Chit Chat

My SIL and the dreaded stomach bug

bumpjaniebumpjanie member
First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
edited January 2017 in Chit Chat
Just need to get this off my chest because my SIL is driving me CRAZY.  She lives about 2 hours away from us, and we finally just made it to their house to celebrate Christmas.  Long story short, we show up and her 1 yr old promptly starts throwing up EVERYWHERE. She repeatedly wipes it up with paper towels (or leaves my husband to clean it up), never once whipping out any semblance of sanatizer or cleaner. She also prepares food (having not once washed her hands) and then proceeds to hold the puking baby at the dinner table all through dinner.  I watched the kid blow chunks at the dinner table twice. Does she put him to bed? Nope, continues to hold him for the rest of the night until everyone goes to bed around midnight, occasionally passing her dry heaving baby off to either my husband or myself.  She maintains the whole night that he is "just choking" on food because he isn't great at eating just yet. I personally go to bed irate, only maintaining my calm because I have purposely downed a bottle of wine to numb my senses. I wake up in the middle of the night to her daughter puking. Awesome. I woke up that morning- forced my husband out the door immediately, seriously grossed out by the entire experience.  She made a point to say on our way out that her kids "definitely got some kind of food poisoning and are in no way contagious".  Yes we've moved on from choking to food poisoning.  Before you judge my harsh reaction, this is the FOURTH TIME this has happened. One time she brought her knowingly ill child to our house for a birthday dinner and put her to sleep in our bed.  Each and every one of these times one or the both of us have gotten rip-roaring stomach bugs. No matter what- it is never her fault "Actually I think you gave us all food poisoning" (my personal favorite), "you fed my daughter too much cheese and that's the only reason she's sick- your sickness is unrelated" (this blame probably would have worked on me had I not gotten the bug myself) and of course the most recent "its choking, no wait, food poisoning, it's not contagious"- funny, because my husband has been keeled over a toilet for the past 12 hours.  I'm having issues with this for a couple of reasons- one is the obvious blaming and inability to take responsibility. I cannot for the life of me figure out why in the world she does this. Another is the general neglect she shows when her family members are sick.  Why put your baby in our bed when you knows she is sick? Or better yet, why not just reschedule? Or at the very least give us a heads up? Why do you wait until we get to your house to tell us half of your house has a raging stomach bug? (another of the four instances) The most recent experience, I admit, she had no way of knowing her kid was sick, and I would never fault her for that, but is it necessary to have him at the dinner table!?! This last experience put me over the edge and I finally said something to my husband. I've been biting my tongue for the past two years thinking to myself, surely this won't happen again...and yet it does, over, and over, and over again. He seemed genuinely surprised that I was so mad about it.  I tried to explain that I would feel the exact same way if it were my sister (or any other human being on the earth) and that I think her actions are inconsiderate of others, and frankly quite filthy.  I'm pretty sure he's mad at me, although it's hard to tell because he is also sick as hell (shocker). Am I crazy to be super grossed out by this? And pissed off? I'm not a parent so I'm not sure if I'm being overly critical but I just find it all very weird- I've never received a single apology from her- even when we get sick, she continues to blame blame blame.  I have no desire to have a confrontation with her what-so-ever, I really don't. But I also have no desire to ever step foot in her house anytime in the future.  I hesitate to tell my husband that but I'm completely serious, I'm SO.OVER.IT.ALL. 

Re: My SIL and the dreaded stomach bug

  • I don't think your reaction is harsh. I wouldn't even have stayed for supper. That's disgusting.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • SP29SP29 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited January 2017
    Yeah, that is gross. Nobody wants your germs.

    I can understand being upset that there is someone vomiting at the dinner table, or when her child got sick at your house that the family didn't go home then, instead she kept the child there.

