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MIL wants to celebrate important wedding anniversary with big family get together in antiques infested chintzy country hotel. This want work with madly active 2.5 YO DS will it?

(109 Posts)

We live abroad but will begoing back to Uk this summer for a few weeks and renting a family friendly apartment in London so we can see family and friends and manage DS n safe space,continue with routine etc. (DS NEEDS routine or turns impossible. Possible ASD issues, being investigated. Not good in social situations at all,we don't/can't do restaurants etc yet, bad sleeper etc).

MIL wants us all to attend big family get together at country hotel several hours away. Spindly antique tables with china vases of flowers at grab height. Piles of cushions and curtains to climb and pull. Breakables everywhere. All very exquisite and hair curlingly posh. Well heeled older people sipping sherry in quiet peace. Croquet on lawn. Fine dining with tablecloths and silver,mlnen, glassware etc.

DS is 2 now but I can't see him being any less prone to destruction, climbing, running about, letting off wild shrieks etc by the summer. WIBU to say sorry we just can't do this and please come over for a nice lunch with us instead where we can manage DS? Or maybe just send DH up for the meal and overnight gathering?

It's sad we won't see the whole family but I don't see how to manage it. And if its an evening meal DS will be in bed and one of us will have to stay up in rom with him missing the meal anyway.

Sorry typos. Bloody iPad. In rush.

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 14:54:48

cant you rent a series of interconnecting cottages with a pool?

they often have catering available.

Or the lovely natural retreats places on the beach at cornwall

Unfortunately we have no choice over the location. It's a tiny village with no other accommodation and they want THIS hotel as it is important to them.

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 14:56:57
HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 14:57:39

youll have to go then

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 14:57:55

just send H

Looks lovely but they don't want to go to Cornwall, they want to go to this particular hotel in a tiny village near Nottingham.

Ragwort Sun 10-Feb-13 15:00:40

What does your DH say? I would suggest he goes on his own and you arrange a separate lunch or similar where you can meet up with the ILs and have another, smaller, celebration. I can't understand why anyone thinks this sort of occasion is appropriate for young children hmm.

Or is there anyone you can leave DS with if you both go?

Guess it will have to be DH. Parents of mad 2.5 year old toddlers, would you think it would be do-able? I don't think it is fair to expect DS to manage to spend 48 hours in a quiet place filled with breakables being quiet, he is too small to understand and I can't carry or hold him 24/7.

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 15:01:16

you have to think of enjoyment - yours and everyone elses. Just go and visit a friend instead?

DS never been left with anyone else; we live abroad so no family here, has possible ASD and is still BF.

Say thank you for the invitation, very kind, but we don't want to do that with ds. (V. important to say "we don't want to" - there is no arguing with that).

Obv it would be nice if MIL said - ooh, what would suit you better then? But if she's planned it already then all you can do is say no, it won't work for us, we do hope you have a nice time.

We have friends with children who live abroad. They used to run themselves ragged by travelling around to see everyone when they came back to the UK. Then they started saying "we will be at x location for x dates, if you'd like to visit, let us know when". They do the travelling from abroad, we all travel within the uk to see them. They get to see the people who really care about them. It works well!

No friends there, is tiny village hundreds of miles from London. No other accommodation there.
We used to live in London, have friends there hence staying there as a base when visit UK. Would have to hire car and drive there and stay for weekend. Feel terrified at thought of it.

Bertha, that's what we are doing. Hiring flat in London and asking people to drop round. Impossible to drive about staying with people especially with toddler. Easier to have base and play host and go out/stay in on our own terms.

Btw, I'd have done it with dc1 (quiet calm child) but not with dc2 - I'd have spent the whole time taking him off somewhere else to keep him busy/happy/stop him disturbing people, and it would have been hard work and lonely. And no one ever thought he had asd, he was just being a 2yo.

I'd also object to "send dh by himself" actually. You're presumably having a holiday? Not really ok to spend a couple of days of your holiday alone with your hard-work toddler, is it? If it was my mum having a primadonna all-about-me-never-mind-the-children family party I wouldn't expect to leave dh alone with the kids during our holiday so I could go.

Feel terrified at thought of it

Just Say No. Say it soon, so MIL gets used to the idea.

If your ds does have asd, this is not a problem that is going to go away as he gets older.

Oh, what a shame if you and your son didn't go
It sounds important to your in-laws, can you not just go, grit your teeth and survive for 48 hours.
Your attendance matters to them and it sounds like there are some sentimental reasons they have chosen this hotel

FashionFail Sun 10-Feb-13 15:17:56

Which village (Nosy from Notts)

ChippyMinton Sun 10-Feb-13 15:24:10

Nottingham is do-able for a day-trip from London, if you are happy to hire a car and spend several hours travelling each way with your DS. Could you arrange to go along for a few hours to see everyone, maybe for the afternoon? Might be a reasonable compromise?

