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Is this acceptable?

(49 Posts)
dellygran Thu 01-Apr-21 23:35:39

DS and DiL moved from Ireland to her home country in Eastern Europe last year. We have never had an easy relationship with her but for the sake of our only GD we have always tried to keep things civil - sometimes in the face of extreme provocation! Since they moved we have had a cordial relationship and video called most weeks. Today was our GDs 7th birthday - we sent a parcel of presents in plenty of time so they would arrive in time, which they did (delivered today). Imagine our shock when DS called and told us that they had not told DGD that it was her birthday today as due to lockdown rules in their country they could not hold her party for a number of weeks. We therefore could not wish her a happy birthday or ask if she liked her gifts (she was not given them). DS and DiL say they will tell her it is her birthday next month when restrictions end and she can have a party. We are horrified at how they can deceive her - do you think we are overreacting... or what should we do?

Maggiemaybe Thu 01-Apr-21 23:57:59

It seems very odd, dellygran, but no, I wouldn’t be horrified. There’s nothing you can or should do, imho. No doubt your DGD’s parents think they’re acting in her best interests, and she will have her celebration and presents at some stage. I would have thought a 7 year old would have known when her own birthday is though, so she may well realise she’s been conned. Still, she may not be too upset by it and in any case, that’d be their problem, not yours. I’d just keep my own counsel and go with the flow.

dellygran Fri 02-Apr-21 00:05:27

Thank you Maggie - I am biting my tongue (as we do!) but it just doesn't make sense to me. I'm just repeating 'not my circus, not my monkeys' and hoping it will stick!! ?

Maggiemaybe Fri 02-Apr-21 00:23:54

So many things make no sense to me these days, dellygran! But then we’re all living in unprecedented times, aren’t we?

The saying you quote is so apt, and has helped me a lot over the years. smile

Teacheranne Fri 02-Apr-21 00:26:22

Apparently Catherine and Prince William did not tell their children that school was closed for the Easter holidays last year so they still had lessons to do so your granddaughter was not alone in being tricked!

dellygran Fri 02-Apr-21 00:28:33


cornergran Fri 02-Apr-21 00:49:56

I’m amazed your granddaughter hasn’t voiced her own thoughts dellygran. Our youngest grandchild will soon be 6. There would be no pulling the wool over his eyes, he knows well when his birthday is and would have a definite opinion about a delay with gifts and understand if a celebration had to be delayed. I’m surprised at their decision but not horrified. Families do operate differently, this set of parents believe they are doing the right thing. Your granddaughter will get an official birthday later in the year so won’t lose out. It seems to me you made the right choice by keeping your disquiet to yourself and respecting their decision. Try not to let it bother you too much.

dellygran Fri 02-Apr-21 01:13:19

Thank you cornergran - unfortunately our DGD was kept back from schooling for a year so maybe is not as 'knowing' as other children of her age, but we just have to go with her parents decisions ?

nanna8 Fri 02-Apr-21 02:19:49

I would have thought a 7 year old would realise when their birthday is. Mine certainly would have and so did my grandchildren. At 5, maybe not but 7 ? Very unusual.

CanadianGran Fri 02-Apr-21 02:22:48

Oh my, that is not nice in my books! No matter how small a celebration, your birthday should be noted as special.

I'm afraid you just have to go along with it, but I don't know if I could hold back my comments to my son, perhaps in a text so the grandchild wouldn't be involved, and also aware that of course he would read the text to his wife. Diplomatic but disappointed in their decision.

dellygran Fri 02-Apr-21 03:19:29

Thank you all for your comments - I am fully aware that I have to live with the situation but it helps to know that I am not completely out of kilter xx

Kim19 Fri 02-Apr-21 03:48:02

I find that rather sad. As others have said, it would be surprising if the little girl did not know when her birthday is. However, I'm sure her parents have her best interests at heart even though it doesn't make sense to me. I would certainly have marked the day as best we could under whatever constraints are currently applicable. Amazing how different we all are.

