InLaws AGAIN!!

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 9:28pm
robinlp's picture
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Joined: 05/14/2002 - 09:00

So, two years ago our relationship was almost ruined w/ my In Laws. They babysat for our children for the weekend at our house. We left, had only safe food in the house and told them to absolutely NOT bring any food into the house. DS is allergic to chicken, turkey, kiwi and nuts. I even told her that we do not allow chicken. Well, on our way home we got a phone call that something was wrong w/ DS. After rushing him to the ER we find out that they had invited people over and had ordered takeout. Not only not knowing the ingredients of what they ordered but they brought chicken into the house! Well, they refused to apologize and our relationship was practically ruined. We did not speak w/out arguing for 6 months. Finally, WE decided to be the bigger people and put things aside for the sake of our relationship w/ them. We decided that they would not babysit but we would rekindle our relationship. So...we get together this weekend for dinner. My MIL goes over the menu w/ a fine tooth comb w/ me...everything is safe. So we all eat dinner and than I go in the other room, walk by the dining room and see everyone 6 people crunching away on candy. My MIL grabs my hand and says, "Oh, you've got to try these candies" Someone else who just learned about Jordan's food allergies at the dinner table yells: "Watch out these candies have nuts in them" . I look at MIL horrified and she goes..."Oh no, I forgot" Grabs the candy from the edge of the table (DS could have easily eaten them...he is just 3 and they were on the table open) and she runs and puts them in the cupboard. I am still shocked.
I really don't know how to handle this. I am CONSTANTLY talking to her about the seriousness of his food allergies and she still does this? Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can make her aware or should we just not take DS to her house anymore to visit and make them come here. I am so frustrated. If you made it this far...thanks for listening!

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/2004 - 9:46pm
Nick's picture
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Joined: 11/01/2000 - 09:00

I made my MIL *almost* understand by saying :- "what part of the word 'fatal' don't you understand?. Shall I get you a dictionary?"

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2004 - 12:15am
BigDaddy's picture
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Joined: 03/20/2003 - 09:00

My FIL forgets all the time. Good thing MIL is usually around to remind him. You are not alone. Apparently this is common.

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2004 - 1:18am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

robinlp,
You need to stop constantly talking to her about PA because she will think you are a flake and disregard what you say.
Your MIL is only going to believe what she is going to believe and she will pick and choose. She is not safe to be around.
You need to stop going to their home. They are not safe. Don't tell them why or you will further alienate them. Just stay away.
Let them come to your house, no explanations. They are more mobile than you are with a child anyway. Your house is safe.
I would stop talking about PA altogether and then give it to them in small bites. They are not ready to be safe around your child.
Your child does not need a grandma who is going to kill him. Period. Don't wait till something BIG happens, do it now.
Peggy

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2004 - 2:49am
CorinneM1's picture
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Joined: 06/20/2002 - 09:00

At first reading Peg's response, it seems a little harsh, but I think that she is right.
Clearly they didn't understand the precautions that were needed the first time around and your child wound up in the ER. Now they do it again...after 6 months of fighting on top of it. Unacceptable. The don't get it, and one would think after an ER scare they would, and still don't.
Dinners/meetings/get togethers will have to be at your house and you will have to provide the menu and food. This is the only way that you can assure yourself that your child is safe.

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2004 - 5:14am
klrwar's picture
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Joined: 02/25/2004 - 09:00

I can relate with you about inlaws...especially the grandparents. They just don't get it. They think we are nuts (no pun intended) when we warn about our son's peanut allergy.
My mom has went to the extent to actually sneak in jar of dry roasted peanuts (yes, actual raw peanuts!!!) into a Christmas party at my brother's house. Here me and my brother are reading the label on the back of a box Saltines to make sure that they don't have a "may contains..." warning, and I look over and see an actual jar of peanuts sitting on the floor (my son is only 3 and could easily have gotten a hold of them). My mom's response when I started to freak was "...oh, I was trying to make sure you didn't know I had these...I really like to eat peanuts when I'm drinking...!!!". She has not watched my son since then, but if the occaision comes up again I feel that I am going to have to search her for peanuts -- like I'm airport security or something! She only watches the kids at our house (she has a very small studio apt.), so luckily us taking them to her house isn't an issue.
MIL is not deceptive, but she can be careless. For example, when we go stay at her house we will call ahead and stress "no peanuts, no nuts, no peanut/nut oil, no 'may contains'..." Then we will show up to tons of chips containing peanut oil, nutter butters everywhere and cakes that say "may contain traces of nuts"...ahhh!!!! This isn't just stuff up on the top shelf of her cupboard, but stuff she specifically bought because we were coming!!!
As for your situation, I can't believe that her actually sending her grandchild to the ER wouldn't get her to understand!!! I would be just mortified w/ guilt and after something like that happened...and she was ARGUING with you about it. I'd be applogizing forever if I did something like that to anyone's kid, let alone my own grandchild! It's just shocking! What is your husbands take on all of this? Maybe since she's his mother he'd be better at making her understand. I agree that you shouldn't go over there until there are some real assurances that it will be safe.
Just so you know, when we vented about the above stuff to our son's allergist, he agreed that older relatives and grandparents are the worst --- he said that the majority of accidental ingestions that he sees in very young children are from relatives actually GIVING the kid the forbidden food (he told me a story of a grandmother who litteraly forced a peanut cookie on a PA toddler when the toddler was saying "no I can't have peanuts"...luckily the kid only broke out in hives and eventually was fine...but still!!!...can you imagine!!!).
Kristin

