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... not to want DD (age 4) to have a sleepover?

(28 Posts)
vvviola Mon 08-Aug-11 08:05:51

DD is currently staying (in a different country) with my parents. We are hugely grateful for this - DC2 is due at any moment, and we don't have close friends/family here to be on call when I go into labour. Rather than my parents coming over and staying for weeks, they offered to take her back to my home country for a couple of weeks until the baby arrives.

DD is having a ball. She adores my parents, knows their house nearly as well as our own and is extremely close to my parents. I have absolutely no (rational) concerns about her being there.

Last night I got a text from my mother saying that they had arranged for her to have a sleepover this evening at my cousin's house (cousin has 3 young DC, one slightly older than DD, one the same age and a baby). I love my cousin, I've no (real) concerns about her parenting - although with 3 under 6, her house is a little more chaotic than DD would be used to. But I really don't want DD going for a sleepover there. I don't want her staying anywhere other than my parents house - I'm finding it very hard not having her around at the moment, and it's only that she's with my parents that I'm ok with it. (I am also terrified of the trampoline/seesaw/swings at cousin's house as DD isn't used to playing on them and has no sense of danger at all... but I accept that's completely irrational and more because I know if something terrible happened and DD was in hospital, at this stage of my pregnancy I wouldn't be able to just jump on the plane to be with her)

So, I told my parents that I wasn't happy with the idea of a sleepover. Dad got quite grumpy with me, said that cousin was family, and it was different (I'd vetoed a sleepover with friends earlier in the week). I maintain that DD is 4 and it's far too young to be having sleepovers anywhere other than my parents house. I ended up hanging up the phone in floods of tears. Eventually spoke to my Mum who seemed to understand a bit better (although the dynamic in my family is that Mum is the one who makes arrangements/suggestions - so the sleepover would have been her idea) and has cancelled the sleepover... while making pointed remarks that DD will be devestated.

I didn't sleep last night and was very upset most of the night (but I will allow that it was probably a late pregnancy over-reaction to be quite so upset about the whole thing.

AIBU in thinking that a) 4 is too young to have a sleepover in a house you've only been to 5 or 6 times - or, really, at all (b) they shouldn't have said anything to DD until we'd agreed to it, (c) my Dad shouldn't be getting grumpy with me over a parenting decision we have made?

Bonsoir Mon 08-Aug-11 08:09:03

I think your mother should definitely have checked with you before suggesting the sleepover idea to your DD.

However, given that she didn't, and your DD is keen to go, you should probably let her! Your DD sounds very grown up and independent, and that is to be encouraged (and you must be bringing her up very well!).

gailpottertilsleyplatt Mon 08-Aug-11 08:11:50


but you'll all get over it as you are obviously very close.

Best wishes with your pregnancy

EricNorthmansMistressOfPotions Mon 08-Aug-11 08:12:20

it's more than fine for her to stay at her cousins' house at age 4 (or 3, or two) and she's being well looked after. I'm not going to chew you out for being precious because you are very pregnant and emotional and whatnot, but YABU. You should call your parents and apologise.

Claw3 Mon 08-Aug-11 08:13:58

Sorry i think you are being a bit unreasonable. Having other children to play with, sounds like any 4 year old would have loved it.

a) i dont think 4 is too young to sleepover with family.

b) they should have got your agreement, before telling your dd.

c) I can understand why your dad might have got a bit grump, you trust him to look after your dd, but then dont trust his judgment.

hellhasnofury Mon 08-Aug-11 08:16:29

I can't see the problem of a sleepover at a cousin's house. The parenting standards might be different to yours but unless they're negligent I think most kids are robust enough to have fun. I can imagine that your parents maybe were in need of a bit of a break? My DD would've loved it at 4, she was more than happy to have that degree of independence. DS, on the other hand was a different matter. He wouldn't have been happy and I would not have forced him to stay. If she'd have been unhappy during the night would your parents have picked her up?

mummyosaurus Mon 08-Aug-11 08:16:42

I agree your mum should have checked with you first.

Do you think maybe your parents needs a break? 4 Year olds are very hard work and they are being very helpful looking after her. Lots of GPs wouldn't do that.

I really do think your DD will be fine at your cousins. You realise you will have to leave her to her own devices a little bit more once you have the baby I am sure.

It must be very hard being so far away from her and being pregnant as well, hope all goes smoothly for you now.

exoticfruits Mon 08-Aug-11 08:16:56

YABU -she will love it with chaos and other young DCs. I expect that your hormones are all over the place with the floods of tears. Do you really think that your parents would let their much loved granddaughter stay somewhere unsuitable?!

exoticfruits Mon 08-Aug-11 08:18:12

I think that main problem is that you don't want her away from you in the first place but if she is just with your parents you feel in control.

exoticfruits Mon 08-Aug-11 08:19:30

I expect that your parents want a short break to recharge their batteries.

pinkyp Mon 08-Aug-11 08:19:40

I think 4 is ok to stay with family, if ur ok with her being in a different country then what Is one night at your cousins?

Yabu - prob due to pregnancy.

Mitmoo Mon 08-Aug-11 08:24:09

Your parents probably need a break. You've let them take her abroad, you trust them, trust them on this too.

vanimal Mon 08-Aug-11 08:32:18

YABU - my DD is also 4, the first time she slept over (at my SILs), I hated it, but the worry was not at all justified. She had a ball. Your parents would not be sending her if they had any concerns about her care there.

Your cousin is family, I think it would be different if she were staying over with someone you don't know.

She will be fine, try not to worry too much.

Lotkinsgonecurly Mon 08-Aug-11 08:39:56

Let her go, am sure your parents thought she'd have a wonderful time with the cousin and family. Also maybe your parents need or want a break?