Fishlegs Sun 10-Feb-13 15:30:27

Will there be any other children going?

TBH even driving more than an hour or two with DS is going to be very challenging. I can grit my teeth all I like. But it won't change the fact that not only DS but everyone else in that hotel will have a very bad time of it. I will have to spend the entire time removing him and standing outside with him because he is noisy and he screams and he won't stop running and exploring and if I try to hold his hand or put him in a chair he will wriggle go floppy, bang his head and scream. How can I do that for a while weekend in a quiet country hotel? He won't be able to manage an evening meal,mi don't even think he could manage breakfast at a table with a table cloth without smearing butter, pulling cloth off knocking over flowers, chucking silverware, and wanting to jump up and run about. He can't sit still for 20 minutes. He covers his face and cries if strange people talk to him or touch him. And all the family will be strange to him.

It will not be enjoyable for anyone and MIL will be embarrassed and upset by the slightest social faux pas.

He is just too little.

Only other children are 11 and 13 boys, quite happy to behave well at adult social occasions inc meals.

Arithmeticulous Sun 10-Feb-13 15:45:40

How understanding is your MIL about your DS? I ask because if she's going to get professionally offended at a "sorry, that doesn't work for us" answer, then personally I'd nod and make all the right noises, then send your DH alone while you stay in your London base with your DS who will be suffering with some very inconvenient illness, what a shame.

FlouncingMintyy Sun 10-Feb-13 15:48:25

Agreed, it sounds impossible. Your dh should go though.

bryonywhisker Sun 10-Feb-13 15:51:32

I would't go. Apologise profusely, be honest about ds and send a nice bouquet this week.
If she takes the hump then that's her look out.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 10-Feb-13 15:54:15

I think you have to send your DH.

The thing is, that if they don't see your DS very often then they won't realise. We would, and have, done things like this when both our boys have been little - and of course it isn't as relaxing as it would be with older children or no children but that is just how life is. But in general things like that are doable even with toddlers, so they probably don't realise how impossible this will be for you.

Get your DH to give his Mum and ring and have a chat.

WipsGlitter Sun 10-Feb-13 16:10:24

I hate threads like this. You don't want to go and no matter what anyone says or does you will find excuses not to go.

i think it would be do-able. You don't have to sit in the hotel for two days. Find some things to do. Put DS to bed, bring a monitor (or get a sitter) and let your mil enjoy an adult meal with you. Put him in a pushchair. Go for one night. It's not about you, it's your mils and by default tour DHs day and I think you should make an effort.

I am happy to make strenuous efforts but unfortunately I can't just 'put DS to bed' nor 'put him in a pushchair'. He's not like other NT toddlers.
I can wrestle him in and strap him down while he screams and headbangs and push him round the carpark so as not to inconvenience everyone while DH eats, then swap.

MIL kind and gentle lady, would be mortified both by DS behaviour and his distress and I think she'd also be mortified that we had to go through so much stress to accommodate her meal. Thing is, we haven't told her about the suspected ASD and she hasn't seen DS other than on Skype at home. She has never spent any time with him as we live abroad. She remarks how he s never still and seen him start to tantrum but then we end the call. She has no idea of how he really is and how difficult this would be.

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 16:30:12

Would it be a weight off your shoulders to start hinting at all not being well?

I'd rather not tell until we know for sure.
It will cause huge concern and I can't really deal with well meaning grillings and disappointed family members. It would just be added pressure on us as they can't offer any practical help, since we don't live in the UK.

WorriedTeenMum Sun 10-Feb-13 16:34:38

Given everything you have described I really think you would be better making your apologies now and sending DH (if he wants to go of course!).

I will disagree with WipsGlitter as I think this is not about making the effort. This is about making an event work for both PiL and your family. I am sure that your MiL will be disappointed but that is far better than a chaotic event with you constantly on tenterhooks, wrangling your DS out of rooms and generally apologising.

Dont be surprised if MiL suggests all sorts of things with the idea of making it possible for you to attend. If these suggestions wont work then a simple 'that wont work for us' will suffice. Dont give explanations as that will only mean more inappropriate and unhelpful suggestions.

WorriedTeenMum Sun 10-Feb-13 16:40:25

I didnt mean the inappropriate and unhelpful suggestions comment to mean that your MiL would do these deliberately just that your DS has very specific needs and well meant suggestions about asking Great Aunt Maude to look after your DS or whatever wont help.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 10-Feb-13 16:49:05

I can understand you not wanting to say anything, but they are going to think you are giving them the brush off if you make excuses not to attend and don't say anything.

You don't want to damage your relationship with them, do you?

WipsGlitter Sun 10-Feb-13 16:54:28

I do sympathise. I have a child with SN, but I still think you could try to find a way to make it work. Explain it will be a nightmare stuck in the hotel and is it ok if you do some outings. Or go for one night.

