Wwyd? My MIL never takes my toddler to the bathroom...

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Posted 11/7/2013 by Cynthia V in NSBR Board
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Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:07:44 PM
Hi there ladies, I know I don't post much but I'm a long time lurker

I need advice on an issue that's been bothering me for the last couple of months. Every time my son (age 3) comes back from my MIL's he returns home soaked in his urine.

My MIL has him every Thursday for about 4-5 hours. This is not babysitting but rather "bonding time". I send changing clothes just in case he has an accident, and every single time she has him he either poops or pees on his pants and again on the extra clothes!

My son has been potty trained for about 3-4 months but still has accidents here and there, maybe once every two weeks mostly at school. He's pretty good about letting an adult know he needs to go to the bathroom but sometimes he waits to the last minute or until is too late.

My issue is, if she already knows he's not telling her (assuming he's not telling her) shouldn't she take him to bathroom every 2-3 hours to make sure he uses the bathroom? I get the first, second and even third time were accidents, but every single time? I feel she just doesn't care. When my husband asks her what's going on, she just shrugs her shoulders and pretty much says she doesn't know. Wth!

I want to stop the "bonding time" since she doesn't seem to care but my husband thinks I'm over reacting. My MIL and I don't have a good relationship and we aren't even talking to each other at this point. (For other reasons).

I'm tired of seeing my son come back home soaked in his urine.

How would you handle this situation?
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lynnea
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:13:35 PM
How old is he? If under 3, I would put him in a pull up. Since he has accidents at school regularly also, I don't think I would think much else of it She isn't taking him, rather she is expecting him to ask if he needs to go.

Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:14:59 PM
He's 3 1/2.
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myshelly
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:16:44 PM
I would send him for much shorter periods of time.

Take him to the bathroom when you (or DH or whoever) drop him off, let him spend 2 hrs there, then take him to the bathroom as soon as you return to pick him up, then go home.

If MIL balks, tell her it's a compromise. She can't/won't take care of his needs over a long period of time, so she can have him for a shorter period of time.

2 hrs is plenty of time for a visit.


paigepea
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:20:51 PM
Have you - or dh - asked her to take him to the bathroom every couple of hours? If you've asked and she won't do it then I'd stop the bonding time.

Don't fret too much over it. He's young and hasn't been trained for long.

P.






Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:24:48 PM
I haven't since we don't talk, but I've been telling dh to tell his mother to take our son to the bathroom every 2-3 hrs. I just can't understand why it isn't common sense after all this time...
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KatieBPea
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:25:08 PM
I don't think you're overreacting. I would have a problem with my child returning home in that condition.

Sending him in a pullup is one option, but I also wouldn't want my child staying wet or dirty for that length of time. If she is sending him home in wet or dirty clothes, it stands to reason that she would let him stay in a wet or dirty pull-up until he is sent home, too.

Bonding time is wonderful, and I think time with grandparents is very important. However, part of taking care of a child is taking care of all their needs, and this is one of them.


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moveablefeast
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:25:22 PM
I would not go back to pull ups. You don't want him to learn that sometimes he has to go to the toilet like a big boy and sometimes he gets to pee in a diaper - and he should learn to go to the bathroom when he needs to, wherever he is. This sounds like a habit and habits can be broken.

I would shorten the duration of the visits for a while until he gets the hang of it a bit more.

And I might also incentivize coming home dry from Grandma's with stickers, tokens, whatever your reward system accommodates. Maybe if he comes home dry from Grandma's he gets a sticker, and when he gets 4 stickers he gets to do something special with mom.

Just my off the cuff thought.

LemonaideLinda
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:30:26 PM
At the end of these visits is your son happy? upset? unconcerned about the accidents?

And how long is he staying in wet/dirty clothing? And I'd be concerned if his bottom/crotch is broken out with a horrible case of diaper rash if he's left in the wet clothing too long.

I'd end the visits for now and state this as the reason why. I understand that you're angry with your MIL, but this needs to be discussed.

