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AIBU to want to cancel our holiday because of my 2 year olds behaviour?

(31 Posts)
downpipe Thu 25-Aug-11 20:24:07

We've been invited for a long weekend abroad(4 nights) by some old friends whom we have been on holiday with pre-children but now don't see very often as we have moved.They have a DD aged 13 months and my 2 DSs are 2 and 5 months.We would all be staying in the same apartment which is owned by her parents and is luxuriously furnished with lots of lovely things.My 2 year old has been a handful since his brother was born,often scratches other children , pulls their hair, and also runs off and doesn't stop doing things when asked.He is fine in toddler friendly spaces but has a tendency to pick up everything in sight and turn every knob he can find.I'm worried about him damaging our friend's flat and also about him constantly upsetting their daughter( he scratched her twice at a short visit to their house last week).With a baby to look after too, I can't always control him, even with DH around.I am worried that it won't be much of a holiday for anyone and have looked into keeping our flights which are already booked but staying somewhere else, but at the time we are going it is hard to find anything affordable nearby so I am thinking we should just cancel the whole thing.I have raised my concerns with our friends and they said they are not worried at all,and that we will all have to help keep an eye on DS1 and are looking forward to the holiday.I can't help but think they don't realise what toddlers can be like as their DS is not walking yet.AIBU to want to not go?WWYD?

ragged Thu 25-Aug-11 20:27:56

How well do you know the flat? Could it be toddler-proofed at all?
It's not a holiday if it stresses you out so much to try to go at all.

mamas12 Thu 25-Aug-11 20:28:58

I would go and schedule some one on one time with your toddler.
Time together with him might help and also time alone with his dad too.
Don't forget to try to have a day apart from the other family too just so you are not too much for each other.

FabbyChic Thu 25-Aug-11 20:29:16

He sounds like he is insecure since your new one has come along, he is doing it for attention because he no longer has you all to himself.

He will grow out of it but it will take time

In the meantime you cannot live your life around him in so far as not going places because of his behaviour.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Thu 25-Aug-11 20:29:22

So there will be 2 adults - you and your husband - and two children - the toddler and the baby?

It's doable. One of you is on top of the toddler when the other has the baby. If you were on your own with a baby and a toddler then I can see how you might not be able to be sure you'd stop the toddler from scratching etc. You can't just fling the baby down and leap over grin but two adults? It's not a problem, surely?

And you could always talk to your friends, tell them your toddler is going through a phase, probably due to adjusting to the new baby, and is behaving in such and such a way. Even get them on board with dealing with it!

mamas12 Thu 25-Aug-11 20:29:56

Actually I forgot. When youu arrive could you ask the other family if it was possible to remove the more precious items so no one will be worried by that.
Just needs pl;anning

magicmelons Thu 25-Aug-11 20:30:30

YANBU i am surprising myself by saying that but if your stressed it won't be relaxing and could damage your friendship.

FlubbaBubba Thu 25-Aug-11 20:32:04

Ooh I feel for you. I completely understand where you're coming from, but as you've already voiced your concerns to your friends, and they've blindly said it's okay, then I would go for it.

Maybe buy a few 'activity' books/toys for your boy to occupy him when it looks like he's about to test the paintability of the lovely, clean, white walls.

Also, in the meantime, lots of praise for all the nice things he does and do your best to ignore the naughty behaviour, just say no firmly and only give him attention again when he's nice.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Thu 25-Aug-11 20:38:07


You've made your friends aware of your concerns and they've told you it won't be a problem - and I'm sure it won't as there'll be more adults around to keep an eye on ds1 and stop him attacking other dc and wrecking the joint, and to keep an eye on ds2 while you have some quality time with ds1.

Childcare is always easier when the load is spread and, hopefully, you'll also be getting out and about where ds1 can run around and let off steam.

'Abroad' always seems to be more child-friendly than the UK and, as it's only 4 nights and as it's a break with friends you know and trust, you'd BU not to go.

As a sensible precaution, take out holiday insurance just in case ds1 manages to do serious damage to a precious item in the flat.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 25-Aug-11 20:38:36

I stopped going to places I knew would be stressful with DS. He was just SO full on, running, jumping, shouting and bolting grin It wasn't so much that I couldn't manage his behavior, it is just that ALL I did was manage his behavior and frankly it was no fun at all.

DD just wasn't like this and was much happier just chilling out with the grown ups. DS is now a charming and likeable four and a half year old smile

WottingerAndWottingerAreDead Thu 25-Aug-11 21:21:07

OP I am so with you on this one. I've been there, in non-toddler proof situations it can be hell on earth and frankly unless you have this type of child it is quite hard to get your head round just what looking after them in this scenario entails... like Humprey said, you perfectly capable of managing the behaviour it's just that in the five minutes a day left over there's not much time to have a holiday...

For your own peace of mind, is there a room/ cupboard in the flat where the most likely breakable/ knocked flying objects can be moved to? Is the flat in an area where you can be out at 8 for them to burn off steam? Do you have a portable DVD???

downpipe Fri 26-Aug-11 08:41:38

Thanks for all the advice.
Ragged:never been to the flat, we're the first friends they have ever invited,"because we know you will respect my parents' flat." I'm told it has marble floors,cream sofas and lots of ornaments and photos...home from home not holiday rental style.
Humphrey & Wottinger:glad it's not just me and that they grow out of it!There is outside space & swimming pools, but then I'm imagining dirty wet feet on the cream sofal..

youarekidding Fri 26-Aug-11 08:57:49

I feel your pain - my DS at 2yo was like the tazmanian devil caught up in a tornado. Just running everywhere. grin

I think if you can manage pool, lot's of praise there and then an explanation to DS about what's expected of him when inside again, and all adults know, there's enough of you to distract and entertain him. He could have lots of 1:1 time in the pool, be made to feel like the 'big' boy as he's the oldest. All the confidence tricks you can muster. grin

I would be more concerned about the 2 babies making sofas dirty than a 2yo!

