Author Topic: Water Wings  (Read 4121 times)

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keeponsmilin

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Water Wings
« on: June 13, 2010, 09:47:09 PM »
My husband HATES water wings  >:( Everytime we see a child with them on he sneers about how that is just poor parenting, and how the child is notgoing to learn to be safe in the water, etc.  I do not necessarily agree with hubby, but I understand that he is very serious about this issue.  The other day, at my parents house, my dad proudly brings out a new pair of water wings for our 1 1/2 year old.  I thanked him and said we probably wouldn't use them.  I looked over at mu hubby and gave him the "I'm sorry" look from across the room.  When we got into the pool (at my parent's house) later on that evening, my dad immediately started to put the wings on little man.  My husband came over and, to my shock, preceded to help grandpa put the wings on him.  Hubby didn't say a word about his hatred of those yellow plastic things.  He let my dad have the joy of purchasing a gift and playing with his grandchild. 

My husband was able to put his own ideas about parenting aside to make my dad happy.  There was no bitterness on his part, and he never even mentioned the situation on our car ride home.  Why do I find it so hard to do the same with his mother?  Any thoughts?

Postscript

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2010, 10:46:11 PM »
It's a matter of individual perception and intent.

Now it's a gross generalization to say all men and women are this way.  It depends on the male and female involved, but it does seem to me, that women fight/battle on a whole different level.  While men tend to be straight forward communicators who rely on the veracity of verbal communication, women tend to rely on a whole raft of different cues, tone of voice, body language etc.  We see more and we don't rely on words alone.

Perhaps that is why?  You see a heck of a lot more in your mils actions. 

It is entirely possible for men to feel the same way about their fils/mils as we do.  My father was constantly at battle with my step grandfather who persistently impinged upon Dad's role.  Dad recognized the man had good intent but at the end of the day he was the father/husband and he wasn't going to have his toes trod on.


cremebrulee

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2010, 05:10:34 AM »
My husband HATES water wings  >:( Everytime we see a child with them on he sneers about how that is just poor parenting, and how the child is notgoing to learn to be safe in the water, etc.  I do not necessarily agree with hubby, but I understand that he is very serious about this issue.  The other day, at my parents house, my dad proudly brings out a new pair of water wings for our 1 1/2 year old.  I thanked him and said we probably wouldn't use them.  I looked over at mu hubby and gave him the "I'm sorry" look from across the room.  When we got into the pool (at my parent's house) later on that evening, my dad immediately started to put the wings on little man.  My husband came over and, to my shock, preceded to help grandpa put the wings on him.  Hubby didn't say a word about his hatred of those yellow plastic things.  He let my dad have the joy of purchasing a gift and playing with his grandchild. 

My husband was able to put his own ideas about parenting aside to make my dad happy.  There was no bitterness on his part, and he never even mentioned the situation on our car ride home.  Why do I find it so hard to do the same with his mother?  Any thoughts?

yes, your husband did the right thing...and, no matter how your husband feels, unless something is dangerous to a child's welfare, you should never nix a gift...ever...you say a nice thank you so much and when you get home, you don't use them....

At least water wings keeps a kid from drowning....if your husband is that concerned, enroll the kids in swimming classes....which should be a must that every parent does...to make certain your child knows how to swim....the younger the better....

you seem to be compromising your identity and beliefs, b/c your husband disagrees with something, which you should never ever do...so he doesn't believe in them....that doesn't say you shouldn't either?????  Stick to your beliefs, and your personal institutions, and don't comprmise them, unless you yourself do so...but not by influence from others...don't be a follower....and I'm proud of your husband for not making a big stink....that would have hurt the gift givers feelings. 

It really upsets me when people are so unappreciative of gifts...
a person purchases a gift for they're friends, family members, grand kids, and then the parents don't like it....how rude?  So, you take the gift home, put it away, and never say a word...
Unless the gift is a hazard to saftey, nothing should be said...and if the child's to young, then take the gift home, put it away and bring it out when the child is old enough....

