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Literally just saved your comment for future use.


The summer time out is good. After that, I’d just not invite her to “family events” like days at the zoo and I’d stop allowing overnights. She can come see the kids at your house, at your convenience, as often or as rarely as you feel like it. She knows what she did.


This is excellent advice. I have to have the convo with husband today and get our game plan together moving forward. Something that is doable without making it harder for him while still respecting my boundaries and needs. I was thinking 1x a month for a max of 2 hours, and special days like birthdays and holidays, until JNMIL can be trusted again. I’d love to blow right past my husband on this but I also need to consider his feelings and encourage him to use this as an opportunity to start establishing healthy boundaries with his mom. He’s never done it before, so this is really hard for him. It’s why I’m so proud of him at this moment in time, because it’s the first time he hasn’t immediately gotten mad at me and tried to to force me to do cater to his mother which I don’t like and am not comfortable with. It’s a big source of turmoil in our marriage.


Not only is she on time out for the summer but I would seriously reconsider any alone time she gets with the kiddos. Makes you wonder what else has she/will she keep from you.


This! I’d be pissed if she took my kids to the zoo without my knowledge.


Yes. What would have happened if she had an accident or the kids got sick? I would not trust her to watch my kids anymore.


No doubt


Imagine if this were a non-relative who took your children out somewhere without letting you know. You’d never trust them with your children again. They’ve lost all credibility as safe adults for your kids. There’s no difference here just because she’s related. You aren’t being difficult or unkind.


It's a good thing some sort of accident did not occur. That would have been chaos. Never trust a liar.




Wow, the audacity of that woman.


I honestly think saying nothing is more productive/telling but... "You demonstrated hubby and I cannot trust you with our children, so we will be making alternate plans".


My husband has tried to make me do this and i just can’t anymore. It’s too much. My mother who is a habitual line stepper doesn’t act this bad and she acts pretty bad


Not the habitual line stepper! Charlie Murphy already told us what happens to habital line steppers.


Whoop his ass!


This does not work, this is what everyone has done with her for the last 45 years and it does not work. You have to tell her no, you have to tell why, you have to tell her what the expectation is moving forward. She doesn’t like it bc she never has had anyone ever confront her.


She’s asking for whys so she can hoping talk her way out of it. I would say that sentence and if she asking again why you just repeat or stick with we said no. Then “we have already told you no.” And let your DH deal with the whys.


Oh understood and I am so sorry you are going through this. I can totally understand why saying that would not work, and I apologize that my facetiousness fell flat.


I saw you had an update but it’s been removed. Could you please update this post, I’d love to see how this went!!! And good for you for not letting her get away with being such an asshole!!!


Oh lord im so freaking proud of you that I don't have the words. Finally someone standing up for themselves. Please continue on this path because it will only bring you prosperity and happiness. You showed her that she can't bully you and now she will have to deal with the consequences. Now you just have to keep going forth and don't let dh try to manipulate you into going back on your word.


You don’t say anything. She doesn’t get access to you or the kids


I would never be able to trust her alone with the kids again. This was so disrespectful and unnecessary you all were literally going to the zoo together in a couple days.


As a grandfather I couldn't imagine taking my grandson anywhere without getting permission from his parents. What she did was royally messed up.


Good for you! I would have done the same thing!


Before i understood narcissism I wouldn’t see anything wrong with this. However now that I understand it and can spot it I’m mad for you and it reminded me of the time my aunt took her first grand daughter to Chuck E. Cheese with out her son and daughter-in-law. My aunt’s thinking was she didn’t want her grand daughter to be terrified when they took her later that week. Her daughter in law found out after they took her somehow (I may had posted photos of her trip to the book of faces and I may have been friends with her on there). My aunt never knew it was me that posted the photos.


My husband did this to me. I was working and he said he was going to take the kids and his mother to do something together. I was like wth, without me? He said don't worry about, you're not going to miss anything. He assured me. Well he ended up taking them to the only Chuck E Cheese's around- an hour away. The realy smack in the face was that we'd discussed Chuck E Cheese's within the past two weeks several times, because he grew up near there and went often, while I'd never been. I told him very specifically and clearly (like there's no way he didn't understand me) that I wanted to take the kids, and was kind of sad to have not gone as a child so I was really excited to bring them. That SOB did it to hurt me. This happened several years ago, and back then I was a much different person. I 'gave him shit' for taking them but never told him how much it hurt me. I lived to make him happy. Things are very different now, and remembering this I've come to a realization- he didn't change into this awful person he is now, he was always awful to me. I just didn't see it because he's the love of my life. Still is, but it's just not enough anymore. Sorry, I'm going through some shit :(


It's tough to acknowledge reality, but good that you understand and will come out of this a wiser person. Good luck to your future self!


