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Woman at playgroup - not sure how to handle

(87 Posts)
need40winks Wed 22-Jun-11 09:25:39

There is a woman at playgroup, lets name her Bee, and I am extremely unsure how to handle her and the situations she causes.

Background story - Bee's daughter (call her Dee) is 3 years old and will be starting nursery in September but for now they both attend every playgroup going in the area. Bee also parent-leads two playgroups a week at the local surestart centre.

Bee is obsessed with babies, and when I say obsessed I really mean it, to the point where she neglects her daughter at these playgroups as soon as there is a baby in sight. Dee is left to run around and actually runs riot, she hits, pushes, screams, jumps on tables etc. and all the while Bee is off in another room cooing over another baby. Bee is strange in some other ways but these are insignificant compared to her neglect of her daughter.

Now without giving away to much about myself I have a baby that Bee has taken a liking to, we enter the room and within minutes Bee is asking to hold the baby and I don't see the baby for the rest of the playgroup time. I ask for the baby back several times and she either says 'No it's ok I'm fine' or just ignores me. I even grabbed hold of baby the other day and she pulled baby back and turned and walked away.

I'm not sure what to do now, she is at every playgroup so is unavoidable. I hate confrontation of any kind and really don't know how to get her to back off without saying anything. All the other mothers can't stand her either and she is putting me off going. She also wants to be my baby's childminder when I go back to work. Help please, it's so awkward!

MayorNaze Wed 22-Jun-11 09:27:19

be firm, don't let her hold your baby. say 'oh she's a bit clingy today' and walk away

ask the surestar centre to have a word with her about her daughter's behaviour??

tricky one sad

FetchezLaVache Wed 22-Jun-11 09:29:16

How about a firm "I'll take him/her back now Bee, looks like you'd better go and get Dee off that table"?

Sounds an awful situation. Hang on though, how can she CM your baby when she's at playgroup every day?

ImeldaM Wed 22-Jun-11 09:29:39

Agree with MayorNaze, be firm

SleepySuzy Wed 22-Jun-11 09:29:55

Sounds a bit obsessive to me. I would struggle with this myself. Try and mention it to surestart though as mentioned above.

bubbleymummy Wed 22-Jun-11 09:29:59

Don't let her hold her to begin with. Just say "No, it's ok I'm/she's fine." and turn and walk away. It probably annoy her but she's your baby. Sounds like a pain though sad

GeekCool Wed 22-Jun-11 09:30:15

Do you have a sling you could put your baby in? It might help a bit maybe?

Lancelottie Wed 22-Jun-11 09:30:46

Well, there's no way you are going to say yes to an odd, obsessive, parent-ignoring woman being your childminder, is there? <stern look> So don't worry about that one. If you can't just manage to say 'No, because you ignore my wishes about my daughter, you cahhhh', then at least make your own arrangements now, so you don't accidentally say 'Err, yes, OK.'

fedupofnamechanging Wed 22-Jun-11 09:31:40

If you don't want her to hold your baby then you have to say no firmly and not let her. Personally, I'd avoid playgroup - these place are hell on earth to me. I don't think that children 'need' playgroup, they just need to play and have company and those things can be done without going to a formal setting. Maybe you could invite another mum over to yours, so you still meet people but avoid creepy woman.

Reality Wed 22-Jun-11 09:34:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GypsyMoth Wed 22-Jun-11 09:37:39

was going to suggest a sling too geek!

need40winks Wed 22-Jun-11 09:39:22

She has completed the childminding course but waiting for her paperwork to be completed so should be done by summer. I don't know any other mothers atm and that's the main reason we go to playgroup. None of my friends have children and the all work so it's the only way I meet people with children. I find it really difficult to say no, if you met me you wouldnt think so because I can talk to anyone and I'm not shy I just hate confrontation. Think this might be the only way round it though sad

howabout Wed 22-Jun-11 09:39:26

Just say no! YANBU - I would not hand over my baby to someone I did't like and trust and I kind of assume that no-one would want me to hold their baby unless they asked me to or because they looked like a friend in need of 5 minutes respite. Other woman's daughter is not your problem and her behaviour doesn't sound like a great ad for a would be childminder.

