superdumb supervillain: Livid.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Okay, tell me if I'm over-reacting.

Last night, I picked Roo and Jasper up from my mom's house. On the way home, Roo said "You know what Grandma told me? A little girl answered the door and Santa shot her in the face!" She then proceeded to make up a song about the Christmas Eve incident in Covina. Bob and I were horrified.

When I got home, I called my parents to tell them that this was not appropriate. My mom said it was on the TV news and she had to explain it to Roo. I said, no, she didn't. That would be a mighty fine time to make up something innocuous and change the channel, in my opinion. Yes, I was pretty hysterical and crying because I just don't understand how you could NOT know that a four year old doesn't need to know there are people in this world who shoot little kids. Or that they would dress like Santa to go undetected. Way to tell that to a kid who only had her first non-terrified Santa visit this year…

Today, my mom came over and tried to get me to apologize for accusing her of not loving her grandkids. Not true. I have no doubt in my mind that she loves Roo and Jasper, I just have a nagging fear that she doesn't think about her actions and how they impact the kids. She even tried to argue about why I didn't let Roo spend the night the other night when I realized she hadn't been put to bed at 10 pm. It's not like we never see my parents, they live a block away and my mom is always here. Why does she need to spend "quality time" with Roo two and a half hours past her bedtime? Doesn't she realize that we're the ones who have to deal with the fall-out the next day? I didn't apologize and she left angry.

So, did I over-react? What would you have done?

***addendum, 1/1/09***

Thanks for everyone's comments, from those of you who were totally outraged by my mom's behavior to those of you who thought I flew off the handle. I think it's interesting that those who want me to sit down with my mom and work it out choose to comment anonymously, though. What's up with that?

I want to clarify that I waited to express my anger about this until after I was well out of range of the kids hearing me and that I didn't make a big deal out of it in front of them. I let Roo sing her "funny song" about Santa shooting little girls in the face and told her I didn't like it and that was that. Thankfully, it blew over and she hasn't mentioned it again. I haven't continued to bitch at my mom about it. I said my peace and let her know I was disappointed in her judgment.

She did the exact same thing two years ago, telling Roo and her five year old cousin about the Madeleine McCann kidnapping in detail, so there definitely is a precedent for her blurting inappropriate stuff out in front of kids. I'm leaving a comment below about her reasoning and mine, if you care to read more.

There is no rift in our family or anything like that, although I appreciate all of your concern!


  1. NOT over-reacting. i'd be seeing red...jeesh.

  2. Nope, not over reacting. Those are YOUR kids. Sounds like Grandma is just trying to justify her own bad behavior but transferring the blame back on you. Don't let her!! You have every right to be protective of your kids. ALWAYS follow your gut. It's always right!!

    Hugs :)

  3. Ack. I don't think you're over reacting at all. I couldn't begin to imagine how I'd react...Actually, I'd probably do about the same maybe dropping a few colorful words for good measure.

    I hope she comes to see why you are upset and apologizes wholeheartedly soon.

  4. No, you're in the right and have every reason to be upset. You are the mom and whether she likes it or not she needs to follow your guidelines and rules. I hope that she does some thinking and realizes it. :)

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  6. No, you are definitely not overreacting, and I'm not saying that just because I'm a superdumb groupie. I have these same sort of issues with my parents, and their so-called spoiling of my son which of course ends with me having to deal with the repercussions (like giving him french fries and me dealing with a gassy child all night).

    I totally agree that your mom did not think about her actions and should have changed the subject or the channel. 4 year olds don't understand those kind of things, nor should they have to. And the bedtime thing, that would irk me too.

    Hopefully your mom sees her error and will be more careful next time. I too would be fuming over this.

  7. Geez. Without casting judgment on anyone, I'd be trying to figure out a way to gloss that story over with Roo. The only thing is, I don't know that that is possible, is it?

    The real world and news is so horribly depressing most times that I wouldn't turn the news on when Emil was awake.

    I'll just bet that your mom will think it over this evening and SHE will be the one to apologize.
    I'm not envying you today.