Ariana_T
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:36:48 PM
I would not put him in a pullup during the day! That could be really confusing for him!


I would send him for much shorter periods of time.

Take him to the bathroom when you (or DH or whoever) drop him off, let him spend 2 hrs there, then take him to the bathroom as soon as you return to pick him up, then go home.

If MIL balks, tell her it's a compromise. She can't/won't take care of his needs over a long period of time, so she can have him for a shorter period of time.

2 hrs is plenty of time for a visit.


This is exactly[/i/] what I would do. Exactly! Good luck.


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ratqueen
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:43:52 PM
Two things...

1. You can maintain your distance with MIL when it comes to your relationship with her, for whatever reasons you have to do so. But it's not fair to your son to refuse communication with her surrounding his visits with her. Send an email or a written note if need be, but you HAVE to put your own shit aside and put your son's needs above and ahead of it. I'm not saying this in a snarky way, I'm saying it as someone who has also had a very complicated relationship with her MIL. I hope you don't read this as my saying just to ignore the grownup issues between you two because that's not how I mean it.

2. The pea who mentioned shortening the visits and making it clear that the toileting issues are the reason is very wise. That's the perfect compromise IMHO.



Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:57:31 PM
"At the end of these visits is your son happy? upset? unconcerned about the accidents?

And how long is he staying in wet/dirty clothing? And I'd be concerned if his bottom/crotch is broken out with a horrible case of diaper rash if he's left in the wet clothing too long."

Sometimes he's happy, others a bit ashamed of the accidents and I always tell him he needs to let grandma know he needs to go potty.

Last week he sat on his wet pants for 2hrs during a car ride. Again, she had nothing to say about that.
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KatieBPea
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:00:29 PM

Last week he sat on his wet pants for 2hrs during a car ride. Again, she had nothing to say about that.

I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around this. It's just not right.


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Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:00:49 PM
I agree with you ratqueen. I really need to put our bs to the side and have a talk with my mil.

Also, I think the 2hr visit might work better for us.
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Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:11:40 PM
"I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around this. It's just not right."

Exactly. This is why I'm so upset, and it drives me nuts that dh doesn't seem to see the problem. I feel like it's more important to him that our son spends time with his mother than to have a talk with her because he thinks it's inconvenient for her? He feels like he's already asking for too much, that being the bonding time I guess. Idk
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TalissaAmity
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:18:28 PM
I too have trouble with my MIL but she would not let one of my children sit in soiled pants for two hours.

I think cutting down the visit to two hours sounds good. Your husband can tell MIL he will be willing to send your son for longer when he is better toilet trained.

Maybe some more reminders to your son to tell MIL when he needs to go to the toilet, and more reminders to MIL to ask him if he feels like going.

I'd send him with 4 or 5 sets of pants, so there is no excuse for mil to let him sit in wet pants.

Is he actually using the toilet at all at your MILs? Sounds like he is just holding on as long as he can.
I'm guessing he is scared or frightened to go to the toilet there.

I wouldn't be happy that DH would rather have my son sit in wet pants than try and sort out the issue with his Mother. Seriously having a 3 and a half year old sit in wet pants for two hours verges on cruel.
Imagine if they did that at a childcare centre? They would be reported to the authorities for sure.

Is your MIL actually keen on having your son over? Someone who is willing to let their grandson sit in soiled pants for two hours doesn't really sound like they care much.

Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:25:36 PM
"Is he actually using the toilet at all at your MILs? Sounds like he is just holding on as long as he can.
I'm guessing he is scared or frightened to go to the toilet."

He's not using the toilet at all. My mil babysits her other grandson, so the two kids play non stop while they are there and I think my son tries to hold it as much as he can so he doesn't miss on the fun I'm guessing.

My problem with this is that my mil has babysat her other grandson since he was a baby (he's 5 now) and she knows kids do that. She's not new to
all this.
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lana
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:26:11 PM
I`'ve been trying to just lurk lately... shot down too many times... but I have to ask... how can two adult women not be talking, especially when it puts a child in the middle?! There have been plenty of people I didn't like and would avoid if I could.... but the days of not talking to someone ended about 50 years ago.

