My FIL watches my son during the day and is a lovely Manny, but a tad too overprotective. We had dinner at their house this weekend, and DS sat at the end of the table in his booster seat next to me. My FIL sat across from me, so that he could move his chair closer to DS… and literally hover over him while he ate. It was completely creepy – DH agreed. We kept making jokes about it, and commenting that he doesn’t necessarily have to sit on top of DS… He just keeps sitting there, stroking his hair, looking at him, telling him what a good boy he is.
Ugh, I’m completely creeping myself out! DH said his Dad was like that when he was growing up too – he’s just so smothering. Before DS could walk, FIL would crawl OVER him, like a weird shadow. He’s like the anti-Gollum: Overly shmoopy, hovering… “My leeeeeetle baaaaaby… What a gooooooood leeeeeeetle boy you arrrrrrrrrre…… Grandpa looooooooves youuuuuuu…”
I took my son to a gym class today (usually his grandpa takes him). One of the other mothers approached me and asked “Is that his grandfather who usually brings your son?”
“Yes,” I replied. “I took some time off from work so I could bring him today.”
She then proceeds to tell me, somewhat apologetically, that DS seems like such a good boy, but FIL doesn’t let him do anything; he seems afraid that DS might get hurt. He also scolds him if he wanders away from the group (which is okay at this gym – exploration is encouraged and kids don’t HAVE to stick to the game plan). She said she felt bad “tattling” on him, but she thought it was kind of sad that DS wasn’t getting to enjoy the class.
I told DH when I got back and we agreed that I’ll take him from now on. There’s being a responsible caregiver for a child… then there’s being so overprotective and smothering that you’re stifling the child. Give the kid some room already, Pop!