< Things I Can't Say: Fairness: I didn't learn it from my mom

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Fairness: I didn't learn it from my mom

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fairness: I didn't learn it from my mom

I always struggle with what is fair between my kids.

They are close in age and are starting to notice these things.

When one gets something or gets to do something, I have to figure out how to balance it with the others.

But, here's an example of how NOT to do this.

Brought to you by my boys' grandparents, who spoil Monkey rotten, only occasionally notice Cub every once in a while and then only to say how cute he is, and completely ignore Bear.

They showed up at our house on Thursday with presents for the boys.
For Monkey: 3 games, 2 puzzles, 5 books, and a set of legos.
For Bear: play tools that were attached to this little truck thing that sang.
For Cub: a ball

Now, I was impressed that they actually mentioned that they noticed how much Bear liked tools, so that's why they bought that for him...

But, Monkey starts yelling that he wants Bear's truck. And Grammy tells him that he can have it.

Bear starts to cry, as Grammy takes the truck out of his hands and hands it Monkey.

Grammy tells Bear that he has to share...though when he reaches for Monkey's legos: she tells him no, that those are for Monkey.

This morning, Monkey manages to smash Bear's tool truck to the point where there is no way to fix it and it had to go in the trash can.

Then, we all went shopping so that they could pick out a birthday present for Monkey.

I do not expect something for the other boys.


Monkey picks out this gigantic superheros castle thing.

Something that both boys can easily play with together.

And they share for a while.

And then Monkey decides he's done and tells Grammy that she has to put it away.

She listens and Bear SOBS as if his little heart was breaking.

I go to get it and Grammy tells me NO, that Monkey wanted his toy put away.

I whirled around and told her, "You told Bear that he had to share the ONE toy that you brought for him and then Monkey broke it. Why does Bear have to share and Monkey doesn't? I don't think so. Here you go, Bear, you can play with it."

Now, you might say that I'm not being fair, that it really is for Monkey's birthday and he should have the right to decide to put it away.

But, Bear isn't hurting it.

And they have to share pretty much everything.

And do a good job at it, usually.

It's only an issue when Grammy is here and favoring Monkey.

And how fair is it that Monkey broke Bear's toy and now Bear doesn't have something new to play with? (Btw, he did not accidentally break it- he acts like a BRAT when his grandparents are around and he maliciously broke it on purpose- because he knows the grandparents will think he's cute and funny for doing this)

It's hard enough for me to work out what is fair, as far as my kids are concerned, but to have the added stress of the way that the grands act like only one of my kids matters...

Is it any wonder that I am now on wine bottle #2 since they arrived 2 days ago?



Blogger Poolside with the Girls said...

I feel for you. You did the right thing. You are the only one being fair in this scenario!

December 5, 2009 at 6:26 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Grandparents can undo in a second hours/days/weeks of hard parenting work!

December 5, 2009 at 6:40 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Oh girl - you did just fine. Good for you for sticking up for Bear.

Grammy should be ashamed of herself, but sadly, she probably just thinks you're too hard on Monkey.

What is it with psycho grandparents?!

December 5, 2009 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger Marina@EBMR said...

oh my goodness...I wouldve have had a meltdown for sure!!! Maybe you should sit them down and have a good talk!!!Some people need it!

Happy SITS sharefest.

PS Come enter the fun giveaways:

December 5, 2009 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Twincerely,Olga said...

Oh! That is so wrong!!I don't know if I would have been as kind as you.My Mom used to do stuff like that.Just makes the kids feel so bad(the ones that aren't noticed)Whats wrong with people???
Happy Sharefest Saturday!!Stop by anytime

December 5, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

That sucks! How old are your kids? we don't have favoritism within between our kids, but my inlaws definitely favor my BIL's daughter over our boys. They said they are cutting back this year. That means for us and not for BIL and daughter. Blah.

December 5, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

You were totally fair. Poor Bear! And Monkey isn't old enough to totally understand...

I have my own issues with Grandparents...like their complete inability and/or unwillingness to use the word "No" like, ever.

