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to think my DD was not being unreasonable to not want to sit at the 'childrens table'?

(115 Posts)
500DaysofAutumn Mon 14-Jan-13 19:16:41

It was my mums 80th birthday over the weekend so we had a lunch out with all the family.

We weren't however all sat on one large table - we were in a separate room with three long tables each pushed against a wall and there was seating for 8 people on each.

My brother had done the seating plan. My DD who is 20 was sat with her 5 year and two 7 year old cousins. Two of the younger children are my brothers and he was sat on a completely different table to them.

My DD never said anything at the time, but in the car home I think she felt humiliated at being placed on the childrens table and she didn't really enjoy herself. I love my nieces and nephew but at that age it's not exactly stimulating conversation.

It also wasn't a set menu so it was ultimately left to my DD to help them chose what to eat - she doesn't have a clue about what their eating habits are and what they like or dislike and to also watch over them whilst they ate.

(They are all fantastic children, but when they are together can get a little silly and over excited as most children do)

She was thankfully sat with her other cousin who is 14 but those immediately next to her and in front of her with the youngest in the family.

I was impressed with her as she never complained about it until we were in the car leaving. She is 20 and therefore not a child and in my opinion shouldn't have been made to sit at the childrens table either.


RuleBritannia Tue 15-Jan-13 20:30:16

Am I out of date? Why were all the smaller children not sitting with their own parents? That would have spread the ages around. With the grandmother being 80, was there a pecking order of who sat where? For instance, all the grandmother's own children sat close to her, then the next generation a bit further away and so on?

foreverondiet Tue 15-Jan-13 20:00:35

It's hard; when I was 18 I went to a family wedding - I hadn't wanted to go but my parents insisted. When I got there I found I was on the kids tables and the next oldest cousin was about 12 with most being very little. It was awful. You should have said something, totally not fair at that age.

fraggle500 Tue 15-Jan-13 19:21:59

Gosh, I really admire your daughters dignity in her handling of the situation. Something similar happened to me when I was 21 and engaged to my then fiancé . Big family meal and my mother put me on the children's table and my fiancé with the "grown ups" !!!
I didn't act very grown up to my shame........and still feel foolish and embarrassed many years on. :-(

Jollyb Tue 15-Jan-13 18:49:03

We had this at a friend's wedding - ended up on a table with the young cousins. Wasn't best amused. Will be payback time at our wedding . . . wink

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 15-Jan-13 18:38:52

As an aside to the discussion about the DB getting free child care, Who was paying for the meal?

Its bad enough that the DB abandoned his children to the Op's DD but its even worse if the DD is paying for her own meal.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 15-Jan-13 16:11:20

Why does everyone have to sit in the same place for the whole 3 courses? Isn't it better to switch after each course to circulate, spread the childminding and make sure everyone gets a chance to mingle?

I can't speak for others, but I am not condemning the brother for choosing the adult table. What I am condemning him for is for leaving his children to be looked after by other guests (it is irrelevant whether it was the OP's dd, or the Op and her dd or anyone else)!

He seated himself (and his dp, I assume) at a different table to his young children, so other guests hadto look after them. He didn't ask if the OP's dd minded looking after his children - he just did what suited him. That was presumptuous and unacceptable, IMO.

TotallyBS Tue 15-Jan-13 13:52:52

The OP could have swapped seats with the couple and sat with her DD but she didn't. Isn't it a bit silly for others to condemn the brother for choosing the adult table?

I think that the fact that it wasn't a childrens' table as such, is irrelevant, to be honest. What is relevant is that 500DaysofAutumn's dd was seated with someone else's children, and ended up having to look after them, whilst the parents were seated elsewhere.

When the boys were little, we took them to some similar occasions - wedding receptions etc - and we always sat with them and looked after them ourselves. I wouldn't have expected someone else - especially someone who didn't know them well - to look after them.

