MIL's bday gift- PIP- *long* — The Bump
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MIL's bday gift- PIP- *long*

So back story, most of you know, my MIL is a religious zealot who is convinced everyone in the world is going to Hell besides those people at her church.  It's a bone of contention between her and DH and has been ever since he was born, basically.  She also said in her Christmas letter this past year that Simon was a "sad baby" who always looks like "he's been watching the news".  She never apologized to me about it, just apologized for offending me.  Whatever. 

I have told her over, over, over... on the phone, in writing, over email, please, please, please DO NOT give gifts of a religious nature to my boys.  DH has told her.   Again and again.  That we think she is extreme and we would prefer to handle the spiritual teaching to our children (we are Lutheran and Christian but not like she is- she's like FOX News city).  She is not allowed to be alone with our children because of her religious views and she knows that, we make no bones about hiding it.   She flat out refuses to abide by our requests.  Here's her birthday gift to Si:


Now, the book is actually cute, and I think the shirt is kind of funny, but after time and time again over being told no religious gifts?  There was also some sippy cups & a toy so I took those out and left this stuff in bag.  More on that later.  

So also in the card she wrote a poem.  She writes "poems" for every occasion and always calls everyone to attention so she can read it out loud.  I skimmed it, and I quickly put it back in the bag.  I KNOW she wanted me to stop the party, have her read it out loud, etc, but I'm sorry.  NO.  Not when you can't respect my wishes!  Here's the poem:

Simon, Simon, we can't believe you're one,

Simon our fantastic fantabulous and awesome grandson

At first we thought you a very serious but then we discovered your secret ploy

You saved up laughter inside where we couldn't see

only to be released by one who had the right key

And who do you suppose knew just what had to be done

to get those laughs out and have lots of fun?

Yup!  Big brother Alex could fund your funny bone

so you would laugh and laugh but not alone

You got all of those around you laughing with such glee

Chuckles rolled out, your grin they could clearly see

So SImon we wonder what other secrets you're hiding

We look forward to their unveiling

As we get to know how you are fearfully and wonderfully made

We thank God for the role that only by you can be played. 

It's like DROP THE SAD BABY THING ALREADY!!!  It's OVER!  No one wants it to be immortalized forever in your effing birthday poem!!  

So... part of me, of course, now, feels bad.  Bad that I didn't let her read the stupid poem and bad that I didn't show her gifts.  Because I'm actually not offended by the gifts themselves- more offended by the fact that she JUST WON'T FREAKING LISTEN TO ME.  

DH says *shrug* "She just CAN'T turn it off."

I get that.  She lives and breathes it, it's a little bit unfair of me to ask her to deny what she perceives as her whole world in front of her grandchildren.  But- I am the mother.  I set the rules.  She needs to listen.

I know sometimes people post and just want to hear what they want to hear- but tell me honestly... what do you think?  Really.  What do you think?

If you read this far I'm pouring you a stiff drink and giving you a free pass to Heaven.  

The Boy Wonder 8/23/06 & The Famous Baby 6/1/10
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Re: MIL's bday gift- PIP- *long*

  • CelynCelyn
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 5 Love Its
    I think that was her way of trying to apologize for the sad boy thing.  From the outsider perspective, it seems like she was really trying there, but I can also see from your angle that it's a miserable fail.  She sounds like she's all kinds of complicated and a bit daft.  I have a few friends for whom is it impossible not to praise God with every few breaths.  Kind of like how some people say "um."  I can appreciate their zealousness and if I let it annoy me, it'd flat out drive me insane, so I just slide it slide off.  Just teach your boys that there are people like that in the world and they don't have to agree with them.
  • I did read the whole thing and I'm so so sorry. As for the poem, HELL no. I definitely agree with that. As for the gifts, I don't know how to handle that. I might just show them at the party and then get rid of them later. Or take each one on a gift by gift basis, decide if you can tolerate it or not and either let it go or throw away. It seems that "no religious gifts" is not something that she can even conceive of. The shirt is not particularly religious. I don't know. Can you compromise a little and then tell him in private when he's older that Grandma is a perfect example of "overdoing" something, ie, too much of a good thing? 


