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Don't want DD to visit my dad without me or DH (long)

Background - My husband and I just booked a trip to Vegas and will be going in a few weeks.  Our DD will be at my mom and stepdad's house while we're gone.  We live about 3 hours from them so they are always so excited to have her visit.  My dad and his wife live about 20 minutes from my mom. 

Anyway, my dad of course wants to see DD while she is at my mom's.  The problem is, I really don't feel comfortable letting my dad and stepmother have DD at their house alone.  I have a few reasons, but the major one is their dog.  We were there at Christmas and the dog is just out of control.  It's an 85lb Lab, and they spoiled the crap out of it so it constantly wants attention.  It knocks DD over, is constantly trying to lick her face (like BATHE her face, not just a friendly lick) so we have to pull it away, and it barks at you when you try to have a conversation.  I'm a dog lover and have a Lab myself, but this dog is just not trained.  I feel bad for it, because it would probably be a great dog if it wasn't so spoiled.

That's all just annoying, but then last time we were there it bit DD's face.  Because they never taught it to stop mouthing, it always has to carry a toy in its mouth, otherwise it will use its teeth.  It was again trying to lick DD and as I pulled it away I saw 4 raised welts on DD's face.  The dog had raked it's teeth down her cheek.  So I of course say something and they kind of blow me off.  I was PISSED.  Luckily it was naptime and I was able to keep DD away from that stupid dog the rest of the day.  Later on we went to my aunt's house, and a few people asked what happened to DD's cheek (it had long red scratches at this point) and suddenly they change the story to "Oh, well DD must have scratched herself."  Um WTF...I told people what really happened.  I said something to my dad later and he blew me off AGAIN.    

So this is my dilemma.  I DO NOT want DD to go there when DH and I aren't with her.  I just don't feel my dad and stepmother realize that the dog is a problem.  There have been issues with it before (when DD was 4 months old we couldn't put her on the floor...AT ALL...because the dog was trying to bite at her feet.  Someone had to hold her the entire time we were there).  I lost it at some point that time and told them to put the dog outside or we were leaving.  I know what I have to do, I have to tell my Dad exactly how I feel and just say that we don't feel DD is safe there.  It's just tough, because he's going to be hurt.  I know he loves his granddaughter so much, but I won't bend on this.  I'm just not sure how to say it to him.  Is there a way to say it without hurting his feelings too badly?  Sorry this is so long...I guess this was a bit of a vent too.

Re: Don't want DD to visit my dad without me or DH (long)

  • Tell him everything you told us.  It's more important to keep your daughter from being eaten alive than it is to not upset him, after all.
    image
  • Oh I 100% agree with you.  My kid being bitten definitely tops Dad's feelings.  It's just the dread of having "the talk" with him, ya know?
  • I don't know that there is a way to not hurt him "too badly".  Either you're going to hurt him or you aren't.  I don't know that there are degrees to it in this situation.

    But as you said, you know what you have to do.  My advice, though, is to not go into it too deeply.  I'd just say "I'd love for you to see DD while she's there, but I need for you to understand and respect the fact that taking her to your home isn't an option.".  He'll probably be shocked, ask why, etc.  You just say "Spot bit her last time and I don't feel it's a safe environment"..

    He goes into why it is safe, etc etc etc, you say "Dad, if you can't agree to this, then you can only visit her AT mom's house.".

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Do your mom and dad have an amicable relationship?  If so, could your dad just go visit your daughter at your mom's house?  It might soften the blow a little bit if you have an alternate plan for them to spend some time together.
  • The tricky thing  about answering "why" is that people aren't as interested in your reason as much as they are interested in picking apart your reasons to change your mind and get what they want.

    I think you should move right past why you say no, to "how" you can say yes. Because saying is non-negotiable. I'd especially focus on something like, "Dad, my real consern is that we don't agree on this. I am very alarmed that your dog bites and you don't seem to think he does at all. DD has been bit and you later said she scratched herself. Sorry, dad, we just don't agree on this so I'm not letting my daughter go to your house without me. I don't think it's safe, you do and we are not going to agree on that." So, you're not in a debate about whether the dog is safe or not - YOU say it as a fact, then you're saying HE'S the problem because he disagrees with you. Which is also fair and accurate.

    Anyway, is there any senerio that your dad could spend some time with DD, just not at his house. Its only 20 minutes away, can't he bring her to the park or zoo or other grandparent friendly place?

  • image livingitup:

    Its only 20 minutes away, can't he bring her to the park or zoo or other grandparent friendly place?

    I know I'm assuming there are other options for him.  You're not saying "you can't see her", you're just saying "She can't go to your home". 

     

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • image EastCoastBride:
    image livingitup:

    Its only 20 minutes away, can't he bring her to the park or zoo or other grandparent friendly place?