The OP's brother should have asked her dd in advance if she was willing to sit with his children and look after them - but fwiw, because he just took it for granted that she wouldn't mind, I think her dd should submit an invoice to her brother for her babysitting services!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 15-Jan-13 13:07:45

A kids table is fun. The OP's DD wasn't sat there for the fun option it would appear, she was used as a free babysitter though as she was choosing food options for the other children, the parents of those children should've been supervising their own children's choices not side-stepping the care to someone else.

MrsMelons Tue 15-Jan-13 12:36:28

I would have been embarrassed to be on the kids table at 20. I was nearly married at that age and was buying a house.

I do agree the children's table is fun but for children. I think she should have been asked first as she is an adult and fine if she was ok with it.

StitchAteMySleep Tue 15-Jan-13 11:09:27

Yanbu - she was being used as child care, parents should sit next to their own kids.

TotallyBS Tue 15-Jan-13 11:04:14

DeWe - nice to see that others regard the children table as the 'fun' table smile

Jins Tue 15-Jan-13 11:03:41

I'm banned from the kids table now since the burping competition I invented sad

DeWe Tue 15-Jan-13 11:01:17

At my grandparent's Golden Wedding anniversary, I chose to sit at the children's table. It was much more fun than sitting with the grown ups. I was 20, my cousins were 2, 4, 7 and 9. We had a great time together, and I think the conversation of that age is very stimulating-you never know what they're going to say next.
I pitied my dsis who had to sit on the adult table because there wasn't enough room for her too.

It's certainly more than possible that the brother didn't do it maliciously. perhaps his dc asked to sit with their cousin, or he thought they would like to be together.

If it had been my dc bothered about being on the children's table, then I'd offer to swap with them.

AThingInYourLife Tue 15-Jan-13 10:54:24

I quite like seating plans.

It appeals to my obedient swot side to sit where I'm told.

TotallyBS Tue 15-Jan-13 10:54:19

To all those going shock at the idea of a children's table, you must be a lot more cool than us. I mean, my kids love being on the kids table, far away from talk about the state of the NHS, the rising cost of the average shop and miscellaneous work chat

AppearingDignified Tue 15-Jan-13 10:47:04

Except, we didn't do a seating plan for a wedding party for my ILs friends (we had eloped --to try to avoid doing a party for IL's friends--) and it was a disaster. No-one knew where to sit and they sat in family groups, no-one wanted to 'impose on us' so we had a space either end of the table we were on. My MIL was very confused, and it retrospect, she had been right. Sometimes, it takes the pressure off guests about what the right thing to do, by giving them specific places to park their bums.

JenaiMorris Tue 15-Jan-13 10:45:22

IME the children tend to gravitate towards each other at our family things, and sit toegther regardless. They like each other's company.

They like grown ups' company too, but given a choice like to spend the bulk of their time toegther.

Hullygully Tue 15-Jan-13 10:41:41

I agree badtaste, the only people who like seating plans are the ones drawing them up and pleasing themselves...

badtasteflump Tue 15-Jan-13 10:36:52

Why does anyone ever need to do a seating plan anyway? We didn't even do one for our wedding, so to me the idea of a seating plan for a meal out is a bit confused. I really wouldn't give a monkeys where people choose to sit - let everyone just sit where they want to FFS!

DamnBamboo Tue 15-Jan-13 10:30:35

gargantuan task of telling people where to sit in a restaurant?


Ok then!

AThingInYourLife Tue 15-Jan-13 10:28:44

This crappy host put all the children on a table away from their parents (him) and with the other young members of the family and stuck another adult couple on too.

That is appalling seat planning.

If you aren't having a children's table, the children should not be all sitting together and they should be near their parents.

badtasteflump Tue 15-Jan-13 10:25:34

I don't get the 'childrens table' thing. Why can't families just sit together? Then parents are responsible for their own children and can't just get selective deafness the more pissed they get. Children are people too and I find when they are allowed to join in with the adults they llenjoy it and are usually lovely - they don't need to be partitioned off confused

Grapesoda Tue 15-Jan-13 10:22:12

Sorry, x posted.

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