‘Ignoring my son’s obvious speech issues.’ Mama Bear Goes Low After Her Sister Made Her 4-Year-Old Cry
by Trisha Leigh
If you’re someone who assumes that human beings understand that kids are still learning and deserve grace from adults, well…I’m sad to tell you that’s not always the case.
OP learned this lesson the hard way when she and her family visited her childfree sister’s house. She and her husband have two kids. Both are bilingual, though the oldest (4) still struggles with blending languages and making grammatical errors.
So background: I (32f) have a brother, “Dave” (35m), who’s married to “Sarah” (29f). They don’t have children yet. I have a son who just turned four and a three-month-old daughter with my husband (39m).
My husband and I live in Belgium most of the time, but we travel back to visit my family about once a month (in England).
Because he’s four.
At home, we speak both English and French to our children (my husband is Belgian), and right now, my son is in this very sweet phase where he’ll sometimes mix up the two languages and say a couple of words in English in a French sentence or vice-versa.
This has never posed a problem to us, and even the staff at his nursery have reassured us that it’s very common and they tend to grow out of it once they start at school.
Her sister typically rudely corrects him when he does this, but on this visit she decided ignoring him was more appropriate.
My sister-in-law has decided that this is a problem, so when we’re visiting my parents and she notices my son doing this, she’ll correct him, but she does so really rudely, whereas my husband and I will just gently correct him.
Anyway, we’re visiting at the moment and she’s now decided that instead of correcting him, she’s just going to start ignoring him when he does this.
I sort of noticed her doing it when we arrived, and I thought it was odd, but assumed maybe she was just stressed (her job is quite intense), but it only really became an issue yesterday.
When she did this to the point of making him cry out of frustration, OP had enough.
My husband was talking to my dad outside and I was feeding my daughter in the other room, and I’d left Louis with Sarah and Dave.
When I came back downstairs, Louis was crying, and I managed to understand that he’d tried to ask Sarah for a drink (he has a special cup he uses that he was holding, so it was obvious what he meant) but that she’d just ignored him.
I asked her why and she explained that she wasn’t going to reply to him unless he said the sentence correctly and that I shouldn’t be “ignoring my son’s obvious speech issues.”
For context, it’s not that she didn’t know what he wanted. She told me that she understood exactly what he was asking for, but that she was deliberately refusing because he hadn’t asked correctly.
This really made me mad, but luckily my husband came inside at that moment and pulled me away so we could calm down and settle Louis.
At dinner, her sister asked for something and used slang instead, and a lightbulb went off.
That night at the dinner table, Sarah asked me to pass her something, but she said it in “bad” English (she IS English, I just mean that she asked for it in slang.
Think, “Pass us the peas, will you”. I had a bit of an epiphany and I just decided to totally ignore her. She asked again, and I did the same thing.
She ignored the request, then quipped that she wasn’t going to help until her sister asked correctly.
My brother asked why I was ignoring his wife and I said that I’m not able to reply if she can’t speak English correctly and that it’s wrong of him to ignore her obvious issues with grammar.
And she’s not sure whether or not she went too far.
Everyone’s pretty annoyed with me and I admit it was incredibly childish, but she was needlessly being a dickhead to my baby.
Should I just apologise?
Does Reddit love this passive-aggressive response? I feel like it could go either way.
The top comment says it might have been petty, but it was deserved.
This person says there’s a lot to unpack here.
And also, who bullies a 4yo?
They also think there might be a bit more to it.
Moments like these can last a lifetime.
I would have gone mama bear on this lady, too.
No one makes my baby cry!