“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Jul 14, 2014
DEAR ABBY: We were visiting my daughter and her husband when their 3-year-old, "Bethany," entered our room and rummaged through our medications. The door to the guest room was closed and the medications had been placed on a desk. Of course, everyone thought she had ingested some, so they rushed her to the ER. We were fortunate that nothing was found in her system.

My son-in-law thinks we should help pay the medical bills. I have sent several hundred dollars, but he is asking for more.

Bethany is an only child, and they allow her free reign of the house. I have other grandchildren who are even younger, and none of them would dream of touching something that wasn't theirs.

It has been almost a year since the incident, and they still haven't taught her to respect and leave things alone that are not hers. My daughter is a professional and her husband works from home, which concerns me because he isn't as strict as I feel is necessary.

Are we obligated to help with more of her medical expenses? I don't think so because we have already helped, and I don't think it's our job to teach our grandchild boundaries.-- OHIO GRANDMA

DEAR OHIO GRANDMA: That must have been some hefty emergency room bill! Obviously, closing the guest room door was not enough to deter your granddaughter. In hindsight, you now know that you should keep anything you don't want her to get into locked in your suitcase. But you and your husband are not mind readers.

If this wasn't a wake-up call to your daughter and son-in-law that it was time to teach their child the meaning of "No!" and "Don't touch!" then I don't know what it will take to prevent another "oops!" As to your shelling out more money than you already have for Bethany's medical bills, I think you have given enough, and you should not be blamed for what happened.

DEAR ABBY: My best friend told me several months ago that she needed to make new friends. When I gave her a surprised look, her response was, "No, you took that the wrong way." I left it at that.

She recently mentioned that she was going to invite several of our neighbors over for cocktails and a light dinner, but she did not invite me. The evening of the event, while her guests were still there, she phoned me. She said they were finished with dinner and asked if I wanted to walk over and get some leftovers. I politely declined, saying I wasn't dressed.

Abby, I'm shocked that she would ask me to come over to, basically, get a takeout plate. Your thoughts?-- NO TAKEOUT FOR ME

DEAR NO TAKEOUT: I think what the woman did was insensitive, and that it's time you, too, started making some new friends. Considering how this one treated you, it certainly couldn't hurt.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#2 Jul 14, 2014
I sure hope LW1 is fake. Who leaves meds where a preschool child
can get into them? And how did the child enter the grandparents'
room while they were visiting their daughter?

And, if LW2 isn't fake, why does she want to waste her time thinking
about this "best friend"?

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#3 Jul 14, 2014
LW1- the LW is 100% responsible here, but needs to talk to her daughter, not her SIL. You don't leave medications anywhere that children can get to them, especially when you are a guest in someone's house. It sounds like the LW is feeling guilty and is trying to shift the blame to her SIL to alleviate some of that guilt.

Even with insurance, ER visits can do some serious financial damage. My brother, who has basic insurance, racked up over $3,000 in charges from 2 ER visits, which he was instructed to go to by his primary care physician. I think that the LW should request the bill from the hospital and pay them directly.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#4 Jul 14, 2014
L1: You should not have given a dime in the first place. They need to watch their daughter. I can understand that in this instance you wanted to help but now they are scapegoating. Don't let them do that.

L2: If the LW from today's Amy reads this column, this is NOT how you drop your friends. I wouldn't bother with this person.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#5 Jul 14, 2014
LW1: You can prevent this situation in the future by placing your meds in childproof containers when visiting your daughter and son-in-law. As to your question, if you want to keep the peace, send the money and call it a life lesson. Arguing over who is right and who is wrong is futile.

LW2: You handled the situation perfectly. And I agree that you should make some new friends, too.
pde

Bothell, WA

#6 Jul 14, 2014
Toj wrote:
L1: You should not have given a dime in the first place. They need to watch their daughter. I can understand that in this instance you wanted to help but now they are scapegoating. Don't let them do that.
They were at Bethany's parents house, not Bethany and her parents being a guest at the grandparent's house.

I didn't watch my son 24/7 in our own house when he was a 3-year-old. It's simply not possible. The places he was supposed to stay out of (which were limited) were locked or otherwise child-proofed. All medication was on the top shelf of the pantry.