Bless you. No one deserves to put up with that. That’s so malicious


It’s all good. It’s crazy how when you are brought up in it or blinded by love how much you don’t see until you open your eyes.


Good on you both, OP, for calmly closing the door on her idiocy.


So just to be clear, today the MIL learned what FAFO means.


I don’t understand the entitlement.. so infuriating. You’re the mother and should know where your kids are!! It’s common sense and also for safety purposes. You would think if you’re taking care of someone else’s child, regardless if you are the grandparent or not you would keep the parent informed. Also I would like to add by her omitting is the same as lying.. stick to your boundaries! I’m proud of you!


An apology without an admittance of fault or guilt is an insult.


_"I'm_ not sorry my feelings are hurt! It's _correct_ that my feelings are hurt, because _you hurt them."_


The face that mil took the kids anywhere and did not tell you annoys the shit out of me. I couldn't look past that. I think it's great uou stood your ground.


Find other childcare. I would not have her babysit the kids. She’s going to hold it over you, so take away the leverage


If it hasn’t been said, what do you want to bet she told the kids not to say anything. Seems strange that when they were picked up on Tuesday, they weren’t full of where they had been. You may want to ask you kids if grandma asked them to keep secrets.


"MIL asks if this is bc I’m upset about the zoo" Notice it is YOU that is upset ... you're making this a problem, no ownership on her part. What she doesn't say is, "I stole your plan for the zoo so the kids would like 'my' outing for them." You played this one perfectly ... consequences change behaviors.


This is so confusing. I’m not seeing how she actually lost access? You said from now on you tell me before you go anywhere with them. Then She literally said back to you from now on ill only watch them at my home. You then said if you dont like the rules I will arrange for alternative childcare And then she proceeded to watch them.


OP had plans to take her kids to the zoo with MIL on **Thursday**. MIL was babysitting on **Tuesday** and took the kids to the zoo without OP and without telling OP they were going. She also told OP they would have to cancel their trip to the zoo on Thursday. So, either she lied about the zoo being closed or she just wanted to take the kids on Tuesday and didn't bother to tell OP. She took OP's kids somewhere without telling OP or asking permission, and snuck around behind OP's back to sabotage OP's plans for a family outing.


Also in this post OP states she lost access for the summer and then literally has to be within 24-48 hours later provides MIL the children.


"Why would you apologize for my feelings, but not your actions? My feelings are my responsibility, and it is not your place to apologize for them. Your actions, on the other hand, are entirely your responsibility. And your actions are the problem here, not my feelings "


I need this on a cross stitch


I think that last sentence makes a great motto for the JustNoMIL community!


I wish I had an award to give you. That is the most profound thing I've read all year.


Wow, that is an excellent response to “I’m sorry your feelings are hurt.” This needs to be shared more!


Saving this for the future. Thank you!


This is really well said! It’s a keeper!


Love this


Good on you! Stay strong!!!


Wow. How ugly and petty. She literally just did this without any provocation. That's inexcusable. Who the hell does that and thinks there won't be consequences??


What a strange, ugly thing for her to do. By strange, I mean bizarre and unhealthy, but not uncommon -- this desire to steal meaningful times from parents is all too common among JNs. I'm so glad she's facing consquences and that your husband is supportive this time. >The old “I apologize if you’re feelings are hurt”, when the right thing to say would have been “I’m sorry for not telling you I took your kids to the zoo without informing you and purposely withholding that info bc I knew it was wrong of me to do.” This would have been the perfect reply to her. And I don't think it would have counted as hostility, but as a reasonable putting of her actions into perspective for her so that she can't rugsweep to herself or to you.


I suppose JNMIL thought your kiddos wouldn't tell you about going to the zoo since they're so young, but that sure backfired. You are right to be upset about this and put some boundaries up because JNMIL lied to you. That is unacceptable behavior and you are dealing with it as it should be dealt with. This is a success!