These are my thoughts....

What bothers me the most is, that b/c your husband doesn't like them....you told your dad you probably wouldn't use them...because you wanted to please your husband and were afraid he'd be upset....so what...nothing in life is smooth, life is more unfair, then it is harmonious....what I'm saying is, don't ever compromise your identity for someone...I'm pointing this out to you, b/c years ago, I did it...and wasn't able to find myself again, for years after I left him...don't make the same mistake....

Hugs and luv
Creme

RedRose

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2010, 06:01:25 AM »
Your husband saw how your father was not going to let your comment about the water wings stop the joy he wanted to have of seeing his gift on his grandchild and the fun he would have in his pool. To me your father was just looking out for your child's safety.

You should have just thanked him for the gift...and that was it.

Maybe your husband was showing you how to act with his mother...who knows?

Offline Scoop

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2010, 08:58:18 AM »
If, when you're dealing with MIL, your hubby spoke up and shot you the "I'm sorry" look from across the room, wouldn't *YOU* feel more magnanimous about the situation, knowing that your DH "has your back"?

I would.

In this case, you gave your DH the choice to either speak up (and be backed up by you) about the water wings, or else to let your Dad enjoy his moment.  How nice that he has the choice, instead of being backed into a corner!


Offline Pen

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2010, 09:39:29 AM »
Good on your DH for supporting your dad and putting his own feelings aside. Apparently he's secure enough in his position as dad and husband to be able to do that. There may also have been a little "he-man, woman-hater club" stuff going on - I know my DH will stick up for a guy who is being "bossed" by a woman in a situation like this. Yes, I know you were actually supporting your DH's views, but your dad didn't know that and your DH may have sensed his disappointment. Perhaps we women need to revive elements of "the sisterhood" for the sake of a good relationship between MILs and DILs.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Sassy

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2010, 10:05:53 AM »
This is a sweet story.  And here-here on the sisterhood! :-*

A bow of the head to both you and your DH.  Your initial reaction to your DH (the decline and the sorry look) when your father brought the toy, let your DH feel validated.  DH knew you understood his opinions and that you clearly supported his feelings on the matter.  So he didn't need to fight for something he already had.

Your DH sounds very secure in himself as a husband and father, and you get some real credit for that.  Because he had your support up front, he did not feel threated by your dad's offering, and he was able to understand the spirit in which it was intended was fun and generousity.    Even though choosing not to use a type of toy is a parenting decision, I think he felt your dad was offering a toy to play, not trying to make a parenting decision. 

For me, I KNOW that having my DH's support is precisely WHY I can deal with the challenges of his mom.  I trust implicitly he wants the best for me, that he wants to protect my feelings, and so I can let go of past events and continue working towards finding a possible solution.  If I felt DH was working only for his interests (say, to minimize drama or complaints with his mom for the sake of his personal comfort), or only for hers (to please her at the cost of displeasing me), then I would not be secure enough as a wife, to be able to cope with the situation.

cremebrulee

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2010, 12:23:43 PM »
OK, I'm going to need all your help here in understanding...

Husband is secure...he hates these water toys...so wife says no to the gift giver, in this case, her father, which to me, was a very rude thing to do....I'm sorry but that is the way I feel...you might not like a gift, however, you don't negatively put it down in front of the gift giver, b/c husband doesn't like it? 

She doesn't mind the toy/or water floaters, whatever you call them, and her husband hates them....well, fine, and good, he hates them, but to the point where the wife fears disappointing her husband instead of the gift giver? 

There are times when huband and wife should have each other's backs....however, there are times, well, allow me to explain....if this were me, and it were my husband, I wouldn't have said a word to the gift giver, and made a big appreciative thank you to the gift giver....instead of trying to please my husband at the gift giver's expense....

So, if I feel ok with it, and hubby doesn't...I'm allowed to disagree...he shouldn't have to know I have his back, I love him, but I disagree with him?