    I know I'm assuming there are other options for him.  You're not saying "you can't see her", you're just saying "She can't go to your home". 

     

    what worries me about this whole sitch is that the dad, who lied about where she got the scratches would probably lie about where he had the kid.  like, he could say ok, i'll just hang out with her at the zoo/park/etc. and then just take her to his place anyway.  b/c OP and her H won't be around to know about it.

    does that makes sense?

     

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image babubhatt:
    image EastCoastBride:
    image livingitup:

    Its only 20 minutes away, can't he bring her to the park or zoo or other grandparent friendly place?

    I know I'm assuming there are other options for him.  You're not saying "you can't see her", you're just saying "She can't go to your home". 

     

    what worries me about this whole sitch is that the dad, who lied about where she got the scratches would probably lie about where he had the kid.  like, he could say ok, i'll just hang out with her at the zoo/park/etc. and then just take her to his place anyway.  b/c OP and her H won't be around to know about it.

    does that makes sense?

     

    That thought went through my head too, and it kind of goes back to what I first wrote - if he can't agree to this, OR if she feels she can't trust him to not take DD there, then the only option needs to be that he sees DD at her moms house.  If that's even possible! 
    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Sorry I vanished for a bit.  Last time my mom had DD, she did invite my dad and stepmother to her house to visit and it was ok.  The issue with that is my stepmother is an evil b*tch and caused major problems during my wedding (she tore up childhood pictures of me and my dad because I didn't "honor her enough" during my bridal shower.  WTF?) so my mom really has issues with the woman being at her house.  My dad and mom do get along ok, so maybe I can see if only my dad can go to her house. 

    EastCoast, I didn't think of maybe going to a park or something outside their house.  That could actually work well!  I don't think my dad would lie and take her to his house against my wishes, but like Babubhatt said, he did lie about the bite.  Maybe my mom would meet them at a park.  It would be a lot easier on her than having them at her house. 

    Thanks for the advice!  I'm definitely going to be firm about DD not going to the house, but I honestly didn't think of the other options like the park.  I've just been dwelling on how frustrating this conversation is going to be.   

  • The one thing I will say about the "lie" - your dad may have been embarassed about what happened and just didn't want to bring up the fact that it was his dog that bit DD, so he lied to others about it just to avoid judgement from them.

    You even said you don't think your dad would lie and take her to his home, and that "lie" isn't one that would make me think he is a liar in general.

     

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Good point, he might have just been trying to save face there.  He's really a good guy and he's never really lied to me before.  It's just frustrating because I have brought up the dog issue before with no headway...it's like when I voice my frustrations I just get a pat on the head, like a child.  I'm 30 FFS!
  • Does your dad need to know when you are going to Vegas? 

    Why not add a day, or even a few hours, to your trip, and plan to visit them on the way back, after the trip is over?   Or just don't mention that dd is staying with your mom.

     

  • He does know when we're going, and that she'll be with my mom.  We live in the Philly area and my parents are 3 hours north of us, so we meet my mom on the turnpike at a rest stop to pick up/drop off DD so we'll still be about 1 1/2 hours from his house.  I think we're going to try and head in for a weekend  before the trip and stay at my dad's so he gets to see DD.  He's retired, so he also has an open invitiation to come out to our house whenever. 
  • image gimoneycal:
    He does know when we're going, and that she'll be with my mom.  We live in the Philly area and my parents are 3 hours north of us, so we meet my mom on the turnpike at a rest stop to pick up/drop off DD so we'll still be about 1 1/2 hours from his house.  I think we're going to try and head in for a weekend  before the trip and stay at my dad's so he gets to see DD.  He's retired, so he also has an open invitiation to come out to our house whenever. 

     

    Sounds like a good deal because then your mom doesn't have to deal with your SM and you dont have to deal with your DD being 'alone' with the dog. 

    Anniversary
  • I'd just tell him that because his dog is not kid proof you want to supervise DD when she is at his house.
    image "...Saving just one pet won't change the world...but, surely, the world will change for that one pet..."
  • If he really loves his granddaughter that much, he should consider her safety over the "feelilngs" of his spoiled dog.  If he can't be gracious enough to put the dog someplace confined while his young grandchild is in the house then he has issues.  How can anybody not see that the safety of a baby is, or should be, a primary concern over a flippin' animal??

    Just tell him what you told us.  You don't want to hurt his feelings, but as long as that beast is around you don't feel that she'll be safe in their house; and if he's not going to respect your wishes for the safety of his grandchild then he either a) can visit her at your mom's house or b) won't get to see her at all.

    [IMG]http://i42.tinypic.com/x200p0.jpg[/IMG]
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