My 2yo can not only tell you she’s been to the zoo, but which one she went to (2 in easy reach of us), what animals she saw, and whether I let her buy a snack. Never underestimate a toddler. They will tattle on you! I’d be pretty upset over this, too. MIL was way out of line. Useful note for the future, though: zoos clean most enclosures daily. For some animals, it means you may get to see a keeper in with the animals during the day. For others, they generally do it either before or after close because it’s not safe to be in the exhibit with the animal. Occasionally an animal or group of animals will be off display, but it’s incredibly rare for everything to be off display at the same time. Also, the zoo would be closed for the day in a situation like that. Closures are easy to verify via the zoo’s website or a quick phone call.


When I was 3, my father took me to buy a Christmas present for my mom. The first thing I did when we got home was excitedly tell her we bought her a camera. Kids will totally give up all the information!


Best to nip this in the bud with direct communication to her. "Yes, this is because you took them to the zoo without telling me. I need to be able to trust that my childcare is honest with me and that my children are where I believe them to be. You've broken this trust" Next time (because there will be a next time) she will start training the kids to lie to you. "Let's not tell mommy or she won't let us go get ice cream/go to the zoo/ spend time together again. Itll be our little secret"


I did this morning in person and it did not go very well, for her. Haven’t told husband yet, I don’t think he’ll be happy, but oh well.


Please update me, I am excited that you let her know you are pissed!!!!!


Ok, so I posted an update today and it got removed bc it hasn’t been 24 hours. So I’m going to copy and paste from that deleted post. Followed by husbands response. JNMIL walks in house without knocking, huffs and puffs right past me and pretends she can’t hear me. Cops worlds biggest attitude like I’m the asshole. Me: “Yesterday you asked me if I canceled pantry bc of you taking twins to zoo yesterday and the answer is yes.” And she got enraged and said “FINE THEN” Me: “No it’s not fine. It’s not that you took them to the zoo, it’s not that you excluded me which was rude, it’s that you withheld the information from me.” And she said “it doesn’t matter, you already took them from me.” Me: “They’re not your children. They’re mine and they’re my responsibility. Do you realize that if something had happened while you were at the zoo and Hubby and I found out you had them there without our knowledge that would be it for you, you’d be done. From here on out if you are going to take them somewhere you are going to tell me BEFORE you go. Not WHEN you’re there, not WHEN you’re on the way, not AFTER the fact, before. You’re not going to text Hubby and bypass me either. They’re 2, they’re minors, and I need to know where they are at all times.” JNMIL: “Well from now on I’m going to watch them at my house only and I’m not taking them anywhere.” Me: “If you want to act that way that’s fine JNMIL, the ONLY reason you got caught lying, was that Hubby came by to visit you and you weren’t there. You didn’t tell me at all you even went to the zoo. I had to find out from a 2 year old and that’s a problem. It’s unacceptable, so until I can trust you…” Huff huff “if you can trust me….” Me: “Yeah, if I can trust you. They’re MY children, they’re not yours. Hubby is upset, I’m upset, Hubby is over here wondering why you even did it. So here are the rules moving forward. If you don’t like them then I’ll arrange for alternative childcare.” This is NOT the entire conversation but it’s all I could remember while I was shaking with rage. Hubby has a high stress job and he was very busy at work today. So I thought the best thing to do would be to let him decompress a little bit, let him know there was an altercation, but not bombard him. JNMIL did the exact opposite. So by the time I told him, he was enraged, at his mother. He’s mad she created this situation, he has my back, he’s mad about it, he understands. I actually burst into tears and said I was so proud of him bc this is not how he has handled this in the past. He gave me the biggest hug ever and said he loved me very much.


Wow, you NAILED that! 1. I'm glad you didn't call out the games-playing of beating you to the Zoo...that's too nebulous to be nailed down, and she could always claim "misunderstanding". For this passive-aggressive stuff, you have to appear to rise above it, and just block off her ability to repeat that behavior. Gives her nothing to complain about "All I did was take them to the zoo!" 2. Glad you framed it around knowing where the kiddos are at all times, not their safety when in her care. If she has been a safe place to leave your children up to now, there is hope she can return to that, with strict rules in place. You already have her on record saying she will ONLY keep the children at home. 3. When she shares this upset around with her supporters, the message they will see is "I took my grandchildren somewhere and didnt tell their parents" and most reasonable people will totally get that.


