to be annoyed that 'playdate' turned out to be a birthday party?(64 Posts)
I'll give a wee bit of background as I don't want to drip feed.
My DD is in her first year of primary. The mother of one of them is a bit strange. Other mothers have commented on this also. She does not appear to enjoy conversation - not responding or acting irritated that you have tried to speak to her.
If my DD went up to her DD to give that girl a hug goodbye at home time, the mum would pull her daughter away and shoot me a dirty look
Last week, she sent me a Facebook message. I was surprised as we don't have mutual friends and also because my privacy settings mean I shouldnt be 'found' but anyway...the message was asking if my DD would like to come to her house for a playdate with her DD.
I was taken aback but said it would be nice and agreed as DD does like her DD. I arranged for DM to drop her off and pick her up as DM watches DD whilst I'm at work.
I arrived home from work at my DMs to pick up DD and DM tells me when she dropped DD off, there was a 'happy birthday' sign on the door. DM thought maybe it was the mum's birthday or something but there are about 10 other kids there. DM is embarrassed as DD did not have a present with her, nor was she dressed for a party - just casual and a bit wet as she had apparently jumped in a puddle on the way there .
The mum said she didn't want anyone bringing presents (which I think is a shame for her DD). according to my DM, DD was visibly uncomfortable at the fact she was not the only one there, that she didn't know the other kids etc (she's normally confident).
AIBU to think its unfair to let me and my DD think she was the only one invited, for DD to feel special (it was to be her first ever 'grown up' playdate that didn't involve going to next door neighbours houses), to not enable DD to bring a present (it seems other kids did), to embarrass us, and to think its downright ODD not to say something is a birthday party when it is?
actually I think that is nice, she didnt want her dd having presents and everyone would have brought them if they had known, kids dont need to be in frocks and bering gifts to have a nice party. did your dd enjoy it?
I think this is more a case or the mother trying to have a low key birthday for her DD, and for her reasons not wanting presents or the fuss around it. she has inadvertently upset you, but I would say that she was probably unaware of this. Rather tell your DD how lovely it was that it turned into a surprise birthday, and that her friend must really like her to invite her. I can understand your DD been upset as at that age, I know how they can respond to the unknown ......
she hasn't said very much about it TBH. I just feel it is odd not to say there would be other kids and that it was a party. DD was confused at first.
I think it's nice just a nice lowkey birthday gathering that nobody had to go to any trouble for.I think you are looking for reasons to be offended
MAybe they are Jehovas Witnesses?
Yabu to expect other people to know when it is your dd s first playdate is....
As long as none of the other children knew it was a birthday party then I wouldn't worry about it. I had one a while ago, where we (me, DH and DD) were invited to a bbq. When we arrived it was birthday celebration for a 4yo, who was at pre-school with DD. We weren't the only ones there, but we were the only ones who had no idea that it was a birthday
not wanting a fuss is okay, I'm most annoyed about being led to believe it was just DD and her getting all excited about it.
if she was a Jehovah's witness she wouldn't have a 'happy birthday' sign up......
JFL - at least some of them did know, DD has said they brought presents, she has just said she wished I had remembered a present you seem to understand how embarrassing it is as it happened to you at that BBQ
From what you say of the mum, it may be that she struggles a little socially - sometimes getting things wrong. Some people are like that - it doesn't make them horrible people. The fact is, she thought about your DD, thought she would like to come to her DDs party, invited her round but made it low key - perhaps she didn't want you to feel obliged to take a present, I'd say the fact that she asked your DD round is an attempt at friendship, - she may be very shy but is making an effort for her DDs sake - if that is the case good for her, and you should cut her some slack.
I'm sorry your Dd was disaapointed that it wasn't a playdate, but my kids would have thought it was brilliant if a playdate turned out to be a birthday party.
I would think it was actually quite a nice surprise.
It sounds like you are just looking for a reason to not like this woman.
Have you not asked your DD if she enjoyed herself, what they did etc etc?
It is odd. And I can see why your DD felt awkward. But it can be a lesson for her in resilience - make it into a positive, help her learn to deal with the unexpected.
It's a bit weird if other children knew that it was a party. I wonder if your DD was a last minute invite (I know that we were) and the mum didn't want you to stress trying to get a present sorted out at short notice. (i had several items I could have wrapped up with 2 minutes notice - but I suppose she couldn't be expected to know that). I'm sorry that your DD was discountenanced by this, but try not to hold it against the mum, I'm guessing that it wasn't done with that intention. I'd probably just get something and a "sorry it's late (because we weren't told anything about it)" card!
