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GlutenFreeManna

Am I Over-Reacting To This?

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We recently visited some family that I don't see often (maybe 2-3 times per year). I was really excited to see my cousin's kids as I have never met their youngest girl (who is 10 months) and have only seen their three year old girl twice. I love kids, but I haven't been able to have any of my own (3 miscarriages in 3 years). I have worked in several church nurseries and have babysat kids for friends before. So I know the basics of taking care of kids. I also am a former lifeguard with CPR and First Aide training, so I would know what to do in an emergency.

So anyway, the first day we were visiting, my cousin and his wife wanted to go for a walk together alone. The girls were down for their nap and they asked if I minded staying there while they went for a walk as they had not been out much without the kids since the second child came along. I said, sure that would be no problem at all. Then they told me that they would have their cell phone on them and just call if the girls wake up. Fine. Okay sounds all like normal babysitting protocol, but then my cousin's wife went on to ask me to "Please DO NOT TOUCH the baby or pick her up if she wakes up crying. Just call us and we will come back right away." Now this sounded a little strange to me (Don't pick up a crying baby?), So I asked if she was afraid of strangers or was having trouble sleeping through her naps (perhaps they are using CIO?) or something and they said, "Oh no we just prefer you not pick her up." So, fine. My cousins wife is super OCD about germs so I didn't think TOO much of it and I agreed I would not pick up the child if she cried. They went for a walk and came back before the girls woke up so it ended up being a non-issue.

Incident number 2 was at dinner time. The three year old asked if she could sit next to me and they would not let her change where she was sitting. Three year old started to cry because she really wanted to sit next to me and she had asked nicely, even said please. My cousin took her in another room and gave her a spanking for crying about it. I thought that was a little harsh, but I try not to judge anyone's parenting styles since I don't have kids. I was a little curious why she couldn't sit next to me (mom was not helping the three year old by cutting up her food or anything like that) but I tried not to worry about it.

Incident number three was after dinner. The three year old was playing with a puzzle board and some dolls. She brought them to me and started to tell me about them. I asked her if her dolly had a name, etc. I was trying to interact with her. The mom interrupted and told the three year old she needed to go upstairs to play alone so the adults could talk. I said she wasn't bothering me at all. The mom said, she needs to go play alone. Okay.

Then, the next day I was out shopping with my cousin and his two girls. The three year old has just recently been potty trained and she told her dad she needed to go to the bathroom. I offered to take her so she could go in the ladies room instead of the men's room, but my cousin wouldn't let me. Then I said, well I can hold the baby while you take her then (we didn't have a stroller, he was holding the baby with one hand and leading the three year old with the other while carrying a diaper bag on his shoulder). And again he said no and started to go into the men's room with them both. Then after about a second he came back out and handed me the baby and the diaper bag. The child was fine and happy the whole time I held her. She didn't fuss at all. But he took her back as soon as they came back out. Now I can understand not wanting me to take their three year old to the bathroom, but not wanting me to hold their baby in a public place? This was the only time I got to hold the baby for our entire time there.

The only reason I can think of for this is either they are afraid that celiac's is contagious (we had had some conversations beforehand in order to prepare meals) and my cousin's wife is OCD, so she thinks I'll get the kids sick. OR they think I'm not experienced enough with kids. I am the youngest cousin and there were no babies in the family when we were growing up for me to practice babysitting with. I babysat for the first time when I went off to college. So I can see where they might think I know very little about kids and maybe they are just overprotective parents. However, I held and played games with their first child for long periods of time when I saw them last. I even baby sat her once while they went out and I did not get any instructions about letting her stay in her crib and cry. The only thing that is different is this is their second child and I now have gluten-intolerance/celiac.

I keep going it over in my head trying to figure out why they distrusted me so much. And celiac/gluten intolerance is the only thing I can think of. This whole weekend really hurt my feelings. Am I over reacting to this? Can any parents here give me insight on why they may have not wanted me holding their 10 month old baby? (Both the girls are healthy, BTW so there is no underlying health reason for them to be overprotective.)