Good luck.. And I hope you find a solution that keeps your son`s grandmother in his life.... although weekly bonding time does seem a little forced to me... are you certain she sees it this way or maybe feels used as a babysitter. ( no clue... j u st asking)



Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:36:13 PM
"I`'ve been trying to just lurk lately... shot down too many times... but I have to ask... how can two adult women not be talking, especially when it puts a child in the middle?! There have been plenty of people I didn't like and would avoid if I could.... but the days of not talking to someone ended about 50 years ago.

Good luck.. And I hope you find a solution that keeps your son`s grandmother in his life.... although weekly bonding time does seem a little forced to me... are you certain she sees it this way or maybe feels used as a babysitter. ( no clue... j u st asking) "

I can't talk to that woman. Every time I try to talk to her about anything she pretty much says nothing, just sits there and listens, but then she will go on her computer and type a 3 page letter pretty much trying to put me down AND she will mail it to me lol. I'm done with her passive aggressive behavior, it only brings me down. She exhausts me.

She knows this isn't babysitting and I've made that clear to her.
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RST
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:43:40 PM
She may be of the mindset (common in an older generation) that you let the child sit in wet clothing, and the discomfort and embarrassment will motivate him to learn to use the potty. Or possibly she just doesn't notice and he's not volunteering the information.

To be honest, your son is not potty trained. He's having some successes in some situations, and that's great and you want to build on that. But he's not yet there. Limiting his time away from you is one way to proceed. Or you can give him tools to help him succeed on his own. There is a potty reminder watch that some kids like -- you set the timer to remind them to go at set intervals. You could opt to just call or text your MIL with reminders (after having a discussion about your concerns.) OR you can work with him on ways to find cues in his day -- for example, every time the TV show changes to a new show, that's a good time to get up and go potty. Or everytime you take a drink of water, go potty. Don't get into the car to go somewhere until you've hit the bathroom first. -- Better yet, have him help generate some of these "rules" so he can take ownership of them and integrate them into his day.

Little boys often don't want to leave the activity they're wrapped up in to take a bathroom break -- sometimes it works have a desirable activity that they can only access while in the bathroom -- a handheld game, or music for example.

I have 4 sons, not a one of whom who was easy to potty train, for one reason or another. They all get there eventually, but it takes considerable persistence with some of them. Hang in there.



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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:46:20 PM
I wouldn't let him go to her house anymore, and I would tell her exactly why. What she is doing is neglectful.

I can't believe your husband doesn't have a problem with his son sitting in urine soaked clothes for two hours.


Rhonda



Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:46:57 PM
"There is a potty reminder watch that some kids like -- you set the timer to remind them to go at set intervals."

I will try this. Thanks for the advice.
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AnneMD
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:50:33 PM
You mention that your DH worried that the bonding time is already possibly inconvenient for her? Was it HER idea that they have this bonding time or was it your DH's? If it was not her idea, I would not continue a weekly bonding time at all! I'm sorry you are having problems with your MIL - I understand!



Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:50:52 PM
"Is your MIL actually keen on having your son over? Someone who is willing to let their grandson sit in soiled pants for two hours doesn't really sound like they care much."

These are my thoughts as well. I few months ago I cut the whole bonding time, and of course she cried to whoever would listen about the horrible person I am and how she missed him. I'm at loss here. I really want to have a talk with her but I know she's "not ready"
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marycain
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:54:45 PM

He feels like he's already asking for too much, that being the bonding time I guess


Is the "bonding time" his idea, or hers?

Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:55:13 PM
"You mention that your DH worried that the bonding time is already possibly inconvenient for her? Was it HER idea that they have this bonding time or was it your DH's?"

