to tell my dad we're not coming?

(39 Posts)
ExasperatedSigh Tue 09-Jul-13 13:36:18

My dad works in a secondary school. They are putting on a production of Little Shop of Horrors. My dad has been very involved in making this happen and is really keen for DS and I to go along. I can't make up my mind whether to go or not, so am 'canvassing opinions' grin

DS is 4 (nearly 5) and we live about 20 miles away from the school. In order to get there we will either have to train it into London and then back out again, or drive across the wilds of south London. The performance starts at 6.30pm.

I also have 2yo DD to manage. This means that, in order to attend, I will have to do one of two things:

1) get train to other side of London during rush hour with both kids, meet DH from work, he takes DD home again while I take DS back across town to the performance, then we train it home afterwards (in and out of London again) so probably getting back by about 10pm;

2) take DD with me and spend the entire performance trying to stop her joining in, chasing her around the auditorium or standing outside with a grumpy tired toddler.

I could pay for a babysitter but I know she would get hysterical at being put to bed by a stranger without anyone else there, so that's out.

My dad for some reason is desperate for DS to see this show confused He's a very loving grandad, if a bit clueless, and I think he wants DS to see what grandad does for a living iyswim. But it's so hot and the kids are so tired at the moment and I just know it will be a massive hard work nightmare for me. OTOH, DS would probably enjoy it and I'm not averse to the principle of occasional after-normal-bedtime adventures...just the mechanics of this one grin

AIBU not to go? What would you do?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 09-Jul-13 13:53:07

I'd say that you can't - describe the journey! - but that if he wants to come and pick your son up, look after him during the performance and bring him home afterwards, you have no objection at all to that.

ExasperatedSigh Tue 09-Jul-13 13:57:36

Haha, that's a good idea but I know he'll be rushing round at school sorting out last minute crises workaholic

WeAreEternal Tue 09-Jul-13 14:05:43

Do you have any other family going that could give you a lift?

I would be tempted to get a babysitter, letting DD stay up until DH gets home (to avoid the hysterics) and asking DF to drive us home after.

ExasperatedSigh Tue 09-Jul-13 14:13:03

All my other family members live on that side of town, unfortunately.

That is an idea re. dad will be needed after the show though, to help take down/put away, so it would mean getting home even later. Which isn't necessarily a dealbreaker, but...

TBH I don't think I can face leaving DD with a babysitter blush She's going through a seriously clingy phase and I just know she would be really upset to see her adored big brother going off somewhere with mummy, and her being left behind. It's entirely possible I should get over this PSBism, not sure that a secondary school musical is sufficiently special to warrant the stress though.

Nanny0gg Tue 09-Jul-13 14:15:28

Dunno that I'd take a 4 year-old to see Little Shop of Horrors anyway. School production or no.

girlywhirly Tue 09-Jul-13 14:24:42

I agree with Nanny0gg. Not really a suitable show for the under fives. You have plenty of reasons for not attending; the journey, lack of childcare and the unsuitability of the show's storyline.

I think this is a classic case of your dad not thinking it through from your point of view. I wouldn't be going in your circumstances.

BackforGood Tue 09-Jul-13 14:26:17

No, I wouldn't take a 4 yr old to see Little Shop of Horrors either.
Whether you get a sitter and all the stress that sounds like it will cause you and go, or choose not to go is up to you really, but it sounds like a lot of stress for something you are not going to get much out of, it's not even like you are going to support a child in the show for which I would make the effort.

ladymariner Tue 09-Jul-13 14:30:01

I'd go simply because as you've said, he's a loving grandad and he really wants you to be there. Wouldn't take dd though, I'd let her stay up with a babysitter till dh came home with a few sweets and her favourite film.

ovenbun Tue 09-Jul-13 14:32:08

could your DH maybe go alone after work? or you go without the kids?...It sounds hard and perhaps unsuitable for the kids but clearly its something that's really important to your dad...The days are long but the years are short, and you don't get the time back. perhaps a kind relative could drop you back?

nobeer Tue 09-Jul-13 15:02:44

Is the school going to video the performance? Grandad could come round with the DVD in the holidays.

