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Baby and Dog

(48 Posts)
Hermia46 Wed 11-Dec-13 14:08:46

Am I being a totally unreasonable person, am taking care of step son's and step daughter in law's 2 1/2 year old tomorrow 'cos Mum is high flying exec and has run into trouble with baby care. No problem, have just found out husband has also agreed that we baby sit their ** dog! I am not returning home until tomorrow mid-afternoon due to work commitments (yes Granny still works). Babe arrives 7.00 pm tomorrow night now with dog. Parents come over late Friday evening post work for a night - can't stay longer too busy despite the fact we are treating them to a Christmas event at nearby stately home on Saturday. Am I being just a grumpy old lady? I feel totally used really. Particularly as they are also spending Christmas with her father, leaving myself and DH on our own. hmm

Elegran Wed 11-Dec-13 14:34:01

Can you develop a sudden forgotten allergy to dog hair? Then suggest that her father looks after the dog instead - equal division of labour.

Mishap Wed 11-Dec-13 15:12:51

Hmmmm. I would not do it, but I hold the unpopular view that if people choose to keep dogs then they must act responsibly and not burden others with them. I a not sure that "high-flying exec" is the right person to be taking on the responsibility of a dog! - but presumably she earns enough for the dog to go to kennels for 24 hours.

Our children do suddenly load the grandchildren on to us, but they know that we like this; but if they had a dog, they would not include this in the package. Maybe you could say you are happy to have the child but she will have to make other arrangements for the dog - or would this cause alarm and despondency out of proportion to the problem itself?!

To be honest, I do not think you are being a grumpy old lady - I think that I would feel used. It is your last sentence that concerns me. They are happy to load a job onto you when they are in difficulty, but cannot be bothered to engineer things so that you have company at Christmas.

We usually get round this problem by having the other sets of grandparents here, or we go there, so that everyone is included. But maybe you like the idea of a peaceful Christmas and it has just started to feel unreasonable when you have found yourself with a task that you are not entirely happy with.

What a difficult one for you. I do hope you find a way to resolve it - or that you just feel a bit better for having had the chance to share it with all of us.

Good luck and Happy Christmas!

HildaW Wed 11-Dec-13 15:37:56

Strewth its a big ask! Seems daft that a family like that even have a dog if they cannot give it the time and exercise it needs. To be quite honest I'm still one of those old fashioned sorts who believe that you should really only have babies if you have at least 3 plans available at any one time to look after them....its a hangover from my work as a Pre-School leader - saw far too many highly privileged (moneywise) children being parked here there and everywhere.

There is such a thing as 'Doggy Daycare' for busy folks, perhaps that should have been looked into.
No you are definitely not being grumpy, its seems as if they divided and conquered you and your husband instead of asking you both, which in my book is decidedly underhand.

You have your commitments, you should therefore politely and calmly state what you and your husband are happy to provide and then stand firm. There should be no need for you to offer long winded reasons why not - just the bare facts. Heck, if I was a young Mum I would not want to leave my baby with someone who was begrudgingly looking after him!

HildaW Wed 11-Dec-13 15:38:18


moomin Wed 11-Dec-13 15:48:39

Blimey! It's only for about 24 hours, so it sounds as if you could be construed as being a little unreasonable. Sometimes events happen which throw out usual arrangements (such as whatever dog-care your step-son and his wife usually employ).

However, not knowing the personalities involved and how you all get along (or not!) then only you can tell whether you are being taken advantage of and not appreciated enough.

merlotgran Wed 11-Dec-13 15:50:12

Is it a nice dog? If so is it really such a problem to look after it for 24 hrs?

If it's a difficult dog they shouldn't be lumbering you with it.

DD2 is driving up tomorrow because they have a funeral to go to on Friday. It's too far for a day trip and they won't be returning home until Saturday morning......Guess who's being lumbered with looking after their dog? grin

Tegan Wed 11-Dec-13 16:35:44

Playing devils advocate here so had better start off by saying yes, I DO think they are being unreasonable anf thoughtless. But can't help but feel that, if it was daughter or son and not stepdaughter and stepson you would just take it on the chin and do it [but still feel the need to have a moan about it, and quite rightly so]. Difficult situation methinks.

lucyinthesky Wed 11-Dec-13 16:55:22

I would feel the same, but expect that all their other options of dog care have been used up :-(

There's seems to be an extra problem by the fact that you are not included in their Xmas, which might be the root of why you feel that you are now being taken advantage of. And the fact that they 'too busy'!

