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To still feel guilty about ruining this little girl's evening?

(199 Posts)
DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 10:49:40

DD (4.11) was at a Christmas party yesterday. Parents were asked to step inside for the last ten minutes to watch the kids perform some carols.

When i went inside, dd jumped up from her chair in excitement to see me. I hurriedly told her to sit back down. She went to do so, but then started crying. Apparantly the child beside her had taken her chair.

I said just sit on the other one then. But dd wasn't having it. She was adamant that was the 'wrong' chair, and the child had jumped into hers while dd had ran over to me.

While dd was crying and telling the little girl that's her chair, the teacher was trying to carry on with the carols.

The other child's mum started getting angry, telling dd that was actually her child's chair and she should sit on the other one.

Dd was still insisting the little girl should move. All the while, I'm trying to calm dd down and get her to sit on the other damn chair, as she was causing a scene. I threatened to take her outside, but this didn't work either. Just as i was about to basically drag her out, the other child starts crying. Her mum goes mad, jumps out of the audience, swoops her daughter up from the chair, and storms out, shouting "Fucking ridiculous. Forget it. Just forget it."

The poor teacher was trying to carry on as normal. She quietly called after the mum, "sorry about that."

I got dd to sit on the other chair (the 'wrong' one). I sat beside her on the one that was apparantly 'stolen' from her. She was sitting on the edge of it, clearly wanting the one i was on. But i couldn't let her have it because all the other parents were looking at me and it would have looked as if I was just pandering to her.

Anyway, carols finished. And teacher gave out presents. She called out the other child's name. Her mum must have been standing just outside the door, because she came back in for the present upon hearing her child's name, saying that her daughter's birthday (had no idea it was her birthday!) had been ruined thanks to 'that spoilt brat'.

I was completely numb at this point, mortified and felt so weak. All I could focus on was keeping dd calm as i didn't want things to escalate. Everyone was muttering in the audience and tutting.

Afterwards, everyone cleared out the hall. I stayed behind to talk to dd, and explain why she was in the wrong and must come with me to apologise. Just then the teacher came over. I burst into tears. DD was so confused, asking what's wrong.

I apologise to the teacher, explaining that dd's autism just makes her very particular/stubborn about things, and asked if she could take me and dd to the parent so we could say sorry. The teacher was lovely and gave me a big hug and said not to worry. And that she'll apolgise to the mum on my behalf, instead of me going to her myself. The mum - none of the mums - know my dd has autism, but the teacher said she'd inform the mum though (with my permission) to explain to her why dd acted the way she did.

I told dd off when we got home, but it didn't register with her at all.

Wow! Sorry for the epic novel. Basically, AIBU for still feeling so guilty? I need to grow a pair, me thinks. She's probably forgotten all about it. But my friend thinks i deserve to feel this guilty. I - well DD - effectively ruined a little girl's 6th birthday, and her Christmas party all at once.

CecyHall Tue 11-Dec-12 11:04:06

You tried to diffuse the situation, the other mother ignited it more than necessary.

You are feeling guilty because you are a nice person but there is no need to. I can't imagine her child has never got a bee in their bonnet about something, kids do, but her outburst was unnecessary and inappropriate.

SavoyCabbage Tue 11-Dec-12 11:04:53

A couple of years ago my friends son who is autistic had a meltdown on the stage at the school play. He was seven. It was hideous and it was at a theatre as its a big school and it was being filmed and people bought the DVDs. Afterwards my friend had a massive argument in front of about 200 people with the class teacher as my friend felt that the teacher had caused the problem for a number of reasons.

Obviously it was a big deal at the time but by the next year we were all laughing about it and by the year after that it was forgotten by us all.

HormonalHousewife Tue 11-Dec-12 11:08:29

I think the other mums behaviour was by FAR the worst behaviour in the room. Totally childish and inappropriate.

The teacher sounds lovely. Focus on how kind she was to you rather than how nasty that woman was.

blackeyedsusan Tue 11-Dec-12 11:08:37

the other girl missed out because her mother had a strop and took her out.

5dcsandallthelittlesantahats Tue 11-Dec-12 11:11:04

the other mum over reacted. She should have just plonked her child in a spare chair surely.

DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 11:15:29

Aw thanks again, everyone.

Unfortunately the club's now on a break until mid-Jan, so I'm not going to see the mum for over a month! Think it would be easier if could just see her face to face next week to clear the air.

It'll be dd's birthday on the night they return too and I think it would be a bit of a cheek if i took in a cake or anything, since it was the other girl's bday yesterday and dd upset her.

She was such a little thing, and she looked terrified. My dd can be soo stubborn. I honestly see no reason why that other child would decide to slip into to the chair beside her. And her mum was certain that my dd was just confused.

I really should let this go. Dd forgot about it within five minutes last night. Wish I had her conscience.

ImperialSantaKnickers Tue 11-Dec-12 11:18:01

My dsis has found her life is much easier and she feels less 'judged' now that she's told most of the people who have regular contact with dnephew about his ASD.

And the other mother sounds like a stroppy cah!