Perhaps it was a siblings birthday and the mum thought it would be nice if the other siblings invited a friend so they knew someone and didn't feel left out.
Actually if your DD was the only person from your school that was invited it may well have been that she didn't want to offend anyone else at school by not inviting any of them.
If she struggles socially and by the sounds of it is already a bit of an outsider in your group, upsetting more people and giving them another reason to gossip about her would be horrible and something she was possibly desperate to avoid.
Was it definitely a party for your daughter's friend?
Perhaps your daughter was a last minute addition, or the mum knew/suspected she wouldn't attend if she knew it was a party/others would be there?
I see your point JH, I don't think the child struggles socially, I know she always plays with my DD and another child at school.
the birthday girl didn't turn up at my DD's party despite being invited alongside other kids from school.
No one has an issue with the birthday girl, but the mother has a reputation for being odd.
diddl - it was deffo a party for the playdate child and I would have let my DD attend either way, it just would have been nice to know the full story
I understand OP, I would think it was odd too
I don't think you should be annoyed, though. Hope DD had a good time
and count yourself lucky you didn't have to schlep to the Entertainer for a birthday present
I agree with KurriKurri, it does as sound as if she is just socially awkward. I'd take it as a positive thing that she invited your DD.
I would think odd but almost as soon i had thought that, the thought would be replaced with the thought that actually dd probably found it a nice surprise. Not all play dates are going to involve party games and birthday cake, that's for sure!
I think its a bit odd that you need your dd to feel special, and singly invited to play, I can't imagine thinking the same.
Also I think it a bad lesson for young girls that they have to dress certain ways for one thing over another, that they are wrongly dressed for a situation. If they are 4/5/6 there is no such thing.
They do things differently to you, that doesn't make them odd and you normal. It just means they do things differently to you.
My DD would be delighted to go to a friend's house to play & even more so if it turned out that birthday cake was involved. Don't look for reasons to be upset. Go with the flow
DS has been to one if these, there were four other DCs (and parents), none of whom had been told it was a party, and who all thought that they were the only ones invited to the play date.
All we could think is that she was scared not to get genuine RSVPs to a party so chose to have a stealthy party instead.
I do think it's odd that some knew & some didn't?
Or just your daughter didn't?
I don't think it's odd to think that your child is the only one on a playdate.
Perhaps she accidentally invited on the wrong date?
i remember being at the dentists with my daughter & making a 6m appt.
Receptionist said a date & I agreed.
Then she said, are you sure? & her & daughter were looking at me in anticipation...
Took me ages to realise it was daughter's bday!!
yes, I was pleased she had invited DD, I thought maybe my initial perception of her as odd was wrong but it wasn't, the mum is definitely odd.
But the kids like each other, and we have reciprocated by inviting her dd for a playdate.
I wont say/do anything and just let it go. Just thinking to myself that it was strange.
it wasn't the wrong date, in addition to her initial FB message, my DM called her to explain DD was at a summer camp until 3pm that day and would be dropped off immediately after. She still didn't say anything on the phone.
Although thinking back to the message, she did say the playdate was between 3 and 5, 2 hours, and I did think that was a bit specific. I should have realised, huh?
It's not usual, but hardly merits annoyance.
OP, the more you post about this woman being 'odd', the more I feel sorry for her. Tbh, you are coming across as a little spiteful and narrow-minded. She sounds socially awkward, and, yes, I can see why your dd may have found the situation a little uncomfortable at first. However, I think you should be encouraging your dd to see the positives and make light of it, and you should feel that way yourself, too. Instead you are banging on about her being under-dressed , not feeling special and the mother being odd. Couldn't you try and appreciate some of the (reasonable ) reasons why the mother may have done what she did?
Maybe she accidentally put playdate instead of party?
Maybe the times were a clue-although playdates here were always 3-6 unless otherwise specified!
Perhaps the mum didn't tell you it was a birthday party because you would then bring a present but her dd didn't go to your dds party so perhaps she didn't want you to feel that your dd was only invited so her dd would get a present?
I understand the part about assuming it was just going to be your dd and hers but most kids (and their parents) wouldn't care if it turned out to be a group thing or a party. Ok you would feel awkward for not bringing at least a card as it turned out to be a party but its not your fault the mum didn't tell you and the mum didn't bother on your dds birthday so its not exactly unfair that you didn't take anything.
What really matters is that the mum was kind enough to invite dd round for her dds party as it was obviously what she wanted and I've know doubt that your dd had a great time,after getting over the initial confusion/disappointment.