Ali, that's the issue really and why I posted in parenting rather than special needs. Would it be very difficult even with a boisterous two year old who didn't have suspected ASD? I wanted to hear from other parents about whether they would have found it hard with a toddler to do this.

So I could see if I could reasonably excuse ourselves on grounds of 'not suitable for a 2.5 year old - too disruptive and tension inducing, wont be fair on anyone inc other guests' rather than be forced into along about suspected SN before we are remotely ready. If we do have to have the SN chat I'd rather it be when she had met DS and played with him and spent time with him. Not like this, not now.

Roseformeplease Sun 10-Feb-13 17:05:56

What about renting a cottage nearby and booking a babysitter / nanny?That way MiL can come and visit you in more child-friendly surroundings and you can go over to the posh hotel for a meal. You and DH could take turns for the afternoons etc. I am sure. If you phoned the hotel, they might be able to help you, or one of the cottage agencies?

WorriedTeenMum Sun 10-Feb-13 17:06:42

I know that my DM found my DN's (ASD) needs a lot easier to deal with once she understood about DN's condition.

However, I can also understand that this isnt how you want to introduce MiL to the idea.

We have 2 DD. I would have done this without question with DD1 but the thought of doing it with DD2 fills me with dread. We coped with similar for my DGM's 90th though the times were shorter and we had a lot of family help. Like you we live abroad, so my DM was not a familiar face to DD2. But it did work. Everyone did their bit to help and DGM had a lovely day which was wonderful. In hindsight I would do it again. Though I realise it was easier being with my family rather than ILs because I could be clearer svout what I needed from them rather than walking on eggshells.

tobago04 Sun 10-Feb-13 17:10:18

My 2.5 ds would be a nightmare in this situation and he has no sn. He'd cause havoc,i would maybe think of sending dh but i can see that even that would be hard for you being left with ds on your own. I would have a chat to mil and explain that he is very lively and you don't want to ruin it for every one else and maybe suggest having a get together separately.

The thing is as well, we do not live in the UK. We live 12 hours away by plane.
Thisis our first holiday since he was born, and this is me of only two weekends we can see our friends who work whom we miss and really want to see.
MIL and FIL are retired and like London and could easily come down midweek and have an additional celebration lunch with us and meet DS. I really don't want to have to spend a big chunk of my only holiday in a cottage miles from everyone whilst DH sees his family and I stay in or go out with DS. It's a bit too much to ask from my selfish POV, I am very happy to spend 2-3 days with them in London and work from our base and cook for them but I am stressed and shattered after 2 years of dealing with DS largely alone as DH works long hours and its not U to want to see my friends and DH on holiday, is it? And to want to tell people about suspected ASD face to face when they have met DS? I want to accommodate MIL but I have some needs of my own too.

(Feels selfish for saying this but it is true)

bbface Sun 10-Feb-13 17:14:08

There WILL be accommodation close by. You can deny it, but in that part of the world you an hardly swing a tampon without hitting a holiday rental.

So, I suggest you hire somewhere apart from this hotel.

Then, on the day of the birthday, just explain to MIL that given issues with your son that you have described here, you are really concerned about disrupting her birthday. However, you would love to attend and for you DS to see hs grandma on this day. So the solution is that you will turn up in time for dessert and coffee. Ensure DS is well fed and had a busy happy morning and save a new toy for him. Be prepared to depart if things go awry.


bbface Sun 10-Feb-13 17:15:51

I have just read latest post. Be honest with yourself, this hotel suggestion does not suit you. No big deal, but don't kid yourself.

Sometimes we do things for others even if a giant pain in the arse. A special birthday for my MIL I would count as one of those times.

It doesn't suit DS DH or me. That's 3 people. We can accommodate and celebrate with MIL but not this way. I don't think that's TOO U.

bbface Sun 10-Feb-13 17:23:29

Totally agree, and fair enough

But why then in your original post do you refer to the reason being as totally focussed on your DS? And the multitude of reasons why he will spoil things? When in fact it was other reasons, including you wanting a break and wanting to see friends.

It's something I'd consider if ds was NT.
As is, I'm only just getting head round idea it's ok to think not only about his needs but also mine and DH. Not going to apologise for that, this thread is me thinking it all through.

BlueyDragon Sun 10-Feb-13 17:27:41

I would go with my nearly 3 year old, but his level of activity and behaviour would mean simply that DH and I would take turn and turn about with him. I'd expect the fact of a boisterous toddler to be understood by those around him, and we'd take steps to minimise the impact. We'd put a family gathering first and cope with the fall out.

But we would be travelling within our own country and DS does not do some of the things you describe, like the head banging, which must be unpleasant for anyone to witness and hard to understand for anyone who doesn't know your DS. It strikes me that this isn't about what people would do normally - I'd be pretty hmm at anyone who offered a toddler as an excuse not to go to a family party - but about dealing with your DS's potential SN with the family.