SamSmalaidh Tue 11-Dec-12 11:20:44

The other mum overreacted, but also you should have taken your DD out to calm her down. 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

Tailtwister Tue 11-Dec-12 11:21:01

The other mother really over reacted. Apart from that, she swore in front of other people's children as well as her own. She spoilt her child's birthday by causing a scene where there was no need. She made comments and inflamed the situation, making the children more fraught in the process. If I had been in the audience, it would have been her I was tutting at, not you.

Sorry you had such an awful time OP. It really is a nightmare when DC play up. Believe me, we have all been there, even though you feel it's just you at the time!

OHforDUCKSchristmasCake Tue 11-Dec-12 11:21:10

Your 'friend' told you deserve to feel guilty?

She is no friend.

DowntonNappy Tue 11-Dec-12 11:24:25

I was basically telling my friend about it this morning, and I said 'Ah well, i suppose i need to try and forget about it rather than holding a grudge against dd".

Friend gave me a look and said if dd was her daughter, she wouldn't be getting off so lightly, and if she was me, she'd still feel terrible. She even suggested i send her a Christmas present (which i can't do as i don't know her address).

SantaWearsGreen Tue 11-Dec-12 11:27:38

The mum should have got her dd to move chairs, not the other way around. Yanbu, she was and she overreacted.

Thumbwitch Tue 11-Dec-12 11:29:35

I can't believe the way that other mum reacted. She is the one who caused the upset, not you, not really. She caused her own DD to miss out by stropping off with her - tbh, if it had been me, and your DD was having a tantrum about the chair, I'd have probably said "let her have it" and got my child onto my lap or something. Anything to have helped calm the situation down, not inflame it further!

Please let it go - your DD couldn't help herself, you did the best you could at the time (although possibly taking her out would have been better, with hindsight) and this woman freaked out unnecessarily.

squeakytoy Tue 11-Dec-12 11:29:41

I do think that it may be more helpful in the long term if other parents are aware that your child has SN and is not just "being a brat". It would help them be more understanding, and also easier to explain to their own children too. It is nothing to be ashamed of and surely much better than people just thinking your child is naughty.

sue52 Tue 11-Dec-12 11:30:38

The other mother should never have used that language. Don't let it upset you and there is no need to feel guilty. Your friend should learn to be a bit more supportive and less judgemental.

BarceyDussell Tue 11-Dec-12 11:34:05

The only spoilt brat in the room was the other Mum!

What an idiot, she should be ashamed of her own behaviour, no one else should.

Santaslittlemisshelper Tue 11-Dec-12 11:35:57

Please don't feel guilty, the other mum was out of order and totally overreacted, they are only 4 anyway so even if your daughter wasn't autistic it's the sort of thing they do at that age anyway.

I think the other parents were probably more horrified by the other mother, not you. At least you dealt with it calmly, and didn't swear in front of everyone!

Floggingmolly Tue 11-Dec-12 11:36:16

You seem fairly sure that the chair wasn't the one your dd had been sitting in?
If so, you can kind of see the other mum's point, can't you, when your dd loudly demanded her chair and you refused to intervene in case your dd would "miss out"?

BarceyDussell Tue 11-Dec-12 11:36:49

Yes, and what thumbwitch said. I would have given your DD a big smile, let her have the chair and moved my DD onto my lap. Specially if my DD was 6 as this other girl was and probably capable of sitting nicely and having it explained to her afterwards.

bryonywhisker Tue 11-Dec-12 11:37:22

You sound lovely, teacher sounds lovely, dd sounds like a normal 4 year old with or without autism.Other mum behaved like a spoilt brat and needs to wash her mouth out.
Tuck into a selection box, draw a line under it and have a lovely Christmas grin

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Tue 11-Dec-12 11:38:51

I was in a similar position when I was that age over a fairy costume for our play. The other fairy got there first and told the helpers that my dress was hers (mine had sequins and sparkly bits on hers didn't). I arrived only to be given the unsparkly one and nobody took my complaint seriously. I was devasted and felt robbed, so much so that I still remember it now nearly 40 years later.

I really feel for your daughter. She didn't do anything wrong. As a fellow autist, I can imagine she felt the same as me. Her chair had been taken, the other girl was in the wrong, everything is black and white, she was right, she knew she was right and her brain cannot process the adjustment to doing things differently that others were expecting of her. Poor little mite. sad

pigletmania Tue 11-Dec-12 11:39:54

Your friend sounds hmm. Dint you feel guilty you have nothing to be ashamed of

Lancelottie Tue 11-Dec-12 11:39:59

Downton, (parent of a child with ASD here) I can guarantee that your friend is talking bollocks.

As you know.

Why on earth would you personally want to be hard on your child for their disability? Why should you discriminate against them and try to make them miserable, when you know they won't gain anything from that??

And I think you should send Other Mother a card saying 'Don't Fucking Swear at the Carol Concert' You Fucker

Your child's teacher sounds lovely btw.

shinyrobot Tue 11-Dec-12 11:40:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lancelottie Tue 11-Dec-12 11:41:05

Errm, the crossy-out bit was at her not you.

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