Bottoms UP this holiday season! We're all gonna need a nip...or a booze helmet with two straws. whatev.

December 5, 2009 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Foursons said...

You were absolutely right in this matter. Is there anyway you can tell them they aren't welcome at your home unless they treat all the kids the same? Your younger boys are going to have some serious issues about their grandparents if this behavior continues. I feel so badly for them!

December 5, 2009 at 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont have kids, but I think you did the right thing...and may I say that Im impressed, only bottle number two in two days, I would so be like on number five by now;)

December 5, 2009 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Melinda said...

That made my blood boil just reading it! I think you did absolutely the right thing. I was thinking the same things as Foursons ... Would you be able to just tell her ... this is the way it is. If you don't treat them all fairly then you won't be allowed to give gifts for any. Sounds like she's not going to change unless you force her to.

Okay, yes, I just butt in when you didn't ask my advice and you certainly know the situation far better than I do. Just wanting you to be able to alleviate that stress for yourself and the kids! ;0)

December 5, 2009 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Wow. Just...wow. I can't even imagine the words that would fly out of my mouth (and possible objects out of my hands!) if my mom or mil did those things to my kids. Girl, I feel for you! Thank the Lord for wine!!! Hope you make it sanely through the rest of their stay!

Happy Sharefest Saturday!

December 5, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger beenomom said...

Sorry that you have to go through this with your parents. Do you have any clue why it is that they treat your children so differently?

Have you ever had a discussion with them about their behavior? I would calmly explain the issues and then give them the opportunity to fix them. But I would also give them an ultimatum and tell them either they treat all Three of your children as equals, or they will not be spending time with any of their grandchildren.

The older your boys become the more and more they are going to notice this behavior and they will get angry with you too for not putting a stop to it. They won't want their grandparents around.

What a terrible situation for you to be in. I am so sorry they do this!! I'm not trying to tell you what to do, just offer some advice for you! Good luck in a terrible mess!

December 5, 2009 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger adrienzgirl said...

My inlaws favor one over the other. It is so strange. What's really strange is my middle son was 18 months old when hubs and I married. My husband IS for all intensive purposes Daddy, even put his name on the birth certificate. BUT, he isn't his biological father. My stepson and my youngest are. Guess who they favor. Yep, the middle child. IT IS BIZARRE!

December 5, 2009 at 6:19 PM  
Blogger amber_mtmc said...

I think grandparents gravitate towards those they relate with. It is a strange event, when it happens, and heart breaking for parents.

My grandma consistently favored my older brother over my younger brother. She would constantly reprimand my younger brother, to the point that he did not want to be around her anymore. It was really rough. Now, she favors the younger brother! What?!?!

You are one awesome mommy for sticking up for your little boys.

December 6, 2009 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger Tracie said...

I am proud of you for sticking up for your kiddo. I don't know why grandparents show such favoritism but we get that kind of stuff from my MIL all the time.

December 6, 2009 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

My heart goes out to you. It's such a shame that some family members can make things so unpleasant.

www.FunnyPhotosContest.com Submit CUTE or FUNNY photos and tell friends to vote for them. No entry fee.

December 6, 2009 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Stone Fox said...

this sucks. i feel terrible that you have to put up with this. maybe you could talk to your husband about asking his parents to stay in a hotel next time. this is not just "a little favoritism", it is COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE.

December 6, 2009 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

My mother in law sometimes breaks our rules too. And she tells us it should be okay cause she's the grandma and its her job to spoil my kids. But thank goodness my husband can put her in check for me.

December 7, 2009 at 4:00 AM  
Blogger MommyLisa said...

WOW. If my parents acted like that it would be my FOURTH bottle of wine by day two.

Come to my blog today to vote for my daughter in a holiday photo contest - Voting only 12.7 - 12/8 at 9am central!!!

December 7, 2009 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Hoity Toity Baby said...

ARe they gone? I feel for you! Good job momma!

December 16, 2009 at 12:45 PM  

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