My mother-in-law has always doted on our 3-year-old daughter. She has beautiful blond hair, and my mother-in-law loves to brush it, braid it, and dress my daughter up like a doll so she can stage photographs. I always thought this was borderline ridiculous, but my wife doesn’t have a problem with it. Recently my daughter was playing with my sister’s kids and ended up getting a massive amount of gum in her hair. Kids are kids. My sister apologized and paid for the haircut when we couldn’t get all the gum out. My daughter has a pixie cut now. My wife was upset, but her mother turned on the waterworks—actual sobbing over a kid’s haircut. She upset my daughter so much that she
started crying too.
My wife kept apologizing, her mother kept up the hysterics, and I told my mother-in-law she needed to get a grip and that hair grows back. My mother-in-law snapped at me and then used a racial slur to describe my nephews (they’re biracial). I told her to leave my house. She apologized later. My wife has a hard time maintaining boundaries with her mom because the woman is a bulldozer. I want these photo shoots over, and I don’t want her to have unsupervised contact with our daughter. My wife thinks I am being too harsh. Am I? I would usually ask my family for advice, but I obviously can’t in this situation.