Gransnet forums


worried about safety re: DH and grandchildren

(138 Posts)
welshmist Fri 10-Mar-17 20:41:54

DH and I had an argument today, he was cooking his lunch left the frying pan on the outside grandchild pulled it down luckily in front of himself pan and fried egg hit the floor. I was in the other room digging out his cup from the bag heard the crash and rushed in, well it was my fault apparently for not being there. DH is so casual around the two year old so am I being a worrywart, or is he in the wrong? We have been at logger heads over care before.

IlovemyMIL Fri 17-Mar-17 23:08:14

Hi Welshmist. Your worry is palpable and i feel for you. However I'm going to give you my opinion as a mum and if they were my children. Don't hide it. Be upfront with your DIL and say that you want her help and advice on how to help without putting her children at risk. Speak to her woman to woman and offer to look after them at her house, or take them on play dates etc. If she finds out via another source, or god forbid something happens she will never forgive you and will find it hard to trust you.

Before too long the little one will start telling the parents what goes on anyway. Mine once came home to tell me granny hadn't strapped them in the car seat!

You are clearly a fab MIL, so bite the bullet and be upfront. Good luck xx

Madgran77 Tue 14-Mar-17 15:54:24

I have to say, having seen my Brother in law gradually change due to dementia, this behaviour reminds me very much of him. That's hard for you to hear or to face ....are there signs/changes in other areas other tan your grandchild?

queenie53 Mon 13-Mar-17 21:51:54

The first thing that came to mind when I read this post was dementia, having seen my father suffer from it. My Mum used to get so angry with him before we knew that he was having problems, poor man. But it would be very difficult to broach the subject with your husband I should imagine, Welshmist, he will probably argue with you but may be worrying himself and be on the defence. Just a thought, he might of course just not be overly safety conscious!

noteinastorm Mon 13-Mar-17 10:23:56

Do not leave him alone with toddler. You have more than one example of a near miss. I am actually surprised that you need to hear this reaffirmed from the community. You really do not want to be spending the rest of your life thinking..'if only'... its not worth the risk. Accept that whether through lack of thought or possibly beginning to 'lose it' he (and a lot of other people!) are not responsible enough to be trusted with the life of a child. Not being judgementel, but the life of a child is a precious thing.

Grandma2213 Mon 13-Mar-17 02:56:02

welshmist I feel for you so much. When my DC were young I had one day off in 4 years to visit a flower show, leaving my then husband in charge. When I returned DS had fallen off a high kitchen stool and his face was cut and bleeding with other bruises on his body. On another occasion I had to go to the family planning clinic and returned to find DS 1 (aged 2 1/2) trying to change baby brother's nappy while Daddy was asleep on the settee. Some men are just totally incompetent. He is now my ex!

I know some men are completely competent and efficient fathers but find at least one DS cannot foresee problems/accidents with DGC that to me are obvious and could be avoided eg running up and down stairs, slamming doors on each other and climbing on, then jumping off furniture (to name but a few).

I suppose there are some women who are just as incompetent but I know how stressful this can be regardless of age. Good luck with what you decide to do about this situation.

Teddy123 Sun 12-Mar-17 17:42:59

welshmist have just read your later posts and am thinking "yep" "yep" "yep" !!! Could they be long lost twins. Hmmmm

To those who suggest doing childcare in the 'other' house .... My DH would go from a mild mannered person into a ballistic maniac if I suggested this. He adores playing with the GS. The downside of this is that it's like having half a dozen 4 year olds instead of just one. I get sick of my own voice saying I don't allow this, that or whatever lunacy is occurring. Of course my GS thoroughly enjoys and truly think he sees his 75 year old grand dad as another playmate from nursery.

I don't see my role like that and always now use an adult voice etc with specific instructions etc. I've often wondered if other grandparents behave like 4 year olds and that it's me who's too serious with too many rules ....

As to telling my DD; that's a conundrum because I don't want to worry her.

I don't suppose I've been much help welshmist. Just to say you're not alone. Perhaps these older chaps just don't get it because back in the day we did the majority of child rearing.