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Did they let anyone hold the baby? I can understand the bathroom thing. I wouldn't want to impose help with wiping, etc on someone I don't know well with no kids.

I'm betting the wife's OCD is getting worse and he is afraid to make her angry. They haven't been anywhere alone, even for a few minutes, since the baby was born. That seems a bit odd. I'm not a believer in letting just anyone watch a baby but I had my parents and a well recommended 16 year old whose parents were home watch them occasionally.

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We recently visited some family that I don't see often (maybe 2-3 times per year). I was really excited to see my cousin's kids as I have never met their youngest girl (who is 10 months) and have only seen their three year old girl twice. I love kids, but I haven't been able to have any of my own (3 miscarriages in 3 years). I have worked in several church nurseries and have babysat kids for friends before. So I know the basics of taking care of kids. I also am a former lifeguard with CPR and First Aide training, so I would know what to do in an emergency.

So anyway, the first day we were visiting, my cousin and his wife wanted to go for a walk together alone. The girls were down for their nap and they asked if I minded staying there while they went for a walk as they had not been out much without the kids since the second child came along. I said, sure that would be no problem at all. Then they told me that they would have their cell phone on them and just call if the girls wake up. Fine. Okay sounds all like normal babysitting protocol, but then my cousin's wife went on to ask me to "Please DO NOT TOUCH the baby or pick her up if she wakes up crying. Just call us and we will come back right away." Now this sounded a little strange to me (Don't pick up a crying baby?), So I asked if she was afraid of strangers or was having trouble sleeping through her naps (perhaps they are using CIO?) or something and they said, "Oh no we just prefer you not pick her up." So, fine. My cousins wife is super OCD about germs so I didn't think TOO much of it and I agreed I would not pick up the child if she cried. They went for a walk and came back before the girls woke up so it ended up being a non-issue.

Incident number 2 was at dinner time. The three year old asked if she could sit next to me and they would not let her change where she was sitting. Three year old started to cry because she really wanted to sit next to me and she had asked nicely, even said please. My cousin took her in another room and gave her a spanking for crying about it. I thought that was a little harsh, but I try not to judge anyone's parenting styles since I don't have kids. I was a little curious why she couldn't sit next to me (mom was not helping the three year old by cutting up her food or anything like that) but I tried not to worry about it.

Incident number three was after dinner. The three year old was playing with a puzzle board and some dolls. She brought them to me and started to tell me about them. I asked her if her dolly had a name, etc. I was trying to interact with her. The mom interrupted and told the three year old she needed to go upstairs to play alone so the adults could talk. I said she wasn't bothering me at all. The mom said, she needs to go play alone. Okay.

Then, the next day I was out shopping with my cousin and his two girls. The three year old has just recently been potty trained and she told her dad she needed to go to the bathroom. I offered to take her so she could go in the ladies room instead of the men's room, but my cousin wouldn't let me. Then I said, well I can hold the baby while you take her then (we didn't have a stroller, he was holding the baby with one hand and leading the three year old with the other while carrying a diaper bag on his shoulder). And again he said no and started to go into the men's room with them both. Then after about a second he came back out and handed me the baby and the diaper bag. The child was fine and happy the whole time I held her. She didn't fuss at all. But he took her back as soon as they came back out. Now I can understand not wanting me to take their three year old to the bathroom, but not wanting me to hold their baby in a public place? This was the only time I got to hold the baby for our entire time there.

The only reason I can think of for this is either they are afraid that celiac's is contagious (we had had some conversations beforehand in order to prepare meals) and my cousin's wife is OCD, so she thinks I'll get the kids sick. OR they think I'm not experienced enough with kids. I am the youngest cousin and there were no babies in the family when we were growing up for me to practice babysitting with. I babysat for the first time when I went off to college. So I can see where they might think I know very little about kids and maybe they are just overprotective parents. However, I held and played games with their first child for long periods of time when I saw them last. I even baby sat her once while they went out and I did not get any instructions about letting her stay in her crib and cry. The only thing that is different is this is their second child and I now have gluten-intolerance/celiac.

