I am an only child. My parents were sort of strict and weird. Not in any outstanding way. Just that anyone who hears details of my childhood thinks that I missed out on a lot.
Now I have a four year old daughter. We live across the country from my parents. They are currently visiting for Christmas–day 2 of a 7 day visit.
And my mother has gone off on my small daughter, because my small daughter was hyped up at bedtime and dancing instead of putting on her pajamas.
My small daughter is now crying herself to sleep, and asked if grandma was going to take away all her Christmas presents.
Mama Bear (me) is angry as hell. I want to tell my mother to apologize. I want to ask her how old she is that she makes her four-year-old granddaughter cry at Christmas. I want to ask her what kind of entitlement complex she has. I frankly want to indulge my daughter when she asks that grandma never visit again.
It happens on every visit. My father is this way, too. Whenever my daughter gets too excited he will throw a micro-fit and walk off the scene.
It’s funny. Because they have such poor self-control, I developed almost unearthly self-control. I couldn’t lose it around them, ever, because they would instantly lose it in a much bigger and more frightening way. So I am ultra-calm, and that’s what my daughter is used to. She’s not spoiled, she’s just happy and bubbly. Not the meek little stain on the carpet my parents raised me to be.
I don’t know what to do. It’s clear I can never, ever leave her alone with them, and at the moment I am heartsick with anger.
On the other hand, it’s not name-calling. It’s not denigration. It’s not hitting. It’s just two self-satisfied old farts who think they shouldn’t have to be bothered by their granddaughter, and think they have a right to yell and stomp away when she’s more than they want to handle. The truth is, they just don’t like children.