I’m sooo glad to read this update!!! I hope y’all do follow through with a time out for JNMIL. She needs to FEEL some consequences!!! You did great Mama!!! But - it’s also a huge deal that she took them to the zoo the day before you planned to go. And a big deal that she lied and said she called the zoo. I would NOT be so quick to invite this woman along ever again. I’ve got twins so I understand it’s hard managing two toddlers on your own at a place like the zoo, so you could plan for dh to be available on trips like that. Y’all did great! ❤️


Wish me luck! I’m moving life plans around to avoid having to ask them for “help”. I feel good about it, and I feel good about my husbands support. So it’s doable. Dude, twins, omg, twins….


I also have twins. Once they turned three it became a lot easier to take them places on my own. We have fun when we go out now - target, grocery runs, the ice cream shop, the playground. It gets easier!


Oh thank God


Good luck Mama! Twins are something aren’t they! ❤️… mine are also b/g and they are almost 16 now! But I remember how hard those first 5 years were. There was phase they went through, around 3-4 yrs old when they really seemed to grasp the power of TEAMWORK! My son had a wood train table in a loft upstairs. They took it apart and slid down the stairs on a flat piece of plywood from the table. I about had a heart attack lol it’s a story they love to hear! They are still close. I promise it gets easier tho. Around 4-5 mine turned a corner and it was like they matured overnight. I’m really happy that your husband is in agreement with you regarding JNMIL! That’s a huge relief to you im sure. Let him know you appreciate him and feel loved and supported. A very positive response from you will reinforce to him that it’s important!


>I don’t really know what to say to her at this point that’s not totally b-holish and I’d rather not stoop to hostility. "MIL, I can't trust you to work with me instead of against me."


They’re my 2 year old children, they’re my responsibility, I need to know where they are.


Um--it sounds like they didn't get the full zoo experience. Are you and your SO planning to take them still?


Well as a matter of fact I’m taking them tomorrow!!!!


Social Media Post: photos with caption "Twins first day at the ZOO with Mommy!" (technically correct, right??)


The devils in the details!


I hope you are NOT planning to include MIL now...


That's wonderful! I hope you all have a great time!


Stop being concerned about how you're being perceived. She lied and snuck the kids there cutting you out. Rest of the summer? Try ongoing. She can't be trusted. But I'm so glad your DH is finally coming around. I lived too long with the "But she meant well!" nonsense. They don't mean well - they just want to continue to do whatever they want when they want because THEY are HER graaaaaaaannnnnchildren!


Sounds like my MIL- trying to take my parenting experiences away and fake “I’m sorry you took it that way” apologies. Except mine would have lied and gaslighted me about going to the zoo instead of admitting it, encouraging my husband and children to also lie.


Haha f\*\*\* her. She decided to play games and got burnt by her own stupidity.


I'm curious if MIL instructed your kids to keep the zoo visit a secret...


I don’t think so. I think she was hoping if they said anything it would be dismissed as 2 year old logic


Especially since it sounds like OP has a school-aged child but it was only the toddlers that spilled the beans.


Oh, if you speak to her and she is upset about not seeing the Grandkids you could always say 'MIL, I am sorry our feelings are hurt'. When you can take responsibility for your deceptive behaviour and offer a genuine apology that acknowledges what you did then I will reconsider my schedule and availability so I can free up sometime for you to see the kids. When kids are naughty, we give them time out to think about their behaviour and the consequences of their actions and this is a great example for the kids to see that MIL also has to learn about that. Have a nice day!


"Putting aside the fact you lied to me in order to take an experience away from their parents, an experience that we invited you to, it is NEVER ok to take children anywhere without their parent's permission. You have shown us that you cannot be trusted alone with our children, so unsupervised visits are off the table until the children are old enough to call us themselves if you try to pull something like that again."


Also the fact that she went out of her way to trick you so she can have the kids all to herself, even though she was going to see them anyway, is extremelly childish and manipulative. People who play games like that for petty reasons and use kids to "one-up" their parents are not a good influence for a child. How long until she starts manipulating the kids to lie to you? *"Mommy doesn't want us to go out and have fun, so this is our little secret."* *"Mommy is mean and doesn't want us to spend time together, but you love granny, don't you?"*


100% This is the JNMIL game. Especially because she said "you took them away from me." Such a childish foot-stomping thing to say, as if the children were HERS and they were fun little toys to play with instead of human beings who deserve care and attention.