If dd is happy to go then let her, its not as if she's going to be able to do it weekly once she's back with you in a different country. Imagine how much she'll have to talk to you about once she's back at home. And good luck with the baby its hormones I think grin

annieversaire Mon 08-Aug-11 08:43:43

Oh I'm sorry OP but I do think she will be fine. Is there any way you can bring yourself to ring them back and agree to it?

It sounds very highly charged for you, dd being so far away must be really difficult.

But I don't think they have done anything wrong, it sounds like it will be fun and they are probably finding it quite hard work.

halcyondays Mon 08-Aug-11 08:51:21

Wish I had a cousin that could take my dd for a sleepover. Agree that your parents could maybe use the break, having a 4 year old stay for a couple of weeks is a lot for them to take on. It's very good of them to do it and very good of your cousin to offer to take your dd overnight when she has 3 young kids of her own including a baby.

If you trust your cousin and were happy for your dd to be away from you for two weeks in a different country I can't see why there would be a problem with your dd staying at your cousin's.

vvviola Mon 08-Aug-11 08:58:23

Wow. I didn't expect to be so overwhelmingly told IABU!

DD is, to me, a very young 4. She seems quite old for her age because she's very articulate, but when it comes to bedtime/morning routines etc she still strikes me as being very baby-ish.

Is it the fact that it's my cousin that is making everyone think IABU? We've been out of the country since DD was 18 months, and I can probably count on 2 hands the amount of times since then that she has seen my cousin. If it wasn't family, would people think differently?

(I don't want to drip-feed, and was actually leaving it out, but... I hated staying over with this particular cousin as a child. Nothing to do with her, we got on great as kids, I just had this horrible reaction to staying there. But I was regularly forced to "because they were family". I suppose it's possible that it's influencing my opinion on the whole thing)

exoticfruits you could be right about the control thing. I have no problem at all with DD going to spend the day with my cousin's family, in fact, I'd be delighted as she does love the kids and it would give my parents a bit of a break (which I'm sure they need), but maybe I just need to know that whatever else has happened during the day, she's back in 'her' room (my old bedroom) at the end of the day.

sigh. I guess maybe I am being unreasonable. But I just can't bring myself to call back and change the arrangements back. (It was changed to a day playing at my cousins instead)

vvviola Mon 08-Aug-11 09:03:04

hellhasnofury I think the 'picking up' issue is part of it. My cousin lives 30 minutes drive from my parents and I have vivid memories of being told I'd "have to wait until the morning" when I got upset at sleepovers as a child. My parents certainly wouldn't intentionally upset DD, but I'm not 100% confident they'd hop straight in the car if DD was upset (I'm probably being completely unfair to them, to be honest, but pretty much every decision I make at the moment is emotionally charged, and logic has pretty much gone out the window!)

annieversaire Mon 08-Aug-11 09:03:05

A day playing sounds fine.

so no need to worry. I do understand I think, my 4yo is just four and very little, in fact he insists he is still 3. He is still bf so I don't let him have sleepovers without me, I have to stay too, and he doesn't sleep through so I do the waking up to go to him etc.
But also I can't imagine him staying in the next town for several days with my parents - even for one day, he's not used to it. They wouldn't do it anyway grin

Hope you all feel better soon. I'm sure your folks understand with you being so pregnant and so on, it can make you feel very vulnerable and protective, that's Ok, not to be dismissed.

Bubbaluv Mon 08-Aug-11 09:06:25

If it were my boys (2 and 4yo) I would happily send them off to a non-family member so long as I knew they were competent and caring, and especially if I'd known them all my life.
I can def see you being influenced by your childhood memories, but remember that your daughter is more likely to feel she is being given a special treat rather than being shipped off as you felt.

daytoday Mon 08-Aug-11 09:11:25

I think it is utterly fine for you to veto the sleepover. Its just a sleepover - but there is no way I would have let my 4 year olds sleepover. I think its something older children do, for me anyway. I've never taken any notice of those who try to make you feel bad for parenting at your own pace.

I do appreciate they may be needing a break and are looking forward to a night off, in which case they should present it to you as such. Maybe call them back and ask them if this is the case - you'll have a much better converstation.

vvviola Mon 08-Aug-11 09:14:29

You know, bubbaluv, I used to think sleepovers were a special treat too... I used to be really excited at the idea of staying... until about 10 minutes after we went up to bed. blush So my parents would push the idea (maybe thinking 'this time she'll be fine') and it would be a complete disaster, yet again.

I think there's also a bit of karma going on here. I could never understand when friends said "oh, I'd never leave DC overnight somewhere, or go away without them, I'd miss them too much". And now, after a week of DD being away, I just want her back here. Now. I'll certainly understand what they mean now. grin It feels like a repeat of that "mother bear" instinct that took over just after DD was born....

MmeLindor. Mon 08-Aug-11 09:20:09

Why don't you phone your mum and tell her why you are worried?

Say that you know you are being overprotective but you are missing your dd are worried she might be upset at night if neither you nor her grandparents are there.

If you cannot tell her this without crying then email her. Tell her you love and trust your cousin but are worried about your dd.

Maybe even send email to cousin too?

Maryz Mon 08-Aug-11 09:25:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vvviola Mon 08-Aug-11 09:30:43

I think I wasn't 100% clear about the other sleepover. The friend suggested it - my parents mentioned it to me, and I said we weren't happy with the idea... and Mum agreed with me that it wasn't a good idea. That's why Dad kept saying that as it was my cousin it was "different". Whereas I don't see any difference really and had an issue with the idea of a sleepover in general.

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