  8. No way! She needs to resepct taht and honetsly it is quite silly. You say she lives so close there's no need for late night time. Children need sleep.

    I agree with them I toatlly don't envy you.

  9. I think I would seriously consider telling Roo that it was all pretend. "Didn't Grandma tell you they were just playing?" Certainly not the way you want to have kids play--another conversation, that--but better than the alternative.

  10. Mom/Grandma issues are the worst. I'm so sorry, Naomi.

    I wouldn't have been thrilled at the situation either. It is especially sucky because it was out of your control and you couldn't step in and stop the explanation.

    Hugs to you and Roo. And fingers crossed you and your mom can work through this.

  11. Oh, Naomi! You know how I feel. I also know the spot you are in...and obviously we don't know the answers. Childhood is for fun and innocence - I don't even admit to my kids that there isn't a Santa. What happened in CA is horrible and we as adults have a hard time digesting it. I can't believe your mom did this...well, maybe I can(!). You are so justified....

  12. If Roo ended up hearing about the situation on the news innocently, then your mother had to explain it in someway. My gut reaction is not to lie to your kids ever. We certainly should downplay situations though and shield them totally if possible. My logic is circling around and seems to nowhere
    Depends on how focused your Roo is, whether your mother could distract her away from what she already heard. There isn't anything silly about this, but it can't be undone. You and your mother need to deal with it somehow with out this blame thing going on.

  13. You are not over-reacting at all. Hopefully you and your mother can talk and come to the conclusion that while your children are with her, she needs to follow your rules. Hopefully this will work out for you and her. Sadly this is one of the reasons my children did not spend time alone with my parents when they were younger. At age 14, I am quite worried about the few days they will be spending with them. *sigh*

  14. Yes totally inappropriate.
    I would have been very upset; there were other ways to explain it to Roo's satisfaction. She probably said something like, "Who is that?" when she saw the picture on TV and a simple, "A man who did something bad" would have probably been enough.
    I got made when my MIL was up late with Jojo watching Golden Girls while I was at a wedding. I know Golden Girls are not "bad" but they say some racy stuff and there is just no reason, Jojo was 2 1/2 at the time! Just put the kid to bed, holy cow!

    I hope Roo didn't know that you were upset about it, maybe then she won't know it was a big deal and can forget about the whole thing.

    I don't know how you can do damage control for Roo. Maybe to talk about there are people who do bad things in the world but lots of good people too. Speaking as generally as possible, of course.


    I'm sorry this has happened in your family.

  15. If Roo heard it on the news and asked questions,, I can see Grandma trying to explain. Sometimes honesty is best,of course taking into account the child's age and the extent of what they were exposed to, because a child's imagination can be even worse than the truth. Also balance your reaction with past experiences with your mom. Has this ever happened before or is this an unfortunate one time incident ? If you know your mom really loves Roo then maybe a family sit down and good talk will take care of it. All of the fuss could make it worse for Roo.

  16. My mom did the exact same thing two years ago, telling Roo and her five year old cousin about the Madeleine McCann kidnapping in detail, so there definitely is a precedent for her blurting inappropriate stuff out in front of kids. Her reasoning is that it's good to tell kids that "bad guys" exist and they need to be wary. True, but I think there needs to be some ambiguity so your imaginative kiddo doesn't grow up totally paranoid. And certainly stories where there isn't any defensive action available (i.e., abducted while sleeping in your own bedroom, answering the door for SANTA CLAUS) doesn't teach them any good lessons in my book.

    Roo knows about death, via our unfortunate cat losses due to the neighbor dogs and my grandmother's passing shortly when she was two. She actually made the connection at GGma's funeral, when she said that the coffin lowering into the ground was like when we dug the hole in the backyard for Lum Lum and planted a tree over her. "So GGma can take care of Lum Lum now?" she asked. And that was good. I don't have a problem with being honest about the concept of death to kids, Bob and I are not religious and don't intend to make up pretty princess visions of heaven for the kids. But I would like for them to be kept away from the gory details just as long as possible. I would rather not know that there are sickos in the world, honestly!


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