Monday, March 31, 2008

WTF: Mother-In-Law Edition

For my birthday recently, my mother-in-law handed me a small, wrapped present. When she handed it over she said, "I hope you don't take offense to this."

Uh, hmmmm. OK.

I opened it.

Inside was a potty training book.

"I think Little Guy is ready to potty train so I thought you could use this book."

Honestly, my first reaction was "Great!" I totally do need to potty train him soon so the book could come in handy.

But then she said, "You know, he's really showing all the signs of being ready for potty training."

Uh, really? And you know this because you spend approximately 2 hours with him a month?

*I didn't say that last part, but I thought it in my head.*

So then later as I got to thinking about my "birthday present" more when I got home, I did start getting a little peeved about the whole thing. But as a good DIL, I said nothing.

Fast forward a few weeks to this weekend...

We left Little Guy at their house while we took a little day trip. MIL requested that we bring the potty seat with us so that she could put him on the potty while we were gone. (Even though we haven't started potty training him yet.)

Unfortunately, I didn't know that MIL had requested the potty seat until my hubby brought it out of the bag when we were already at their house.

Because we were already late dropping him off, I didn't have time to react and I said nothing about the potty seat.

When we came to pick him up a few hours later, I found out that they had "unsuccessfully" tried to get him to go potty.

Apparently, we had the wrong kind of potty seat or something.

Anyway, I have decided that I actually *am* offended by this whole thing, thank you very much.

I mean, who's the parent here? WHO IS THE PARENT?

He's not even 3 years old yet and I don't appreciate the pressure from anyone telling me when to potty train my own child, ya know?

When I told Husband what I thought about the whole situation, he let his mom know that we really didn't want her pushing us on the PT thing. She was "offended" and "hurt" by that.

Hmm. Well, I was offended that she gave me a PT book for my birthday and then completely undermined my parental authority and started trying to potty train my kid
without my consent.

I guess that means we're even.


Anonymous Deep Fried Yankee said...

I'm really glad he said something. It was totally wrong of her to ask him for the seat, and worse to try to get your son to go.

It's something my MIL would do -- to try to show that's she's so smart, amazing, and BRILLIANT because "see, I got him to go on the potty!"

You should get her a subscription to AARP and a plastic surgery brochure for her birthday.


2:11 AM  
Anonymous sam said...

I'm glad he said something to her. It's one thing to suggest training, but to full on force it without asking your opinion about the matter!? I'd be pissed too.

Carter is 2.5 and daycare has begun to push about training (since he's in the Junior Pre-school room) and my parents have been questioning and talking about it a lot.

Carter resists and sometimes starts crying - which makes me believe he's not entirely ready. I don't want to force him into something like this and have him hate it. Makes it harder on both of us...

Sorry for unloading on your comments. LOL

5:58 AM  
Blogger Blogversary said...

Howzer. I would seriously throw the book away or recycle it. :)

7:04 AM  
Anonymous beth - total mom haircut said...

That's so lame. And the thing is, our kids can really become very averse to the whole potty training thing very easily. So if she didn't handle it properly (defined as how YOU would handle it since he's YOUR child) it could actually make it harder for you when you are ready to do it yourself. Lame.

Sam is not training yet either, and if I remember correctly, our guys are almost the exact same age. So we're not alone.

7:49 AM  
Blogger The Laundress~JJ! said...

Oh man oh man...That would totally piss me off...

I was so sensitive about Potty Training that if my MIL would have done that, I might have bit her head off...literally.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Sunshine said...

Wow, giving you something that's, uh, NOT actually for you is interesting.

I never rushed the potty training, they did it when they did it. It sucked but we got thru it, why do some people act like it has to be some kind of Olympic event that must be completed at a certain time?

8:28 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Wow, I'm sure she was just "helping" you. I'm proud of hubby for saying something to her.

My MIL bought my oldest his first bike and told him he could have it when he learned to potty on the toilet. We hadn't started potty training, yet. Um, thanks.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

That was your birthday present? How about earrings? Or a gift card? Or a book on a topic of interest to you? Or a sweater? Salon gift certificate? A friggin box of candy?

