Author Topic: MIL gets weird  (Read 8551 times)

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GSNW

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MIL gets weird
« on: March 04, 2013, 01:04:11 AM »
DH and I have been a little distant with MIL since her last round of misbehavior (last October), and she pulled some weird stunts at Thanksgiving too.  DH will drive up to see her sometimes and the three of us have had lunch a handful of times.  MIL got a dog, which I think is a great idea because she is VERY good and loving to her pets.  Being avid pet-lovers is one thing we have in common!

DH and I have a new puppy who is just wonderful.  We have another dog, and three cats (did I say we love our pets?  yes, we do!) and a bearded dragon that spends most of his time in my classroom.  MIL has never been "odd" about our pets before Puppy joined the family, now she is just being strange.

For example, she will call DH and say, "Put my Grand Puppy on the phone!" and proceed to coo at her over the phone.  Or she will say, "I would really like to swing by this weekend and see Grand Puppy!  She misses her Grandma!"  She will cuddle Puppy and say, "Grandma loves you, oh yes!  I will spoil you!"  It's just weird.  I mean, I don't refer to MIL's dog as my SIL. 

Now, Puppy is all kinds of adorable and everyone loves her, but MIL has never referred to any of our other pets as her "grandkids" or any mutation of such before this.  Is there a polite way DH can tell her (because I'm not touching this one) to stop?  The only suggestion I have so far is that he beandip when she asks to talk "with" Puppy on the phone.

It might be worth mentioning that it's pretty clear to others at this point that DH and I are not having kids.  We've been married almost ten years and never considered it seriously, and while I still have time left in which I could safely procreate, neither of us cares to and we've been pretty open with our families about that stance.

Nora

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 02:17:56 AM »
I've truly got nothing. That's really strange behavior to me.  :o
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

crella

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 02:29:40 AM »
Quote
I mean, I don't refer to MIL's dog as my SIL.

I'd be tempted to , at this point :D ;D

Calypso

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 02:33:16 AM »
Why tell her to stop? What harm does it do?

sweetonsno

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 03:44:26 AM »
I vote for just ignoring it and being happy that she's so nice to your fur family. If you want to say something, you could joke that MIL needs to be careful "or Fifi will be jealous/you'll hurt Tibbles' feelings." I'd just see this as a sign that your new puppy is irresistibly cute.

It seems harmless, so unless she's actually hearing the dog talk back or conversing with inanimate objects (or losing things), I wouldn't bother to address it.

YummyMummy66

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 06:33:38 AM »
It could be becasue this little guy is a puppy and heck, aren't all puppies cute? 

MIL may realize that she is not getting any grandchildren from her son, (don't know if there are any other children, siblings).

Like others, I am not sure why this is such a big deal?  Because she doesn't say the same thing about the other animals?

What I would do, is say, for her birthday or next holiday, (Easter is coming up if you celebrate that), get her a small basket with a card and sign all pet's names, something to a grandmother from her grandchildren.  Or vice versa for a birthday card, from her "grandchildren". 

My MIL loves her furbabies or girls as she calls them, (two cats), and for all birthdays, we always get cards from them. 

SPuck

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2013, 07:37:34 AM »
I wouldn't call it weird, unless you think she is using the "grand puppy" as some kind of game to get grand children.

Curly Wurly Doggie Breath

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2013, 08:08:11 AM »
I need a pic of said Puppy  :D

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Secret

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2013, 09:20:07 AM »
Before hubby and I had kids, my mom called my dog her granddog.  We thought nothing of it.  She never spoke to her on the phone, but she always asked, "How's my granddog doing?" when we'd talk on the phone.  I don't think it is that odd. (or maybe I"m that odd!)

Also, I need a photo of this puppy to better judge as well.

Zilla

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2013, 09:25:35 AM »
Another vote for not weird.  My mom talks to my pup on the phone as well.  Sometimes a pet will steal your heart unexpectedly and that's what it sounds like with mil.   ;D

bopper

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2013, 09:56:54 AM »
Can she skype with you to see the puppy?

WillyNilly

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2013, 10:23:05 AM »
Obviously having or not having kids is 100% your choice and its 100% totally cool to decie against it.  But its not ok to think your decision to not have children has absolutely no impact on your extended families, such as your MIL. She probably has some emotions she needs to work through on that stance, and that's normal and to be expected.

So here she is, working through those emotions, and here she is a recent dog owner (maybe she had dogs in the past as well, but from your post it sounds like it'd be a while without and now she's got one) so "whoo-hoo dogs are great!" is at the forefront of her mind, and hey, who doesn't love a squishy adorable puppy?  So she's transferring some of her emotions to the puppy as she works through accepting she won't get grandkids [from you two]. This kinda sounds like a really obvious Psych 101 thing.