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2004 - 6:04am
ceross's picture
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Joined: 01/27/2004 - 09:00

It's not just the grandparents that are the culprits. My sister-in-law was just as clueless. We went to her house for my brother-in-law's and niece's birthdays this July. The family knew about DD's allergy. When we walk in, her idea of an appetizer was roast peanuts in shell (shell debris everywhere) and spiced shrimp (while not allergic to it, we're avoiding all fish, shellfish, and nuts; DD is egg and PA). In addition, they have a hyper dog that gives lots of "kisses" and DD is also allergic to dogs. I said something to my MIL about DD running the gauntlet of allergens, and her response indicated that she felt I was overreacting. We were lucky that DD did not have a reaction (even contact).
We have not returned to my brother and sister in laws since the party. I hosted Christmas dinner at our house.
DD had a severe reaction in January, and since then my MIL has been more attentive about the allergy. Since July, I've made it a point to share articles about PA with her. She has been receptive to the information and seems to have a better understanding of the severity of the allergy.
I'm lucky with my family. My mom works in an elementary school with several PA children and she carries an Epi for bee stings, so she understands the importance and even knows about 504 plans. My dad still seems a little in denial about how severe. He doesn't really understand comfort zones, but I trust that he would strictly adhere to my guidelines in terms of feeding DD.
While I think that providing information to family members helps with getting them on your team (so to speak), not every family member is going to make the cut. If a family member cannot work with you to ensure your child's safety, then you need to limit how, where, and when they interact with your child.
Colleen

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2004 - 6:24am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by CorinneM1:
[b]At first reading Peg's response, it seems a little harsh, but I think that she is right.
Clearly they didn't understand the precautions that were needed the first time around and your child wound up in the ER. Now they do it again...after 6 months of fighting on top of it. Unacceptable. The don't get it, and one would think after an ER scare they would, and still don't.
Dinners/meetings/get togethers will have to be at your house and you will have to provide the menu and food. This is the only way that you can assure yourself that your child is safe.
[/b]
It does seem harsh and I agree with you but life without your PA child will be long and horrible.
Corrine, you were so right to say "Unacceptable."
I have 23 years of miserable in-law experience and I learned that one thing my in-laws will never do is LEARN. Therefore I do not give them the opportunity to even make one mistake.
Did Oprah say this? I am embarrassed to be quoting Oprah.......
"When someone shows you who they are, believe them."
I think this is rather smart and fits this situation.
Good luck
Peggy

Posted on: Wed, 03/17/2004 - 12:47am
Sharon C7's picture
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Joined: 02/23/2004 - 09:00

I agree with Peg. We have had nothing but misery from our in-laws and their 7 grown children who bring peanut to every holiday and birthday party there is. With 20 grandkids, there's a lot going on. We finally wrote a letter saying we wouldn't be attending the parties anymore. And I let them know that I am well aware of the malicious conversations that have gone on behind my back, calling me names and acting like I'm some kind of freak because I am concerned over my child. Now all of a sudden they've changed their tune (to my face anyway) but regardless of that, some people are just incapable of being compassionate and considerate. And for those people, you need to be harsh. Being nice just doesn't work for those types.

Posted on: Wed, 03/17/2004 - 1:36am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

As a daughter in law who married "The Prince" only child I have seen things with new eyes.
When we were dating my husband referred to an aunt as "marrying INTO the family" I thought that was odd. As if this were SOME FAMILY to want to "marry into."
Then I came to live in CA where they all live and felt the full brunt of being an "in law"
I think I should write a book on the dil syndrome because I see it so clearly now.
Everything I do or say for 22 years now is looked upon with suspicion by the in-laws. Even the cousin.
I disagree that I "married into" this family because I freaking MADE this family by having the only two grandchildren and giving them a reason to get together and watch the kids grow.
And now I see the cousin who has no children of her own but her husband has three grown children. I see this pattern repeating. The guy the daughter married is a god in the family. The girls the two sons married leave much to be desired in the eyes of the in-laws. How sad.
So I do not trust in-laws and would never trust them with my son's life even though I do not need to since he's grown.
Peg

Posted on: Wed, 03/17/2004 - 4:02am
CorinneM1's picture
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Joined: 06/20/2002 - 09:00

[b]Just so you know, when we vented about the above stuff to our son's allergist, he agreed that older relatives and grandparents are the worst --- he said that the majority of accidental ingestions that he sees in very young children are from relatives actually GIVING the kid the forbidden food (he told me a story of a grandmother who litteraly forced a peanut cookie on a PA toddler when the toddler was saying "no I can't have peanuts"...luckily the kid only broke out in hives and eventually was fine...but still!!!...can you imagine!!!).[/b]
I honestly think that grandparents in situtations like the one you described above think that their children must be full of it and or making PA up. My MIL was somewhat like this...constantly asking us if it was true, are we sure, how can this be etc. She even asked me on many many occasions why I don't have peanut butter in the house.
She also would bring items over to your house when she would visit, but I beleive started getting the message when I would say "Aidan can't have this...you can either take it back, or I can throw it away, but it can't be opened and eaten here".
Seriously, I think that idea of throwing money/food away is what got her to understand that certain products in our household will not be opened and eaten and I would rather see $50 of groceries tossed in the garbage.
Kristin
[/B][/quote]

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