Calendargirl Fri 02-Apr-21 07:29:30

As others have said, would have thought she would know when her own birthday is, even if she is young for her age.

Would have expected her own close family to acknowledge it, with a party later when restrictions allow.

Up to the parents though.

kircubbin2000 Fri 02-Apr-21 07:35:43

Unless you have told a 7 year old their birthday is coming up they won't know the difference. Fuss about nothing.

Lucca Fri 02-Apr-21 08:23:19

I can see what their rationale is although I personally wouldn’t do it, as a 7 year old could easily understand that it’s her birthday now with presents but party later in the month.
However I wouldn’t be “horrified”,

Sara1954 Fri 02-Apr-21 08:45:08

I too am amazed that your granddaughter doesn’t know when her birthday is, and it seems very odd and sad to let it past unmarked.

One of our grandchildren has now had two birthdays in lockdown, we had a small birthday tea, (they live here) and are letting her plan a big summer party with all her friends.

BlueBelle Fri 02-Apr-21 08:50:19

It’s not what I would do (or done ) we ve all had our grand babies birthdays in lockdown I ve missed one wedding, two 18th and one 21st but all have been acknowledged and celebrated however muted, but and it’s a BIG but this lady and your son have decided to do it their way and we may find it weird and a bit wrong, but it’s obviously right for them and your son must think it’s right too, or he wouldnt have gone along with it

I would have thought it would have been the right way to acknowledge it have the celebrations and presents within the family and then a belated party a month later but as they say ‘Nowt as queer as folks’

Nell8 Fri 02-Apr-21 08:54:31

I guess a large part of what you're feeling is disappointment for yourselves? If I'd gone through the process of carefully choosing those presents for my granddaughter then making sure she would receive them in good time for the big day, I'd be feeling a real sense of anticlimax too!

Least said, soonest mended though - and she will receive the parcel eventually. It's just a classic Covid postponement.

dellygran Fri 02-Apr-21 10:35:56

Thanks all for your comments - both agreeing and disagreeing. Yes I don't think we will ever understand the why's or the wherefores but we will accept what GDs parents have decided to do. It has helped to share it with you all.

ValerieF Fri 02-Apr-21 21:13:21

What I find worrying is the fact they only associate a birthday with a party? A birthday is a birthday with or without an actual party! Surely the child would have loved receiving her presents, cake and family games?? My kids didn’t always have big parties but we made a huge fuss in house. I would have hated them to feel a birthday only arrived with a big party.

Maybe different cultures, different customs - perhaps ?. Personally I don’t get it any more than OP.

cornishpatsy Fri 02-Apr-21 22:16:05

The parents are doing it with the best intentions. It is not worth getting angry about, there is nothing you can do and are only hurting yourself. Anger makes you feel awful and sometimes say things that cannot be taken back.

nadateturbe Fri 02-Apr-21 22:26:39

If they prefer to wait until they can have a proper celebration, I can't see a problem. Different if the child knew it was her birthday. I do think they could have told you in advance though. It's not worth fussing over. My OH spent some time writing letters to my GSs and sending Easter cards with money. It was barely acknowledged. Sometimes our adult children just don't realise how important things are to us.

Callistemon Fri 02-Apr-21 22:41:44

I'm surprised your DGD doesn't know when her birthday is and perhaps a little party tea with her parents and a Zoom call today with you as she opened her presents would have been nice, with the expectation of an exciting outing with her friends later on. She's old enough to understand.

But best to say nothing.

welbeck Fri 02-Apr-21 22:43:51

i cannot see any problem with it, and the fact that you get so het up about it may throw some light on why you have difficulties with DIL.

welbeck Fri 02-Apr-21 22:47:39

it is very damning to say they are deceiving their DD.
they are simply arranging when she and they and her friends will celebrate her birthday.
far from depriving her, they want her to have the best party possible, when possible.