Aka Wed 11-Dec-13 17:06:58

I don't see the dog as a problem, unless it's a very demanding dog? I'd much rather dog sit than baby sit, after all you can go out and shut the dog in the kitchen, but I think it's illegal to do that with the 2-year old. Plus I bet the dog sleeps through the night, won't want bathing, will happily eat its food from a dish on the floor (as opposed to the child whose food may end up there) and won't mider you to play with it all the time.

Hermia46 Wed 11-Dec-13 17:39:46

Love your replies Gransnetters you are a star group really and you have cheered me up as well. I send you all [flowers}

Hermia46 Wed 11-Dec-13 17:40:35

sorry long day try this! flowers

harrigran Wed 11-Dec-13 19:29:39

YANBU, dogs and children are a big NO NO. I would look after the children but dog would have to go elsewhere. I am probably biased as all my family are allergic to cats and dogs.

Aka Wed 11-Dec-13 23:33:02

What does YANBU mean? And why is it a big NO NO?

TriciaF Thu 12-Dec-13 10:31:37

I would probably agree because I like dogs (and children!).
But I would be concerned in case it's the thin edge of the wedge, and soon you'll be a day dog fosterer. I speak from experience.

annodomini Thu 12-Dec-13 11:38:34

I could cope with a dog - don't know about a toddler!

whenim64 Thu 12-Dec-13 11:51:10

Try two toddlers and a dog, anno! We are starting to introduce my 2 year old grandaughters to my dog, who is so delirious with joy at the sight of two kids in high chairs dropping food on her head, she can hardly contain herself. So far, it's been half an hour of fun, then everyone separates to get over the excitement. The dog and I have a little nap! grin

The thought of having them overnight at this age would send me running for cover!

petallus Thu 12-Dec-13 11:51:51

HildaW I don't think you view on childcare is old fashioned. Rather it is fairly modern. In the good old days, before reliable contraception, many people became pregnant by accident before it was convenient to start a family. Other family members (grandmothers, aunts etc.) would help out as and when necessary.

My DD has two very energetic dogs and I find it difficult to cope with them along with the DGS. Now I don't have the dogs.

However, I do like dogs and could easily manage one quietish one.

As someone else said, Hermia46, I do wonder if you are a little more resentful because the people concerned are your 'steps'. Perhaps DH could shoulder most of the responsibility smile

Aka Thu 12-Dec-13 12:22:37

Will no one tell me what YANBU means? Please.

Nonu Thu 12-Dec-13 12:36:04

x AKAYou are not being unreasonable !

Aka Thu 12-Dec-13 13:01:16

Thank you Nonu for taking pity and putting me straight tchsmile

sussexpoet Thu 12-Dec-13 13:06:09

No, you're not being at all unreasonable: tell them no; that you will happily look after baby but not dog. Personally, I think dogs and small children should not be mixed - dogs are dirty and dangerous. Babies are frequently dirty, but rarely dangerous! If your husband agreed to dogminding without first consulting you, tell him to look after the * thing himself!

Flowerofthewest Thu 12-Dec-13 13:24:22

Or develop a sudden sickness bug then you can avoid the thing altogether. Not at all unreasonable. or just say NO to having the dog, it is your home after all, can't her father have the dog.

Nelliemoser Thu 12-Dec-13 14:44:38

flower Not a good idea, it would be sure to backfire and she would get ill.
Talk about tempting fate! wink

Soutra Thu 12-Dec-13 14:53:10

If your DH agreed to have the dog, I don't see how you can retract that unless he agrees. To me the point is that they are "too busy" to give you time to suit you and yes, I think they are being selfish thoughtless, but show me any young couple who are any different?? [cynical] emoticon- to a greater or lesser extent that is. Depending on your relationhsip with them you could say gently and (with humour) how much you would like to see more of them and not just the dog - but re the DGC I would rejoice that you are needed! Being pathetically grateful for any time with DGC is the name of the game these days - but if you stick to your guns, you may not be asked again so you pays your money and you takes your choice.