Please don't take offense, I'm just simply not getting all this....can someone please help me?

Sassy

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2010, 01:10:00 PM »
Keeponsmilin did thank her father for the gift.  I got the impression she felt her father expected her to use the gift in the pool right then and there, which would be a relevant reason to let him know they probably wouldn't use them.  If there wasn't a pool 20 feet away, she may not have felt it necessary to share that. 

(Like if I picked out a cute little black dress for a party that night, and my DH came home with a gift of a red sparkly number for me to wear, I would say thank you and then, out of courtesy, I would  feel compelled to let him know I wouldn't be wearing it that night.  I certainly wouldn't feel I must use a gift on the spot because it was given to me, and he's soon going to realize anyway that I'm not using it. If there wasn't a party that night, I would say "thank you" and nothing else.   It seems gentle advance notice when immediate gift use is likely to be expected, would be more thoughtful).

Her DH HATES water wings, and specifically thinks they're about poor parenting.   I got the impression keeponsmilin didn't feel strongly either way about water wings.  A partner's level of passion on something usually tends to lead the way when the other one feels neutral, especially on parenting decisions.   (I know lots of vegetarian babies with burger-gobbling papas,  :o )  Her father's level of passion pro-water wings, is not the same as the baby's parents. 

Her father was the one who used the gift he gave, which some might also consider rude?  He also began fastening floatation devices on a very young child in a pool without asking the parents first, which some might consider quite presumptuous?  Then,  DH helped.

Keeponsmilin' recognizing and supporting her spouse's passionate feelings, is what I think allowed DH to be a more loving and flexible son-in-law.  My understanding is there were four happy people: husband, wife, FIL, and a bobbing happy baby.   
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 01:45:33 PM by Sassy »

RedRose

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2010, 01:11:55 PM »
OK, I'm going to need all your help here in understanding...

Husband is secure...he hates these water toys...so wife says no to the gift giver, in this case, her father, which to me, was a very rude thing to do....I'm sorry but that is the way I feel...you might not like a gift, however, you don't negatively put it down in front of the gift giver, b/c husband doesn't like it? 

She doesn't mind the toy/or water floaters, whatever you call them, and her husband hates them....well, fine, and good, he hates them, but to the point where the wife fears disappointing her husband instead of the gift giver? 

There are times when huband and wife should have each other's backs....however, there are times, well, allow me to explain....if this were me, and it were my husband, I wouldn't have said a word to the gift giver, and made a big appreciative thank you to the gift giver....instead of trying to please my husband at the gift giver's expense....

So, if I feel ok with it, and hubby doesn't...I'm allowed to disagree...he shouldn't have to know I have his back, I love him, but I disagree with him?

Please don't take offense, I'm just simply not getting all this....can someone please help me?

I agree with you Creme...I just don't get it either.

Offline Pen

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2010, 01:23:24 PM »
Creme, good post. I know my DH wouldn't want me to speak up; he'd prefer to handle it himself. He's a big boy.

Good on you, Keep, for investigating your feelings on this. Let us know what you come up with.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2010, 02:19:49 PM »
Well, we aren't all stamped out of the same mold and in some other area where your DH comes up short...you shine!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

cremebrulee

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2010, 04:22:44 AM »
I don't know, I was bought up differently....and I do understand different strokes...however, in the matter of gift giving, if my father gave my child water wings and I knew my husband considered them bad parenting, I'd still say, "oh thanks dad, what a great gift!"  and look at the child and say..."come on, lets go in the pool and try them out".  First off, your teaching a child, that when given a gift, the child thinks it's ok to complain about it openly if he/she doesn't like it...and secondly, you really really hurt the feelings of the gift giver, which to me, isn't worth it.  Some people are on fixed incomes, and purchase the gift they think someone would like....but they do so, out of thoughfulness...b/c they want to give a gift...I can't count the times I've gotten gifts that I didn't like, however, I would always make a big deal about the gift, smile as if this is something I've always wanted, take it home and never look at it again....

