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to think my friend should offer to replace something her son broke?

(58 Posts)
blondieminx Fri 22-Jul-11 15:13:24

Not sure what to do! Had antenatal group girls and their toddlers round for lunch yesterday - all very nice until one of the boys broke our catflap (wrenched the door off and it won't click back in as he also managed to break off part of the section that it would click into iyswim). The other mum had earlier told him to stop it. He didn't - and while I was making some drinks I heard her say "stop that... oh you have broken it". She left the door and the bit of plastic by the back door.

I had to pay out nearly twenty quid for the replacement cat flap.

Earlier I had told them all that we were worried as DH hadn't been paid for last month. She is very comfortably off.

I was expecting her say something as she left (she didn't, and another mum came to the hallway as I was saying goodbye to her and I didn't want to embarrass her in front of the other mum), or to text me last night/today to apologise and offer to pay for a replacement... but she hasn't.

How would you approach this? I don't want to cause any offence but at the same time I don't want a precedent to be set that it's ok for her son to damage my home and that I'll pay for the clear-up! I just can't believe that she knew he'd broken something and left without apologising/offering to pay for the replacement!

ExitPursuedByAGryffin Fri 22-Jul-11 15:19:17

No useful advice - just wanted to share my tale of woe. Friend bought me a beautiful vase for my birthday two years ago. This year, on her birthday, I invited them all round for a meal, and her DD (13) leaned back and knocked the beautiful vase onto my stone floor, smashing it into a thousand pieces. I made light of it at the time as I did not want to scream "You clumsy cow get it swept up" saying "Oh dear, accidents happen" but secure in the knowledge that friend would replace said vase.

Did she hell as like. I am still cross.

However, a vase is a nice to have, not an essential, unlike your catflap. if you want to keep your friendship you had probably better just keep a lid on it I'm afraid.

BeerTricksPotter Fri 22-Jul-11 15:20:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NemesisoftheVole Fri 22-Jul-11 15:22:28

The general rule seems to be you break something, you offer to pay for it, I politely decline and seethe quietly. I know you're hard up and she should definite have offered to replace it, but this stif sort of happens doesn't it?

blondieminx Fri 22-Jul-11 15:24:40

If my DD broke something at someone else's home, I would expect to pay for a replacement tbh, and would apologise profusely.

I think what has really annoyed me is that she knew he'd broken it, and said nothing to me sad

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Fri 22-Jul-11 15:27:20

send her a message:

"I feel awful about this, but X managed to break my cat flap earlier, accidentally of course. I have had a good look and it isn't fixable and will need to be replaced. I wouldn't ask but as you know we are very short of money at the moment - would you be prepared to contribute something for the replacement?"

JosieRosie Fri 22-Jul-11 15:28:42

No advice I'm afraid OP, but you have every right to be supremely hacked off about this. Your friend has behaved very badly and set a rubbish example for her son too. Only you know how she would respond if you challenged her on it. I suspect if she was too cowardly to explain to you what happened, she's much much of a 'take responsibility' type.

TheOriginalFAB Fri 22-Jul-11 15:29:45

I get why you are pissed off but you have to decide whether your annoyance about her actions is worth losing the friendship when you tell her you couldn't fix the cat flap and when would she be able to give you the £20 for a replacement. The when and a is very important. Definitely not if or the.

Or else you value the friendship more and say nothing. It is hardly setting a precedent when it has been one thing.

I was miffed when a friend's son broke a toy that my ds1 had only had for 2 days but it was still playable so I let it go but later did try and mention it and it was excruciating.

JosieRosie Fri 22-Jul-11 15:29:56

Sorry, not much of a 'take responsibility' type blush

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 22-Jul-11 15:43:03

All you can do is wait until a future assembly of the group and hope that someone will mention the word 'broke' or 'broken' or 'fix' or similar, and then jump in with 'that reminds me of when dear little X broke my cat-flap, they just don't know their own strength at that age, do they (make eye contact with offender's dm), it cost me £20 to replace it, hahaha, hohoho, which actually isn't very funny because we're absolutely strapped for cash but had to get it fixed immediately because rain/rodents or other nasties can get in/puss will be hosting open door parties all night blah, blah'.

With luck this might spur her to offer to stump up but there's no guarantee because some people don't have courteous or considerate genes.

StayingNearlyHeadlessNicksGirl Fri 22-Jul-11 16:13:21

I would go with saidthespider's message - far better to be direct, imo. And yes, if someone breaks something, they, or their parent should at least offer to pay for the replacement, even if you decide to refuse the offer.