I don't see how its harmful so I don't think you should forbid it, or bring it up.  But you can cut back on your participation on the weirdness of course - you don't need to put the puppy on the phone for example, or allow more drop-by visits then you are comfortable with.  Basically let her act however she wants to act on her end, and you and DH just act the way you prefer on your end, and eventually it will all settle down.

sparksals

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2013, 10:43:27 AM »
Obviously having or not having kids is 100% your choice and its 100% totally cool to decie against it.  But its not ok to think your decision to not have children has absolutely no impact on your extended families, such as your MIL. She probably has some emotions she needs to work through on that stance, and that's normal and to be expected.

So here she is, working through those emotions, and here she is a recent dog owner (maybe she had dogs in the past as well, but from your post it sounds like it'd be a while without and now she's got one) so "whoo-hoo dogs are great!" is at the forefront of her mind, and hey, who doesn't love a squishy adorable puppy?  So she's transferring some of her emotions to the puppy as she works through accepting she won't get grandkids [from you two]. This kinda sounds like a really obvious Psych 101 thing.

I don't see how its harmful so I don't think you should forbid it, or bring it up.  But you can cut back on your participation on the weirdness of course - you don't need to put the puppy on the phone for example, or allow more drop-by visits then you are comfortable with.  Basically let her act however she wants to act on her end, and you and DH just act the way you prefer on your end, and eventually it will all settle down.

I normally agree with you, WN, but on this one I couldn't disagree more.  Having kids ... or not... is a very personal decision.  While it may impact family in terms of feeling disappointed, it is something they have to accept.  Many people make decisions that impact their family indirectly.  It is just something that has to be accepted. 

It is one thing if MIL was assertive and said she felt disappointment, that would be completely acceptable and welcome.  But PA behaviour is mostly a sign of manipulation and if she is behaving this way in order to communicate her unhappiness, she is barking up the wrong tree.   


LadyL

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2013, 10:46:58 AM »
Obviously having or not having kids is 100% your choice and its 100% totally cool to decie against it.  But its not ok to think your decision to not have children has absolutely no impact on your extended families, such as your MIL. She probably has some emotions she needs to work through on that stance, and that's normal and to be expected.

So here she is, working through those emotions, and here she is a recent dog owner (maybe she had dogs in the past as well, but from your post it sounds like it'd be a while without and now she's got one) so "whoo-hoo dogs are great!" is at the forefront of her mind, and hey, who doesn't love a squishy adorable puppy?  So she's transferring some of her emotions to the puppy as she works through accepting she won't get grandkids [from you two]. This kinda sounds like a really obvious Psych 101 thing.



I agree with this. LordL and I are definitely not having kids any time in the next few years. In the meantime, my mother loves catsitting her "grandkitty." She asks about him every time we talk and even sends us holiday cards on his behalf. Every card we get addressed from her is cat themed now. I even made her an album of cat pictures and she has it displayed on the mantle. I think it's endearing, if admittedly a little nutty - but it shows that she cares about our family, even if we only have fur kids for now ;).

Also, to address sparksals comment - I don't think it's PA if it's actually channeling the desire for grandkids into something else. If it's meant to be a segue into "HINT HINT WHEN AM I GETTING GRANDKIDS" then yes, it's PA. Comments like "oh you're such a good dog mom, you'd make a great mom to a baby too" or stuff like that would be crossing the line.

Hmmmmm

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Re: MIL gets weird
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2013, 10:50:35 AM »
For why she has adopted this behavior for this dog, is this first dog you introduced to MIL as a puppy? 

I sort of think this is one of those items you either have to stop at the start or it's just almost impossible to stop it. My MIL loves our beagle and spoils him. A few months back we had a crowd over and I opened the backdoor and told the dog to go outside, instead the dog went and hid behind MIL to her delight and everyone's amusement. She refers to the the beagle as her grand-puppy which is fine. But if she ever had asked us to put the dog on the phone, we would have laughed and said "No, it's a dog, and your nuts if you think I'm holding a phone up to a dogs ear."

I'd leave the calling the dog her grandpuppy alone. But maybe next time she asks to "speak" to the dog, either let her and then say, "Wait, you still have to talk to the 3 cats, other dog, and dragon" and then pretend to hold up all the animals to the phone.  Or you can do what I'd really do and say "MIL, it was cute the first few times, but now it's getting a little silly. I'm not holding up a dog for you to talk to."