Perhaps take it as a lesson and in future don't make out to your dd that it will be just her and her friend when she goes to their homes,mainly because you have no idea if it will just be her there due the fact its not your house and also because it will stop her getting confused or feeling disappointed in future
But even if you thought there might be another child there-10 and it being a party is quite a big change!
Especially for a youngster!
Just goes to show that Mean Girl behaviour doesn't stop once we grow out of our teenage years.......
Even if every mother in the school yard has decided this women is ODD and WEIRD- couldn't you have said to your daughter 'How lovely! Not just a playdate but a party! What fun for you!'? Or would that reduce the bitching session at the school gate?
Op you sound quite nasty the way you keep saying she's definitely odd... As if to reassure yourself... V strange, odd even
I really don't see the problem here. I would always look for the positives in these situations -if you do, your dd will take your lead.
If your DD was the only school friend there, who were the others? Quite possibly relatives/neighbours/ friends from birth who would have known it was the girls birthday?
I think your reaction is odd TBH, especially wanting your DD to feel special. She should feel special enough being the only school friend invited.
See- if my daughter came home and said 'guess what mummy it wasn't a playdate it was a party!' I'm pretty sure she would be really happy and I'd say 'that's amazing, how lucky are you to go to a party!' It's all in the way you spin it really.
Also- remember if the mum is socially awkward or a bit odd, then asking people's children she doesn't know will be a big deal for her, ok, she might have mentioned the party aspect but she still invited your dd, your dd's get on well together, so I don't see anything negative about this at all. This mum might have social anxiety and if so, putting together a party at home for her child is a major achievement, please don't talk about her being odd to other parents, there's just no need to comment on any parent with other parents at the school gate and if people say bitchy things or try to tell me about some parent's affairs/oddness/wierdness, I just make a mental note not to be their friend as I hate this type of talk.
Actually I have been saying to DD how much fun it must have been and chatting to her about the games, what the cake looked like etc.
And I've sent the mum a 'thank you' FB message on DD's behalf.
Or perhaps others were invited but have decided the poor mum is too 'odd' to make an effort with?
FCEK you've done the right thing.
I tend to listen to the other mums at social situations, rather than starting gossip myself if that makes sense. I don't actually like gossiping and try to keep my thoughts to myself or voice them on MN.
I think many of you have ignored the way she responds to DD trying to hug her DD goodbye etc. That's more than being socially anxious, that's nastiness. She has pulled her daughter away when other children have approached her DD to talk to her as well.
Thanks for the contributions anyway.
Perhaps the children who took gifts were family children, who already knew it was the girl's birthday. And the ones who didn't were like your DD and invited as a play-date.
People think I'm odd. Or stuck up. I'm not, I'm lovely I just seem to have a different style to most of the other mums at the gates and I can be a little shy.
That said, I'm the one who talks to the most people while we wait, while many of the others stand alone or in their groups. I'm the one that makes the effort to chat to whoever might be there and more than a few of the others will stand in silence if their particular group isn't there yet.
If that makes me odd then so be it. I don't care, which seems to be another reason people find me odd.
Perhaps they don't go to other parties because they can't afford a present, and for that reason they said it was a play-date not a party, they didn't want to receive presents they can't reciprocate with.
It may not be 'nastiness' she may have a germ phobia, be very anxious about other children, even be over protective of her daughter. A 'nasty' person would harldy invite another child to a birthday party, would they?
Have to agree with most - it's a bit unusual, but people have suggested lots of reasons why she might have done it. As others have said, mine would have thought "even better!" if they thought they were just going round to play and it turned out to be a party
Sounds as if the Mum is socially awkward for one of a number of reasons, but just because she's done things differently from the way you would have, doesn't have to mean it's a bad thing.
It's a bit of a silly thing to do - many children of that sort of age need to be mentally prepared for a group of children where the dynamic is totally different from a one on one playdate (horrid term). My DS (who admittedly has SN but wasn't diagnosed at that age) would have completely freaked
Actually I know someone who organised a church christening for their baby and turned up in a wedding dress because they had also booked their wedding without telling anybody.
They got married and had the baby christened at the same time, all the guests were a bit but also delighted and they said they had been together for so long anyway that they didn't want all the planning fuss or people bringing presents or anything, they just wanted to give everyone a nice day.
So unusual, but not odd. It's perhaps more common than you think OP.
