Author Topic: Pissyness  (Read 1069 times)

MrsDan

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Pissyness
« on: December 07, 2016, 12:36:54 PM »
This is really a parenting question, but it specifically relates to my relationship so I'm posting it here.

Back ground: DH died when DD was almost three months old. I started dating year three; my boyfriend, N, and I have been together a year, I introduced him to DD about 3-4 months in. He has an 18 month old daughter who he has two weekends a month. He usually comes over for dinner at least once a week, sometimes more; sometimes he spends the night, sometimes he doesn't. He also comes over sometimes right before, and after she's gone to bed. The weekends he doesn't have his daughter he'll often spend one of the days with us, playing with her, or helping me around the house, usually both. When he does have his DD, we have usually have Sunday breakfast with them, and occasionally extend it through lunch.

DD loves N. She is excited whenever he comes over, enjoys his company. She's also quite fond of his DD, as she loves babies and really looks forward to when she's in town. However, she often gets, for lack of a better word, pissy with him. It's puzzling to me because she's not like that with other adults (except me). And it doesn't seem to be a case of "I don't want to share my mom go away," because she really likes him. In fact, although he hasn't been parenting as long as me, in many ways he's a lot better at it. He has an endless store of patience with her. He's more creative with redirection. She will often get bent about something really trivial, he tell her he's sorry if he upset her, he didn't mean to. I wonder if that's part of it, that he validates some of her crap. We've talked about that, and he has said that he did not want to step on my toes in terms of discipline. I told him he shouldn't be concerned about that. I trust his judgment and have no problem with him correcting her in the same way her grandparents or aunts or uncles would. And I've tried to situate their relationship in a similar way, to be as respectful to him as she would to her Aunt J for example.

As I'm typing this I'm wondering if she's testing him to make sure he won't go away. She tests me, because she feels safe with me. So maybe she's pushing him to see if he'll still accept her? I don't know.

One thing I'm fairly certain of is that I don't think this has anything really to do with Dan. She talks about him, references him when describing or drawing our family. She has never once tried to situate N as a dad. I tell stories about Dan in front of both of them. N joined us when we sang happy birthday to Dan, and has accompanied us on visits to Dan's family. Recently Kiera said she missed her Daddy, and asked N if he missed him to. N replied that he never meet her daddy, "But if I did, I'm sure I would miss him, because he sounds like a great guy." He's given us both the space to keep Dan integrated into our lives.

So I'm just thinking about this a lot and trying to come up with some strategies. It helps to just write it out even, although if anyone wants to commiserate or has any advice I'm open to that too.
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
And nothing can take that away.

Mrskro

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Re: Pissyness
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2016, 01:35:23 PM »
MrsDan;

My kids are older 16 and 13, and while I don't have a NG per se, I've got a good friend that is here a lot, my kids call him not their step-dad and all our friends think we are together, so I refer to him as not my boyfriend,  long story short, he is very active in our lives and frankly has been amazing in helping raise a 13 year old boy and the girl for that matter.

Yet I see that pissy attitude come out in them with him, I've only experienced it with their god-parents and toward me.   I think its because they are comfortable with him and like to push boundaries.   I was on the phone with him Monday and said to DS that NB wants him to stack the wood pile and DS said something along the lines of "Not step dad isn't here so he can't do anything".   Not boyfriend came by last night to set DS straight.  We were talking about it later and NB commented that my kids treat him like his own do and not to worry so much, kids will be kids.   (he had already stacked the wood pile).  His point was, they like to push but know not to cross the line.

I think all kids push and pull a little, get a little pissy to see where the lines are.  I don't like it because I have those two kids other parents rave about and wish their kids were like.  Can I help you Mr so and so, please and thank yous.....etc.  I drives me a little batty that they save all their good behaviour for school and other people!

Lmsmdm

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Re: Pissyness
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2016, 04:05:06 PM »
Not a parent, but what you have described, she's as comfortable with him as she is with you. She sees him as family, and well, kids get pissy with family. Shoot, we all do.

I think it's perfectly normal. Just my humble opinion.
You hate me don't you? Yup, so much I married you twice! :)

Bunny

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Re: Pissyness
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2016, 05:45:34 PM »
People can be incredibly pissy with those they love and trust, especially when they know that person loves and trusts them right back. It's just one of those quirks of human nature- no matter what age. I remember on more than one occasion, when my husband would be in a foul mood (and it was affecting his behavior towards me) I'd request; 'could you please just treat me like a stranger right now?' It got the point across. So, apparently, there's no better way to say 'I love and trust you' than to show someone your less than stellar self and expect them to love you anyway.
It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.

MrsDan

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Re: Pissyness
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 07:59:21 AM »
Thank you. Everything everybody said makes sense, so I really appreciate it. It's just so frustrating because DD is like what MrsKro described; the model child at school who everybody loves. I want N to get to see that, lol. I'm working on how I handle the behavior when she does it with me, and maybe N can adopt them as well. Because the strategies I've been using and they are not really N's style anyway.
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
And nothing can take that away.

Trying

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Re: Pissyness
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2016, 09:16:52 AM »
I agree with the others, I think it indicates a comfort level with him.  Most of us feel free to let things out in family that we suppress around the general public.  That being said, it's important to teach our children that we have to show respect to each other.  It sounds like things are going really well with N and he is becoming an important male figure in her life!
You will forever be my always.

TooSoon

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Re: Pissyness
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2016, 11:44:42 AM »
I was kind of worried when Andy moved in with us that M would manipulate him because she thought she could get away with more with him than she can with me.  That somehow never materialized though when she needed to lash out or be contrarian it seemed always to be directed at me so then I started worrying that I would be the bad guy and Andy the good guy. 

Then one day recently, I was sitting (hiding?) in the kitchen, listening while M dished out her "last ten minutes before the bus comes frantic panic can't find other shoe or homework or hairbrush and I need this paper signed screaming and screeching and somehow this is all your fault" thing to him (usually directed at me) and he was getting audibly irritated (something that doesn't happen very often).  I smiled to myself.....I think that's the moment I knew we were really becoming a family. 

I also agree with the others.   Those of us with whom she is most comfortable and trusts most have the privilege of seeing what (thankfully) teachers, swim coaches, other kids' parents etc. never see. 
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 02:05:37 PM by TooSoon »