LastTangoInDevonshire Tue 09-Jul-13 15:04:13

From your long list of "we'd have to" it is clear that you don't want to go - so don't !

Idontknowhowtohelpher Tue 09-Jul-13 15:09:04

Is there a dress rehearsal during the day you could go to see?

What nobeer said. There's bound to be a video. Tell your dad you need to see the video before ds watches it in case there are any bits that'll give him nightmares.

MaxPepsi Tue 09-Jul-13 15:12:55

Could you not take both Kids for the dress rehearsal?

And surely there is more than one performance so it would all be left in place for the next one?

MaxPepsi Tue 09-Jul-13 15:13:36

ah, x post with idontknow

tabulahrasa Tue 09-Jul-13 15:15:38

If you've got time to drop DD off with her dad, can't he come and pick her up?

Hercy Tue 09-Jul-13 15:21:53

What would be so bad about driving across south London? I do it every week day for work. Mind, if you don't have air con I can see it being uncomfortable. And I have no idea about the suitability of the show for your children. Just think its cute your dad is so excited for your son to go so you should try and make the effort.

HaPPy8 Tue 09-Jul-13 15:44:48

I'm with ladymariner - i'd go if he is a loving grandad.

wouldliketobethere Tue 09-Jul-13 16:00:40

Can you talk to your mum (assuming they are together still - ignore if not). If it were me I would be sounding out my mum as to what she thinks in terms of how difficult it is with DD and whether dad would be very hurt if you didn't go. if she agrees, maybe she can soften the blow by explaining to your dad how worried you are about the arrangements and whether the show is suitable and suggesting to your dad that maybe he should call you and change the plans. If they are so keen that you go can you stay over at their place?

digerd Tue 09-Jul-13 16:04:59

Little Shop of Horrors is an adult film. A 4-year-old seeing it in the flesh - it is a bit scary and sexy-, I'd say NO!

I took 4 year-old DD to cinema for the first time to see the Wizard of OZ and she wasn't interested. The only bit she remembered was the green faced wicked witch, who was scary.

Will his gdad be wearing stockings and suspenders and or be a vampire?

Eyesunderarock Tue 09-Jul-13 16:06:41

Hmm,your DS could end up with a phobia of plants and dentists. grin

Eyesunderarock Tue 09-Jul-13 16:08:48

'Will his gdad be wearing stockings and suspenders and or be a vampire?'

Rocky Horror Show?
LSOH has a gigantic people-eating carnivorous plant called Audrey 2.

digerd Tue 09-Jul-13 16:14:09

Oh, did I get mixed up? Not surprised as seen loads of musicals/plays in my life-time. Must say the Rocky Horror Show made a more lasting impression than the monster man eating plant which is only a vague memory.
Thought it odd that secondary school would be doing it.grin

Eyesunderarock Tue 09-Jul-13 16:19:33

I have teenagers. I introduced them to RHS and LSOH and they introduced me to Shaun of the Dead and something Australian with weresheep in it.

ExasperatedSigh Tue 09-Jul-13 16:26:50

Arf and also barf at the image of my dad in stockings and suspenders grin

Thank you all very much for your points of view, tis much appreciated. My family relationships are sort of benignly fucked up and posting this has made me realise how much of that informs my choices when it comes to them. My dad and stepmum are loving but due to complicated history between us, I think I keep them at arm's length when it comes to getting really involved with the kids sad Which is all the more reason why I should go, I suppose.

Hercy nothing hugely objectionable about driving across S London, it's just a pain in the arse and I find it hard work. Have done it once this week and will be doing it again on Monday. It also canes my fuel tank with all the stopping and starting, and we're skint.

wouldliketobethere sadly my mum is long dead, otherwise there would be no issue as I know she would have happily babysat the kids and been brilliant with them.

MaxPepsi yes, good point about there being more than one performance, I hadn't thought of that <slow on the uptake> I suspect that is me automatically seeking excuses as to why I can't go.