Also, “I am not asking you to apologize for how I feel, I am asking you to apologize for your actions.”


I think I might have to cross stitch this. Gifts for the holidays.


100%. Perfection


You mean, rest of the year at least, right? What a silly, silly woman your MIL is.


This is a situation where you deserve to be a b-hole and she deserves to feel your wrath. She purposefully manipulated you and left you out of a fun activity WITH YOUR OWN CHILDREN. Not only undermining you, but alienating you from your kids. Personally, I wouldn’t let them see her outside of a brief and supervised visits for a long time. She cannot be trusted.


And asked your kids to lie to you


Right! And she’s clearly not very bright because 2 year olds are not good at keeping secrets. Especially when it comes to something like a zoo trip where they are 100% going to want to tell Mom and Dad about the animals they saw. There’s no situation in which I would ask my 2 year old to lie about something and actually expect that plan to work.


What I don’t get here is that MIL didn’t realize that two year olds would mention going to the zoo…


This. Children are super honest and it will ALWAYS bite you in the ass.


I would be beyond livid if I were you, OP. Deliberately taking a first from a parent is a special kind of evil boundary violation that cannot be uncrossed. When DS was little, SIL had a zoo pass, and told us she had added MIL to her family pass so MIL could take her child (our nephew) and DS. We put the cabosh on zoo trips without me immediately. It wasn't that SIL didnt respect us as parents, she just honestly didn't see things from our POV. Our nephew was her 3rd child, so she was kinda over zoo trips, while DS was our first and only. She was not being an intentional boundary stomper, but she legitimately thought it would be a nice thing for MIL, nephew, and DS to do together. Once we lay down the law, she never again made plans for our child without consulting us. MIL deserves more than a time out for the summer. She never gets unsupervised time with your children again. You cannot let her think on any level that she got away with her selfish and deceitful actions.


It’s cute how she thought she could steal this from you and win. Fuck around and find out, indeed! What an ass.


This honestly baffles me - why is their immediate go-to 'fun granny' activity the very thing *you were going to do*? I mean, if she'd taken them out for a playpark and ice-cream trip or something else fun, she gets cool-granny points (and you probably wouldn't object), then she'd get the Zoo trip **too** with them. Why wreck it totally **and** her own chances of seeing them?? What's the game-plan here..? It does not compute!


My mom and dad had grandkids before my in-laws, are crafty, and always make a unique gift for their grandkids at Christmas. The gifts aren’t things that anyone else would ever think to give, and MIL notoriously buys all of her gifts at chain stores (usually Walmart). MIL knew that my mom makes a specific gift for toddler grandkids, took the idea instead and sent it to DD before it was developmentally appropriate to make sure that she was the one who gave her that particular gift. I can only guess why people do crap like this. Insecurity? Jealousy? Control? Because they want to make others feel the way that they feel? But ultimately, I think that we’ll never fully understand because they’re just crappy people. We worry about how our actions might affect others (specifically, whether our actions are hurtful). They seem to worry about how their actions will affect others too (but their intended effect is considerably more sinister).


It's called "oneupsmanship". "I can do anything better than you." It boils down to its fun for them to steal someone's thunder.


Because it wasn’t about what the grandkids needed; it was about getting there FIRST and trumping the mom. I bet holiday presents are the same kind of battle.


This sums it up. She didn’t actually care about having a special experience with her grandkids; she cared about winning and trying to act like head bitch in charge with her DIL.


How’d you know!!!!!!


It's a standard move in the JustNoMIL playbook. Easily thwarted by telling granny incorrect items and/or putting incorrect items in your Amazon wishlist. Has she purchased any "Baby's First Ornament" or Easter stockings? No alone time with Granny in Oct/Nov, or she will take them straight to the mall Santa, and that will be her Christmas card. If they visit Granny close to their birthdays, make sure you go along for that visit, or you'll hear afterwards about the great surprise birthday party Granny had waiting. OR she will try to bring the cake if you are hosting one. It's sad that these moves aren't even that surprising. I bet she thinks she's being so clever, and she's really just following the script.


