My parents are in my son's life on a daily basis. They watch him while I work.
My son is almost 3. His father is not in his life and he is very close to my parents, spending time together means the world to the three of them. Plus, it's free, and if I had to pay for daycare I couldn't afford to live.
Here's the problem:
My dad likes to buy my son things every time they go out. He buys things that are tiny and unnecessary and cheap, as well as big toys like tricycles, and everything in between. I don't have space in my apartment for that stuff.
He takes hundreds of pictures of him every day. If he does anything even remotely cute my dad whips out the camera. My son notices it and my dad does it in front of other people and it's just an awkward situation all the way around.
He takes him to restaurants and lets him eat french fries and ice cream when he knows and SAYS he totally respects that I do not allow him to eat junk food.
My son is their only grandchild and we all adore him like crazy, but it is a little weird to me the way my dad constantly tells him how perfect he is, how amazing he is, how incredible he is, how adorable he is, how he's the best boy in the world, etc. etc. EVERY SINGLE TIME he sees him.
My dad raised me similarly and while a lot of it was great and showed me how much he cared, a lot of what he did created a very imbalanced and bizarre relationship between us.
He acted like I was a queen and he was my loyal subject and it made me quite a brat and to this day I struggle with serious issues because of it.
To make myself clear, I attachment parent. I believe in showing children respect. I hate the opinion that treating a child as a special person is wrong, BUT, as a parent you are supposed to guide and protect, not worship and cowar.
I have repeatedly told my father my feelings about all of these things and he still tries to sneak it by me and act innocent like he just "totally forgot" what I have said.
I have no other options for childcare, so do you think there is a better way to get the message cross?