If you can't bear to go and want an excuse, the "We've travelled enough" one is there. But isn't honesty the best policy here? I can understand you might not want to discuss the SN until you have a diagnosis but wouldn't it be nice to get some support and understanding from family at a tough time? Can MIL see DS before the party instead?

And tbh it is about ds first and foremost. It always is.

CaseyShraeger Sun 10-Feb-13 17:28:35

You can't generally rent holiday rentals for a couple of days in high season -- so it would be renting a cottage for a whole week when MIL is only going to be in the area for 48 hours at a time when you are already paying for another rental in London.

I do think you need to tell MIL about the likely ASD, because that's the factor that makes this really impractical. All the other stuff in your post would come under the heading of "things you need to get over yourself about for a special occasion with a MIL you see very very rarely" (I have a boistrous 2yo and I would groan inwardly but suck it up), but the ASD is in a different category.

Roseformeplease Sun 10-Feb-13 17:29:31

Not sure what you want us to say really. There has been support, suggestions, advice, but you don't want to go so why don't you just not go?

bbface Sun 10-Feb-13 17:29:32

Best put the different threads in your original post, otherwise it is a drip feed

LIZS Sun 10-Feb-13 17:31:53

Is it local to PIL's? could you ask them or hotel to hire a babysitter ? Then you arrive shortly before meal and leave early. Or stay at a Travelodge/Premier Inn which is less fragile ?

BlueyDragon Sun 10-Feb-13 17:32:12

X-lots-of-posts. If you don't want to go, then say so. Don't make an excuse.

ohforfoxsake Sun 10-Feb-13 17:35:10

Why don't you just talk to her and tell her you are worried about it?

If it were me, I'd go at least for one night and be very prepared with lots to distract DC. Even if i ended up going to bed at the same time as DC (often a relief at these things!) It's a rare opportunity for her to have the whole family together, I'd personally would feel worse about denying them that than gritting my teeth so they could be happy. It must matter to them and you would be missed.

I do not want to go.
I do not want to say about sn yet. It won't help and will make life harder for us if we have to tell family here and now.
I posted to see if was U to not go with toddler. Just that really - which is why posted here not SN. I would have thought the point about it being our holiday was implicit from Op.

WorriedTeenMum Sun 10-Feb-13 17:41:07

I dont think you are being unreasonable to not want to participate in this event. It is a pity that it is so far from where you will be based but that is it, it's a pity. It would have been nice to perhaps call in on the event for a couple of hours but if the drive is likely to be a problem then I can understand why you wouldnt want to do it.

You could start to say to MiL now that your DS needs to maintain his routine and that he cannot handle long drives. At this stage you can keep it factual. Dont go into long explanations. If it works for you your DH could go to the event but you wont. This will be sufficient in replying to the invitation.

If it is possible to meet with PiL before the event then that would be the opportunity to explain your reasons. This would be a kindness to them as that way they will be able to field any 'where is TrucksAndDinosaurs' questions with confidence.

Gigondas Sun 10-Feb-13 17:43:30

You don't want to go- this is just stream of consciousness to justify your view. So mil will be disappointed but it is not the worst thing you could do.

And I don't agree that telling people will make things harder- if sounds like you are at the end of your tether with caring for ds alone , in another country whilst dh works long hours. I think confiding in family might offer you some support and outlet. Ideally yes this is better face to face but you don't have that luxury and I think the opportunity to share and get help might be helpful to you.

It looks like it would be expected to go even though represents big chunk of our holiday, expense, very difficult etc with NT toddler.

So we have to offend by refusing to go or distress family and ourselves by starting to talk about suspected Asd
fuck sad

Ragwort Sun 10-Feb-13 17:46:09

What is your DH's point of view in all this, has he actually spoken to his parents and explained that your DS is very active and lively (no need to mention SN if you don't want to) and just won't be able to sit down for a formal meal.

Gigondas Sun 10-Feb-13 17:46:26

Trucks you already seem pretty upset by potential asd - will if really be worse to share this fear

It really, really will not help me to start talking about suspected asd with family. I am barely coping here as it is.

I think I'd rather cancel uk holiday tbh.

Gigondas Sun 10-Feb-13 17:49:43

Is there someone you can talk to - dr or similar- where you are? That seems a ridiculously excessive last post that you would rather cancel holiday than tell family. Well fine- just don't tell family, don't go to do and offer to see mil another time.

Yes mil may be put out etc but it isn't unreasonable not to guben age of ds, length of travel etc. yes you could go but you don't want to. So stop being a martyr about it and have the holiday you want.

WorriedTeenMum Sun 10-Feb-13 17:50:31

I really dont think you do have to go. By the sounds of it you are expecting the ASD to be confirmed. You have said that your MiL is a kind person. How upset do you think she would be to discover that you had struggled at what was supposed to be a happy event?