Good luck with it all x

Hattiehelga Sun 12-Mar-17 16:58:51

Oh dear. I think you must ask yourself if an accident happened, how you would feel if you let things carry on as they are. You would never forgive yourself but it must be hard having split loyalties. Also, the parents would never trust you again if they discovered you had irgnored warning signs. It does seem worth thinking about
going to the toddler's home by yourself to look after him. A very difficult situation but you must be strong for everyones' sake.

judypark Sun 12-Mar-17 16:56:20

I see your dilemna, however if you had witnessed these near miss incidents when DGS was in the care of a childminder or other carer, surely you would have
raised your concerns with his parents?
I'm sure the parents are aware of what a difficult and responsible role that you have taken on, but not the circumstances in which you are trying to successifully able to carry them out.
Both of the incidents you cite were potentially fatal or at least life changing.
I can emphasise, whilst living with and caring for my very elderly father I also had the care of my DGS 18 months old. It was an unworkable scenario. GGF constantly stumbled over strewn toys and DGS constantly made a bee-line for GGFs hot drinks left on low tables. I explained to DD and that my priority was the safety of both and I could no longer guarantee that safety given the circumstances. Wishing you well.

Shizam Sun 12-Mar-17 16:39:20

My ex was like this with his own kids. A miracle they made it to adulthood. Some men are too busy thinking about themselves to care about anyone else.

Newquay Sun 12-Mar-17 16:34:09

Oh poor you Welshmist-you have two problems. GC's safety is paramount so that obviously falls on you it seems. Cherry has the right idea-make the house like Fort Knox. You say DH has had some 'dings'-ye gods, what are you waiting for? Til he kills someone? Go to see doc, get him to get him in-he will be used to this, to assess him. Get his driving tested to see if he's still safe, if not end of!
Accidents will happen even with the best will in the world but we must be on our guard. Gates to keep littlies out of kitchen for starters. Stair gates, cupboard locks, meds well out of reach, hot drinks out of reach, children with you in toilet if need be.
One of our SILs is so good and sensible. We go on holiday with them too and are flattered that they know we can be trusted absolutely with their childrens's safety.
You want to be able to enjoy these lovely little people not have bad memories.

tidyskatemum Sun 12-Mar-17 15:17:32

That's exactly what I was thinking, Anya. I don't want to be a doommonger but my father was quite like welshmist's husband when he was in the early stages of dementia. If OH Has always been like that, well, it's something you must have been gritting your teeth over for years, but if it's more recent behaviour I think you need to keep a close eye on him for more warning signs and DEFINITELY tell the parents. How would you live with yourself if there was a major accident?

VIOLETTE Sun 12-Mar-17 15:03:46

Difficult situation for you ...but I do agree with the sentiments expressed here as to whether your husband has an early onset dementia ? My husband was diagnosed with vascular dementia (mild at the moment) along with a personality disorder which is bordering on the autistic spectrum .....I have only known him since he was 68 and a widower when he was very active and very lucid, coping with the personality was difficult but his mum (then aged over 90), his brother, sisters and daughter DID ask me if I really knew him ! They knew about his personality disorder ,,,but I thought I knew better ! It would be a good idea if you can persuade him to get along to the GP and ask for some Mini Mental State examinations referral could have a word with your GP (obviously they will not discuss him with you, but you could mention your concerns and ask if he could be 'called in' for a general MOT ! My husband was and still is, in denial ..he is not allowed to drive any more because of his dementia problems, plus two mini strokes and only one good eye..he still insists he can though ! BUT when your grand childs life could be in danger or there is a risk of serious injury, you must try to get him along to the doctor ....meanwhile take a look on the Alzheimer website ...there are lots of forums where you can interact with people with the same problems ...first hurdle to overcome is his denial/reluctance ...might need a few little lies or persuasion. Another aspect of my husbands illness is blaming me, or anyone else for his problems ....even when I am not at home for half an hour, whatever has happened is always my fault ...luckily, although I do sometimes get upset I just ignore the accusations ! I TRY (it is difficult !) to understand that a lovely man is frustrated at no longer having much independence and having to virtually ask me to do everything ! He no longer understands money or why we never have any (because he spends it !) or cannot accept being told he must not climb ladders with an electric hedge cutter !

Whether you mention this to the parents is up to you ...perhaps you could say to your husband that you are worried now that you are both getting older if it is in the best interests of the grandchild to continue with any child care .....thus putting the onus on both of you and not blaming him !