I keep going it over in my head trying to figure out why they distrusted me so much. And celiac/gluten intolerance is the only thing I can think of. This whole weekend really hurt my feelings. Am I over reacting to this? Can any parents here give me insight on why they may have not wanted me holding their 10 month old baby? (Both the girls are healthy, BTW so there is no underlying health reason for them to be overprotective.)

I don't have any kids of my own, but I do have two young nephews. The parents' behavior is definitely odd. It could be their ignorance of your diagnosis, or it could be a completely different reason altogether. I'm thinking though if the mom is truly OCD or very overprotective, that could very well be the issue. How do they act around other family members/ other people in general? Unfortunately, the only way to find out for sure is to talk to them about it, or seek the advice of another relative who may be clued in.

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Did they let anyone hold the baby? I can understand the bathroom thing. I wouldn't want to impose help with wiping, etc on someone I don't know well with no kids.

I'm betting the wife's OCD is getting worse and he is afraid to make her angry. They haven't been anywhere alone, even for a few minutes, since the baby was born. That seems a bit odd. I'm not a believer in letting just anyone watch a baby but I had my parents and a well recommended 16 year old whose parents were home watch them occasionally.

The thing is they know me well even though we don't see each other often. I grew up with my cousin and we were close as kids. We have kept in touch even though we haven't lived in the same city since I was 18. Maybe your are right about her OCD, maybe SHE doesn't feel like she knows me well enough. They did not let anyone else hold the baby, but it was just me and my husband there and my husband didn't ask. My husband did play a board game with the three year old while I was taking a nap on the couch the second day. I woke up, saw them playing (which made me smile, my husband really wants to have kids and loves kids as well) and asked if I could play the next round. The mom found a reason for them to stop playing the game at that point. So it does seem like she was trying to keep both kids away from me.

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Maybe they have celiac confused with something else? I would send them some info stating celiac is not contagious or have it with you next time you see them. Even better would be a note from your Doc.

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I don't have any kids of my own, but I do have two young nephews. The parents' behavior is definitely odd. It could be their ignorance of your diagnosis, or it could be a completely different reason altogether. I'm thinking though if the mom is truly OCD or very overprotective, that could very well be the issue. How do they act around other family members/ other people in general? Unfortunately, the only way to find out for sure is to talk to them about it, or seek the advice of another relative who may be clued in.

My mom has visited them and holds the baby for most of her visit and plays games with the three year old (my mom has no grandchildren yet so she treats them like grandchildren, bringing them gifts, etc.). I have also seen pictures of them on facebook with other family members and even friends of theirs. The OCD is not clinically diagnosed AFAIK but she cleans everything obsessively and has told me she is OCD about germs in the past.

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This is certainly strange! I can't imagine anyone thinking Celiac was contagious...?

BUT just to put a different light on it here are two other possibilities:

First, you metioned having had several miscarriages and obviously you want children very much! Do you think it's possible that she (misguidedly) thinks it would be emotionally hard for you to hold the baby or play with the older one? Maybe she thinks she is helping by not "imposing" her llttle ones on you, even though that obviousy isn't what would be happening. Just a thought.

Second, maybe she is dealing with some sort of post-partum depression since the second baby, and it is coming out in her being afraid to let others hold the baby or worrying even more than before about germs and such?

It's really too bad this happened! I hope you can sort out what is going on with them.

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I have mild OCD, diagnosed, but it isn't bad enough for me to e on meds. I use breathing techniques, but my instant urge is to clean everyone and everything lol. I have gotten tons better but...I could imagine if it got worse that my husband would be a little afraid of me. It is VERY possible that with whooping cough reemerging that she was just flipping out. Combine that with the fact that we have an autoimmune disease, AND your limited experience with children and that may have been a fatal combination. I would CERTAINLY ask about it. As a mother, if someone came up to me and asked why I was behaving oddly, I would tell them. Our first instinct is to protect our children, but with OCD? It's crazy, we feel like we can't protect them from anything.