Disappointing MiL now with a full explanation later would be a kindness to MiL.

Gigondas Sun 10-Feb-13 17:50:47

And that wasn't meant to sound harsh but I think your obvious stress about ds is making you think that it is more difficult or unreasonable to do holiday you want than it is.

LIZS Sun 10-Feb-13 17:52:11

Is it really taking your 2yr old along that is the issue or is it the pressure of trying to suppress the potential diagnosis ?

shushpenfold Sun 10-Feb-13 17:53:47

Trucks - I would have found this slightly worrying but not impossible with my ds at 2yrs. 2yo ds' are not generally known for their sense, politeness, ability to not fiddle/break/use hammers (!) at this age but they should be able to be persuaded, distracted with enough adult attention for 48 hours. I think that you really need to tell your MIL about your suspicions. She may well still suggest that you come for a night and then at least she will see the issues....or your ds may surprise you - if he doesn't, no surprise, but if he does, good news. xx

Snazzynewyear Sun 10-Feb-13 17:54:04

I really think it would be doable in a very limited way. Stay one night in the nearest Travelodge / Premier Inn there is, take DS along for a very limited amount of time (just for pudding so everyone can wave hello at him), find out what parks / soft play places there are nearby and then take him to those to let off some steam.

However, you really seem set on not doing it and don't seem to want to contemplate any compromises, which is a bit sad for everyone, really. I also think it's a shame that you are so set against even raising the difficulties you are having with your DS before you get to the UK. It's just my view (then again, you have asked for the views of Internet strangers so here you go...) but I think it would help either to try to make some effort towards a bit of participation in this event that's so important to your MIL, or to explain in advance why it will be so difficult and stressful for you. Sorry to say it but by doing neither, you are going to seem unreasonable. Do you really think it wouldn't help to talk about it? They are your family - wouldn't they love DS regardless, and wouldn't they want to shoulder some of your burden even if only by sympathising and expressing support verbally from many miles away?


If I was your Mil and you were travelling for 12 hours by plane but then said you couldn't attend for my special birthday because it was too far I would be hurt.

However if you explained to me about your DS issues then I would understand. I would be sad if you couldn't attend, but I would understand.
This is a special family occasion which they would all love you to attend without knowing your day to day life.

I would and have taken my DC to this type of occasion and been pretty stressed before. The events themselves have usually worked out ok with no major traumas (apart from me needing a vat of wine in the evening!)

I get why you don't want to tell your Mil without her meeting DS but surely as GP they would be able to help and support you and DH?

CaseyShraeger Sun 10-Feb-13 17:56:29

This might be the time to take this into SN. Because

(a) I don't think those of us with NT children are going to be properly able to grasp just why you are so reluctant to talk about your DS's SN with your family, but I bet the parents there will

(b) If you aren't going to go and aren't going to give MIL the reason why then there's a good chance you are going to offend her. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the wrong thing to do -- you have to put your DS's needs first. And that's the sort of issue where the SN board parents will have BTDT many times.

Posting here to see what people with an NT toddler would do was a good idea, but the consensus seems to be overwhelmingly that we'd suck it up and go. So it does seem to be the ASD that's the decisive factor, and I think now you might find support from those who know what it's like more helpful than the rest of us blundering about.

cassell Sun 10-Feb-13 17:58:26

I have no experience of SN, I would have gone with ds1 when he was 2.5 and I'm sure will do so with ds2 (9mths at moment). Yes it's hard work but if it's a very important occasion for the people concerned and they hardly see the dc then I would make the effort. I would however explain that I wouldn't be able to join in the whole of a long meal and that I would leave with ds once he'd finished eating so as not to disrupt everyone else. I'd bring lots of things to entertain him with and take him off for a walk of necessary. I'd also clear my hotel room of easily reached breakables before letting dc lose.

Personally I think you're making a big deal of it because you don't want to go (understandable) but as I say no experience of SN and what difference that makes.

I know that for most relatives the simple fact that you have a toddler wouldn't be seen as a decent excuse not to go and you should expect your PIL to be upset about it and for possible affect on your relationship with them. Your dh should def go even if you and ds don't.

ohforfoxsake Sun 10-Feb-13 18:00:13

If it was something you wanted to do, you would and make it work. I think the prospect of it is really daunting for you and perhaps making you panic.

That makes me wonder if there is something going in within you - the fear of a diagnoses, inability to cope, all the while having to do this far away from family and friends.

I'm sorry of I'm reading In between the lines and getting it wrong, but you are already taking DS overseas and staying in a rented place - and that's big in itself. Is this event just too much for YOU on top of that?

Where's your DP in this? What does he think and is he supporting you?