Good luck !flowers

Norah Sun 12-Mar-17 14:57:53

Is there any reason you can't watch your GC without assistance from DH? I see no reason you'd need to leave home to watch the child, I watch my GC alone whilst my DH golfs.

marionk Sun 12-Mar-17 14:26:26

Has he always been this way, blaming you for things and getting angry? If this is fairly new I would be keen to get him to see a GP to see if they can establish a cause for the character change. In the meantime the childcare must be down to you alone I'm afraid

Midge Sun 12-Mar-17 14:21:05

You are not alone Welshmist. My OH. allowed the 2yr old Granddaughter to escape out of the house. Daughter knows, sil doesn't. He will never be allowed to be on his own with her again but he doesn't know that. He was a good Dad but age and deafness had made things difficult.

cheerfullizzy Sun 12-Mar-17 14:01:11

foxie &luluaugust..I COMPLETELY AGREE.......yes, it causes arguments with our other halves, but the safety of our beloved grandchildren is Paramount,a child in the kitchen with someone who doesn't anticipate mishaps is certainly an accident waiting to happen..I too have had similar 'arguments' over this, clumsiness & general lack of common sense BUT DON'T CARE, nothing comes before safety...common sense or lack of it can only lead to tears...or worse still..a dreadful accident, because men just don't THINK.

Lewlew Sun 12-Mar-17 13:14:18

Yorkshiregel so true, we live near two junior schools and two nurseries... it just makes me so angry to see unattended toddlers walking behind mum-nattering-on-the-phone-and-oblivious (these wre not quick phone calls, but conversations), on the way to their car.

They could so easily dart between cars into these busy roads in a flash.

Below is the link to my grand-nephew's death at age 7 that I referred to in my previous post. The report that he jumped up onto the tailgate whilst the truck was moving is incorrect. What was this man thinking? And drunk as well? Just an accident per the father? The mind boggles.

Children must be protected.

Teddy123 Sun 12-Mar-17 13:05:46

welshmist your post totally resonated with me and despite my GS now being over 4, I simply don't allow my OH to take him anywhere alone. I tried very hard to discuss this but he took my comments as criticism.

Obviously there are the infrequent occasions when my DH has to step in ..... If I'm unwell for example. The last time this happened and my GS needed collecting from nursery, they arrive home with him unstrapped in his car seat. He didn't know how to do it .... Yes he's been shown many times.

That was it! Sadly some men never grow up and take responsibility. I feel for you .... It's an extremely frustrating situation ....

NannaComic Sun 12-Mar-17 13:01:09

If you don't mind me asking but could it be the early signs of dementia? I am sure he would have previously been careful around the grandchildren but you also say he has had a couple of prangs in his care and he gets angry. This is exactly what happened to my sister and she has now been diagnosed with alzheimer's. I don't want to worry you but just to make you aware! Has you husband always been like this?

foxie Sun 12-Mar-17 12:50:35

That man is either stupid, lazy, or just plain ignorant. Or all three. I would really lay down the law in no uncertain terms BEFORE there's a tragedy, not blame yourself afterwards if you do nothing. Two year old children are into everything and wouldn't realise the dangers of anything hot enough to cause life long scars. And NEVER leave him alone with a toddler, because even if he promises to mend his ways you can never be sure of that.

luluaugust Sun 12-Mar-17 12:44:21

So sorry you have found yourself in this position when you thought you were going to have a few pleasant years caring for your GC. You know you have to sort this out now it can't go any further. I agree with everyone saying you must act as a single carer and don't rely on OH for any help or watching child whilst you do other things. With your OH I guess there is a chance that this is the onset of a bigger problem but it is true that some this generation did have less to do with bringing up the children and never disregard that he may be a bit jealous of the attention your GC is getting, he may love the GC but he has now got to a position where he is not safe.

blubber Sun 12-Mar-17 12:44:05

Is he forgetful? Perhaps it is early onset dementia. I am only too aware of the symptoms as my husband was diagnosed four years ago. At first I just thought it was stupidity and thoughtlessness, particularly the driving.

Diddy1 Sun 12-Mar-17 12:20:37

Dont leave them alone,imagine if it had been a pan of boiling water! Doesnt bear to think about. Pan handles always away from the side of the cooker.

retirementisgreat Sun 12-Mar-17 12:17:06

Your DH might be worrying about Dementia too and be on the defensive when he's caught out because he's afraid. Try and get him to the GP if you can. But from now on your GC is only safe while you are there as well.

westieyaya Sun 12-Mar-17 12:02:33

This thread reminds of an accident waiting to happen on a relatively quiet road locally, as I was driving along. Grandfather walking ahead with 3/4 year old whilst very young toddler, toddled along 3 or 4 metres behing. If that child had stepped into the road .........! I debated stopping and making him aware, but didn't, should I have done so?