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I finally confronted my father… (1 Viewer)

Mrs. Rannous

Footballguy
Tom Skerritt said:
I did want to share this little nugget from the conversation with my stepmother.

After we talked about the major issue, she said she was surprised, had no idea I felt this way, etc. And then she went into defense mode to try and explain their behavior. And the first line of defense was to essentially blame my daughter from when she was a 6-month old infant. Stepmom said [paraphrasing] “Do you remember when we first came down to meet her, and you said that you cannot hold her because she will freak out?” 

My dad and stepmom did not come down to see their granddaughter until she was around 6 months old. Now by that time, she had some personality, and she was able to recognize people, and feel safe with those she knew. And she would be afraid of strangers. As any ####### infant baby would!! But for some reason, my stepmom thought this is a legitimate reason for not being more of a presence in our lives. As if to say that they didn’t want to be a presence because my 6-month old daughter didn’t like them. It was so weird. I had to call bull#### on that, and after thinking more about it later, it was just such a weird exchange. I still can’t make any sense of it. 
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I mean, I'd be offended too if someone told me that but would I hold a grudge my whole life? Probably not.
Really?  The parents' job is to protect their child, and that includes not handing the kid over to people who are essentially strangers who will cause distress.  I can't figure out what makes people think they are entitled to hold someone else's baby, whether or not they are a relative.

 

jobarules

Footballguy
Really?  The parents' job is to protect their child, and that includes not handing the kid over to people who are essentially strangers who will cause distress.  I can't figure out what makes people think they are entitled to hold someone else's baby, whether or not they are a relative.
Stepmom first time visiting their 6 month old grand daughter and you dont think they should get to hold the baby?

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
Stepmom first time visiting their 6 month old grand daughter and you dont think they should get to hold the baby?
If you know for a fact that the outcome of this will 100% be a freakout meltdown by the baby? Are you serious?

You don’t think that maybe a better idea would be to just hang out until the kid is more comfortable? That’s all I was saying. 

 

stbugs

Footballguy
Stepmom first time visiting their 6 month old grand daughter and you dont think they should get to hold the baby?
Yeah, I’m with Shady here. I understand the concern but “protect their child” and “cause distress”? That’s a wee bit melodramatic. It’s grandparents visiting a 6 month old baby, not a drug dealer walking in with his unleashed pitbull. How about a let’s try it but sometimes she’s not happy getting held so if she starts balling I’ll take her back? Why don’t we sit down and play with blocks and she’ll be fine with you picking her up after she warms up.

Everyone reads situations differently and that’s certainly not a welp, we’ll never visit or call again for years situation, but I agree that I can definitely see why step mom and dad were put off a bit. That said waiting 6 months to see a grand kid is not normal. We lived in VA and NC and all 4 grandparents from up North were there at the births of all 3 of my boys.

 

AAABatteries

Footballguy
This is kind of a weird conversation.  First, no matter what you did all those years ago it should be in the past, especially something as silly as getting to hold the baby.  Having said that, at six months old I would just let her hold the baby and see how she reacts.  Babies freak out, get scared, #### themselves, get hungry, etc.  Being held for a minute won't traumatize the kid and I assume if she did have a meltdown and it kept going that she would have handed her back.  Who knows, maybe she would have had a trick to keep the baby calm.

Again - I do agree with you that this was a weird thing for her to say but I also don't think her grudge for that was the kid but you/your wife.

 

jobarules

Footballguy
If you know for a fact that the outcome of this will 100% be a freakout meltdown by the baby? Are you serious?

You don’t think that maybe a better idea would be to just hang out until the kid is more comfortable? That’s all I was saying. 
Babies freakout and meltdown 24/7 dude

 

AAABatteries

Footballguy
Really?  The parents' job is to protect their child, and that includes not handing the kid over to people who are essentially strangers who will cause distress.  I can't figure out what makes people think they are entitled to hold someone else's baby, whether or not they are a relative.


I think the vast majority of grandmothers would absolutely have an expectation of holding their grandchild the first time they see them.  Stranger, I get your point but there was no chance I would have told my Mother or MIL they couldn't hold my kid the first time they saw them - it would have hurt their feelings.  Even if it was 6 months later.  Should they get all bent out of shape about it and bring it up 20 years later, definitely not but I also don't think it's a big deal to let your kid cry for 30 seconds to see how they react.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

stbugs

Footballguy
This is kind of a weird conversation.  First, no matter what you did all those years ago it should be in the past, especially something as silly as getting to hold the baby.  Having said that, at six months old I would just let her hold the baby and see how she reacts.  Babies freak out, get scared, #### themselves, get hungry, etc.  Being held for a minute won't traumatize the kid and I assume if she did have a meltdown and it kept going that she would have handed her back.  Who knows, maybe she would have had a trick to keep the baby calm.

