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AIBU WRT children and adult conversation being interupted?

(64 Posts)
MightTinge Mon 25-Mar-13 14:09:12

Wasnt really sure how to word the OP.

I see a friend, who I love to bits, but I find it difficult to hold her attention to a conversation. I wondered if anyone else did this themselves? Or like me, is on the recieving end of it.

She was fine when our toddlers were babies, but now conversing with her can be rather painful.

Id not seen her in weeks, she knew Id split from my partner so it was one of the first things she asked. I began to tell her, but she'd be constantly tickling and playing with her toddler, blowing raspberries on him, laughing with him, talking to him. As though I wasnt in the room, let alone answering her question.

She'll do it with her eldest too, although its not so bad now her her first DC is no longer a toddler.

Is it a bit rude, or AIBU and this is usual once your a parent?

I have children myself but when someone is talking to me they have my attention. Unless of course child needs a wee or is hurt or something obviously.


PurpleStorm Mon 25-Mar-13 14:13:14

Sounds a bit rude to me.

Provided that the toddler's not in need of immediate attention, that is.

StuntGirl Mon 25-Mar-13 14:13:24

I'd be annoyed with a friend who did this. Although I don't think you can expect her undivided attention while the kids are around either she should have enough sense to know she's behaving rudely.

Frogman Mon 25-Mar-13 14:15:10

YANBU. Really irritating when some mothers behave like this - seems like they have lost all sense and drives me mad.

Same as when some women let their children interrupt them in the middle of adult conversation.

thezebrawearspurple Mon 25-Mar-13 14:15:34

Very rude and irritating, yanbu.

SirChenjin Mon 25-Mar-13 14:16:35

No, she's being rude. Blowing raspberries and tickling her toddler while you're trying to hold a conversation would indicate that there is nothing immediately wrong with her child.

MightTinge Mon 25-Mar-13 14:18:06

It was constant. The whole time I was there. I gave up trying to start (or finish) conversations in the end.

She was seeking him out to play, cuddle, giggle and talk to her DC, not even facing me.

It was really annoying.

More so because she's great company, more of a loss!

jumpingjackhash Mon 25-Mar-13 14:18:16

YANBU I think this is rude. A friend of mine is like this and I've just stopped seeing so much of her, as we never actually got to have a conversation. It's the same on the phone (when she phones me, so it's not just a case of me calling her at an inconvenient time!).

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 14:18:39

Sounds rude.

I do usually let my 2 year old interrupt a little bit when I am with adult friends though as usually he only comes to talk to me to say he has done a poo/is about to do a poo hmm But I wouldn't break off a conversation to tickle him or engage in chat about fire engines.

EarlyInTheMorning Mon 25-Mar-13 14:19:17

That's unbelievably rude.

I also have children but if I am having a conversation with an adult, I totally expect them to respect that and wait their turn to speak. I'm not saying they always do it grin, but the expectation is there.

Equally, I would not turn my attention away to my children when somebody else is talking to me, unless they were in need of something or in danger.

WowOoo Mon 25-Mar-13 14:20:15

I suppose it depends on the child's age and how easily he can entertain himself.

I have a three year old and I know that if I ignore him for too long he'll play up.
But I'd say 'excuse me' or 'I am trying to listen' or something like that.

If there was something important to discuss ( like you had), I'd try to get the children doing something first so that I could give you my undivided attention.

EarlyInTheMorning Mon 25-Mar-13 14:21:34

I guess the issue here is that the person initiating the 'interruption' is the adult not the child. So your friend is being unbelievably unreasonable and rude.

MightTinge Mon 25-Mar-13 14:23:05

She does it on the phone too, yes. I can hear her talking to her children while Im talking.

I dont dominate conversations either, by any stretch although I am aware that this thread may have me appear that way!

OhChristHasRisenFENTON Mon 25-Mar-13 14:24:03

I do find it rude actually - it's one thing if it's a quick bit of attention for the child so that she can then be free to carry on with your conversation but if it's constant that's just irritating.

My sister has always done this with 'phone conversations, - the minute she's on the 'phone one of the children suddenly wants her attention and rather than teach them not to interrupt and wait, she will talk to them and deal with whatever they want while I'm hanging on the 'phone, - drives me bonkers.

They are all in their late teens/twenties now and they still do it grin

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 25-Mar-13 14:25:48

I have friends like this. We'll meet up with the kids and one of them will ask how work is going (for instance). I start to answer, then friend 1 will turn to one of her pre-school DC and start talking to them and friend 2 will be constantly checking her phone/texting. At that point I tend to let what I'm saying trail off because they're not listening anyway so what's the point? I can't remember the last time I actually finished what I was saying when with them hmm.