    I think what would bother me the most- although yes, the whole inability to take responsibility for anything is VERY frustrating- is that she doesn't tell you a family member is sick. You should be able to make the choice if you still want to go to her house or not. Likewise, she should be adult enough to say, "Hey, one of the kids are sick, we'll have to reschedule dinner" and not show up at your house.
    cowgirl8238
  • Yeah, that's obnoxious.  Especially since it's happened repeatedly.  I hate being at parties, work, etc. when someone (no matter the age) is sick. 
  • Just need to get this off my chest because my SIL is driving me CRAZY.  She lives about 2 hours away from us, and we finally just made it to their house to celebrate Christmas.  Long story short, we show up and her 1 yr old promptly starts throwing up EVERYWHERE. She repeatedly wipes it up with paper towels (or leaves my husband to clean it up), never once whipping out any semblance of sanatizer or cleaner. She also prepares food (having not once washed her hands) and then proceeds to hold the puking baby at the dinner table all through dinner.  I watched the kid blow chunks at the dinner table twice. Does she put him to bed? Nope, continues to hold him for the rest of the night until everyone goes to bed around midnight, occasionally passing her dry heaving baby off to either my husband or myself.  She maintains the whole night that he is "just choking" on food because he isn't great at eating just yet. I personally go to bed irate, only maintaining my calm because I have purposely downed a bottle of wine to numb my senses. I wake up in the middle of the night to her daughter puking. Awesome. I woke up that morning- forced my husband out the door immediately, seriously grossed out by the entire experience.  She made a point to say on our way out that her kids "definitely got some kind of food poisoning and are in no way contagious".  Yes we've moved on from choking to food poisoning.  Before you judge my harsh reaction, this is the FOURTH TIME this has happened. One time she brought her knowingly ill child to our house for a birthday dinner and put her to sleep in our bed.  Each and every one of these times one or the both of us have gotten rip-roaring stomach bugs. No matter what- it is never her fault "Actually I think you gave us all food poisoning" (my personal favorite), "you fed my daughter too much cheese and that's the only reason she's sick- your sickness is unrelated" (this blame probably would have worked on me had I not gotten the bug myself) and of course the most recent "its choking, no wait, food poisoning, it's not contagious"- funny, because my husband has been keeled over a toilet for the past 12 hours.  I'm having issues with this for a couple of reasons- one is the obvious blaming and inability to take responsibility. I cannot for the life of me figure out why in the world she does this. Another is the general neglect she shows when her family members are sick.  Why put your baby in our bed when you knows she is sick? Or better yet, why not just reschedule? Or at the very least give us a heads up? Why do you wait until we get to your house to tell us half of your house has a raging stomach bug? (another of the four instances) The most recent experience, I admit, she had no way of knowing her kid was sick, and I would never fault her for that, but is it necessary to have him at the dinner table!?! This last experience put me over the edge and I finally said something to my husband. I've been biting my tongue for the past two years thinking to myself, surely this won't happen again...and yet it does, over, and over, and over again. He seemed genuinely surprised that I was so mad about it.  I tried to explain that I would feel the exact same way if it were my sister (or any other human being on the earth) and that I think her actions are inconsiderate of others, and frankly quite filthy.  I'm pretty sure he's mad at me, although it's hard to tell because he is also sick as hell (shocker). Am I crazy to be super grossed out by this? And pissed off? I'm not a parent so I'm not sure if I'm being overly critical but I just find it all very weird- I've never received a single apology from her- even when we get sick, she continues to blame blame blame.  I have no desire to have a confrontation with her what-so-ever, I really don't. But I also have no desire to ever step foot in her house anytime in the future.  I hesitate to tell my husband that but I'm completely serious, I'm SO.OVER.IT.ALL. 

    TL/DR: Sister-in-law has not warned OP that her child was obviously sick on four separate occasions and has gotten OP and/or DH sick each time.  Most recently child was throwing up AT the dinner table!