Again - I do agree with you that this was a weird thing for her to say but I also don't think her grudge for that was the kid but you/your wife.
Agree completely. Setup blocks or toys on the ground and let them play with the baby. If the baby freaks out, you can pick her up and she’ll be fine. No trauma in that. There’s a difference between being hurt and holding a grudge and never seeing the child again, but what’s the point of seeing a 6 month old baby and not being able to hold them?

 

jobarules

Footballguy
Agree completely. Setup blocks or toys on the ground and let them play with the baby. If the baby freaks out, you can pick her up and she’ll be fine. No trauma in that. There’s a difference between being hurt and holding a grudge and never seeing the child again, but what’s the point of seeing a 6 month old baby and not being able to hold them?
You gotta see the BAAAAABBBBYYYYYYY

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
You guys are reading way too much into this.

Probably not a good idea to hold the baby now. Let’s wait a minute until she feels more comfortable.

That’s it. That’s all it was. The fact that it resonated so strongly with my stepmother after 15 years was weird. All I am saying.

 

AAABatteries

Footballguy
But back to a non-silly discussion point.  I almost feel sorry for my Dad after hearing some of the horror stories in here.  I definitely don't think he was that bad - he just made the choice to not be around and for the most part we've all accepted it and stayed in touch but are not close.  Some of the behavior you guys are describing is not something I would think my Dad would do and I would have broken ties for sure if those things had happened.

 

stbugs

Footballguy
Also, @Tom Skerritt, this in no way excuses not being part of a child’s and grandchild's life. While we may disagree about holding a baby and whether or not step mom and dad where obviously butt hurt, their behavior after that visit is completely awful.

 

AAABatteries

Footballguy
You guys are reading way too much into this.

Probably not a good idea to hold the baby now. Let’s wait a minute until she feels more comfortable.

That’s it. That’s all it was. The fact that it resonated so strongly with my stepmother after 15 years was weird. All I am saying.


So you guys waited a minute, she then held her and now brought up having to wait a minute 15 years later?  Yeah - stupid weird but that wasn't how your post came across to all of us.

 

jobarules

Footballguy
You guys are reading way too much into this.

Probably not a good idea to hold the baby now. Let’s wait a minute until she feels more comfortable.

That’s it. That’s all it was. The fact that it resonated so strongly with my stepmother after 15 years was weird. All I am saying.
Sounds like she read into it the same way. Do you want advice or no?

 

AAABatteries

Footballguy
YES! For ####’s sake. My apologies. Seems obvious to me, but perhaps it didn’t come across that way. I have pictures from that trip of them holding her.


For my part, I read that as the first time she visited she didn't get to hold the baby.  I know my Mother and MIL would have been devastated if that had happened save a medical reason for them not to.  Now, even having said that I would think 15 years later they wouldn't bring it up but some people hold weird grudges.  And now that you've explained further I would have done a big eye roll if it was brought up.

 

Mrs. Rannous

Footballguy
You gotta see the BAAAAABBBBYYYYYYY
Only because they are entitled and immature.  I expect adult behavior from adults, not sulky "we have rights" crap.  Let the kid take its time to adjust.  I would hope that you would have the sense not do this to a puppy or kitten.  A baby surely deserves the same consideration.

 

El Floppo

Footballguy
YES! For ####’s sake. My apologies. Seems obvious to me, but perhaps it didn’t come across that way. I have pictures from that trip of them holding her.


lol... yeah, that's how I read it too.

My MIL was a pediatric nurse- and my wife still maintained a bunch of rules around around our oldest when he was first born that made no sense to her mom... irritating both of them. 

but also never held on to any of that all these years later- and certainly wouldn't have brought it up as a defense.. even in passing... for why she wasn't involved in the kids' lives (which she was, and however irritating she might be- has been a loving and supporting presence for them). that part is insane.

But also really glad you had a talk with her as well... and that she expressed some remorse (?) or at least shock at the news.

 

El Floppo

Footballguy
Only because they are entitled and immature.  I expect adult behavior from adults, not sulky "we have rights" crap.  Let the kid take its time to adjust.  I would hope that you would have the sense not do this to a puppy or kitten.  A baby surely deserves the same consideration.
ehhh... it's a grandparent visiting the kid for the first time. a few seconds/minutes of freak out from the kid isn't going to hurt the kid or the grandparent... unless they drop the kid on their head on their own foot causing them to fall on top of the kid, crushing him and causing a heart attack in the grandparent. 