I understand your concerns but maybe it will be a positive thing for your DS? He'll see other adults responding to his 'behaviour' the same way you do.

I hope you have a great time, I'm not sure how 'relaxing' it will be but would it be any more relaxing at home?

ragged Fri 26-Aug-11 08:59:12

Are the swimming pools safely fenced off? Can you plan to spend most the daytime hours somewhere outdoors? I dunno, I have a gut feeling against this one, too. Depends how much you need to relax on holiday. So you could go but come home exhausted which sounds pants, really.

We once went to visit a friend & his house was so baby-unproofed that basically we trapped DS (then 8m old) on the sofa for an hour's chat & then had to leave.

SardineQueen Fri 26-Aug-11 09:18:31

We stay at a family flat regularly which is owned by a retired couple so has an assortment of smashable things liberally strewn everywhere.

Routine is that as soon as we get there, all breakables are removed from reachable surfaces and put in kitchen cupboads / out of reach on work surface (no good if you have a climber obviously).

Stair gate across bedroom door to stop night-time escapes and mayhem

If there is a pool you could put a towel down in front of the door to mop up feet as they come in. You could put sheets or something over the sofas.

Buy some new toys to take with. Zero tolerance on them tampering with anything they shouldn't. Firm no, remove, hide, distract.

Is there a telly? DVD player? Something your 2YO likes to watch to distract if things get bad. Ditto favourite books / toys.

Our 2yo is an absolute bloody nightmare so I feel your pain. The thing with where we go is that it is family so if anything got broken / damaged they would be pissed off but understand IYSWIM

porcamiseria Fri 26-Aug-11 09:26:10

yanbu, sometimes its easier to take the path of less resistance, why make new stress! that said, life does have to go on. If you do go, I agree with whoever that said you should try and have some 1-1 time

but I know how you feel, have had 3 holidays with my todller and baby! STRESS!!!!!

SardineQueen Fri 26-Aug-11 09:38:20

I have to say as well I don't think you would be U at all to cancel.

We came back early twice from breaks because it was just too stressful trying to keep on top of DD2.

jasper Fri 26-Aug-11 09:43:40

I wouldn't go

MumblingRagDoll Fri 26-Aug-11 09:57:59

I think you're panicking needlessly. Your friends sound friends little boy is just like yours...only 19months and a totaly handful...he comes here, climbs up everything, presses the buttongs on any computers he can find and carries toast everywhere....he makes a proper mess...I don't care! I just follow him around withmy friend and we try our best together.

That's what mates are for. I have 2 DDs who are messy and hard work but not nearly so busy...but I understand! Go!

ragged Mon 29-Aug-11 13:04:52

Let us know what you decided, OP smile

JustAnother Mon 29-Aug-11 13:13:13

I understand your fears and I would cancel. When my DS was 11 months, we were invited by a childless friend to spend some time in her grandmothers (by then deceased) house in Switzerland. When we arrived the house was like a family museum. There wasn't a single cm without some precious ornament, picture or ceramic pot. We managed to spend 3 days there and only had one breakage, which caused my friend lots of stress. For us it was a horrendous long weekend and it made us realise we couldn't cope with this sort of holidays for many years to come

Loonytoonie Mon 29-Aug-11 13:52:27

I'd go, providing that you're confident that your friends are totally on board. And by that, I mean that they are fully, fully aware of your anxiety on this matter and are able to be extra 'parent' figures and keep a watchful eye on your son. Also, this is only do-able, if you trust them implicitly with your son in the sense that should he try to lash out, then you trust them to not see him in a disapproving light but instead see the situation for what it is (a 2 year old who's been de-railed bu the arrival of a newer baby). And should he kick off in other ways, that you trust them to be able to gently but firmly tell him 'No' (if you're not on hand to do it).

I'd also really want for breakables to be safely hidden away (offer to do it for them).

A good friend of mine's youngest son became a right monkey at the age of 2 and whenever we were together, we dealt with things together. I knew she was on the ball about discipline and she knew that I was extremely fond of him, but happy to follow her lead. I'd often take things (weapons) from him and tell him why he couldn't hurt others, and I'd be happy to do that because I knew she trusted me, and she also knew that I wasn't judging him on his bad behaviour.

Sorry for the essay - but it's still possible for you to go and enjoy, providing that you are all honest and trusting of each other.

tryingtoleave Mon 29-Aug-11 14:10:10

My ds was like this at two and I would not have taken him to stay at a friend. Tbh, I still would be uncomfortable about it now, even though he is five and quite a good little thing, he is still hyper and I would be worried about him destroying stuff by accident or just wearing out my friends' patience. It is awkward as you have already arranged it - you might have to work out whether it would damage the friendship more to go or stay.

We had our first good holiday (skiing) with the dcs since ds was born this year. All the ones before were just hard work.

Whatmeworry Mon 29-Aug-11 14:18:17

We went on holiday with friends when PFB was a 2 yo and DC Newborn was similar age to yours. I'd never do it again

No. Just no.

LIZS Mon 29-Aug-11 14:20:10

Cancelling will probably make you more restenful than it will affect him. Use the trip as an opportunity to take him out of the daily routine and agree with others enjoy some one to one and learn to appreciate him for more than a handful, as an independent and active little boy. It is so easy to lose sight of that when you have a 2nd one but at 2 he is still really a baby who deserves some positive attention. Brief your fiiends that you need to keep your ds busy and could they help out by looking out for the lo's if you need to take him out when it would n't otherwise suit.

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