I am SO sorry that you felt that way, no one should ever have to feel like a pariah in their own family.

Oh, also... THIS is VERY true...

"First, you metioned having had several miscarriages and obviously you want children very much! Do you think it's possible that she (misguidedly) thinks it would be emotionally hard for you to hold the baby or play with the older one? Maybe she thinks she is helping by not "imposing" her llttle ones on you, even though that obviousy isn't what would be happening. Just a thought"

I had a miscarriage right before my son and my friends were all pregnant...they didn't want me to have to deal with it so I was essentially cut out of social situations with them. It made me more upset to be excluded than to have to heal from the miscarriage.

(sorry I just read that LOL my post is all out of order now)

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Thanks everyone these are all good ideas about what's going on. I needed to hear that this was just not me imagining that this was strange behavior. And I do think it made me more emotional because I want children and I have had the miscarriages. She only knows about one miscarriage I had. We didn't tell the family with the others because I didn't want to have to go through telling them and then losing the baby again. We will wait until at least the second trimester to tell if we get pregnant again. It's possible that that's what she was trying to do (keep me away from the kids so I didn't feel sad or something) but I don't think that is it. I think you all bring up good points about perhaps she has depression or her OCD has gotten worse. I will have to figure out a way to explain that Celiac is not contagious. I don't know how she could think it was though. I told her it was like an allergy but is actually an auto-immune disease. Perhaps the word disease freaked her out. :o:unsure:

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I'd ask her. Something along the lines of:

"I'm sorry to have to ask this, but you seem to let others hold the baby except me. Others can play with the three year old except me. Is there something I did or said that is bothering you? I don't want to impose, but I can't help but feel that there might be a misunderstanding here."

There's a time to beat-around-the-bush, but this isn't one of them.

Obviously, of course, regardless of how rational her reasons are (or are not), you would want to respect them.

BTW, as the mom of a 12 week old, I let everyone hold her whom I might remotely trust - and that includes the lady working at the consignment shop who was helping me test out a baby carrier and had never met before. Being OCD about keeping your kids away from germs is one great way to make them sicker in the long run.

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Another angle here. Your cousin and his wife could be concerned that you might get cross contaminated from their children.

Ask them why they behaved like they did when you were there. Send them tons of information on Celiac and let them know that you are not contagious and that you are careful to wash your hands before putting food in your mouth. If the kids don't spit on you, cc isn't an issue. Whether it is concern about the kids (most likely) or concern about you, it sounds like the OCD has blown this out of proportion.

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Were you drunk, stoned, or smoking cigarettes? Perhaps so mentally ill that you might purposely harm their children. I'm pretty overprotective, and yet, I let total strangers hold my baby. (Maybe I shouldn't have though, my youngest got pretty stranger shy.)

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Were you drunk, stoned, or smoking cigarettes? Perhaps so mentally ill that you might purposely harm their children. I'm pretty overprotective, and yet, I let total strangers hold my baby. (Maybe I shouldn't have though, my youngest got pretty stranger shy.)

No. I am a teetotaler and I don't smoke. I don't think I'm mentally unstable, but I would hope my husband would tell me and get me some help if I were. :ph34r:

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I don't know if this helps, but maybe from her perspective, I was in a similar situation after our daughter was born. I have some obsessive tendencies, too (germs, cleaning, organization, I can't leave home until EVERYTHING is where it belongs). When our daughter was four months old, I started obsessing about where my children were all the time and who was with them. I was ok with my mom and dad and sister holding her and taking care of them, but I had to be there to watch them. I also was completely scared to death to leave them with my inlaws or anyone else. I didn't like to let them hold her even if I was in the room. I went through a little of this after my son was born too, but not as bad and it passed pretty quickly.

