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Monkeygate 2020

TeaAndCake's picture

You're gonna love this one. 

SS had a soft toy monkey. Been in our house for at least a year if not more. Lately with lockdown me and him have been taking Monkey on adventures, I do his 'Voice' and when they were back at their mum's and we were on Facetime, Monkey will sometimes make an appearance because he says he misses him. All good. 

Monkey went back with the other Step Kids to their mum's house last week. When DH was leaving to pick them up today I reminded him to ask SS to bring Monkey back with him. 

DH arrives to do pick up, SS didn't have this bloody Monkey, so he says go and get him. SS (4) says 'I'm not allowed, mummy says'   Ex W then comes to the door and DH says again to go and get Monkey. She says..'No, it's mine' DH raised his eyebrows and said 'Ridiculous'

It's not hers. As I said, it has been with us for at least a year as I said. It's not old, it's a pretty brand new toy, it's not a childhood toy of hers or anything. 

Am I being unreasonable to think this is absolutely pathetic? Of everything she's done it's pretty low on the crazy list but good lord how petty do you need to be. More to the point, even if it was hers, SS loves it and it's been really good for his imagination and we've had great fun with it. She was sitting next to him out of shot once on Facetime when I had Monkey and was doing his voice etc. I can't help but think she's done it purely to spite me and that SS loves me doing it with him. 

She's also AGAIN put the kids in the middle, telling SS he can't take it back instead of going straight to DH. She also told all the others as they all knew about it. 

I'm upset,confused and angry. 

Any advice/reassurance that this is crazy, would be greatly appreciated! 

tog redux's picture

Yes, it's crazy - but get used to BM trying to interfere in your relationship with the kids.  If you have other special things, I'd keep them on the down low, because BM is threatened by it.

I'd also be prepared that if she's making attempts to get the kids to hate you and DH, they might work as they get older.

TeaAndCake's picture

But isn't that crazy? Like we're just supposed to roll over and accept it? We've been together a long time, married, and I genuinely have a good relationship with the kids, despite her. I've kind of formed a 'Fun auntie' role and am in now way a threat. 

From now on you're right and I'll keep it between us. I guess I didn't ever think she would snatch this away. 

tog redux's picture

Yes, it's crazy - but don't try to apply reason to what she does.  SHE sees you as a threat - women like this don't think it's great when other people love their kids, they fear the kids will start to love the other person more.

I was in a fun aunt role, too and my SS liked me. But that didn't stop him from being alienated from us. You say you've been in their lives a long time, but he's only 4 - and he's going to get more savvy to what BM wants him to feel and do.

TeaAndCake's picture

When you say he'll get savvy to it, do you mean he'll realise what she's like? Or that he'll turn against me? 

tog redux's picture

Well, it could go either way. Some kids are resilient enough to see what the other parent is doing and not fall for it, and others are not.

MissK03's picture

It's pathetic and annoying. Find another stuffed animal to leave at your house for you guys to enjoy. I wouldn't pull into your FaceTimes. BM probably listens to all your calls. 

Rags's picture

You can't fix nor can anyone explain crazy.  It is the same with stupid.  The BM in your blended family adventure firmly ticks both the crazy and stupid boxes.

Time to explain to the Skids what theft and kidnapping are and label BM as the monkey kidnapping thief. Also explain jelousy and why it is wrong for BM to be jelouse of a Monkey, of SM and of the fun that SS-4 and SM are having with his Monkey and his dad.

Make it a joke and all of you enjoy the stories of the adventures of the Monkey kidnapped by a thief.   Make BM, rightfully so, the villain and you and the 4yo skid can be the heroes that are trying to rescue the sadly kinapped monkey.

I would have so much fun with this making the goal to bare BM's toxic, crazy, stupid ass while introducing all of the Skids to the facts regarding BM's whack job bullshit.

Have fun!

And yes, BM is so far beyond pathetic that it is nauseating.

Rags's picture

Why not?  Is it better to let BM's pathetic toxic juvenile bullshit go unaddressed?  It certainly is not in my opinion. The kids need the facts and BM needs to be paraded around with her bare ass hanging out (figuratively of course) so she realizes some embarrassing consequences for her pathetic bullshit while the Skids learn a thing or two about BM's manipulative crap.

tog redux's picture

In front of her 5-year-old, right. That's really healthy grown-up behavior.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised you'd recommend something like that.

lieutenant_dad's picture

There's a way if delivering the truth that doesn't involve bending the truth to the kid or paint an image of the kid's mother as a KIDNAPPER.

If BM bought the monkey, then you can explain that BM bought the monkey and wanted to keep it at her house since she bought it, and then they go out a buy a new one for their house.

If BM didn't buy the monkey, then you explain to SS that things bought at Dad's house need to stay at Dad's house from now on because Dad bought them and that's where they stay.

