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chidren's party: judgy pants pulled up so high I've got a wedgy!

(73 Posts)
tittybangbang Sat 24-Sep-11 17:40:27

6th birthday party. 25 (ish) children present of all ages from 1 to 14. 5 adults including me, though three hardly moved out of the kitchen. 4 of the children have autism, my son included (he has aspergers). Party held on a housing estate in london - house near the end of a cul de sac containing approximately 60 properties, so not a quiet little back water.

Arrived to find a dozen children (almost all under 8) playing on bikes in the road outside the house, all adults inside. Back door open, front door open, side passage gate open, so children are free to come and go as they please. Children on bikes tearing up and down, no helmets on. On and off pavements and regularly disappearing from view into a small car park at the end of the cul de sac. The two babies tottered around between the bikes.

I ended up spending a lot of the party standing outside shouting at the children not to go too far down the road, sorting out squabbles over the bikes, and ordering the kids off the road as cars drove down it. I'd go indoors for a minute leaving another adult standing there, but come back to find the kids unsupervised again. There was no discussion among the adults as to whether an adult should be outside supervising.

Was amazed that three of my friends left their kids there unsupervised and buggered off. The family hosting the party are really, really lovely, but very young, lots of children and very relaxed about everything. Relaxed in a good way I would have said, up to today. Ie, very attentive, patient and loving at all times with their children. But today I felt very anxious about all the kids - thought it was a bit mad to have them all out in the road.

So mn jury, AIBU to not want to leave my kids (12, 8, 6) there unsupervised and to hover over them and all the other children during the party?

MediumPretty Sat 24-Sep-11 17:43:14

YABU. Sounds like everyone - kids and adults - had a great time.

Except you.

Shutupanddrive Sat 24-Sep-11 17:43:51

YANBU I wouldn't leave my child there unsupervised, they are lucky that someone nice like you were there to look after them. Did you speak to the other adults about it? What did they say?

ChooChooWowWow Sat 24-Sep-11 17:44:07


usualsuspect Sat 24-Sep-11 17:44:48

Sounds like the kids had a lot of fun


AnnieLobeseder Sat 24-Sep-11 17:47:06

Not sure about a bike-riding birthday party. I'd find it odd, but I'd not make judgements about it. If it's a quiet cul-de-sac, why shouldn't the kids be riding bikes around unsupervised though?

Tee2072 Sat 24-Sep-11 17:47:58


Too bad everyone enjoyed the party except you.

Someonesnotinbed Sat 24-Sep-11 17:48:50

YABU, are you not aware that eg a 9 yr old is perfectly able to keep an eye on a 6 yr old when an adult is 10 seconds away?

Catsmamma Sat 24-Sep-11 17:48:58

You sound like my aunt, who had to be told to leave the children to their own devices at a family wedding.


tittybangbang Sat 24-Sep-11 17:51:04

"9 yr old is perfectly able to keep an eye on a 6 yr old when an adult is 10 seconds away?"

And also keep an eye on a 12 month old and a 5 year old with complex communication problems? In a car park? With cars driving up and down the road?

Dinosaurhunter Sat 24-Sep-11 17:51:12


TheRealMBJ Sat 24-Sep-11 17:53:10


pigletmania Sat 24-Sep-11 17:53:30

You hover over your 12 year old, is he the one with Autism btw!

tittybangbang Sat 24-Sep-11 17:53:39

It wasn't that quiet. In the last half hour of the party I'd say a dozen cars drove right down to the end of the road and back again. And there was some really shitty driving from a couple of people who were pissed off about there being so many kids in the road. Driving right up behind them, driving too fast.

troisgarcons Sat 24-Sep-11 17:54:23

So mn jury, AIBU to not want to leave my kids (12, 8, 6) there unsupervised and to hover over them and all the other children during the party?

I think you are barking mad to have stayed ..... I have never been to a partry where anyone stayed after reception class age ~ jeez! its a gratis 2 hours to yourself! It's known as the 'dump and run' round these parts!!!! Well, the only parents to stay are the helicopter bubble wrappers and the nosey gossips!

tittybangbang Sat 24-Sep-11 17:55:51

"You hover over your 12 year old, is he the one with Autism btw!"

No - my 12 year old dd is allowed to go out unsupervised for half a day, as long as I know where she's going and who she's with.

My 6 year old has autism. I stayed because I was uneasy about leaving him playing on the road without an adult present.

Feminine Sat 24-Sep-11 17:56:07

I don't think YABU.

Things can happen in the situation you describe.

It sounded like chaos ...

borderslass Sat 24-Sep-11 17:58:14

I can see it from both sides DS is 17 [ASD] and has only just started going out alone but both DD's where out and about themselves at 5, you do what you feel comfortable with. smile

SecretSquirrels Sat 24-Sep-11 17:58:36

I squirm at the memory of a similar party for a 7 year old. Adults indoors chatting. Kids outside on a bouncy castle. Mine were 5 and 7 and I hung about outside all afternoon,feeling somehow responsible for them all. Then after the tea they were all given lollipops and sent back out to bounce, again unsupervised.
I took all the lollies off them.
The parent never spoke to me again.

bringbacksideburns Sat 24-Sep-11 17:58:38

No YANBU because you said the children were under 8 and they were in the road. This isn't a soft play area or in a building with a door locked or even an enclosed playground. Shame you were the one who had to keep supervising it though!

tittybangbang Sat 24-Sep-11 17:59:27

Finding these responses v. interesting.

I'd definitely not describe myself as a hoverer - though I'm not happy about leaving my autistic 6 year old with people who don't know him well, particularly older children who may not understand why he says and does the things he does (he's not aggressive but he can say stupid and tactless things which wind people up).

My 12 yr old and 8 yr old are very sensible, and can usually be trusted not only not to do anything stupid or to wander off.

LineRunner Sat 24-Sep-11 18:01:42

I can see where you are coming from, OP, actually.

I will step into the Wrong Cart with you as we are paraded through the streets of shame! grin

vogonmothership Sat 24-Sep-11 18:02:44

YANBU makes me anxious thinking about it

ballstoit Sat 24-Sep-11 18:02:49


The only children you were responsible for were your own...if you didnt feel they were safe with the activity, you either up supervise yourself or go home. You chose the first.

Hovering around any other children was completely your choice, if you didnt want to do it, why did you?

floosiemcwoosie Sat 24-Sep-11 18:02:52

no i dont think you are being unreasonable, i wouldnt have left ds either

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