the wickedest witch in the world

November 3, 2017 1:20pm CST
I am trying very hard to think of something positive that my MiL said to Toddler Niece today, something that was off the cuff and not prompted by Toddler Niece's Look Nanna, aren't I pretty? following her pretend hairwash. *thinking* Nope. I can think of nothing. She told her she was naughty. She told her she was stupid. She told her she was a wazook. Did she smile? Maybe once, twice, thrice. Not really any more than that. Being a non-mummy I don't really have experience of the terrible two's. Toddler Niece is stubborn, something she gets from her Nanna. When she doesn't want this or agree with that, she shouts No!!! Nanna shouts back and it ends with Toddler Niece sitting on the floor in a sulk, although this is only on the rare occasions that good old Auntie Poppylicious can't diffuse the situation and stop it from escalating. No tears. No screams. No kicking of feet. Instead, she pulls her wrists and hands. I sit with her, try to stroke her back, be there for her even when she pushes me away. Today this happened twice and each time I gave her my hand and more or less insisted that she do it to me instead of herself. I don't know if this is just a form of tantrum throwing, or if it's her way of coping with all the thoughts whirring away inside her head, or if it could be considered a form of self-harm. She's an intelligent little creature with a fairly extensive vocabulary but she is only two and doesn't know how to verbalize what she's actually feeling. Leaving to get the bus always makes me feel sad. What makes me feel sadder is that I don't know what happens on a Wednesday when Nanna has to cope alone. And she's not coping. She has bad knees, she can't get on the floor to play, and even if she could, she has no interest in developing little minds with imaginative play. She has no patience and they don't go out. I know for a fact that she doesn't talk to Toddler Niece in the same way when Mummy and Daddy are around. I feel helpless. Stuck. My gut is telling me that this is tantamount to emotional abuse, but how do I broach the subject with Mummy and Daddy? I already do the whole, Nanna doesn't actually mean that you're stupid, she means your behaviour, in the hope that Nanna will take note and rephrase in future, and I don't really want to talk to her about it because she is such a mean old hag sometimes. But if you've ever read anything else I've written, you'll know this already. I know that her tantrums with other people could take the same form, but even without that, there is everything else that happens at Nanna's house. Including the mean things she says about Grandma, Grandad and sometimes even Mummy. So, what do I do?? I have taken the brunt of this woman's vitriol before {I must tell you about that one day!} Is it time to do it again? *sigh* Family. Why do we bother? Am I just being over-sensitive?
9 people like this
9 responses
@MALUSE (37115)
• Germany
3 Nov
How can anyone punish a two-year-old child for not behaving in a rational way? I don't understand why you don't inform the child's parents about what's going on. The child must be saved from this vitriolic woman.
3 people like this
6 Nov
I have spoken to Mummy now. It doesn't happen all the time. Friday was a particularly bad day, and it is partly due to the terrible two syndrome!
@jaboUK (52879)
• United Kingdom
3 Nov
I agree with the other commenters - you should tell the parents exactly what you've told us here. If she were my child I would want to know. For goodness sake - grandmothers are meant to be sweet, cuddly and indulgent.
2 people like this
6 Nov
She's never been sweet! She is cuddly and indulgent, but I just think that TN is too much for her to cope with at the moment and she lacks patience. I have spoken to Mummy.
1 person likes this
@amadeo (59028)
• United States
3 Nov
that is verbal abuse there
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (142260)
• Switzerland
4 Nov
Poor little girl, she is so young, how can this woman be so rude?
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (142260)
• Switzerland
6 Nov
@Poppylicious Some people are like this, selfish, narcissist, only interested in their own person. The best is to stay away from them.
• Preston, England
3 Nov
A sensitive subject with no guarenteed or easy answers - hope everything works out OK
1 person likes this
6 Nov
Precisely. I think that when I'm with them I'm just going to say and do the right things and show Nanna through example, which I do anyway, but I shall make it much more obvious!
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
6 Nov
@Poppylicious sounds a good approach - hope it works out well for you
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (96692)
• United States
3 Nov
I would say something to the parents. Spending time with Nanna seems to do more harm than good. Pulling her wrists and hands sounds like a self-comforting behavior when she is stressed. Name-calling, ignoring, and lack of patience are not characteristics of a nurturing environment.
1 person likes this
6 Nov
I had a chat with Mummy yesterday. The hand-pulling is something she does do in other places. I've also told her that not everything that Nanna says is true, and that she causes the situation through what she says and then continues it.
1 person likes this
@xFiacre (4159)
• Ireland
3 Nov
@poppylicious I doubt if Nanna will ever change.
1 person likes this
6 Nov
She's a miserable witch and you're right, she won't. She's of the ilk that think the world owes them a favour even though she does nothing to warrant it.
@Courtlynn (65464)
• United States
3 Nov
You need to tell the parents, as shes getting verbally abused and more than likely emotionally too.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (40450)
• Gainesville, Florida
6 Nov
From reading all the other comments, I see that you did have a talk with Mummy, which was the right thing to do. The terrible twos are such a tough age to experience as a parents or caregiver, but that is exactly the time our children need us guiding them in a positive way. Children at that age are soaking up knowledge as fast as they can experience, including the bad or negative behavior of adults. This could easily become a behavior that is mimicked in the child, and then it just goes downhill from there. I hope (really I know) that you are counter-balancing that negativity with positivity. Just keep being the best influence you can on that precious child.