GRRR! Family!

Posted on: Sat, 08/17/2002 - 6:20am
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

pHas this situation happened to any of you? My SIL called last night while I was resting (back problems) and invited my 2 DD's to a beach picnick today and said that she was not inviting Wade because there would be food there that was not safe for him. My DH said sure./p
pWhen I was told about this it maade me angry! Since when is it OK to exclude my son becaus of his PA? Did she offer to take him and have me pack a meal for him? Not on your life. I mean, there will be enough exclusion for Wade at school like not getting invited to birthdays that I don't think he needs to get it from family. Maybe if he had been older, I could have explained it to him but he's only 4./p
pSo I had a talk with my girls (6 12) and they decided that if he could not go they did not want to go either./p
pI caller SIL first thing this morning to say in my most polite voice that it was just too hard to explain to Wsde that he could not go because of hi PA. Instead of just accepting my decision, she got rather snarky and said that he would have to get used to not being included and could'nt DH do something with him? Well, I kept my cool but I think ther was smoke coming out of my ears./p
pWhat is it with people that they seem to think this kind of behaviour is acceptable? Would it be OK to exclude Wade if he were in a wheelchair? How about is he was diabetic? I guess I just expected more from a family member (former nurse) and to attempt to make me feel badly about it after I informed her of my decision on top of it all just steamed me up!/p
pSO now we are invited there for a BBQ next weekend for my DB's birthday, I sure don't feel like going but don't know how to get out of it. She made me feel like I owed her an apology and I think she owes me one. Any advice?/p

Posted on: Sat, 08/17/2002 - 1:56pm
kcmom's picture
Joined: 12/18/2001 - 09:00

I just went through this with a friend of mine a couple weeks ago. She calls me to see if she had a picnic would I come, I said sure. (she called my best friend and asked her the same) A few weeks later I hear from a mutual friend she had a picnic but we were not invited. I am convinced it is because when she called she was asking about dd's allergies and I was explaining how we handle picnics (bring own food. watch VERY closley) but we would never ask someone to change a menu, we would just keep a very close eye on her. Apparently, having us there would have just been too much for her to worry about so we were not invited. Neither was my best friend sadly, because if she wasn't going to invite me she wouldn't invite her either knowing we would talk. I said to my husband, well this is probably just the start. That's okay though, you find out who your friends are!
I would however never expect this from family! Bravo to you for keeping your cool and handling the situation so well! I'm afraid I would have had too many choice words for SIL! Take care and stay strong!! [img][/img]

Posted on: Sat, 08/17/2002 - 4:16pm
Dawn's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

Katiee, that must have been very frustrating, but I do think you handled it well. We, too, have a One for all, All for one family attitude.
As for the snarky SIL, maybe she was feeling defensive because she felt guilty about excluding Wade? I wouldn't want to go to the BBQ either, but it would give you a chance to talk to her about it face to face. IMHO, she owes you the apology. You can always give the veiled "apology"...
Sorry about last weekend, the girls were worried they would hurt Wade's feelings if they got to go to the picnic and he didn't. Kind of sounds like an apology, but is really a jab. (Is that awful? [img][/img])

Posted on: Sun, 08/18/2002 - 3:02am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

I give your two older daughters credit for taking a mature attitude about it. That is an indication to me that you have done a great job parenting.
We also have made the family decision that we will not participate in activities unless both children (8 year old w/ PA and 4 year old NON-PA) can attend. It is just our family philosophy at this time, and as both children are still fairly young it has worked okay so far. There are exceptions, of course, like our non-PA child attending a camp that would not be appropriate for her PA DS who wasn't interested in attending. But in a family activity like the one you described, we would have made the same choice.
You have a lot of work ahead with your SIL! But it is necessary and a long-term investment. Can you appeal to her by telling how important her role can be? I wonder if she is scared of the reponsibility and you could help her by addressing that? If so,it could be an indication that she does take PA very seriously and that could become very positive...
Good luck,

Posted on: Sun, 08/18/2002 - 3:17am
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