I really don't know why it's so important to him but having our son have this time with her means a lot to him and he doesn't want to damage that relationship, and I think he thinks talking to his mother might damage it? It was my idea initially and she jumped on board. But when I tried to cut it she acted as if the world was coming to an end, so I'm confused as well lol
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~celeste~
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:56:27 PM
Isn't he getting her couches/chairs or whatever wet? That just seems strange to me. What does she say?

Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/7/2013 11:59:57 PM
She hasn't said anything. I'm sure the car seat was wet but she never mentioned.
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mnm_y2
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Posted: 11/8/2013 12:09:28 AM
Sounds like a weekly babysitting that she might no longer be willing to do. Does she babysit her other grandson just that day? Is he similar in age/potty trained?

I think shortening the visit is the best way to go.
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Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/8/2013 12:18:28 AM
"Sounds like a weekly babysitting that she might no longer be willing to do. Does she babysit her other grandson just that day? Is he similar in age/potty trained?

I think shortening the visit is the best way to go."

She's the one that calls the night before to remind us she's picking him up from school. I don't think of as babysitting since I really don't want my son with her and much rather have him with me. She knows that too.

She babysits the other grandson mon-fri and he's a year older than my son but she has babysat for him since he was a baby. He is fully potty trained now.
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Mary Kay Lady
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Posted: 11/8/2013 12:21:51 AM

That would drive me crazy to have my MIL treat my child like that. She's the adult. She's not accepting responsibility for his care if she doesn't take him to the toilet and/or help him change his clothes as needed.

And the way that she treats you? That is totally unacceptable in my world. I wouldn't let someone treat me like that. If she can't/won't talk to you than she doesn't get to spend time with her grandson. It's a package deal. She doesn't get to play with the grandchild if she isn't mature enough to settle her differerences with you.

Your HUSBAND needs to stand up to her and tell her that her treatment of you is unacceptable and that she needs to be more responsible about her care for your child when he's in her care.

I'm thinking that since she's already demonstrated that she's passive-agressive she's intentionally ignoring your child's toileting needs in order to make you angry.

If you husband won't confront your MIL then I'm thinking that your son doesn't need to go over there anymore. She's not taking good care of him.



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Cynthia V
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Posted: 11/8/2013 12:25:41 AM
Mary Kay Lady, I couldn't agree with you more. Thank you for validating what I've been feeling.
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Posted: 11/8/2013 2:23:14 AM
My DS lived with us after he separated from his wife, and my 2 YO newly trained DGD came to stay for weekends. At first she would have accidents. She felt so bad about it, and it just broke my heart. I also hated to see her in clothes with urine or poo on them. I made sure she was changed quickly, and began reminding her frequently to use the bathroom so it would not happen again. Within a month or two the problem went away.

I'm telling you this to say that any grandparent worth the name will help a child in this situation. They will not let a child sit in urine, and they will definitely remind the child or help in other ways.

Goodness, in your MILs situation, besides reminding, I would go to the goodwill and have several changes of clothing available so my grandchild had clean clothes.

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Posted: 11/8/2013 2:25:25 AM
Been there, done that - Soo sorry!




Eta: silly spelling error











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Posted: 11/8/2013 2:57:36 AM
I would cut out the visits unless your DH stays there with him. Her neglectful attitude about the potty breaks may be an extension of whatever issues she has with you. Basically tell her (or have DH tell her) that until your son is fully potty trained (as in reliably can go by himself) that your DH needs to be there for visits. Maybe in a year or so you can try out the unsupervised visits again.

KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 11/8/2013 3:17:58 AM
Sorry but my kid would not be there. Family or not, she is toxic and had problems. I would tell dh," one more accident and she is done".

Nicole in TX
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Posted: 11/8/2013 4:49:30 AM
Do you think there is something going on that he is trying to communicate with you by messing his pants?

If she is that toxic to you, it is possible some abuse could be going on, especially since you are not there.