My mother gave me this stupid bird tapestry that lights up....I hate it, however, when I opened it, I said, "oh my gosh, this is beautiful...where did you ever find something like this?"  And it made her feel good, not to mention, the money she spent on it....and it's now home in a closit b/c I just don't have the heart to throw it out....she gives the most outragious gifts...however, I don't want her to feel badly...so, I really beam up and glow and act so surprised....people give gifts b/c it makes them feel good to do so. 

One time my dad, bought me some really what I thought to be, bad lures....(I loved to fish)....well, they cost a lot of money, he got me a whole set that came with a storage box for them....well, to my surprise, I used them and caught more fish then ever before...and I made sure I told him that they worked great....

The husband is a big boy, and regardless of how he feels, we'd use the water wings in dads pool to make dad feel good about what he gave, and then take them home with us and never use them again...and if dad wanted the child to use water wings, in his pool while the child was there, so be it....

hating water wings is a small thing, compared to hurting someone's feelings...and husband can get over it....there are things in this world I hate to do, but I do them, simply because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings....like graduations, christenings, birthday parties....and yanno, until I started reading on these forums, I used to purchase gifts, but now, give money all the time instead, b/c I fear that the parents might not like the gift....and that really hurts....b/c it's my hard earned money that I took the time to purchase the child something, and who cares if the child likes it or not?  Right?  I'm saying this out of anger b/c I spent a whole lot of money on a child, only to have things thrown out by the parent, and I found out, and it really really hurt....big time...maybe the parents don't agree, however, I say, grow up and suck it up for the sake of the grandfather and child enjoying it.  Now if it were something that were really dangerous, yes, I could understand...all this other stuff, to me, is small potatos compared to the feelings of others.   

I dunno, that's just me...like Luise says, different strokes...for different folks...
« Last Edit: June 15, 2010, 04:28:14 AM by cremebrulee »

RedRose

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2010, 04:50:46 AM »
What do you think would have happened if keeponsmilin's husband told her father that he will not let his child wear those water wings?
Her husband did the right thing and saw his fil wanted his grandchild protected in his pool. They both used common sense.
I don't see how keeponsmilin's comments helped in how her husband reacted.

Offline Scoop

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Re: Water Wings
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2010, 05:51:52 AM »
I think that the fact that the gift was 'water wings' is messing up the message.  Because we see them as harmless / helpful.  What if it was a toy gun?  What if it was a BB gun?  (I am *really* against guns, so that's my strongest argument.)  What it comes down to was that it was a known "hot button" for the DH. 

By acknowledging that her DH's hot button had been pressed, by kindly diverting the finger pressing the hot button and apologizing (if only with her eyes), the OP took the "stress" out of the situation.  It was no longer a stand-off, where the Dad expected (innocently) the water wings to be used, and the DH felt he had to back up his previous comments and support his STRONG opinions on the use of water wings.  So because the strong emotions were taken out of the equation, the DH was able to think rationally and act graciously.

This is exactly what I've been talking about, where the DH can ease the relationship between his Wife and his Mom.  It doesn't have to be an intervention, it just has to be a smoothing of ruffled feathers, sometimes even before they get ruffled.

Imagine what could have happened if the OP had put the water wings on the child and gone ahead, knowing her DH's strong feelings.  Depending on the DH's nature of course, but imagine it was one of the DIL's from here (Anna's or Pen's), he could have gotten all huffy and sullen, spoiled the afternoon and then argued all night with his wife.  He could have flown off the handle and said "NO child of MINE is going to wear water wings!" and started an argument right then and there.  At best, he could have taken them off and said to the child "We don't wear water wings in our family."  Any of these would make everyone there uncomfortable and unhappy, including the little guy.

All because the DH didn't feel like his strong opinions were being respected.   And let me tell you, if someone did this to me, i.e. gave my child a toy gun to play with (because that's MY hot button), I wouldn't just sit back and let it happen.