MrsMcEnroe Sun 10-Feb-13 18:05:28

I have a DS with SN (dyspraxia and moderate hyperactivity) and there is NO WAY he - or I - could have dealt with that kind of family get-together when he was aged 2. I fully relate to the OP's fear of tablecloths being pulled off, candlesticks knocked over, meltdowns etc etc. DS was a happy little chap but from the moment he was born he never, ever stopped moving and was totally unable to sit at a table until he was about 6 years old. It was horribly stressful, I couldn't take him out anywhere for a meal or even a coffee as he would just wreck the place, and I lived in fear of being judged by other parents who had no idea what it was like to deal with a child who simply didn't understand how to comply with social norms (and I was in total denial that there was anything wrong. I thought I was doing something wrong; I didn't realise that DS had special needs. I'd never heard of them).

OP - you sound as though you desperately need some moral support regarding your DS's condition and I know that you will find it on the SN boards on Mumsnet; please post this on there.

My DS is 8 now and is doing really well. He is sweet, kind, and able to concentrate and sit still sometimes. It takes work and you need to get the right help. The parents on the SN boards will understand exactly what you are going through x

abbierhodes Sun 10-Feb-13 18:09:28

You clearly just don't want to go. You want to stay in London an see your friends. If I was you MIL, I'd be hurt.
If I was your DH, I'd take my son and go without you. SN or not, you can surely manage one 2 year old between 2 of you.

Bunbaker Sun 10-Feb-13 18:20:24

"If you aren't going to go and aren't going to give MIL the reason why then there's a good chance you are going to offend her"

I agree. I realise your son is hard work and is likely to disrupt the party. What I don't understand is if he can't cope with being in a car for a couple of hours how on earth are you going to manage a 12 hour flight?

If it is a landmark wedding anniversary your ILs will be extremely disappointed that their son, who will be in the same country, won't be able to attend. So I would be inclined to sty in London and let your husband go on his own.

LIZS Sun 10-Feb-13 18:24:48

That's a bit harsh, abbie. Do pil's know you are over at the same time , was it planned to coincide ? It would be doable with some careful forethought but can understand that you may feel wary of committing .

I am already worried sick about managing the flight to uk and staying in rented London accomodation. Only thought of seeing family and friends and city I miss so much is giving me push to attempt it. I don't think it will be easy but at least will be near friends in familiar city in flat I've checked out and chosen. This family weekend elsewhere was news to me and tbh I'm very daunted and nearly in tears at thought of it. Will ask dh to tell mil concerns re sn and extend London invite instead.

bettydavis Sun 10-Feb-13 18:30:27

You very obviously don't want to do. Send your DH to his parents do, to spend time with his family. I think you would be very selfish to stop him going.

From the tone of your posts this seems more to do with your holiday and expectations and very little to do with your son and his behaviour

MrsMcEnroe Sun 10-Feb-13 18:31:46

Good plan OP. I doubt that many of the posters on this thread have a child with SN so please don't let them make you feel worse than you already do.

Oh - and in time you will come to accept that ASD is not something to be ashamed of, although I appreciate that it is new and scary right now.

MrsMcEnroe Sun 10-Feb-13 18:33:08

Oh FFS people, please read the OP and all updates properly - she has a son with SN, her DH isn't around much so she's coping on her own with horribly challenging behaviour and is frightened and worried - have some sympathy!!

I never ever fucking said I would stop DH from going, Jesus, RTFP some of you.
Thanks for support everyone else.
Think will ask to move to SN.

bettydavis Sun 10-Feb-13 18:35:00

Sorry my post came across alot harsher than intended. I know how hard life is with a ASD child I have my own.

Snazzynewyear Sun 10-Feb-13 18:35:43

OP, please find someone IRL as well as perhaps the SN discussions here to talk to about this as it is clearly really upsetting you and you need support. Maybe if you had that the situation would seem more manageable. I can see why you are daunted by yet another hurdle to get over in the trip but I really think you (meaning you and your DH as a unit) have to communicate about that to the ILs. I do wish you well with it as I don't like seeing posters as genuinely upset as you clearly are.

Yfronts Sun 10-Feb-13 18:38:36

go but be prepared to take DS off the grounds for walks/park visits etc if needed.

Yfronts Sun 10-Feb-13 18:42:38

Be honest with your MIL. Tell her about the issues

Yfronts Sun 10-Feb-13 18:44:02

It maybe better for him/you if you don't go though. Would be awful if he found it really stressful

I really don't get all this "its a family thing so you've got to go however awful it is, suck it up and go otherwise you are just evil".

The whole point of family is they are on your side, they love you and want the best for you. My family (well, the people I think of as my family, all on dh's side, they're the ones with the ability to accept that other people have feelings too) - my family would hate it if they thought I felt the way you do about a family gathering and came anyway. They'd expect me to speak up about it, and then they'd do their best to understand, and sympathise even if they didn't quite get it, and look for some compromise (like coming to see us in London mid-week).

I do think you might want to start drip-feeding a bit to MIL about your ds though. You don't have to mention any labels.

