confused as to what Grandpa is upset about though - what does FBIL have to apologise for?   Did he get excessively angry and be rude to his mother about the incident?   Because I can't see a connection there as to why Grandpa thinks FBIL should apologise to Grandma because Grandma lied to him?
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Cami

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 07:45:24 PM »
No apology and no more time spent alone with my child.

JenJay

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 07:47:38 PM »
I'd be miffed that she cut the child's hair but I'd be really mad that she lied to me about it and tried to play it off like I was the crazy one. And it sounds like Gran told Aunt who told Mom so where does Grandpa get off demanding Dad apologize??

I think a letter is okay because, personally, I probably couldn't keep my composure in person. I know DH couldn't. Also a face-to-face gives the grandparents an opportunity to argue. I'd say something like "You lied to me about what happened to my child because you knew I'd be upset. It doesn't matter that it was 'just' a hair trim, it was a lie, and now I'm questioning whether or not I can trust you. We've decided to find another sitter for awhile."

Ceallach

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 07:48:05 PM »
No apology and no more time spent alone with my child.

Oh and I agree with this of course!   They've lost trust and therefore lost babysitting rights for the foreseeable future.
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Rusty

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 07:48:17 PM »
Sorry if I sound dumb, but what is a "bang".

Mental Magpie

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 07:51:37 PM »
Sorry if I sound dumb, but what is a "bang".

Also known as "fringe" in the UK.  It's the hair over the eyes that has been cut short to sit above the eyebrows (this is speaking in very general terms).
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Mental Magpie

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 07:52:55 PM »
Sorry, I forgot to add what the * meant, which is that FBIL probably just told Gradnma to her face that he couldn't believe she was lying to them.  This is only speculation because the Eagle and I don't know exactly what was said, but we know FBIL pretty well.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Rusty

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 07:55:07 PM »
Thanks Maggie,  well I would be furious if it was my little one and the grandmother should be told she was out of line.  Sometimes a little brother or sister might decide to give baby a "haircut", but for anyone else, its out of order.

LEMon

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 08:27:13 PM »
The other part that is bothering me, besides the lying to their face, is the evasion of all responsibility.  They were not told directly that 'yes, she did it'.  Instead she uses someone else to get them that information.  She has not talked directly to them at all.  No apology.  And now she is having her husband demand an apology for her upset.

The adult child of this grandparent needs to be the one to find a way to say (in their words, these are just my thoughts)  "We are upset you lied to us.  We are upset you acted behind our back by cutting our child's hair without permission.  We are upset you refuse to take responsibility for your action.  What do you plan to do to resolve this?  Tell us why we should trust you to spend time with our child alone again?  Mom, right now I don't trust you - I don't trust you not to act as you wish and then not take responsibility.  I don't trust you not to lie to my/my spouse's face."

Mom needs to understand she crossed major lines.  And I wouldn't be too happy with Dad either.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 08:42:15 PM »
I would have been furious.  I would send the following to her mother.

"Mom, I an extremely disappointed in you.  You first take it upon yourself to cut my daughters hair with out asking my permission and then you compound the problem by lying about it. I think it best we keep some distance for a while until I am calmer about your actions and can discuss it with you without seeing red."

Then I'd send the following to her Dad.
"Dad, mother broke a trust I had in her and then she lied to me and my husband. You are out of line asking me or my husband to apologize to her.  You should instead be counseling her on her need to apologize to us and discuss ways that tips he can repair the damage she has done to our relationship."

*** and I have screwed up priorities because this would anger me so much more than the GM who did a pseudo baptism discussed in the other thread. 

AmethystAnne

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 08:57:47 PM »
The grandmother overstepped and then lied about it. When the Dad expressed his displeasure, the grandfather expects him to apologize to the grandmother?  >:(  The grandmother's action were terrible, but the expectation of an apology is the topper.

My MIL took DD to the hairdresser 2 days before School pictures were to be taken. DD's new hair style depended upon the use of a curling iron, which were brand new (and expensive) 30 years ago. DD's hair looks yucky in the picture, and it still makes me mad when I think of it now.

doodlemor

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 09:12:05 PM »
This behavior would have made me livid.  How arrogant to change the appearance of someone else's child, even it it is a grandchild.  To lie about it just compounds the whole thing.

I think that SIL and BIL should make themselves scarce for awhile, and be very aloof.  Then they should write a carefully worded letter to both grandparents explaining the boundary breaking and the losing of trust due to the lie.  I think that the grandparents will realize the gravity of their behavior if they don't see the child for awhile.

Even when the incident is smoothed over and in the past, I don't think the child should be left alone with them until she is considerably older.  They sound like a duo who would have no qualms about breaking boundaries whenever the mood hits.  I suspect that the whole thing happened because grandma didn't like the child's hairstyle, and presumed that she knew better.

SPuck

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Re: Babysitting and Haircuts
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 09:37:15 PM »
My MIL took DD to the hairdresser 2 days before School pictures were to be taken. DD's new hair style depended upon the use of a curling iron, which were brand new (and expensive) 30 years ago. DD's hair looks yucky in the picture, and it still makes me mad when I think of it now.

What did you do after that occurred?