Yeah, I don't like her. Sorry.


12:27 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Butting in is butting in, you shouldn't feel bad. We went through and awkward and bitter period after we had our first. My MIL was dropping by all the time. We asked her to call first. You'd have thought we asked her to call a receptionist and book an appointment. She was very angry for a very long time, but it was the only way we could avoid our own resentment building. These days she (for the most part) considers our feelings before acting on impulse. There are so many more things to learn, it's good she knows you don't want her setting the pace.

Hang in there.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Yeah, I'm with the other Andrea on this one. Books are good gifts but a potty training book? Um... I'd rather have a pedicure gift certificate or maybe a nice vase. A DVD I've been wanting to buy.

Not a potty training book. You can't push a kid to be ready before s/he's ready no matter who you are, and as Little Guy's mother, YOU GET TO DECIDE when to try. She definitely overstepped her bounds and has no ground to stand on with her offense-taking self.

Besides, why would she tell you she "hopes you're not offended" when you opened the gift if she didn't already know that she was taking too much liberty on the subject?


2:49 PM  
Blogger lildb said...

I feel too involved already to even comment, but you know I think that's just effed up.

hugs for you sweetie.


3:12 PM  
Blogger JaniceNW said...

Oh Huggles.

It's like the time my SIL sent each boy the same book about Jesus. A multicultural Jesus. I believe Jesus is everyman, every color but I do not appreciate my overly nonreligious inlaw givng these books wrapped to my children. I'm still irked if I think about it and it was a decade ago. You have my complete and total empathy.

My older son was 3.75 before he was competely polly trained. It was when HE was ready. :)

8:24 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

My oldest (the girl 16) was potty trained by 2.5. My son (now 7) was almost 4 before he was potty trained. My doctor told me not to worry when he was ready he would do it. The day care tried to push him and he just kept stop trying. I switched to an in home licensed daycare and he was not pottying in his pants any more, this was August and in October he turned 4.

Your MIL and my step-mommy in law would get along GREAT. If she is not treating my kids as second class citizens she is over stepping her boundaries.

sorry for venting! I don't have any suggestions but I like the AARP and brochure idea!

ps at least you got a present, I didn't even get acknowledged on my birthday. LOL

7:32 AM  
Blogger Karly said...

Good for your husband for telling her to back off. And I can understand buying a mom a potty training book, but as a BIRTHDAY gift? WTF?

11:32 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Thanks for all the comments and feel free to vent away! It helps to hear that I'm not the only one with "challenging" inlaw situations.

12:14 PM  
Blogger The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

Aren't MIL's just peachy? LOL. I wouldn't have liked that either. We've got theBeast pt now, and went about it so casually. It was nice. I think the least amount of pressure the best. I do not think pting is an area where anyone should be sticking their noses in!

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found your post on a post of a post, if you will. You're hilarious. keep blogging!

3:31 PM  
Blogger Mari said...

Ugh! I'm glad he said something too! In my family, MY mom is the intrusive one and my FATHER-in-law is the intrusive one. My MIL is terrific and doesn't overstep at all. Now, her husband on the other hand...

10:27 AM  
Blogger Mari said...

One more thing--I always keep this comment in my head when it comes to potty training--I'm sure the kid will figure it out before kindergarten. If not, chances are he wasn't going to figure it out anyway. Don't rush him!

10:28 AM  
Blogger Domestically Challenged said...

I agree with Deep Fried Yankee. I would get her some sort of book in return.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Jen-The Mom said...

Ah, I see we may both have the same IL's! Seriously, that was rude and disrespectful to you as the parent, and pulling it off as a gift on your birthday? What a beyotch!

5:00 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I have the perfect gift for her (and you)... Mothers-In-Law Do Everything Wrong: M.I.L.D.E.W. She'll get the message in no time! And for you, no matter how "challenging" the MIL, this book makes you laugh and realize you're not the only one going through this! You can check it out at

4:41 PM  

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