(Betty - I think it would be very selfish of the dh to go, and leave her with their ds in these circumstances)

Me23 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:50:41

I would dread doing this with my 23 month old he will not go into pushchair without screaming doesn't want to stay in high chair and would just wants to run around the whole time. Is that Asd? I thought he was just been a 'terrible' 2 year old!
However if it was a very important family occasion I would have to go albeit knowing I would hate every minute of it as would be so stressed trying to keep up with ds. Tbh I just thought that was normal with a toddler or is my ds not typical?

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sun 10-Feb-13 18:54:24

Possibly the only place I would take him to would be a family gathering. Are you going to hide him away? You will have to go places and do things with him and yes I have personal experience of how hard it is but it has to be done.

You mitigate and plan for every eventuality and make a speedy exit but still communicate with your inlaws and move forward that way.

I would much rather have taken my dd to a family party for a couple of hours than 12 hours on a plane. That I dont understand at all.

It's not a couple of hours family party. It's a weekend plus considerable travel time. The 12 hour flight I have no choice about if I ever want to see anyone who I love given that we live 12 hours from family and friends. It has taken me two years to even contemplate it. Once we land we had planned to make a base in a safe space and see family and friends on safe ground. Not large gatherings, not unfamiliar non child friendly places which are a nightmare to manage.

DH going to talk to MIL, mention DS is being assessed and extend London invite, plus offer to attend if party definitely going ahead in hotel. I would rather family not know yet of our concerns but the situation we are facing means little choice now. We remain happy to host MIL and FIL in London and to celebrate with them. We can only do what we can do.

Have asked to move to SN to continue wider repercussions of having to mention suspected ASD to wider family whom we do not see and how to manage the holiday and next few years.

Thanks for the posts,it has helped to talk/think it through.

longjane Sun 10-Feb-13 19:57:58

staying in posh hotel with a active under 5

when he wake up
you get him up wash and dress
one of you get up with him
you take him out for a walk
other person get wash and dressed
you order
"breakfast in bed" (the night before)
come back from walk
eat breakfast
bring with you child breakfast if fussy eater
other parent gets wash and dressed
you have relaxing breakfast in room
you have to mostly leave hotel room in mornings so you all go out for morning/day
picnic either out and about on in hotel room
food bought from local shops or bought with you
if child need nap one parent stays with child
if child does not take child out

evening meal
if it is the big celebratory do
take child meal with you
or get child food to come 1st ask the waiter
feed child
take child for a walk if still active
take child up to bed
one parent goes up to bed with child and stays their
make sure there is food for adult in room
take ear phone so you can watch the telly
go sleep to

it wont be fun but can be done

do morning and afternoon walks with family member
get to know the other kids they might like playing with their cousin
ask the hotel if they room your child could run around in.
in the day time and early evening walk around the hotel

remember asd affect families not just one person so there will be other in family like your son
and the ones that dont understand will more than likely have it them selves

Awomansworth Sun 10-Feb-13 21:11:24

From experience at a family thing very similar, albeit just one day, I spent the entire day trying to cope with ds (ASD) on my own whilst dh was with other ds. At home and familiar places I'm more than capable, but the change was too much for him, even though we had prepared him as best we could.

I spoke with family about my concerns before we agreed to go and was assured there would be plenty of family there to help... well this didn't materialise and it was a very tough day (as I knew it would be.)

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sun 10-Feb-13 21:25:38

Trucks, you are in MNSN now, welcome. smile

Weekend sounds hellish, but without the possible ASD/ADHD I would say you would have to go to this event. I do think it's time to broach the subject with your family. Families can be odd about SN, sometimes they just won't believe it and feel like it's a reflection on them, somehow. What are PIL like? Generally supportive and open? They will be upset, I guess. You don't have to be too specific, you can use terms like, speech delay, awaiting assessment by a developmental paed, etc without giving them terms to google, like possible ASD, or ADHD, (which many of the older generation don't believe anyway.)

At your DS's age my DS2 wasn't DXed, (he was DXed at 3.5 with ASD) I was in denial, and I would have taken him to the function and hated every minute.

Thank you for the welcome smile glad am here.

The thing is, about showing/telling them,I'd rather do it face to face and in private not at a family gathering where everyone will want to relax and enjoy themselves.

It's also the fact that DS will likely be at his worst with a crowd of new people.
He will accept new faces when introduced slowly in his home.
He cries and covers his face when strangers talk to him or try to touch him.
It would be distressing for him and for the family to see him flinch and cry and blank them and tantrum and try to get away from their well meaning kisses and chat.

It would thus be very distressing for us and for them.
It would mar the whole event and all for what? Everyone would talk about it and be anxious, even if kind and no judgmental. I can't think how anyone would want to introduce subject of SN in this way to whole family at once.

