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to expect nanna not to take over?

(43 Posts)
afar Fri 09-Sep-11 12:14:20

The last couple of visits with MIL and FIL have been very uncomfortable. MIL keeps telling FILto wipe my DS's face while he is busy eating. This is while DS is sitting right next to me at the dinner table. We go there once a week for dinner. I keep telling them not to worry about it because I will clean his face when he is done eating. They just won't stop, it's like I'm not even there. I don't mind them wiping him when I'm not around or if they are closer to him than me, but seriously? They are in his face the whole time - he doesn't like it and ends up not eating because as soon as he takes a bite, out comes FIL's hand with a wipe. I've been trying to ignore it but it's really hard not to get annoyed about something so silly, especially since I have specifically asked them not to do it. The more they do it the more worked up I am getting. I;m probably going to get roasted for saying this but I don't hink it is nanna's place to give instructions to someone else to clean my child's face while I'm right there.

JessM Fri 09-Sep-11 12:20:06

I know what you mean. Some people can't stand to see a child with a mucky face. Offends their sense of tidy-ness.
Have you tried saying, pleasantly, "I find he eats much better if he is wiped at the end of the meal thanks" .

greenmossgiel Fri 09-Sep-11 12:26:33

I totally agree with you, afar. Why on earth does it matter that the little boy's face has food on it, as long as he's eating his food more or less independently, and enjoying it. I remember having meals at my own parents' house when the children were small. My little boy was a faddy eater anyway, and soon picked up on the atmosphere of disapproval on the part of his grandparents. DH intervened in the end, and said something like, "For goodness' sake, he's only little, leave him alone!" They didn't comment, but it did make further visits for meals a bit tense. You'd be right to tell them to leave off with the wipes, until he's finished his meal.

jangly Fri 09-Sep-11 12:28:50

Just say, "I'll clean him up when we've all finished. He's fine for now". And if a wipe comes out say, "leave him please".

Can't see the difficulty here tbh.

jangly Fri 09-Sep-11 12:30:07

And if they argue, just say, "getting the food in him is more important"". They can't argue with that.

afar Fri 09-Sep-11 12:48:40

the problem is that I keep asking them politely not to do it and they keep ignoring me - even acting all offended because they are not doing anything wrong.

Elegran Fri 09-Sep-11 12:58:13

Can you re-organise the seating so that he is out of reach of their wiped? And prime DH not to act on the instruction to wipe? As well as saying how much better he eats if he is not interrupted, and one wipe at the end cleans him up fine?

HildaW Fri 09-Sep-11 12:59:31

Oh dear afar, sounds like an unpleasant situation. What does your husband think about it all? Perhaps a word from him along the lines that. He (not you) would prefer it if you let the lad eat his meal in peace.

jangly Fri 09-Sep-11 13:04:17

It's only once a week though, isn't it?

How old is DS? Could you prime him to howl noisily and at great length when they do it?

Baggy Fri 09-Sep-11 13:12:57

They are being rude or stupid, or both, plus fussy. Could you manage it so that you and your DH sit either side of the child so they can't get at him? Or hide the wipes before the meal. Or do both those things.

Notsogrand Fri 09-Sep-11 13:27:02

Poor little lad. If they wont take any notice of polite requests and just ignore you, could you try and sort it out firmly before the meal, out of earshot of your little boy? eg 'Before we all sit down, please do not wipe gs face during the meal or refer to food being on his face. We want him to enjoy his meal. I will clean him when he has finished. If you cannot agree to this, we will have to wait until he is older before coming here for a meal again.'

glammanana Fri 09-Sep-11 13:44:12

Good suggestionNSG I would also stop the use of these wipe's during his meal by moving him next to your DH and yourself afar does your PIL realise that over use of these wipe's is not good for your DSs skin,so tell them you are in control of washing his face when he has finished eating.Sometime's my youngest DGS used to look as if he was wearing his food when he finished eating but if he was to bad DD used to pop him into the bath (or sink) for a quick hose down.

Faye Fri 09-Sep-11 13:54:02

I feel annoyed for you afar. Ask them why they are insisting on wiping your son's face. If you ask a question they have to give you an answer, so then you will know why on earth they are being so stupid. If they don't agree to stop washing his face I wouldn't eat there again. They are actually being ridiculous and are going to cause your son to have eating problems!!!!

HildaW Fri 09-Sep-11 15:27:06

We have the most amazing set of photos of grandson devouring a very small pot of chocolate mouse. He starts of clean and waving a spoon about and slowly progresses to being totally covered with it, hair, face and t shirt and high chair. His smile is delightful and infectious. We will bring them out when he has a girlfriend in a few years time.

harrigran Fri 09-Sep-11 18:03:18

It is pointless washing a child's face while they are still eating their meal. If eating a family meal is causing friction then feed the child prior to sitting with family. My grandchildren were allowed to finish eating then the flannel came out and faces washed with a little song. My youngest now shouts finished, billy bear (because the flannel has a teddy face)

Annobel Fri 09-Sep-11 18:46:58

How many children reach school age still needing their faces wiped? They all 'come clean' eventually without interference from GPs.

elderflower1 Fri 09-Sep-11 18:54:27

Good advice here from other grans but I think you are being far too polite afar. My daughter or daughter in law would not hesitateto tell me firmly if I overstepped the mark - not that I ever do. grin

JessM Fri 09-Sep-11 19:05:04

Yes my DIL and DS pull no punches in telling me what they want or don't want. Used to struggle with the "on her back with her feet at the bottom of the cot and make sure you turn the baby alarm off before you pick her up" stuff a times ...
There you are afar we were gentle with you, weren't we? In fact we were almost unanimously on your side! How often does that happen?

Baggy Fri 09-Sep-11 19:32:36

I think I would have snatched the wipes out of FIL's hand by now! Except I had a lovely FIL so it never arose. The one time he almost overstepped the mark, MIL hoicked him back. smile

Annobel Fri 09-Sep-11 19:44:39

My ILs wouldn't have dared, though my mum might have, though she wouldn't have tried it more than once...

em Fri 09-Sep-11 19:50:48

Totally agree - it isn't their business! My 2yr-old GS is a bit picky with food and constant wiping would stop him in his tracks. However If HE feels a bit messy he'll ask to be wiped. Sitting him between Mum and Dad seems to be the best suggestion. Please let us know how it goes!!

Hunt Sat 10-Sep-11 09:38:16

How about leaping up and wiping PIL's face every time he does it?.... only joking!

Faye Sat 10-Sep-11 10:08:02

Good idea Hunt, he wouldn't do it again....ever!!! smile

afar Sun 11-Sep-11 10:49:12

Thanks all for your feedback, I feel much better about this. Have to work this weekend but am going there for dinner on Tuesday. Will let you know how it goes...

afar Wed 14-Sep-11 06:52:20

Hi all, so we went to dinner at ILs last night. What drama. We put DS between the two of us - they were so offended about that. They told us that we don't give them the freedom to be grandparents and how must they bond with dsb while we are there with DS all the time. Gheeez, we just wanted them to stop wiping his face obsessively. Needless to say that we will not be going there for dinner for a long time. Why do they feel that they need to take over our parental duties in order to be grandparents??