JockTamsonsBairns Mon 25-Mar-13 14:29:01

YANBU at all. I have a lovely dear friend who I meet up with once a week for a coffee and a catch up, along with our pre-schoolers. However, it's becoming a bit of a non-starter as far as catching up is concerned, as her Dc's are constantly interrupting and she immediately turns her attention to them. It's quite literally every time I'm mid sentence, and I've reached the point of suggesting we meet in the evening instead. It's not her Dc's fault, they've learned that they get instant attention no matter what. I've always said to mine 'Just a minute, please - there's someone speaking just now' - I do make a point of getting back to them, as they are doing well at learning to wait their turn.

MightTinge Mon 25-Mar-13 14:29:45

Yes thats the thing, I'll actually just stop right in the middle of answering her question and she wont notice.

This just seems odd to me, how can you not be aware of an adult talking to you?

neunundneunzigluftballons Mon 25-Mar-13 14:37:10

Ok I would need to know the ages of the children to judge here like if we are talking over 5 I agree but anything younger I would stil see a need for partial entertainment from their mother. My firends and I have a meet up in our houses weekly and other than my eldest the children go from 4 down and it is a free for all. We would not even try to engage in a serious conversation. That is for a few glasses of wine on a Friday night

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 14:40:41

I'd feel a bit depressed if I couldn't meet up with friends and actually chat with them just because we have our 2 year olds with us! That said I have never been an "entertainer mother" though, and have always expected DS to be able to play by himself, especially when there are other children around. Obviously we don't ignore them and conversation has to be interrupted sometimes to referee an argument or take someone to the loo, but I would find it extremely rude if someone stopped mid conversation with me to play with their child.

lisac99 Mon 25-Mar-13 14:43:42

I've found this with one of my friends who has 3 kids (I don't have any children). I know she was worried when she had kids that she wouldn't see any of her friends any more, therefore I made a lot of effort and would 80% of the time, drive down to Bath to see her (about 1.5 hours from where I am).

I enjoyed seeing her, but most of the time, she'd bring the kids with her so we'd have to go to a 'kid friendly' place and it was exactly the same as in the OP... We couldn't have a proper conversation as the children would constantly be trying to get our attention and it really, really started to get on my nerves. Sometimes it's just nice to have an 'adult' conversation and despite my efforts to see her, I've actually found I'm now not seeing her as often as it doesn't really feel like we're catching up.

I would really suggest trying to meet her without the kids - perhaps suggest a pub / somewhere where kids can't go so it's clear you would like to see her without them. If you've also got kids, perhaps you could leave all of them in the care of someone else and have a proper catch up with wine / dinner / something just for the two of you?

I found it rude as well, but more than that.. I felt she didn't really care about me as I'd try and listen to her (mostly about the kids) and when I tried to talk to her about 'me', it was 'What's that Child #1? No, that's not the case, the sun is only out for 12 hours a day....' 'Oh hang on, Child #2 is picking up a worm... DON'T DO THAT CHILD #2' , 'I really don't know why Child #3 is grumping, perhaps she's teething?' Anyway... what were you saying? 'No Child #1, I really don't think you should be wearing your trousers on your head like that.... ' confused

MightTinge Mon 25-Mar-13 14:47:50

Her DC is about to turn two.

vladthedisorganised Mon 25-Mar-13 15:35:17

I agree that if it's the adult initiating it, that's pretty off.
I'm struggling with DD at the moment - between table manners ('sit nicely at the table until everyone has finished') and getting her to resist interrupting the adult conversation with some invented tale about crocodiles swimming up the river. If ignored, she just ups the volume ('wait your turn until Daddy and uncle N have finished talking')

I know the standard phone conversation with friends with DCs of the same age is usually "So did you get to see the house on Saturday? What was it li... Not just now, DC1, you can have one later. Go play with the garage. No, when I'm finished. I'm talking, go play with the garage. It's over there. Yes, you can reach the cars. When I'm finished.. Sorry, where was I? The house, yes.. what was it like?"

MajaBiene Mon 25-Mar-13 15:46:23

lisac - your examples seem quite reasonable to me and not at all rude. If you are trying to supervise young children then you do have to have one eye on what they are doing and break off sometimes to stop a worm being eaten. That's not the same at all as the OP's example of her friend basically ignoring her to play with her child.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Mon 25-Mar-13 15:52:14

YANBU. Agree DCs need to have an eye kept on them, but totally reasonable to expect them to (a) play - assuming you are in an environment where there are things for them to do, and (b) learn about not interrupting when people are talking. Even worse that it was the mother doing the interrupting! But I've never been an entertainer-mother (love that phrase btw!), and am always a bit baffled when in the presence of one.

whistleahappytune Mon 25-Mar-13 16:01:35

YANBU. This isn't just rude, it's completely bats! FFS, leave the little one alone for a bit and have an adult conversation. It's neurotic, needy and terribly unhealthy for parent and child.

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