    Paragraphs are your friend!  I would be completely repulsed by this behavior.  I understand that some people have different comfort levels with cleanliness, but to have a vomiting child sitting AT THE DINNER TABLE is ridiculous!  There is no way I would have stayed for dinner, and if she asked I would have told her why.  I also think it is rude to bring over a child that you KNOW is ill without at least a warning/heads up.  I understand that things happen but I would hope an adult could pick up the phone and say, "Hey little Susie is sick and we can't make dinner.  Can we reschedule to sometime next week?"

    I am slightly concerned that it took until now for your DH to notice how this upsets you.  It is important that you communicate to him in a calm and clear manner how this bothers you.  That way when this happens again (and lets face it, this is likely to happen again) you can have a united stance.  I would not stay over a house where the child was sick, and I may stop inviting them over if this continued.

    sparklepants41OurWildKingdomei34SP29
  • As a nurse, I HATE it when sick people (of any age) don't stay home when they're sick. No one wants your germs, stay at home for a few days and rest. Her sick child probably needs the rest more than they need to be dragged about to social obligations. 

    Could you possibly gift her some face masks she could keep at her house for the next time you're expected to hang out with her sick family? (KIDDING....but only kind of  ;))
    OP was at THEIR house. The SIL didn't drag this kid out - the kids were at their house. OP could have left whenever she wanted and made the call to stay overnight when she only lives 2 hours away.
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    MyNameIsNot
  • As a nurse, I HATE it when sick people (of any age) don't stay home when they're sick. No one wants your germs, stay at home for a few days and rest. Her sick child probably needs the rest more than they need to be dragged about to social obligations. 

    Could you possibly gift her some face masks she could keep at her house for the next time you're expected to hang out with her sick family? (KIDDING....but only kind of  ;))
    OP was at THEIR house. The SIL didn't drag this kid out - the kids were at their house. OP could have left whenever she wanted and made the call to stay overnight when she only lives 2 hours away.

    I think this is partially responding to the earlier incident where the SIL brought her sick child to visit them.  This lead to the SIL putting the child to sleep in the OPs bed and the OP getting sick.  I understand that children can get sick at the drop of a hat, but the SIL is neither remorseful or even honest about it, and that is where I feel the OPs emotions are coming from.
    SP29
  • As a nurse, I HATE it when sick people (of any age) don't stay home when they're sick. No one wants your germs, stay at home for a few days and rest. Her sick child probably needs the rest more than they need to be dragged about to social obligations. 

    Could you possibly gift her some face masks she could keep at her house for the next time you're expected to hang out with her sick family? (KIDDING....but only kind of  ;))
    OP was at THEIR house. The SIL didn't drag this kid out - the kids were at their house. OP could have left whenever she wanted and made the call to stay overnight when she only lives 2 hours away.
    But I still kind of feel like the onus is on SIL in this case to say "hey, sorry, my kid is sick can we reschedule? I'd hate to expose you to whatever she has." If it's not OPs' family, I can see how she'd be in an awkward spot requesting to leave early. I had an ex with a family like that; if we were visiting them and *I* was the one who wanted to leave, it was a whole big thing and they acted like I was slighting the whole family. If he made the decision, it was no big deal.
    InLoveInQueensSP29
  • Ok. I'm a parent, but also went through a very long phase of never wanting kids for these exact reasons, so I'm sensitive to both sides. 

    1) It's hard as fuck to host people at your house when you have a baby and a young kid. And that's when everyone is healthy. She was probably way stressed out and not thinking clearly.

    2) Sickness can come on without any warning. 9 times out of 10 that my kid gets violently sick, he's totally happy/smiling/playing and literally 5 minutes later projectile vomiting and screaming. It's very possible she had no idea this was coming.

    3) Sometimes when kids are sick, they won't go to bed. They don't understand that going the fuck to sleep is what's best for them. All they want is to be held and they will scream bloody murder if you put them to bed. Of all things, trust she knows if her kid is "one of those" (mine is and it objectively sucks) and did the best she could. 

    I agree with you that her excuses (choking/food poisoning) are objectively bullshit. She really should have said "I'm sorry, they weren't sick an hour ago and we had no indication this was coming on. I completely understand if you want to go home and I'm really sorry if anyone ends up catching this." Boom.