Like the dress rehearsal idea, I'll ask him about that.

lisianthus Tue 09-Jul-13 23:33:19

Do check out the play (plot etc) before taking your DC though. If your son is quite a robust child it might be fine, but it would be terrifying for my DC and most other DC I know of that age. There's a reason it's being performed at secondary school, not primary school!

aldiwhore Tue 09-Jul-13 23:41:24

I would take both children, I would be stressed, sweaty, annoyed during the performuiance, I would definitely go, I would grin through gritted teeth and I would tell my dad he's wonderful.


I would also never let my dad forget it, I would expect him at every single performance of my DC's until the youngest turned 18, and he would be expected to do babysitting duties many times to make up.

I don't envy you, but I'd go.

I do recommend canvassing your Dad to see if he can arrange anything that will make it easier for you.

McGeeDiNozzo Wed 10-Jul-13 04:01:41

Really tough one this one. I think I'd err on the side of not going, not because LSOH is inappropriate - I don't really think it is - but because of the terrifying logistics.

It's a shame, as your DF sounds like a good guy doing good work. If he's that put out about your DS being unable to go, perhaps he himself can suggest a way for you to overcome the logistical headache.

claraschu Wed 10-Jul-13 05:42:06

I have done a lot of ridiculous things like this because my husband is a musician. Our kids have been dragged on hundreds of inappropriate and inconvenient trips. If you think LSOH is not good for 4 year olds, try Schoenberg Quartets.

My feeling is that, if you can bring yourself to have a good attitude about it, it is worth doing, and the kids will get something out of it. I always think there's something to be said for getting out of your routine and doing something unusual, but I might be influenced by the fact that my father died earlier this year, so I'm thinking: seize the moment.

TangfasticMrFoxalastic Wed 10-Jul-13 05:45:53

Are they not recording the performance? Assuming you still want him to watch, you could arrange a viewing at your house, making a fuss that it's grandad's show, popcorn, fake tickets etc having explained to him when the journey is too much

ZacharyQuack Wed 10-Jul-13 05:48:56

A school play with none of your own children performing? God no.

McGeeDiNozzo Wed 10-Jul-13 05:52:21

Tangfastic's idea is great.

Mrsrobertduvall Wed 10-Jul-13 06:29:22

Totally inappropriate show for a 4 year old.
Dd did it at school this year, and no small children allowed.

Sadistic dentist boyfriend, man eating plant....
And they won't be allowed to film it .

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 10-Jul-13 08:19:20

tangfastic's idea is also illegal unless they have permission which is almost never forthcoming from the rightsholder. But it is totally an unsuitable show for a 4-year old, which is the reason I would give for not going.

HOWEVER, had it been the case that your dad used to go and see all your school shows, sports days, gymkhanas and drive you here there and everywhere when you were little, I'd have thought a bit of returning the favour to show him the support he gave you IF the show had been suitable might have been in order.

NutellaNutter Wed 10-Jul-13 09:58:08

Ugh no way, don't go. Sounds like a bloody nightmare and will be beyond stressful for you. Tell him you'll be freer to do things like that when the kids are a few years older.

ExasperatedSigh Wed 10-Jul-13 21:46:08

Thanks so much for all the opinions, they've really helped me think. As a result of posting this thread, and having talked about it a lot with DH, I've decided to go - we're meeting DH at the train station, I will hand over DD, then DS and I will train it down to the school.

Called my dad just now and he sounded totally made up, which made me feel good smile

I think it will be great for DS to have some one-on-one time with me tbh, likewise DD with DH. If he finds it scary I will take him out, but my dad says they've had other kids there who have enjoyed the show.

Dad also offered to give us a lift home if I bring the booster seat along, which was good news!

GingerBlondecat Thu 11-Jul-13 06:31:30

I'm glad for a good update.

and unless your Dad was Father of the Year, he wold have little idea how hard it is to get 2 children out and about.

It just wasn't 'required' back in the dark ages for Fathers to 'take point'

ExasperatedSigh Thu 11-Jul-13 14:31:52

Yes, well, although he was and is a great dad in many ways, in many others he's been a bit shit over the years and has let me down in all kinds of hurtful ways without really meaning to. Hence why I do the arms-length thing, I suppose. It's all very complicated and the bottom line is that he loves us all and does his best, so I should probably chill out about it smile

It's tonight, so if I have a nightmare I will be back to moan about it later grin

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