need40winks Wed 22-Jun-11 09:40:06

Baby won't go in a sling, hates being cuddled lol, good suggestion though smile

SenoritaViva Wed 22-Jun-11 09:41:30

You don't have to be confrontational but you must learn to be assertive! Trust me, you will need it with children later (parents, school and with the children themselves!) That does not mean you are being mean etc. And what is the worst that can happen? Bee ends up not liking you? Will that really be the end of the world? It is not like you want to be her best friend any way is it? You need to say 'actually no, I'm happy holding her thanks' or 'Actually Dee looks like she's really running riot over there, think you'll have your hands full today!' It is not rude, it is factual.
She might want to be your baby's CM. I want to win the lottery. Neither's likely to happen now is it? I'd start investigating all your other options and when she brings it up just say 'thanks for the offer but I've got DD's childcare already sorted'. It is not her choice but your choice what you do with your children and where they go.
I also agree with the the other poster, if it gets too much you should be having a word with Surestart. She should be looking out for ALL children at the playgroup at the ones where she is running it.

Triathlete Wed 22-Jun-11 09:41:50

"no." "No." "No, no, no." "NO."

Practise saying it until it becomes easy.

Lotkinsgonecurly Wed 22-Jun-11 09:44:24

Exactly say no. And wrt to her wanting to CM your daughter say you have someone else lined up that your DH knows / was recommended or choose a nursery.

youarekidding Wed 22-Jun-11 09:44:28

WOW, sounds creepy to me from your description of her.

Love the sling idea - enter wearing baby in a sling, tell her baby is fine, and give her a look that dares her to wrestle the slinged baby off of you.

Also agree with the playgroup thing. I never went after my first experiences at one. I lasted 4 weeks. DS was 2 when we started but after being told it wasn't the done thing to potty train early (ds was dry at 2 and a week on his accord), to make him share (when he picked up a toy and queen bees DD wanted it straightaway) I decided to make my own friends.

I went to a swimming session, library sessions and <whispers> sofy play. There I met loads of like minded people who also avoided playgroups like the plague.

If there are other parents who are fed up with Bee and Dee could yu not all arrange to meet somewhere else one day and make your own group? (know that sounds childish but hope yswim?)

SenoritaViva Wed 22-Jun-11 09:45:52

OK so you don't know many mums. I know how hard that is, I moved last summer and knew no one. Went to playgroups and it is hard to ask people if they want to go for coffee because they already seem so sorted.

Is there a mum that you think you could be friends with? How about saying 'I don't really know any other mums, do you want to meet up for a coffee sometime?' I know it might be hard and there's always fear of rejection but if you try starting to make friends or a friend outside playgroup things will start snowballing.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 22-Jun-11 09:46:00

She sounds a bit 'hand that rock the cradle' ish to me.

howabout Wed 22-Jun-11 09:46:02

If the baby hates being cuddled (just as my DD1 did incidentally) then you have the ideal excuse to not want to hand her over to someone clearly obsessed with baby cuddles.

PrettyMeerkat Wed 22-Jun-11 09:46:04

Walk in holding baby tightly (so no way she can just take her from you) and when she asks you just have to be very firm. You can just say "no not today" or "oh i'm not handing my baby over to anyone today, isn't she lovely" smile and walk away. What matters more is HOW you say it though. You need to practise that tone of voice which is final and says the conversation is over. Then have an escape planned (pretend you need to get something from your bag for example or someone you want to talk to) just so you can get away from her and try not to talk to her again for the rest of the session.

She needs to get out of the habit of thinking you will let her cuddle your baby every time. YOU need to get into the habit of remembering this is your baby and no one has to right to take her from you or refuse to give her back. I get the impression you are trying too hard to be polite and are being a bit meek.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 22-Jun-11 09:46:13

Perhaps her daughter is playing up because her mother's attention is always elsewhere. Whoever is leading the group should have a word with Bee as a hurtling child is likely to bowl somebody/something over.

Agree with the other posters... "Can I hold your baby?". "Not right now, I'm enjoying my cuddle time with him/her. Where's Dee, how's she getting on now?".

Practice any version of the scenario you feel comfortable with - as long as the net answer to baby-holding is an emphatic 'NO'.

bullet234 Wed 22-Jun-11 09:46:24

I think you need to tell her that she can't hold the baby as soon as she asks, rather than trying to remove the infant from her afterwards. Just say "no, she is happy with me, thank you."

WoTmania Wed 22-Jun-11 09:47:38

Ah, I was just going to suggest a sling. that's a shame. Just hold on to her. Say she has some terribly infectious disease spread only by physical contact?

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