 

stbugs

Footballguy
YES! For ####’s sake. My apologies. Seems obvious to me, but perhaps it didn’t come across that way. I have pictures from that trip of them holding her.
Ok, I completely misread it as well. The step mom is crazy and it’s wouldn’t be surprising that she’s 100% the reason why your dad doesn’t visit. He reached out to visit your son and she very likely said no to the visit. 

 

northern exposure

Footballguy
Cannot like this enough. Took me 15+ years to forgive my mother, and it is one of the best things I have ever done. I was holding on to so much anger for so long.

Unfortunately my brother has not been able to do the same. And he does his best to compartmentalize it and store it away. But it cannot be good to hold onto all of that stuff.

But I get it. Been there. 
This post made me question how your Dad's relationship is with your brother? Is your brother married with kids? 

In my situation my brother and his family live in the same city as my Dad did. My Dad used to visit them quite often and never missed my niece or nephew's birthday or forgot them at Christmas. My niece and nephew are in their mid 20s now, so about 8 years older than my sons. So, I saw my Dad could be an involved Grandpa with my brother's kids, so why not mine?

At a get together we had after my Dad died, I had Aunts and Uncles telling me how my Dad used to tell them what a good Dad I was and how proud I was of my sons. He used to tell them what a great family I had. Would have been nice to hear that from him just once.

 

northern exposure

Footballguy
Judge Smails said:
Agreed. Which is why our parents generation will go down as the most selfish ever with respect to parenting/family. I realize that doesn’t hit home with many of you. If so you’re lucky. 
It certainly hits home with me. Selfish in terms of their time, but also financially. My parents believed children should be seen, not heard. And I always thought we didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up because presents were minimal at Christmas. I could never get Nike shoes or brand name clothes, they had to be cheap knockoffs or store brand things. 

I was looking through some family photos with my wife and she commented about all the cars my Dad had. He used to get a new car every two years or so. It never occurred to me until then, we had lots of money. My parents just choose not to spend it on their kids. 

 

Gawain

Footballguy
It certainly hits home with me. Selfish in terms of their time, but also financially. My parents believed children should be seen, not heard. And I always thought we didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up because presents were minimal at Christmas. I could never get Nike shoes or brand name clothes, they had to be cheap knockoffs or store brand things. 

I was looking through some family photos with my wife and she commented about all the cars my Dad had. He used to get a new car every two years or so. It never occurred to me until then, we had lots of money. My parents just choose not to spend it on their kids. 
The "good" thing to come out of our parents is that our generation (X / Old Millenials) have driven the divorce rate down and have taken the lessons taught to us by our parents to heart. Meanwhile, our folks continue to leave at the most minor of inconveniences:

 From 1990 to 2015, the divorce rate doubled for people 55 to 64 years old and tripled for those 65 and older.

In comparison, the divorce rate for those under 35 years old has decreased since 1990.
I'm not sure I'll do a good job with my kids, but the biggest goal in my life is to be a better parent than I had.

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
This post made me question how your Dad's relationship is with your brother? Is your brother married with kids? 

In my situation my brother and his family live in the same city as my Dad did. My Dad used to visit them quite often and never missed my niece or nephew's birthday or forgot them at Christmas. My niece and nephew are in their mid 20s now, so about 8 years older than my sons. So, I saw my Dad could be an involved Grandpa with my brother's kids, so why not mine?

At a get together we had after my Dad died, I had Aunts and Uncles telling me how my Dad used to tell them what a good Dad I was and how proud I was of my sons. He used to tell them what a great family I had. Would have been nice to hear that from him just once.
Wow. Very similar to my family. My brother is a year older than I am. He has a son and a daughter like I do, though they are each a few years older than my kids. My brother and his family also live in the same city as my dad and stepmom.

However despite living in the same city, my father is not very involved with them either. I think that it’s certainly more involved than with mine due to geography, but I wouldn’t call them close. In fact, when I confronted my father the other day, he even mentioned the fact that he is not close with my brother and his family. As if that should make me feel better, or perhaps explain his lack of involvement in general. I told my father that I thought that was pretty weird too. But obviously I have no control over that.

Like you though, I see my father engaged with my stepmom’s family. I see that he is capable of being involved. Though I’m not so sure he enjoys it. But he’s there. So like you, it is hard to see  that it is possible, but to not be able to have that for me and my family can be challenging to reconcile. And also like you, my stepmom said to me that my father is so proud of me, my wife, and my kids. It would nice to actually hear that from him directly. 

 

rockaction

Footballguy
Skeritt’s avatar is gone anc an innocent back and forth disappeared from a thread. Did he get suspended? That would be all-time on this board. 

 

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