Perhaps she's a germ-a-phobe and worries about her or her dd getting sick from other peoples germs (even if they're perfectly well)? Some people are like that. If you don't make an effort to talk to this mum you won't get to know her or the reasons behind the behaviour you describe as odd... If she is paranoid about germs or something similar then her hosting a party for her dd is a really big deal for her and perhaps is a big step towards her changing the way she is about other people?
There could be one of a hundred different,but perfectly reasonable,explanations for the mothers behaviour at the school gates. For all you know she may act that way because she's heard you and/or the other mothers bitching about her and only invited your dd to please her dd as it was her birthday and perhaps she hoped you would reply to her invitation with an excuse as to why your dd couldn't go because that's the kind of person she thinks you are? Who knows!
I'd say to use this playdate/party invite as an olive branch and try to become the womans friend,not just to find out the reasons behind her "odd" behaviour,but because perhaps she's actually a nice person and has made the effort to find you and contact you on facebook so perhaps,even if she has heard you bad mouth her,she feels you are the nicest and most approachable out of the other mums and wants to make the effort to make friends with you for both your and her dds sakes as they're such good friends...
I've done this - kinda
For one of DS's birthdays we couldn't afford a party, so we invited three of his friends over for a playdate - we had a nicer tea than normal and had birthday cake for pudding.
I didn't tell the parents because I didn't want a big fuss from them - we weren't having a big party or party bags. DS had a lovely time though, with his friends there.
Might it be the same for this woman?
Being considered odd isn't a crime.
Maybe she phrased it as a 'playdate' to save from potential embarrassment if nobody else showed up? If she's that socially awkward then she's probably been on the receiving end of rejection herself and feared that for her daughter?
I can't believe you're making such an issue out of something so small. My DD would've mucked in... the more the merrier for her, and birthday cake to boot.. sorry but aren't most kids pretty happy with that scenario??
Yes a little embarrassing to find that it's a birthday party and you have nothing but you weren't told. Nobody expects you to be a mind reader! Also, you could've just given her a fiver from your purse, that's what I would've done.
I think you need to manage the message here with your DD and not make such a big deal out of it. I'm quite sure your DD minded a lot less than you're saying and you've just projected your feelings on her.
So what if this woman doesn't conform to your idea of normal?! You're talking about her as though she's an axe murderer and to be avoided at all costs!
I wont say/do anything and just let it go
I can't get my head around talk of wanting to feel special, first grown up play date etc.
Play date has to be one of the most annoying phrases ever.
If your DD didn't know anyone else there, I'm assuming she was the only one from school. Could it have been a surprise party and she didn't want your DD spilling the beans?
God yes, zatyaballerina, that's very possible. How sad
YANBU even if she didn't want to say it was a party she would have been better to have said she was "having a few friends" over.
Helltotheknow you daughter might have "mucked in" but my ds2 would definitely not have done. He would not have stayed if he had found a house load of children he didn't know. If I invite friends to play I would always let parents know who else would be there and would expect them to do the same.
Hmmm, are you part of a 'group' at the school gates. You sound like you might be. Are you sure you've not just taken against this mother because she's not one to get involved with groups?
i really can not understand what the problem is
op maybe you need to find a hobby
Oh FFS. Stop trying to see this mum as 'odd'. Good for you that you know all the ridiculous rules for how children are supposed to socialise. Perhaps she doesn't. Is she British or from another country? Perhaps it is considered odd by some people to just run towards others to hug them? (No idea if this is the case anywhere, but your rules aren't the be all and end all.)
Why don't you get to know her and find out more? Or would you be considered odd by your circle if you did this?
I'd find it a little bit odd if a child went to a summer camp or whatever and then went on a play date straight after. Isn't this exhausting for small children? If I'd been the hosting mum, I'd feel as if that child had to squeeze that play date into their busy schedule, so my child might not feel special.
(I do get the point about autism though. I'm not autistic, but I definitely like to know what kind of situation I'm going to find myself in. I'd not be comfortable at all with an unexpectedly large number of people. When I know in advance it's fine though.)
Hrrm, you've said it better than I did. Just because the Mum doesn't particularly want to be part of the school gate set her daughter has been blacklisted and the OP has really taken against her for no good reason.
I bet part of the reason she did it like this was because she thought otherwise the invitation would be turned down out of spite.
> From what you say of the mum, it may be that she struggles a little socially - sometimes getting things wrong. Some people are like that - it doesn't make them horrible people.
Totally agree with the above. I think she's shy and finds it hard to make small talk and keep up a smiling, confident face. Why not stop judging her and be a bit kinder to her?
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