When my ILs came to stay when he was that age, they locked the guest bedroom door behind them. Otherwise, he likely would have been in there, because the guest bedroom was open to him at other times.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#7 Jul 14, 2014
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
They were at Bethany's parents house, not Bethany and her parents being a guest at the grandparent's house.
I didn't watch my son 24/7 in our own house when he was a 3-year-old. It's simply not possible. The places he was supposed to stay out of (which were limited) were locked or otherwise child-proofed. All medication was on the top shelf of the pantry.
When my ILs came to stay when he was that age, they locked the guest bedroom door behind them. Otherwise, he likely would have been in there, because the guest bedroom was open to him at other times.
It's up to the parents to make sure their child is safe. They should have asked if this is an issue about not being able to watch a 3 year old. You yourself took measures to child-proof and lock doors.
pde

Bothell, WA

#8 Jul 14, 2014
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
It's up to the parents to make sure their child is safe. They should have asked if this is an issue about not being able to watch a 3 year old. You yourself took measures to child-proof and lock doors.
It's pretty stupid to leave medication in easy reach when there's a 3-year-old living in the house. And the stupid people in this situation were the grandparents. I wouldn't think I would have to remind someone who brought up their own kids to either put up their medication or lock it up--my ILs asked us and we told them to lock the door.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#9 Jul 14, 2014
PEllen wrote:
DEAR ABBY: We were visiting my daughter and her husband when their 3-year-old, "Bethany," entered our room and rummaged through our medications.
This sentence still makes it look fake to me--unless he meant to say the daughter, husband
and grandchild were visiting her.
pde

Bothell, WA

#10 Jul 14, 2014
I mean, how are the parents supposed to know that the grandparents are bringing medication into the house?

I had no idea that either of the inlaws were on any sort of medication. My MIL mentioned it to me and asked me how I wanted them to secure it, and that was how we came up with "lock the door".

If MIL hadn't asked me, I would have not known she was on medication which needed to be secured and wouldn't have thought to ask. I don't get involved with talking medical stuff with my inlaws.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#11 Jul 14, 2014
pde wrote:
I mean, how are the parents supposed to know that the grandparents are bringing medication into the house?
I had no idea that either of the inlaws were on any sort of medication. My MIL mentioned it to me and asked me how I wanted them to secure it, and that was how we came up with "lock the door".
If MIL hadn't asked me, I would have not known she was on medication which needed to be secured and wouldn't have thought to ask. I don't get involved with talking medical stuff with my inlaws.
That makes more sense.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#12 Jul 14, 2014
pde wrote:
I mean, how are the parents supposed to know that the grandparents are bringing medication into the house?
I had no idea that either of the inlaws were on any sort of medication. My MIL mentioned it to me and asked me how I wanted them to secure it, and that was how we came up with "lock the door".
If MIL hadn't asked me, I would have not known she was on medication which needed to be secured and wouldn't have thought to ask. I don't get involved with talking medical stuff with my inlaws.
Agreed.

Not touching what doesn't belong to you is something an older child learns. Bethany is still at the childproofing age. Grandmother should have known that.

I hate to think of what might happen if Bethany &Co visited the grandparent's house.

Even so, with medical insurance deductibles and co-pays can add up. LW should get the EOB and pay the balance

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#13 Jul 14, 2014
As judge, I would rule both at fault but the parents MORE at fault.

In this instance, the child got into something she should not have and the worry was the child's safety. Let's change it up a bit. Let's say the child wanders into the guest room unsupervised and undetected...and breaks the guest's ipad. Or finds their cell phone and takes it to the toilet. Is it the giests fault for not taking exta precautions or is it the child's parents who would be responsible to pay for the destroyed devices. I agree with Toj and lw that the bulk of this falls on the parents.

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#14 Jul 14, 2014
When my parents visit me, they stay in our "guest room", which normally functions as the boys toy room on the first floor. While I have always told them that they need to respect Grandma and Grandpa's property and privacy, my parents also know that they are guests in our house and anything valuable needs to be placed out of a three year old's reach.