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  • jsugrinjsugrin
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments

    If I stop and think, now what if my mom gave my kids those gifts, I'd think the T shirt and bible were cute. We're not religious and are a bit conflicted on how we want to expose the boys to religion but my mom is pretty catholic and I'd be fine with them. Now had I told her no religious gifts then I'd probably feel the need to draw the line but I often have to ask myself "is this worth it".  I think in this case, with your Nutball MIL, it's not worth saying a thing about the shirt and bible.  I mean really, what will it get you?  You'll be frustrated and angry and she'll get all hurt and it all goes in one ear and out the other.  So if you'll get over it more quickly to say something than do, but if it's going to prolong your own misery than skip it.

    The poem, ehhh, had I not been privy to the whole "sad boy" thing I would think it quite cute that she talked about him seeming like a serious baby and that Alex opened him up, it's a sweet observation about their relationship.  Considering all the drama that went down though, if she had an ounce of sense she would have left that out of the poem, but she doesn't.......apparently god didn't give her anyConfused.  The last two lines of the poem, blech, but your DH is right, she simply can't help herself.

    From what I remember of Alex's, either last bday or Christmas gift this seems pretty good.

  • I think sadly she is most likely trying. Without the whole sad baby thing, I agree the poem is kinda cute. I don't think it needs to be read outoud or anything. But a cute keepsake for Simon. I think she has burned her bridges so much that if she wrote a poem about wine and how fabulous you are it still would sit wrong, kwim !?

    Is there anyway you guys can begin to pre-open the gifts for the boys from them ? Maybe Cf can request for them to buy the boys each one REALLY nice bible for the boys that they can always have. There is no need to buy a bible every time they give a gift. I have one as a kid that has my name engraved or embroidered or whatever in it, and I still have it and like it. Maybe Cf needs to just say to mil that you guys are " scared of the boys going the other way religiously if its pushed on them too much ". Maybe that will scare her and she will just pray for them more rather then give the religious gifts.

    Sorry it sucks every which way  Sad

  • I can totally see why it would bother you.  If I were in your shoes it would bother me too. It seems like she can't let go of some things and for sure does not respect your wishes.  So with that being said, unfortunately you have to live with it for the rest of her life because she is your husband's mom - so you can accept it (more of ignore it) or you can have your husband talk to her one more time but know things will not change. If you ignore it, I would think that she would then think "oh, she's ok with it, let me do it again and again" and that would bug the hell out of me because she's dismissing your wishes.

    Maybe she'll ask you if you liked her gifts and then that will be a perfect opportunity for you to say "I appreciate that you think of your grandchildren but you seem to have forgotten our request of no religious gifts" or something like that and see what she says.


    I have an ultra religious MIL and FIL in too - she once called to say she bought me a bible (the bible they believe in) and I said "oh thanks, but I already have one and it's a catholic one" it didn't stop her from giving it to me but I just set it aside and she's never given me another religious gift.


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  • I think that if you had a better relationship with her, this wouldn't bother you but because you don't have a good relationship, everything bothers you.  You have every right to be annoyed but if you liked her, none of it would matter.
  • i actually think she did ok on this one. The shirt is kinda funny, and the poem, since she does this kind of thing in every card is almost cute. Good keepsake for Si, but i don't think it should be read out loud. Babe, i think you just got to start rollin your eyes and movin on. She's been this way forever, and can't take a hint or a direct order. Being irritated at her only raises your stress levels, and what the point in that? 
  • You guys are totally right on.  And I know it.  It's just HARD.  And I'm so so so so so so so proud of myself because I did NOT let dh know how pissed it made me, rather I carefully broached the subject and we laughed about it.

    If she wrote about how great I am I would have posted it like all, "Check out this patronizing @#$@$#" ; lol 

    So...  I'm so glad I have this place for you beezies to talk me down from these ledges.  I know it's tiresome to read again and again, but seriously you guys help me get perspective. so, thank you.

    A bonus funny is: my girlfriend from high school was here with her new 3 week old baby.  My FIL cornered her and was telling her of all the miracles in the Bible the best thing Jesus ever gave us was babies.  Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, "our" faith, babies, babies, babies.  My friend is Jewish.  Surprise  She texted me today and thought it was super hysterical.  They just assume that everyone is the same as them... it's funny but it's also annoying. 

    Ugh.  I'm tiiiired.  Thanks agaon, big hug to you all.

    The Boy Wonder 8/23/06 & The Famous Baby 6/1/10
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  • The thing about your FIL made me laugh because before I even knew who your MIL was, she asked E's name. When E responded "Eve", your MIL said "Where's Adam?!" and laughed like she had made the most hilarious joke ever. I knew exactly who she was then. Smile


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