I'm unsure as to whether the posters on parenting forum understood that. Or whether they understood just how anxious I am about the whole holiday and taking DS out of his home and the flight etc, and how much I desperately need a break, not additional stress. I have ASD tendencies myself and get terribly anxious in social performing situations; I can cope on my own but seeing DS distress just annihilates me.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sun 10-Feb-13 21:49:45

Oh God, with the possible ASD I wouldn't go! I meant unless you explain beforehand to PIL, without them knowing about the circumstances, you wouldn't have an excuse. So broach the subject gently and stay put in London.

NoHaudinMaWheest Sun 10-Feb-13 21:58:51

Trucks welcome. This is such a difficult situation for you in so many ways.

When Ds was 2.5 Bil organised posh hotel weekend for Mil's 65th birthday. Ds has ASD though we didn't know until much later. His behaviour was quieter than your Ds's sounds but it was still very difficult and I did get Dh to suggest to his brother that it was not suitable for a toddler but it fell on deaf ears. I really struggled and this was only 2hours away from home and DS did at least know some of the people there.

Coming to London is going to be stressful enough - I really get that. I also get that you need a break. Handling a child with SNs virtually alone for 2 years without knowing exactly what you are facing is extremely hard work.
I think it is likely that PIL will be upset if you don't explain about the suspected ASD but can see why you don't want to do it at a distance. I'm not sure that you have much option now though but I think that you have realised that yourself.

You can always come back here for support with the fallout. We always have virtually hugs and shoulders to cry on.

PolterGoose Sun 10-Feb-13 22:33:44

Hi Trucks, I wouldn't go, but I am arsey and anti-social grin

I would explain clearly that your ds would be unable to cope, that he is undergoing investigations for difficulties he is having and that, until you know what you are dealing with you don't want to put him in stressful situations.

You are your ds's main carer, you know him best and you think it is a bad idea. Stick with that conviction. I cannot see any benefit for a 2yo with possible ASD, probable additional needs of some form, being put through that.

Thank you all once again.
Good news. Mil now happy to come to London. Can see how high needs toddler would be tricky and FIL recovering from op, needs peace. Bigger discussion about Ds can happen later. Dh has simply said he's being assessed, MIL agrees good idea to know early, best settle ds after long flight and meet him when he's happy and settled.

Thank God. Oh, thank God.

PolterGoose Mon 11-Feb-13 06:30:35

That is brilliant grin

Very best wishes for your trip and good luck with assessments thanks

Well done. It must be a huge relief.

We recently did a flight from Uk to Australia with our DD who has special needs. In a confined, stressful place she is likely to run, screech, go floppy etc.

We went to the chemist and got some phernergan (sp?) essentially an anti histamine that can also be a sedative. Best decision. She was either asleep or relaxed watching tv. So much less stressful for her, us and the other passengers. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but thought I'd mention it.

Have a great holiday. smile

AmberLeaf Mon 11-Feb-13 08:26:14

Glad to hear its worked out well smile

I can totally understand why you were worried about it.

Couldnt make sense of the initial replies until I realised this was posted elsewhere first wink

Me23 Mon 11-Feb-13 08:33:58

Glad it worked out, though this thread has now made me question whether ds has sn as he is high needs and sounds a lot like your ds and some of the other posters on here confused

Fishlegs Mon 11-Feb-13 09:54:05

So glad it's worked out! You've got so much to worry about, sorting this weekend business out must be a big relief.


NoHaudinMaWheest Mon 11-Feb-13 10:34:30

So glad that you have that worry off your mind now at least.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Mon 11-Feb-13 11:26:23

Stick around, Trucks. You'll get handholding and empathy from this board when you need it. It has been my greatest source of information and support. smile

Thank you all again for the support. This is my second thread on this part of MN but I have lurked for a while and it is because of all the reading, following links back that I found out about MCHAT and followed up with GP and am now seeng a clinical psychologist about possible Dx. is first thread. We have another appointment start of March and this will be where she observes DS and I have to leave him alone with her and not come to get him when he cries for me sad. A poster here has said I CAN step in and ask to stop assessment if DS is too distressed and just knowing that has made thought of it easier.

This forum is a good

Snazzynewyear Mon 11-Feb-13 19:54:08

Hi Trucks, I was reading the thread before it was moved and have just looked in again. Just wanted to say I'm so glad you have had a conversation about the whole set of arrangements with your ILs and it has turned out OK. I hoped they would prove to be accommodating after all smile

BlueyDragon Tue 12-Feb-13 10:08:47

Just caught up with your post saying that your MIL will come to London. That's great news. I hope you can relax a little bit now and enjoy the holiday. Your MIL seems to have been quite understanding and fingers crossed that continues - it would be nice if you had some more support judging by your previous posts, even if that support's far away.

A poster up thread was discussing phenergan. Whilst I've no direct experience of it, I have heard that it can have the opposite effect and make the child more active in some cases.

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