If the LW's granddaughter had rummaged through her suitcase to get to the meds, I would probably feel differently, but if they were just left on a desk or table then I think she has unrealistic expectations of a toddler.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#15 Jul 14, 2014
PEllen wrote:
I hate to think of what might happen if Bethany &Co visited the grandparent's house
my parents' house is not child proofed and has lots of glass stuff all over the place. I watch my kids like a hawk when there.

At my own home, with less breakables and more childproofing, i don't know when 8 strated giving them more freedom to roam unsupervised. At 3, they still might have been in the not-out-of-my-sight stage.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#16 Jul 14, 2014
ScarletandOlive wrote:
When my parents visit me, they stay in our "guest room", which normally functions as the boys toy room on the first floor. While I have always told them that they need to respect Grandma and Grandpa's property and privacy, my parents also know that they are guests in our house and anything valuable needs to be placed out of a three year old's reach.
If the LW's granddaughter had rummaged through her suitcase to get to the meds, I would probably feel differently, but if they were just left on a desk or table then I think she has unrealistic expectations of a toddler.
Didn't LW say she has another grandchild(grandchildren) that does meet these expectations? Maybe not as unreal as you think.

LW called the room "our room" which leads me to believe it was a dedicated guest room, not them staying in the kid's room. Would it have been thinking ahead to plan for the possibility that the kid might come in? Sure. But I don't think you can blame a guest for assuming no one is going to enter the room they are staying in and go thru their stuff. If you let your kid wander around unsupervised, I think a heads up is in order. If my kid went into the guest room and destroyed a guest's phone that was sitting on the night stand, I would feel responsible to pay for it, not admonish them for leaving it where a 3 year old could get it.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#17 Jul 14, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>my parents' house is not child proofed and has lots of glass stuff all over the place. I watch my kids like a hawk when there.
At my own home, with less breakables and more childproofing, i don't know when 8 strated giving them more freedom to roam unsupervised. At 3, they still might have been in the not-out-of-my-sight stage.
I agree with you. At 3 I would not let a child wander around the house unsupervised. They know how to climb, turn on faucets, etc. No matter how well you childproof a house, it's amazing what they can get into.

I once left baby powder up on a table (which, yes -- you shouldn't use anymore but this was over 20 years ago). I think my child was about 1 1/2. I was folding clothes and making dinner -- he was in the livingroom within my sight lines. He snatched the powder without my knowing. Sneaky little devil. I believed he was in the corner playing (same corner of the room with his toys) until I see white poofy powder. Oh, he had a grand time and I got a very funny picture. It vacuumed up easily at least. It was over everything!

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#18 Jul 14, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>my parents' house is not child proofed and has lots of glass stuff all over the place. I watch my kids like a hawk when there.

At my own home, with less breakables and more childproofing, i don't know when 8 strated giving them more freedom to roam unsupervised. At 3, they still might have been in the not-out-of-my-sight stage.
At 3, mine would play upstairs by themselves while I was downstairs folding laundry. I think I remember talking about this on the Regs thread one time when Ry was that age. He's going to be 9 this year. Holy cow, we have "known" each other for a while.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#19 Jul 14, 2014
ScarletandOlive wrote:
<quoted text>
At 3, mine would play upstairs by themselves while I was downstairs folding laundry. I think I remember talking about this on the Regs thread one time when Ry was that age. He's going to be 9 this year. Holy cow, we have "known" each other for a while.
Our pool room became a toy room wgen we gad kids specifically because I wanted them to have aplace to play and toys nearby when we were downstairs. They are just about 5 and 8, and have the run of the place now. I don't know exactly when we took the leash off but initially, i wanted them in whatever floor i was on. And i still gave to stay on them like white on rice to keep outta grabdma's living room with all the breakables
pde

Bothell, WA

#20 Jul 14, 2014
ScarletandOlive wrote:
<quoted text>
At 3, mine would play upstairs by themselves while I was downstairs folding laundry. I think I remember talking about this on the Regs thread one time when Ry was that age. He's going to be 9 this year. Holy cow, we have "known" each other for a while.
By 3, my son was quite capable of getting himself out of bed, dressed, and downstairs to play or watch TV in the morning without any notice to either of us. He generally didn't do anything naughty, but he needed to understand something was naughty in order not to do it.

Really, he's potentially more destructive now at 8 than he was at 3. Back then it was just what he didn't know, now it's intentional decisions about how much trouble.

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