If she doesn't care enough to take 3 minutes to go to the toilet, and doesn't care enough to change him out of his soiled clothing, what else is she not caring about?



miominmio
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Posted: 11/8/2013 4:58:25 AM
What Nicole said. Not change his soiled clothes are neglect, and there might be more going on. No way would a person who refuse to talk to me, and not even care enough about my child to take proper care of him, be allowed to be near him unsupervised. Your DH needs to stand up for his child!

kimberly38
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Posted: 11/8/2013 5:00:26 AM
So your dh is worried about his mom losing her bonding time with your son? From what I am reading, she is not bonding with him. He is playing with her other grandson.

If his mother was bonding with your son, he would not have wet or soiled pants at every single visit with your son.

Who cleans up your son when he gets home? You or your husband? Who cleans his other soiled clothes? Again, you or your husband? If you, from now on, I would make it your husband's job. What he doesn't do doesn't affect him. But, maybe, when he cleans up the mess, he might get more of an idea.

Also, ask your husband how he would like to be in wet pants for a couple of hours? Does he think his child likes it any less or more? What if your child develops a rash because of this?

I think it is up to your dh to set his mom straight. "Mom, I love that you want this time with Junior, but if he keeps coming home in soiled clothes, I am afraid that we will have to stop the visits all together or cut them short. You raised kids before. I just don't understand why this is happening? Can you explain this to me? Cousin never had wet pants? Don't you care that Junior is sitting in wet pants all the time when he is at your home? Why can't you take five minutes every hour or so an take him to the bathroom? What am I not getting?".

beanbuddymom
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Posted: 11/8/2013 5:24:46 AM
Sounds like what was said above me, this isn't bonding time, this is MIL getting 4-5 hours of break time while the kid she normally babysits plays with someone else all day.

I'm willing to bet if she isn't caring about the wet pants, as others have said, what else isn't she caring about?

Is she even supervising them during this time? Maybe she takes a nap or otherwise is not watching them.

Whatever it is, I would not allow my DS there unsupervised with her neglectful attitude. If DH wants him to bond, she can come to your house and visit. Someone mentioned having your DH go and supervise visits at her house, but honestly given the fact that he doesn't see the issue and won't talk to his mother about it, I'm willing to bet he either won't go, or he would just drop off your DS and lie about staying there.

I'm sorry I don't even think the 2 hour solution is worth it here. I just don't feel she's properly supervising and I wouldn't feel comfortable sending him back .

I'm sure she will pull the guilt card but really she is using your son as a break from watching that other little boy and I'm betting that is what she will miss most.


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merrick
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Posted: 11/8/2013 5:31:33 AM
i'm not sure why your DH doesn't see this is a concern. if he's wet and smells of urine, won't he feel bad if his cousin says "you smell" or "look, you peed your pants". kids say things, not necessarily to be mean, just because it's their observation.

i'm a firm believer in going right to the source. i don't like other people speaking for me (they rarely get it "just right"!). maybe you should write your MIL at letter expressing your concerns, and mail it. but i suspect she wouldn't like that very much!

but really, if i felt i could get no where with my MIL, i would be telling my DH that until he addresses this with him mom, we'll need to reconsider the visits or at the very least, make them shorter until DS has this worked out.

Peabay
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Posted: 11/8/2013 5:36:08 AM
This is so strange. Tell your dh to man up and talk to his mother. It is not appropriate for your child to come home soaked with urine.

You can do your end by making sure he goes etc.... but seriously - what is your dh's problem with his mother that he can't have a rational, adult to adult discussion with her? I understand she's a difficult person, but must your son suffer because of your dh's inability to just talk to his mother?



Ms. Liz
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Posted: 11/8/2013 5:42:37 AM

I would cut out the visits unless your DH stays there with him.


This, and


Your HUSBAND needs to stand up to her and tell her that her treatment of you is unacceptable


This.


Every time I try to talk to her about anything she pretty much says nothing, just sits there and listens, but then she will go on her computer and type a 3 page letter pretty much trying to put me down AND she will mail it to me lol.


That's just off the wall crazy. I feel so badly for you that your husband allows her to do this to you.