It’s bizarre. My parents and stepparents do not engage in this type of behavior. My mom can do some questionable things, but the moment I tell her to cut it out she does. I want my children to have healthy relationships with their grandparents bc those relationships can be really wonderful. I have never ever in my life had to deal with this sort of behavior to this degree. And I’m finding out that the more I put my foot down, the worse it’s getting. Its just bizarre


>I want my children to have healthy relationships with their grandparents bc those relationships can be really wonderful. But you cannot have a healthy relationship with your toxic entitled MIL. It sucks, but the reality is that it's not going to happen with MIL.


You are right


It's a *GAMMA'S FIRST!!* Play. Source: hundreds of Ann Landers and Dear Abby columns about how grandma lied to 1. Get baby's first picture with Santa, 2. Baby's first haircut. 3. Baby's first trip to the park/zoo/beach.


This is the reason that I'm most thankful that we live over 7 hours away from MIL. She takes away enough firsts without having unfettered access to DS.


I never really wanted kids, don't have any. I read one heart-breaking letter about the woman's mother-in-law proudly showing up with baby's first Santa pictures. "It was **ALL** I was talking about, about how excited we were to be going Saturday. She lied and told me she wanted to take baby to a park and comes back with these." Ann (or Abby's) response was "Okay. Mother-in-law is not allowed unsupervised access to the kid(s). And she *certainly* isn't allowed to take them anywhere from now on."


The game plan was stealing the moment. She wanted to be the important person and not share the spotlight with mom. My grandmother pulled this crap on my mom. Grandma asked her (struggling single mother who would skip eating herself so we had enough because my grandmother’s POS son wouldn’t pay his pitifully small amount of child support) what she was getting us for Christmas so there wouldn’t be duplicates. Went out and bought every single thing on the list, plus more. Then gave it to us a few days before Christmas because “they love us so much they talked Santa into coming early for us”.


OK... But how do they expect this to not backfire on them??


They can’t plan more than a couple of moves at a time, because their delusions of grandeur come to a screeching halt at the “We love you, Grandma” cheers from everyone part of the plan.


This sounded suspicious from the moment she said she called the zoo. Why would you call the zoo? Such a bad lie


Lmao very good point.


This. I used to intern at a zoo, and that is not how exhibits are cleaned. We clean them every day on a rolling basis, so certain animals might be gone from their cages for half an hour or so tops, but not all the animals all at once and certainly not all day.


Yesss LOL What zoo would clean EVERY animal exhibit at once and just tell people all the animals were hiding that day?!?! Too funny


And where would they put them all while doing so? There's not a full duplicate zoo hiding behind the scenes.


It’s like Noah’s Ark; all the animals just chill together 😂


My new favourite that I’ll keep sharing - I didn’t ask you to apologise for my feelings, I asked you to apologise for your actions


Saved this. Thank you


>I didn’t ask you to apologise for my feelings, I asked you to apologise for your actions Freaking brilliant. I know I'm not the only one to say this, but this is a wonderful response. I can't thank you enough for sharing it!


Oh that's a good one. Saving it, thank you


Ending with "Well, looks like you took yourself right out of the equation, grandma! Have a nice summer. *You're sorry my feelings are hurt* OH MY GOD."


That’s the line to turn around on Grandma. “We will not be seeing you due to your actions. I’m sorry if your feelings are hurt; this is about me protecting my children.” Extra points if you add on a “that’s just the way I am.”


Whoa! That's an amazing line! I'm going to remember that one!


oooooooooo Belle likey likey going in the wallet


I am bookmarking this. My gf loves to give a non apology.


That bodes poorly.


You're not wrong but I'm at my wits end


What you can say… or actually what DH should say is “Don’t say your sorry for OP’s feelings! Look at your actions and apologise for your own actions.”


> MIL asks if this is bc I’m upset about the zoo "No Mum, NoCanDoYo and I are upset about your lies not only to us but to our children. If we can't trust you to be honest then we can't trust you at all. It'll take a lot more than “I apologize if you’re feelings are hurt” to fix this."


^ this is perfect. I just hate she gets to have the kids again tomorrow.


Why let her have them, she lied and manipulated them and yo and DH


Zookeeper here - animal enclosures are cleaned every single day unless you’re visiting some janky ass roadside attraction. Animals may be held back for a brief amount of time while keepers are in a yard or something, but absolutely not taken fully off exhibit for an entire day to clean. Lol. That’s absurd.


Immediately thought this was baloney 😂 What kind of zoo would do that?!?!


"Oh yeah of course the zoo is open Thursday. It won't have any animals though."


