My mother knows no boundaries. She has no respect for the feelings of others. She does what she wants and thinks is best and when she knows other people are hurt by it, she doesn't apologize. Ever. We've had many many issues in the past because of her personality.
DH and I have decided that it's ok for our kids to see my parents, despite their long history of bad behavior because 1) the kids's physical safety is not in danger and 2) we think it's better to know your wacky family members than to have your parents keep you from knowing them, and then you always wonder what they were like and if they were really as wacky as you were told.
I do trust my parents to make sure that my kids are never physically harmed, abandoned, molested, etc. My parents are thrilled to babysit and do genuinely love our kids.
Our kids spent the night at my parents' last night because DH and I had the opportunity to go to an event that we were looking forward to. Our baby just turned one and DH and I planned to take him for his first haircut, next week. When I was a baby, my mother kept a lock of hair from my first haircut and put it into a baby book. She really prized that lock of hair. DH and I were hoping to do the same thing. Our older child hasn't had/needed a haircut yet.
I went to pick up the kids tonight and noticed that my baby's hair looked like it was weed-whacked. The bangs were chopped off. Knowing my mother's history, I said "Mom, you cut his hair!" And she said "It was long. It was in his eyes." I told her she should have waited until I came to pick him up, and just left him alone. She repeated that it was in his eyes. I told her she could have combed it back. She kept defending herself. Finally, I said "If it was such an emergency, you should have called me and said 'Come quick. Your son needs a haircut right now.'" She continued defending herself. I asked my father if he knew my mother was going to do that, and he said no. I'm sure she waited until he walked out of the room and just grabbed the kitchen scissors.
DH and I are upset about the blatant ignoring of boundaries or respect by my mom. We're not surprised at all, though. We don't pay my parents to babysit, but we're always paying emotionally because of this kind of drama. I plan to tell my mother in person, next time I see her (with my dad next to her as a witness, so she can't lie later and say she wasn't warned) that if she ever cuts or trims either child's hair, or if she takes either to get their ears pierced, then she will never see the children unsupervised by me or my husband again. To those of you who have family members like this, please, help me. Knowing she has no respect for boundaries, what other completely unreasonable things should I be adding to that list? I know she won't let them get tattoos (even as teenagers). What other crazy out of line behavior should I predict? I want to include a short list of no-nos right now so that she can't say later "Well, it wasn't a big deal. I didn't think you'd care!"