    But you're only 2 hours away. It's not like you took a plane there and you're "stuck". Drive your ass home if you're concerned about it. No one was holding you hostage or making you stay there. As much responsibility as you're dumping on her, take a little responsibility for yourself.

    With respect to this, unless it's a one room house the SIL could have excused herself to a quiet area of the house with the sick baby.  I'm sure the baby would have been more comfortable and the whole situation would have been less gross that having a child continuously vomiting at the dinner table.


    With that being said, If my SIL didn't warn me ahead of time and I got to a house full of sickness I would politely excuse myself and my family, and make plans to visit again at a better time.

    InLoveInQueenscowgirl8238SP29lc07
  • I totally get it.  I get sick even when someone mentions stomach flu.  (I might be getting it now by just reading this thread).  As someone who is very susceptible to illness, I would be really upset if someone brought a sick child to my home or didn't wash their hands after cleaning up vomit and before cooking.  It's tough because SIL seems to be in denial that her kids are sick so it won't be easy going forward to just ask, "Are any of the kids sick before we/you come over?"  

    I would have probably excused myself from the dinner table if there was a child (or adult) throwing up and asked to go home immediately.  

  • kaos16 said:
    Ok. I'm a parent, but also went through a very long phase of never wanting kids for these exact reasons, so I'm sensitive to both sides. 

    1) It's hard as fuck to host people at your house when you have a baby and a young kid. And that's when everyone is healthy. She was probably way stressed out and not thinking clearly.

    2) Sickness can come on without any warning. 9 times out of 10 that my kid gets violently sick, he's totally happy/smiling/playing and literally 5 minutes later projectile vomiting and screaming. It's very possible she had no idea this was coming.

    3) Sometimes when kids are sick, they won't go to bed. They don't understand that going the fuck to sleep is what's best for them. All they want is to be held and they will scream bloody murder if you put them to bed. Of all things, trust she knows if her kid is "one of those" (mine is and it objectively sucks) and did the best she could. 

    I agree with you that her excuses (choking/food poisoning) are objectively bullshit. She really should have said "I'm sorry, they weren't sick an hour ago and we had no indication this was coming on. I completely understand if you want to go home and I'm really sorry if anyone ends up catching this." Boom.

    But you're only 2 hours away. It's not like you took a plane there and you're "stuck". Drive your ass home if you're concerned about it. No one was holding you hostage or making you stay there. As much responsibility as you're dumping on her, take a little responsibility for yourself.

    With respect to this, unless it's a one room house the SIL could have excused herself to a quiet area of the house with the sick baby.  I'm sure the baby would have been more comfortable and the whole situation would have been less gross that having a child continuously vomiting at the dinner table. 

    I'm not. It's not my kid. Maybe the kid would have been more comfortable. Maybe not. Maybe he's a FOMO kid. Maybe company was distracting him from feeling super shitty. Maybe he normally goes to bed at 12 and wakes up at 11. Maybe he had a 4.5 hr marathon nap that day and wasn't tired.  Point is, it's SIL's house and SIL's kid. We can assume things we don't know and pick her parenting apart til the cows come home...but the bottom line is, if OP doesn't like what's going down at her SIL's house, she can leave rather than  choose to stay and spend the night. She only lives 2 hours away.


    With that being said, If my SIL didn't warn me ahead of time and I got to a house full of sickness I would politely excuse myself and my family, and make plans to visit again at a better time. 

    See #2 in my post above.

    Look, I don't disagree that her SIL sounds like a possible chronic offender. But the perk of Christmas being at her house is that people can leave WHENEVER they want. If I were OP, first projectile puke that's obviously not spit up and I'm saying Merry Christmas as I pack up my shit and drive just two hours (!!) back to my house. OP decided to stay....through dinner, up until midnight hanging out, overnight. That was her choice.
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    DrillSergeantCatOliveOilsMomSP29MyNameIsNot
  • SIL should acknowledge her kid is sick, and give people the out to leave. When at other people's house, she should take her sick kid and leave.