MoonGirl1981 Fri 22-Jul-11 17:19:41

Go with the above text.

And don't invite them round again. He'll end up braking the new one too, now that he knows he's 'allowed' to.

Or brake something else instead!!

It is a shame. I had a friend's who's seven year old would chuck his plate of food on the floor if he didn't want to finish it as he knew he wouldn't be made to eat food from the floor. He does this every mealtime, regardless of the fact that I couldn't care less if he finished his dinner or not. They no longer come round. Not even for coffee.

blondieminx Fri 22-Jul-11 17:23:16

Thanks everyone, I am grateful. Have good weekends! smile

Quinquagesima Fri 22-Jul-11 17:24:53

Grrrrrrr to such parents. When Ds was a toddler, he broke another child's toy. I went to ELC the following day, and bought them a replacement. 'Tis the only civilised thing to do.

Esta3GG Fri 22-Jul-11 17:31:27

If your child breaks something then you should offer to replace it. Obviously.
But it is only a cat flap not a priceless family heirloom so I would be inclined to forget about it.

TheSkiingGardener Fri 22-Jul-11 17:34:29

I had a friend and her son round. They Rome a toy and my friend tucked the broken part in her pocket so I wouldn't notice. Fortunately I noticed it was broken and started looking for the part. When I left the room her DS apparently "showed Mum where he had hidden it". I saw her take it out if her pocket FFS!

TheSkiingGardener Fri 22-Jul-11 17:35:21

Rome? Sorry, broke.

youarekidding Fri 22-Jul-11 17:35:29

yanbu. I think she should have checked it was fixable and then offered a replacement.

The passive agressive route would be next time she suggests meeting telling her you can't afford it as have had to replace the cat flap.

Or, just tell her. <I'm a wuss though so would probably take the above stance> blush

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 22-Jul-11 17:35:44

Blimey it's difficult, isn't it? You have to be 'direct' but it's really uncomfortable to do that. I'd go along with Spider's message too, it's to the point but not at all abrupt. Good luck!

AitchGee Fri 22-Jul-11 17:40:30

There's often a silver lining to every dark cloud. It'll make life easier for your moggy.

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 22-Jul-11 17:44:50

I would be pissed off. Why don't people actually stop their children doing things that will result in disaster instead of just sitting there gawping?

I was sitting in the hospital today waiting for an appointment and watching a kid arse about with the water cooler (which had a big sign on it saying children not allowed to touch). He messed and messed while his mother just kept saying stop, stop you'll break it, every 5 minutes. Eventually of course he snapped one of the taps off and spilt two cups of water all over the carpet. Why tf didn't she get up off her arse and haul him away? Argh!

YellowDinosaur Fri 22-Jul-11 17:51:07

Of course she should offer to replace it. Actually what she REALLY should have done is apologise when it happened. To be honest I think if a friend apologised I would decline any offer to replace it but the fact that she is so inconsiderate that she can't even say sorry (or make her ds say sorry if he is old enough) would make me even more likely to want her to replace it.

I'd go with spiders text message myself. Her attitude would actually affect how I thought of her if I didn't say anything and she never offered to replace it so the risk of being upfront affecting your friendship would be negligable imho. And if she has a strop / lets it affect your friendship then this is her choice and she wasn't much of a friend in the first place was she?

AitchGee Fri 22-Jul-11 18:32:53

"I was sitting in the hospital today waiting for an appointment and watching a kid arse about with the water cooler (which had a big sign on it saying children not allowed to touch). He messed and messed while his mother just kept saying stop, stop you'll break it, every 5 minutes. Eventually of course he snapped one of the taps off and spilt two cups of water all over the carpet. Why tf didn't she get up off her arse and haul him away? Argh!"

The last place in this world one should manhandle a child in, is a hospital !!!! The arses nurses in the NHS just love to identify child abuse in their young patients

YellowDinosaur Fri 22-Jul-11 18:36:10

Aitch it is entirely possible to remove your child from a situation where breaking something is inevitable and for it to be totally distinguishable from child abuse.

FFS. I'd say that is EXACTLY the situation where it should be enforced - the NHS is in enough financial trouble without having to replace broken items that are broken because the childs parents are too lazy / liberal to say no or put a stop to it

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 22-Jul-11 18:37:05

grin Well, at least she could have done what the mother with the screaming, pushchair-bound toddler did, which was yell "Now stop it. I don't want to be here any more than you do!"

Every person in the place nodded sagely grin

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