My mil babysits her other grandson, so the two kids play non stop while they are there
That's why she wants your son there. So she won't have to engage with either of them. As a mom of twins, I can tell you it's really nice to have that built in playmate. If she didn't have your son there, she'd have to deal with the other grandson on her own. Of course she'll make a fuss when she doesn't have your son. She doesn't actually want to deal with either of them, and having your son fixes everything.


I really don't know why it's so important to him but having our son have this time with her means a lot to him


She's been complaining to your DH. Your DH will do anything to shut her up.

Good luck!



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I eat my peas with honey. I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny, But it keeps them on the knife.



little mama
Squirrel!

PeaNut 51,555
October 2002
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Posted: 11/8/2013 7:02:27 AM
I would handle it by talking to her. She is far removed from the potty training days, and may not realize what stage you are in of it.


Marianne,
Wife of 18 years to the best hubby ever, and mama for 16 years to the greatest son a mom could ask for!

marycain
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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January 2007
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Posted: 11/8/2013 7:14:21 AM
For all the issues I have with my MIL, she would never, ever ignore my kids' needs, or send them home wet or dirty. That is simply not acceptable for a caregiver, be it a parent or a grandparent. Since your DH doesn't see the problem, you're going to have to be your son's advocate here. He is the one caught in the middle of the adults' dysfunctional relationships, and it's totally unfair to him.

AKathy
Peaing From Podunk

PeaNut 45,443
August 2002
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Loc: North Dakota

Posted: 11/8/2013 7:20:19 AM
I would tell her there will be no more bonding time until he is more reliably potty trained. No way would I send my child to her house knowing he will end up soaked and sitting in urine.
If my DH didn't like that then he could continue bonding time if he stayed with his son while at MIL's.


***************************************


Mother Goose's Meandering Mind



CountryHam
PeaFixture

PeaNut 335,105
August 2007
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Posted: 11/8/2013 7:26:29 AM

My son has been potty trained for about 3-4 months but still has accidents here and there, maybe once every two weeks mostly at school. He's pretty good about letting an adult know he needs to go to the bathroom but sometimes he waits to the last minute or until is too late.


He hasn't been potty trained that long AT ALL. You even admit here (which everyone else seems to have missed) that he has accidents at schools too so it's not just at your mother in laws.



Dalai Mama
La Pea Boheme

PeaNut 49,641
September 2002
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Posted: 11/8/2013 7:28:02 AM
The humiliation your son must be feeling isn't exacly conducive to bonding.

I had a similar issue with my son's daycare - he was trained at 2 and none of his other 'classmates' were. They couldn't be bothered taking a trip to the bathroom just for him, so they stuck him back in a diaper for the day. To me, taking a child who is fully trained and making him defecate in his pants, diaper or no, was abusive.


Jo Mama

***********************************

Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight. - Bruce Cockburn

The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. - Douglas Adams


Dalai Mama
La Pea Boheme

PeaNut 49,641
September 2002
Posts: 26,337
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Posted: 11/8/2013 7:31:17 AM

He hasn't been potty trained that long AT ALL. You even admit here (which everyone else seems to have missed) that he has accidents at schools too so it's not just at your mother in laws.
It isn't an 'accident' if she isn't taking him to the bathroom. It isn't an 'accident' if it happens every single time he is at grandma's. And it isn't an 'accident' if he's left to sit in his own urine.


Jo Mama

***********************************

Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight. - Bruce Cockburn

The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. - Douglas Adams


TalissaAmity
PeaAddict

PeaNut 154,643
June 2004
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Loc: Melbourne Australia

Posted: 11/8/2013 7:36:59 AM
Countryham, OPs son has an accident once every two weeks at school. I'm not sure how many days a week he is in school. If he is there 5 days a week, that is an accident once out of every 10 days, not EVERY day like at MILs.

There is "something" going on there.

I bet they don't make him sit in wet pants for two hours at school or send him home soaked in urine.
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