Dad can also sit down his kid many times over the next few years and explain why BM does what she does, or say, "kid, I don't know why she wants to keep Monkey; you can ask her about tha% yourself." And then follow up with kid and correct any misinformation shared like "no, kiddo, OP isn't trying to take BM's place; she's just trying to have fun."

Don't assume anything about BM. Don't drag her through the mud. The tactics you describe are alienating, and BM can use them against OP and her DH, either with SS or in court. That only ends poorly for Dad and kid.

tog redux's picture

Exactly. You can't tell a 5-year-old that his mother is a thief and a kidnapper, and play games where you call her names and attack her. That's called alienation. 



Rags's picture

So, how sould you deal with a toxic juvenile BM who would do what this BM has done?  Confront it? Ignore it? Etc?


lieutenant_dad's picture

Well, since tog agreed with me, and I outlined a few ways to handle it, I assume those ways...?

tog redux's picture

Not by calling his mother names and playing games that make him think badly of her. What Lt. Dad said.

I'd have DH encourage the boy to ask to bring Monkey back, and if not, then I'd get him another toy that we enjoy.

Rags's picture

Okay, drop the kidnapping thing and continue the tradition with something that stays at dad's.  If the monkey was a gift from dad, it needs to come home to dads.  I like the advice to have the 4yo ask mom for his monkey and ask her why the monkey can;t have fun any more.

I would still make keeping BM's ass bare over her taxic crap a goal.  That can be dad's hobby rather than including the kids in that. Though.... keeping the kids abreast of the facts in an age appropriate manner is important. 

But the "Mommy the Monkey kidnapper" thing makes me laugh.

Harry's picture

SS is not slowed to take anything to BM house.  Only thing you never want to see again.   At 4 yo you have to give SS a little break. But you must start now letting SS know who in control 

Thumper's picture

We would tell BM to cough over the kids Monkey.

It is cruel of her to keep it from her son.

Nothing wrong with telling her to give it to him...he plays with it.

She is the one who is upsetting the boy on purpose.. That is far worse than saying something about it.

  • IF she continues to be unwilling to allow her son to have a small stuffed toy---have your lawyer write HER lawyer a email.

'What do you know about your client refusing to allow Tommy, who is 4, to   carry his tiny toy Monkey to Dads. Mom has abruptly and now repeatedly refused Tommys request.  Tommy would like to bring his Monkey back and forth between homes as he has done so in the past.

.  Please, ask your client to stop punishing Tommy over a stuffed Monkey he and his Father play with. I trust you will quickly address this issue with Mom so a Judge wont have to. This is not a good look for Mom.



TeaAndCake's picture

Thanks all. 

@goodluck it may have to come to that unfortunately. It's a whole new level of immature I just can't believe I'm witnessing. 

He's now got my teddy, Mr SnuggleFluffs, who is causing mischief. 

Rags's picture


But watch out for those mischievous animals.

The sadest thing is how pathetic your Skid's BM is.

TeaAndCake's picture

Thanks all. 

@goodluck it may have to come to that unfortunately. It's a whole new level of immature I just can't believe I'm witnessing. 

He's now got my teddy, Mr SnuggleFluffs, who is causing mischief. 

TeaAndCake's picture


Yes, I think that's the only way moving forward. It's unfortunate for the kids but if she's going to use things as weapons and put them in the middle I don't think we have a choice. 

For example, when they go back to BM's they always take our Xbox, a small TV, and our Nintendo switch. That will now have to end and she will have to provide these things (or shock horror - not stick them in front of the screens all day everyday) 

lieutenant_dad's picture

OP, I have found that the best way to "win" at these stupid games is to not play.

BM takes Monkey? Well look at that, Monkey's cousin Ape suddenly showed up from France and is going to be living with you all! Then, keep your adventures with Ape at your house.

BMs who do these things want a reaction, so don't give her one. Fix the problem within your own home, don't let the kids exchange ANYTHING between the houses, and do your own thing in your own home. Your DH should have frequent chats with his kids about how things are going, and if he sees one of the kids acting off, he needs to address it quickly. Sometimes you have to tell the kid that you don't have an answer. Sometimes you have to ask them if they have observed you or DH being whatever bad thing BM has labeled you as. Sometimes the answer is "things are different between houses and what we do here is different than there, but you're loved in either place."

In the back end, your DH should keep track of every one of these conversations, and maybe consider recording any that are going to be particularly challenging. This gives your DH proof in case BM makes false claims, and will be a good paper trail of what has transpired. It may or may not be needed or useful, but good to have just in case.

And now that BM has shown her true colors, all communication needs to be in writing, preferably email. If she's going to play stupid games, she's going to win stupid prizes.

DPW's picture

I'm so glad you got a new toy and are creating magical memories with it. This is exactly how I would remedy the situation. This screams of BM's insecurities. Poor BM and her lack of creativity.