    That said, OP could have left the house whenever she wanted. She could have said, "actually, I'm not comfortable with baby going to sleep in our bed" when SIL was visiting. You're not actually being forced into any of this, OP, although I get it's annoying the total lack of hygiene or seeming lack of concern. I bet SIL just didn't want to be the cause of cutting family time short.

    To southernbelle's point - my kid is a FOMO kid, and my house is tiny. Girl would have screamed for an hour+ if I tried to put her down in that situation, and everyone would have heard it, and I would have felt awful just leaving the poor sick kid to do that, and would wonder why my so obviously disgusted relatives didn't just excuse themselves to go home. Better than puking on the table? Maybe. But there probably wasn't some overlooked awesome solution.
  • what is a FOMO kid?
  • kaos16 said:
    what is a FOMO kid?
    Same FOMO as everyone else - kid has a fear of missing out. If they think anything fun or interesting is going to go on without them, they don't dare sleep and miss it and will scream until you bring them to see what they're missing.
    southernbelle0915short+sassy
  • kaos16 said:
    Ok. I'm a parent, but also went through a very long phase of never wanting kids for these exact reasons, so I'm sensitive to both sides. 

    1) It's hard as fuck to host people at your house when you have a baby and a young kid. And that's when everyone is healthy. She was probably way stressed out and not thinking clearly.

    2) Sickness can come on without any warning. 9 times out of 10 that my kid gets violently sick, he's totally happy/smiling/playing and literally 5 minutes later projectile vomiting and screaming. It's very possible she had no idea this was coming.

    3) Sometimes when kids are sick, they won't go to bed. They don't understand that going the fuck to sleep is what's best for them. All they want is to be held and they will scream bloody murder if you put them to bed. Of all things, trust she knows if her kid is "one of those" (mine is and it objectively sucks) and did the best she could. 

    I agree with you that her excuses (choking/food poisoning) are objectively bullshit. She really should have said "I'm sorry, they weren't sick an hour ago and we had no indication this was coming on. I completely understand if you want to go home and I'm really sorry if anyone ends up catching this." Boom.

    But you're only 2 hours away. It's not like you took a plane there and you're "stuck". Drive your ass home if you're concerned about it. No one was holding you hostage or making you stay there. As much responsibility as you're dumping on her, take a little responsibility for yourself.

    With respect to this, unless it's a one room house the SIL could have excused herself to a quiet area of the house with the sick baby.  I'm sure the baby would have been more comfortable and the whole situation would have been less gross that having a child continuously vomiting at the dinner table. 

    I'm not. It's not my kid. Maybe the kid would have been more comfortable. Maybe not. Maybe he's a FOMO kid. Maybe company was distracting him from feeling super shitty. Maybe he normally goes to bed at 12 and wakes up at 11. Maybe he had a 4.5 hr marathon nap that day and wasn't tired.  Point is, it's SIL's house and SIL's kid. We can assume things we don't know and pick her parenting apart til the cows come home...but the bottom line is, if OP doesn't like what's going down at her SIL's house, she can leave rather than  choose to stay and spend the night. She only lives 2 hours away.


    With that being said, If my SIL didn't warn me ahead of time and I got to a house full of sickness I would politely excuse myself and my family, and make plans to visit again at a better time. 

    See #2 in my post above.

    Look, I don't disagree that her SIL sounds like a possible chronic offender. But the perk of Christmas being at her house is that people can leave WHENEVER they want. If I were OP, first projectile puke that's obviously not spit up and I'm saying Merry Christmas as I pack up my shit and drive just two hours (!!) back to my house. OP decided to stay....through dinner, up until midnight hanging out, overnight. That was her choice.


    I'm agreeing that sickness can come on without warning.  I'm saying that if she wasn't warned ahead of time, either because SIL didn't care to warn her OR because the kids weren't sick until they got there. 

