Good afternoon! It’s been a minute since I last had a chance to post. Momming tends to take priority. Speaking of, there are a few etiquette things I want to cover. If you are an aunt, uncle, grandparent, basically anyone who is not the parent, listen up. Because, in my experience, the problem tends to revolve around lack of communication or failure to listen from their part. Just as a disclaimer, this post has no educational value. It’s simply me ranting and getting this off my chest. The names in this story have also been changed to protect my child and myself from my in-laws.
So, this story has a bit of a convoluted back story with all of the people involved. We basically have my daughter (Harley), biological mother (Shannon), Shannon’s ex-step-father (Paul), and paternal grandparents who, for the sake of my sanity, will not have real or fake names included. Now, I’ve never been a fan of Paul. I find him to be creepy as all get out, especially when he is around my daughter. He has a habit of not keeping conversations child appropriate, gives an unusual amount of attention to Harley (and only Harley, she has two other siblings), and like to go cruising around town, looking for his ex-wife. With my child in the car. Because that’s not creepy at all. Yeah, I don’t like him. Not to mention I have an awful gut feeling around him in the first place, like all of my mom instincts are screaming ABORT ABORT REMOVE CHILD FROM THE AREA!!
What has been an issue in the past is that paternal grandparents (who shall remain nameless) have a bad habit of giving people permission to take our daughter without informing or consulting with us. This includes Paul. There has been a time or two that I received a message from my husband asking if I gave permission for Paul to take Harley out to dinner or to the store or whatever. And my answer is always no. I don’t want him around, he does not have my permission to take my kid. And, on one of these occasions, I was on the verge of calling the police because I had no idea where my kid was or what this guy was doing with her. But, he dropped her off and all was well. Being the newest member of this family, I try really hard to make sure that everyone who has been in Harley’s life has a chance to still spend time with her. But, when you’re being creepy, I will tell you to stay away from my child until we can figure out the best way to approach this.
So, to the most recent incident. My husband received a text from Paul asking if he could take Harley out to dinner. I contacted Shannon to see what her thoughts were on the issue, since this is her side of the family. Which resulted in a message that made me panic.
Call me. It’s about Paul and Harley.
Oh sweet Lord. What happened? Did he take my daughter? Did he show up and freak out?
So, I called her. We talked for a good 20 minutes. She explained to me how she found out that he has been taking Harley to the graveyard to visit his dead brother, which he claims Harley knows and misses (she was three when he died), and then took her to stalk his ex-wife. So, the unanimous decision was no. Hell no. Paul has proven to me that he can not be trusted to be alone with my child. So, no. He doesn’t get to take her out to dinner.
And queue the freak out.
This lead to a lot of arguing between myself and my husband, a lot of yelling at Shannon from Paul, and a lot of yelling at my husband from Paul. Here’s the deal: I’m a big believer in being completely and totally honest. Especially when it comes to why you aren’t allowed to be around my family. I had no problem with telling Paul directly that it is NOT okay to take my child to the graveyard, it is not okay to talk for hours about your dead brother and just upset and bring her down. And it is especially not okay to take her to stalk your ex-wife. She’s 10! I’m not sure what makes you think that any of this is a good idea for an empathetic child, but your reasoning and logic are horridly flawed and no. Just no. And come what hell may come. Let me deal with it head on and get it out of the way so we can find a solution. My husband, on the other hand, tries to do as much damage control as possible and avoid the confrontation all together. He makes up an excuse as to why he can not take her and tries to leave it at that… I’m sure you can see why this would cause an argument. But, I recognize that I am not Harley’s biological mother and need to keep my mouth shut sometimes, a skill that I have never fully mastered. So I drop it.
Flash forward to today. Paul messages my husband asking if he can take Harley to dinner since she will be with my family for Thanksgiving. I say no. Husband says no. Husband also explains to me that he explained to Paul that since he has shown that he can’t be trusted to act like Harley is a child, he can’t see her without supervision until this impression of him as been changed and he’s proven that he can act like an adult. And yet, I’m still sitting here, anxious as all hell that he will try to take my child for whatever reason. It’s been decided that if he has any issues with this decision, he can contact me and I will handle it.
My only request to you, dear reader, is that if you have a similar situation or if you have a child in your life that you just adore and want to spend time with, please please please respect the parents’ wishes! If you have been told that no, you can not take the child somewhere and have been given a legitimate reason why, just say okay and drop it. And, if you’re acting creepy around kids, stop. Just stop.
Thank you for reading my ranting today. What about you? Do you have any parenting horror stories? Share them with us in the comments!