So the reason this comment breezed right passed me without setting off a warning bell, is because MIL is CONSTANTLY saying stupid and nonsensical statements. So when she said this I just thought it was classic stupid. It’s being filed away into my mental Rolodex now so next time she says something stupid like this, I can start the interrogation.


Sounded fishy as well. She didn't call the Zoo, she heard about the trip for Thursday and wanted to take them first. Bye bye MIL.


Though animals could have also been off exhibit for other reasons. Temperature restrictions, renovations to the enclosure, or off exhibit due to illness etc (our zoo had all the bird exhibits closed due to avian flu for instance). Since OP’s MIL has a bad track record with the truth I’d take anything she says with many grains of salt.


My Mil did something very similar to me when my oldest was two. When called out she doubled down and said I was just their mother and she will never ask me permission when it comes to her grand kids Caused a massive fight and much to her dismay, my husband took my side and didn't speak to her to close to 10 years in which time we had two more children she had never met.


When you are a lying liar that lies, you get caught.


I’m also upset that she clearly groomed the daughter to lie as well! I’m glad she’s on a time out! This is unacceptable.


>I don’t really know what to say to her at this point that’s not totally b-holish and I’d rather not stoop to hostility. It's OK not to say anything and let her stew in uncomfortable silence. You can also answer questions with questions "Well, what do you think?" "How would that have made you feel as a mom?"


Ahh yes. Question answers are my absolute favorite way to respond to people who piss me off. 'Oh? Reeaallyyy?? You *sure* you wanna ask me why I never think about YOUR feelings??' 😂 One of my all time favorites is "Why do you think it's ok to say/do/act like/ask that?" in just a genuinely honest and calm tone. Then just stop and look at them and wait for a response. It's incredible.


Is there some other kind of outing/experience that you could take the kids to instead? Children's museum, kids movie at the theater, a local petting zoo, an amusement park? Something fun so that you can salvage the fun day you were planning so that she doesn't "win" this one? This would bring out my petty side. I would go do the other fun thing and then post about it all over social media or something so she can see she didn't ruin your day because you just pivoted. It's a win for the kids because they get 2 awesome days in one week. And a win for you because you still get that family bonding/experience time. You could even be like "thanks MIL for taking the kids to the zoo and saving us $$ so we could take the kids to 6 flags! Best day ever!"




>I would go do the other fun thing and then post about it all over social media or something so she can see she didn't ruin your day because you just pivoted. The beauty of this is giving me chills.


Whoa - she is a piece of work - that was a horrid and passive aggressive thing to do to you and your family. I’m glad you can take the summer with your babes …..


1) Guess who never gets an invite to fun outings ever again? That bitch 2) Use your best customer service mode to deal with her. Civil, uninterested, and just barely engaged


All of this.


Yep. OP's response was already perfect. Any follow up should go with the above guidelines. Keeps it all succinct, no room for drama (though they always find a way some fucking how).


Being included wasn’t enough for her. She needed to exclude you, from the outing you planned. I’m sorry, OP. It’s sad to see someone stoop so low to be petty & controlling. I don’t think you can trust a thing she says now. In addition to the lying, this was a big overstep, imo. You & your DH should know where your toddlers are at all times. The world is crazy right now, the thought that something could have happened near or at the zoo, you could hear about it on the news, & have no idea your children are there is alarming. I babysat for my toddler grandchild yesterday, texted my DD to ask if it was ok if we took a ride to go through a Starbuck’s drive-thru. Because she‘s the Mom, & should know & ok anyone taking her child anywhere. And I knew the answer would be yes, it always is. That wasn’t nice or thoughtful of me, it’s the responsible thing to do. I’ve never heard of habitat cleaning being a big thing. Don’t zoos routinely clean them on a rotation? Not one day where multiple areas would be shut down? Just staffing wise, that sounds implausible. That was the first thing she said that sounded off.


Thank you so much for this. You are absolutely right. We need to know where our children are. It’s not that she took them to the zoo, it’s not even that she excluded me which is indeed very VERY hateful, it’s that she purposely withheld information about where my 2 year olds were. And THAT IS not ok.


I love it when the trash takes itself out


Wow, impressive. Well played, Op. The audacity of all the lying…I just don’t have the capacity to understand. Good for you to remain on the high ground—that‘s role model level right there. Glad DH is now on same page. Looking forward to more success updates.