When my daughter was 6months old, my husband was tired of the constant stress and obsessing (I was getting up to check on the kids at night all the time, even checking on them in the stroller right in front of me....I had stopped going anywhere because I was afraid they would disappear), so he said I maybe needed to talk to someone and I did. I ended up doing a bit of counseling and being on a mild antidepressant for a few months...it made a world of difference. Why I was ok with some people and not others I do not know, but I do know that I hurt a lot of people and made some enemies, but it was all rational in my hormone twisted, obsessive mind.

So, I can't say it was the fear of Celiac or the trying to be considerate of your feelings, but this was what I had gone through.

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I don't know if this helps, but maybe from her perspective, I was in a similar situation after our daughter was born. I have some obsessive tendencies, too (germs, cleaning, organization, I can't leave home until EVERYTHING is where it belongs). When our daughter was four months old, I started obsessing about where my children were all the time and who was with them. I was ok with my mom and dad and sister holding her and taking care of them, but I had to be there to watch them. I also was completely scared to death to leave them with my inlaws or anyone else. I didn't like to let them hold her even if I was in the room. I went through a little of this after my son was born too, but not as bad and it passed pretty quickly.

When my daughter was 6months old, my husband was tired of the constant stress and obsessing (I was getting up to check on the kids at night all the time, even checking on them in the stroller right in front of me....I had stopped going anywhere because I was afraid they would disappear), so he said I maybe needed to talk to someone and I did. I ended up doing a bit of counseling and being on a mild antidepressant for a few months...it made a world of difference. Why I was ok with some people and not others I do not know, but I do know that I hurt a lot of people and made some enemies, but it was all rational in my hormone twisted, obsessive mind.

So, I can't say it was the fear of Celiac or the trying to be considerate of your feelings, but this was what I had gone through.

Thank you for sharing your perspective and experience. I'm going to try to find a way to gently bring this up with my cousin the next time I talk to him.

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MommyStina's post is the reason why, no matter her reason, it's best to accept her decision (to not have you hold the baby, play with the little girl, etc.). Heavens knows that hormones do funny things to us with little ones, and life is too stressful to take on things we don't need to. Your cousin should know if it needs to be addressed (even if he's hesitant to do it).

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I am so sorry you went through this!

My boyfriend has a similar problem with his cousin's kid, although they are far less....well....rude. Mario is great with kids, but he's one of those fly the baby, hold them in the air, pump them up and down and make 'em giggle 'till they laugh or puke guys. It makes some people uncomfortable, and he knows it. He happily curtails it the minute you say something, even with his 4 month old niece and god-daughter. His sister gives him "the look" and he says "ok, ok, I'll stop" or something like that... Anyway... his cousin....His cousin's husband is super-paranoid...I mean super. Like everything in their house is bolted down in case of an earthquake, etc. Well, he likes Mario, but he doesn't like Mario to touch his daughter! LOL! It's so funny to watch him when Mario has his kid. He watches him like a hawk, is constantly saying "be careful", "watch out", etc. Mario wouldn't hurt a fly, and is very careful.

My point is, I have seen parents get paranoid about a certain person near their kid, and this sounds like classic paranoia that you are going to give their kids Celiac. That's what I think it is. "Disease" being at the end of our condition makes it sound a little scary. Add in a little OCD/paranoia/whatever it is that she has and BAM... you have a nasty combination. They need to educate themselves about Celiac. Or rather, you need to educate them. I hope they are willing to listen to reason and learn, but if they are not, or rather your cousin's wife is not, then I am so sorry you will have to go through this!

I hope this all works out in the end, and that through conversation and education, you can enjoy happy visits with your cousin's family for years to come. Just please remember that you did nothing wrong, and you are a good person!! I am sure you are GREAT with kids, and you can hold my kids any time! (But they are 11 and 13 year old boys, so that might not be much fun! LOL)

:) Smiles to you!

We recently visited some family that I don't see often (maybe 2-3 times per year).

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