    I don't think I'm picking apart her parenting.  If it comes across that way, It certainly wasn't intended.  I'm just suggesting that there could have possibly been a better option.

  • To the point of leaving- trust me if would have if I could. We live in New England, and left right as a snow storm hit our area. Businesses closing at 3pm kind of snow storm.  It was way too dangerous to drive, especially in the dark.  We were truly stuck. 
  • kaos16 said:
    what is a FOMO kid?
    Same FOMO as everyone else - kid has a fear of missing out. If they think anything fun or interesting is going to go on without them, they don't dare sleep and miss it and will scream until you bring them to see what they're missing.


    Oh!  I didn't know this acronym either.

    I love it.  I have a FOMO dog, lol.

    OP, I'm sorry to hear what happened!  I'm not a parent myself, so maybe I'm not remembering correctly, but these children getting a contagious stomach bug so often sounds alarming.  I don't remember that happening very often when I was a kid.

    Going forward, I might be a little rude and point blank ask, "We'd love to come see you/have you come see us tomorrow, but are any of your kids sick right now?"  And, like other PPs have mentioned, have a Plan B and don't be apologetic about leaving or asking them to leave, if need be.  I realize the snow storm for this recent incident made that rough.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited January 2017
    Why didn't you just ask her to wash her hands? Or go pull out the bleach wipes and wipe things down? Not that a guest should have to, but for my peace of mind I would have been all over the cleaning wipes and just said "you have you hands full with the kid, let me help clean up"
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    MairePoppy
  • Any nearby hotels? If you couldn't leave, you could have said you didn't feel well and needed to go to bed asap.

    I would not have eaten food that was handled by a person who doesn't wash her hands, especially after cleaning up puke. Further, I would wonder if she washes her hands after changing diapers, or using the bathroom. Perhaps this is why her family has had so many stomach bugs over the last two years. Could you talk to her about her poor hygiene? I wouldn't have been shy about grabbing the disinfectant spray to clean up after she paper toweled the puke spots. 

    The only solution I have is to get together at your house, eat food you've prepared. Have a spare set of sheets clean and ready JIC SIL plops a sick kid in your bed again. You could also call her the day before getting together to see how everyone is feeling. If anyone has an upset tummy or the sniffles - cancel and reschedule. So what if she thinks your'e a picky germaphobe. 
                       
    short+sassycowgirl8238
  • OP, how does your DH feel about all this?  I am a huge family of blood talks to blood, but at the very least you should be united on your stance against the vomiting child.  I understand you were stuck on this last trip, but if I knew my DH was this upset about something we would have left.

    SP29
  • To the point of leaving- trust me if would have if I could. We live in New England, and left right as a snow storm hit our area. Businesses closing at 3pm kind of snow storm.  It was way too dangerous to drive, especially in the dark.  We were truly stuck. 
    Ok, so there's extreme weather and the extended family is trapped in the petri dish that is your SIL's house. I suppose the weather people had NO idea there was a winter storm coming that would have all businesses shutting down by 3pm. Look, I'm not trying to be overly critical, but...

    1) You obviously have an issue with the way this woman handles her kids.
    2) You see a historical pattern in what you believe is poor management of sick kids.
    3) Winter brings on sickness and bugs for everyone  
    4) There is a winter storm, which was very likely predicted by local meteorologists, hence businesses closing early.
    5) You planned to go and spend the night at their house anyway.

    In my eyes, this is just an unfortunate, live-and-learn type of situation. Vent here or to your gfs but be careful what you take on with your H's family. Those chips should be cashed in for really serious issues and, IMHO, this isn't the relationship altering apocalypse you describe. 

    In the future, follow Marie's advice if you have the get together at your house. If she has it at her house, call and ask if the kids are sick (this is not a guarantee btw), check the weather to make sure you aren't stranded, and plan to stay as long as you feel comfortable. 
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    MyNameIsNot
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