You guys are great! I was feeling so down after this episode, I kept thinking of all the non invites to come in the years ahead and I guess I was feeling sorry for myself. Well that's over, I'm happy my girls made the right decision and I know it was the right one! I'm doubly glad that I stoodf up to my SIL, she has a rather "strong personality", if you know what I mean!
As for my SIL, I find it hard to believe that she was ever a registered nurse because she is the only one in my extended family of 20 + that does not get it! You would think that Wade's reaction at my nephew's wedding (her son) reception last May would have opened her eyes but it did not. She even sat me down at a family gathering when Wade was still under 2 and told me that I needed to get a grip about PA and that Wade would just have to get used to being aroung unsafe food. Excuse me but a 2 year old is supposed to understand?
Whatever, I'll just keep trying to educate her and in the meantime, for family peace sake I'll attend the stinking BBQ (with Wade's own supply of food) and watch Wade closely all the while comenting out loud "no Wade, that food is not safe for you, I guess aunty did not read the label" think she'll get the veiled message? [img][/img]
Thanks again guys!

Posted on: Mon, 08/19/2002 - 12:35am
awomick's picture
Joined: 05/16/2002 - 09:00

I trying to figure out if your SIL and my mother were twins separated at birth! [img][/img] I have heard the same comments this week form my mom. We went to her houre a few weeks ago for a faimly birthday party and she mad a cake covered in nuts b/c "She was not making it for Jake." Nevermind the fact that Jake is 3 and that was the only dessert available. The problem is, as a nurse also, she thinks she gets it and no one can tell her otherwise. I would expect it fom someone else, but not my own mother. I just wanted you to know I understand!

Posted on: Mon, 08/19/2002 - 2:20am
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

They do sound like they are related Alicia, I wonder how many more of them there are? [img][/img] It's just so hard to understand why they chose to continue living in the dark when it is really so easy to keep our kids safe. All they have to do is not serve nuts or nut products when our PA kids are around. Go figure! I have to wonder what it would take for people like them to get it? Too scarry to contemplate I think!
Thanks for the support.

Posted on: Wed, 08/21/2002 - 12:07am
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I`ve been out of town for a week so I just saw this. Your SIL makes me so angry!! As bad as my family is, they would never do that! About the BBQ, do you know that they are not having anything with peanuts? If they were having peanuts would that be a problem for you? For me, it would. I wish I could think of what you could say to your SIL, but I`m stumped. She sounds so thoughtless!

Posted on: Wed, 08/21/2002 - 9:13am
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

Well, there would not be any obvious peanut containing foods there but there likely would be "may contain" products. My comfort zone is OK with this.
I learned the last time we were there that she truly does not get it. Although she tried to check with me for certain things, other foods that she served were clearly not safe (bakery bread she used in an appetizer as well as the bread served at dinner, I told her which ice cream was safe and she bought another brand).
Because of this I now have a policy of providing ALL Wade's food wherever we go. This way I know his food will be safe. So this Saturday, DH will BBQ a hamburger at home before we go and I will bring along the Ketchup, safe snacks and I will also bring ice cream and a birthday cake for my DD and my brother.
Sometimes don't you all just feel like turning down invitations because of all the work they mean? I never do (as long as I know there will be no peanuts there) because I want Wade to feel included and get used to social situations but I sure would like to sometimes.
Take care,

Posted on: Wed, 08/21/2002 - 3:15pm
audreylilliansmom's picture
Joined: 08/14/2002 - 09:00

That just really sucks! I mean, would she allow him to go swimming without a life jacket? Would she allow him to play in the middle of an interstate? There's not much of a difference, in my opinion.
And what's the big deal about peanuts anyway? It's one small part - there's LOTS of foods he CAN have! So leave the peanuts off the burgers or whatever and GET OVER IT!
Sorry, I just had to vent for you!

Posted on: Wed, 08/21/2002 - 10:44pm
becca's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Ugh. Round it goes. This is very similar to an issue I had with a friend a couple weeks ago and posted here. I do have some family that does not get it, but all are well-intended. I feel for you that this SIL is so in your face and disrespectful of your wishes. It is a shame, and unfortunate for your child. becca

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