Ex In-Laws Intentionally Call Grandchild the Wrong Name Because They Hate Mom's 'Weird' Pick

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girl talking to her grandma over zoom
fizkes/iStock

Whether you go with a unique or classic baby name, it's fairly standard practice for extended family to respect your decision and use that moniker when addressing your child. But plenty of parents clash with hardheaded grandparents who might not exactly be onboard with their grandchild's name -- or even outright refuse to use it. That appears to be the case for a mom who took to the Am I the A--hole subreddit to share her aggravation with her ex's parents who refuse to say her daughter's real name.

  • The original poster (OP) said she gave her daughter a fairly common but not exactly conventional name. 

    "I'll use a similar but fake name for the purposes of this post: 'Luna,'" wrote the OP. "My ex isn't involved in Luna's life that much. He was present for the first couple years but just didn't want to be a dad, so he pays child support and shows up every now and again (two or three times a year) to see Luna, but that's about it. His parents, however, are involved."

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  • Because the OP's parents aren't in her life, her ex's folks are Luna's only set of grandparents.

    "Luna is 8 years old," explained the OP. "My ex's parents never really liked her name, and called it 'hippy dippy [expletive]' when I told them what her name was, but seemed to accept it and move on. The last time they spoke to Luna was over the phone about two months ago, and I heard them calling Luna 'Lily' over the loudspeaker. I'd never heard them call her that before, and Luna frowned when she heard it, so after the call I asked Luna if that was a nickname they gave her, and she said yes."

  • Luna doesn't like when her grandparents call her Lily, and she revealed to the OP they only call her that when the OP isn't around.

    After learning this, the OP, Luna, and the grandparents were planning to have a video call. 

    "I called them, said Luna had told me about 'Lily' and she didn't like it, and from now on, use of 'Lily' results in me hanging up on them," recalled the OP. "I then called Luna in, said I'd go check dinner, and I barely got to the door when I heard, 'Hi Lily!' True to my word, I then walked the two or three steps back to the laptop, joined Luna on screen, and said 'bye' before I hung up on them."

  • The 8-year-old thought it was "really funny" and thanked her mom, and the OP's boyfriend also agreed with her decision to hang up.

    "But my ex and his parents are both mad at me, saying it was an honest mistake, they've been calling her Lily for years, and I can't expect them to break a habit like that so fast," shared the OP. "They also want an apology for hanging up on them so abruptly. I've responded that I intend to do it again and again until they call Luna by the name she prefers. They've responded that this is very immature of me and I shouldn't be barring their access to Luna over 'petty' things like this."

    The OP asked Reddit if she's the jerk here or are her ex's parents?

  • Most Redditors assured the OP that she's not in the wrong.

    "They created a situation that makes your daughter uncomfortable, bullied her into going along with it, and told her to keep it a secret from you?" one commenter wrote. "Sketchy. An abrupt ending might be just the thing to retrain them."

    Another noted, "It's disrespectful to you and especially to Luna. They clearly knew they were doing something wrong, because they didn't do it when you were there, and it's just so inconsiderate to continue after Luna said she didn't like being called Lily."

    A third remarked, "It seems your in-laws are just being petty about names, and it isn't a good look."

  • In the end, this is about much more than a name versus a nickname.

    This could be about the OP encouraging her daughter to stand up for herself, a crucial life skill that translates to situations with even higher stakes, as one commenter noted.

    "Calmly explain that you're trying to teach your daughter about the importance of consent, her boundaries, and communicating when she's uncomfortable about something an adult wants her to do or keep secret," the person wrote. "Nobody can argue with that."