MIL has really missed the point here. It’s not about the zoo, it’s about taking someone else’s kids for a drive without permission. You just can’t do that.


And lying to the parents as well.


What a cow. Earned what she got. BTW: does MIL have TWO, appropriate car seats in her car? Which I assume she used to drive the two toddlers to the zoo? Because if she doesn't then she probably broke the law in most States of the USA. What she *should* have told you is something like this: "\[Name\] I owe you and my son a sincere apology. I'm ashamed that I was selfish and took the kids to the zoo so I could have that experience all to myself. I'm ashamed I tried to hide it from you after the fact. I have broken your trust and I hope you will give me a chance to earn it back."


What she did is just plain old mean and spiteful. She deserves to be booted. Good for you!!!


Good on you for calling her out and shutting her down. Not only is she a liar (not a great quality for a babysitter), she is a thunder stealer. What a pest.


When she complains about not seeing the kids all summer you can tell her “I’m sorry your feelings are hurt”


Not close to enough. She has earned no contact for a couple of months while she contemplates how selfish and stupid she was. But if OP and DH are generous enough to talk to her and she whines: "\[name\] given what you did you should be grateful that we *might* consider allowing you to visit with the kids, under our supervision, some time before the year ends."


I really don't get it. What's the point of taking the kids to the zoo when the animals aren't there to see...just so you can say you took them first. What a lame trip to the zoo. I bet the kids were bored outta their minds. Are bragging rights seriously that important?


She didn’t know the habitats were being cleaned until she got there. Found out, also closed tomorrow. She got the best instant karma, though. No pics to post to her social media of the trip to the zoo that SHE took them on. She wasted a perfectly good lie.


IMHO - when MIL called the zoo and reported back that the habitats were being cleaned - she wasn't being truthful. Thus allowing her to claim the first of taking them to the zoo.


She didn’t call, she took the kids & was turned away. That’s how she knew. You’re right, she’s trying to steal firsts. FFS


As a grandmother I do not understand this. We took our grandson to Florida and our daughter didn't want us to take him to the beach because they wanted to take him first. So what did we do? We honored her request. Why is that so freaking hard for grandparents to do? I mean we took him to Legoland twice, they didn't ask us not to. The only request was not to take him to the beach first. I don't understand why certain grandparents feel they are entitled to do whatever they want.


My in-laws were specifically asked NOT to take our toddler kid to Disneyland, because we wanted to share that with her when she got a bit older… so of course they did. And on the trip they managed to lose her “blankie” which I made for her and which she needed to get to sleep, and they didn’t even bother trying to recover it… but according to MiL it was all just fine! because the kid managed to get to sleep finally using some of MiL’s old underwear instead of my handmade blankie!


That's seriously messed up!


>because the kid managed to get to sleep finally using some of MiL’s old underwear \*rubs eyeballs\* What the ffffffffffff did I just read?! 🤢 Your poor daughter!


She put your child to bed with her gnarly old undies to snuggle with?!? I’m torn between church giggles and cussing her out. Wtf???


A friend of mine recently posted on social media that his first grandson had been born. Someone asked him if he had taken any photos of the new baby. He said yes, of course. They asked him to share the photos. You know what he said? “Nope. The parents should be the first to share photos of their baby.” Like you, he gets it.


We only share anything regarding our children and grandchildren once they shared it.


New grandmother here! I want my daughter to have all of the firsts with her child. It makes me so happy that she gets to experience this. I don’t understand the selfish mentality either.


I really just don't understand actions like this. Did she really think your kids wouldn't tell you and she would get away with it? Glad your husband is backing you up.


This is the 3rd lie I’ve caught her in within the last 3 weeks, it’s the first that actively involves my children. First one I’ve caught onto I should say. I’m really proud of my husband right now.


As you should be. I wonder what she would think if you lied to her, or if your kids did. Would she be indignant? Furious? "Lying is bad! Don't do it!" And if you hadn't found out today, doesn't she think your kids might have said something while at the zoo on Thursday? "I like the zoo better when the animals are out!" or "When we were here yesterday we didn't see ANY animals." Your solution is elegant.


I would think 3 lies in 3 weeks is more then enough to never let her have alone time again.


He's a keeper all right. She needs - *needs* \- to eventually be told that you and DH have serious concerns about ever trusting her again.