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please, I truly need to now if it's me being unreasonable here.

(173 Posts)
mosp Tue 25-Jun-13 19:32:33

I have never posted on aibu before, and I am actually sweating a little here. However, I feel that I need to know whether this lady is right or wrong:

My dd1 goes to ballet on Tuesday evenings. We walk there (45 minutes each way) and when we arrive at the Methodist church where it is held, I feel the need to rest my aching feet (Tuesdays are busy physically for me).

The place where mums wait is the lobby of the church, and there are only about 5 chairs available. When I arrive, there is always one chair free. Well, at least, until today I thought it was free. It turns out that one of the mums wants to reserve it for her 4 or 5 year old son. She places a coat over the back of the chair every week. I hadn't really clocked this before (I'm not very quick at picking up cues) so I have just politely asked if she minded if I place the coat on the side so that I can sit. I honestly didn't realise that this might be a problem. (Now I think about it, she never looked very happy about moving the coat)

The boy is NEVER sitting in the chair when I arrive and he never shows any signs of wishing to sit down the whole time they are there. He's happily scampering around with his sister.

So, I was kind of taken aback today when she told me that the chair was actually where her son was sitting and would I please find somewhere else to sit next time. I didn't know what to say to that! I didn't realise at all. On reflection, I can't see why she needs to lay claim to the chair. Her son clearly doesn't want it and I don't want to have to sit on the floor or stand when there is a vacant chair.

Today, as if to prove her point, she beckoned her son to her and tried to sit him on her knee, telling him loudly that he hasn't got a chair any more. He didn't want to sit on her knee, and wriggled off to play again.

So, am I right in thinking she's being a bit bizarre? Or is it me? And next week, should I just sit on the floor? Bear in mind, I hate hate hate confrontation. I also hate having any attention drawn to myself, which would happen if I do sit on the floor, I feel.

Oh, I don't know. I know it is petty, but it has shaken me up a bit and made me doubt something that I had no idea was an issue...

DuttyWine Tue 25-Jun-13 19:43:50

Get there early and put your bag on the chair next to it and be very engrossed in a book when she arrives!

On a sensible note ask the church to put out more chairs.

mosp Tue 25-Jun-13 19:44:54

One of the arguments she said (kind of to the air, as I wasn't really responding any more) was "Why should my child have to sit on the floor?"

But he wasn't sitting on the floor. I just don't know where to start.

She had drawn the chair right up close to her own chair, preparatory for my arrival (I realise in hindsight). She definitely makes it awkward for me to sit in it.

I need to be bolshy if I am to continue to stand my ground. And bolshy is something I am not sad

Salmotrutta Tue 25-Jun-13 19:44:55

You aren't unreasonable - she is!

TimeofChange Tue 25-Jun-13 19:46:02

She is incredibly ignorant and teaching her child to be ignorant too.

Can you shame her into letting you sit down by telling her you have health problems.

I took my 80+ year old Mum to a Christmas Church Service, but didn't get there early enough, so had to stand as all the seats were taken.
Toddlers had their own full size seats but were actually playing on the floor.
Not one bloody woman offered my Mum their child's chair.

We left half way through as my Mum couldn't stand any longer.

ImperialBlether Tue 25-Jun-13 19:47:12

You should get the seat, but why don't you phone the vicar and ask whether a few more chairs could be put there so that parents can sit down? He/she probably put out a random number thinking that would be fine, without thinking it through.

Apart from that, there is no way she should be bagging a seat for her child, particularly as her child doesn't even want to sit down! Why the hell should you sit on the floor when there's an empty seat?

Salmotrutta Tue 25-Jun-13 19:47:21

If you get there and the boy is playing about and she has "staked her claim" just sit down.

No need to say anything. If she start commenting just ignore her.

She'll soon dry up.

Mehrida Tue 25-Jun-13 19:47:34

Yanbu. Agree with the comments saying to point out that he's not using it.

Could you ask one of the others who get there early to sit in a seat for you until you get there?

Also, sounds like an excuse to get yourself a new, more practical pair of walking shoes!

honeytea Tue 25-Jun-13 19:47:35

Just say to her "oh, just let me know when he needs to sit down and I will get up, no point in me sitting on the floor when there is an empty seat!" I doubt she will ask you to move smile

MrsLyman Tue 25-Jun-13 19:47:48

YANBU when I was that boys age even if I had been sitting on the chair my mum would have made me get up so that you could sit down.

mosp Tue 25-Jun-13 19:48:16

Well, thank you all for confirming that she was bu, not me. It makes me feel better, even though I know I'll not be brave enough to take her bagsied (sp?) chair!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 25-Jun-13 19:48:17

If you don't want to cause a scene, could you take a camping chair with you?

Otherwise, her ds needs to be taught to respect adults and she needs to realise that the world does not revolve around her sn.

HollyBerryBush Tue 25-Jun-13 19:48:57

Well I dont care if you have sore feet or not. See, if there are children and adults in a room, chairs are for adults, floors are for children. Problem sorted. Show her my post and tell her she's rude grin

Coconutty Tue 25-Jun-13 19:49:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MammaTJ Tue 25-Jun-13 19:49:10

YANBU. Next week get there before her and reserve a seat for your imaginary friend who needs it just as much as her son does! grin

Salmotrutta Tue 25-Jun-13 19:49:55

No dont tell her to "let me know when he needs to sit down"!

That's an open invitation to her trying to get him to sit down!

landofsoapandglory Tue 25-Jun-13 19:50:55

She is incredibly rude.

I use two crutches to walk, and I have had to stand while parents have allowed their small children to have seats in busy waiting areas. Not one of them offered me a chair. Ignorant gits!

mosp Tue 25-Jun-13 19:51:00

If I could arrive any earlier, I would! That would be the simplest solution!

Salmotrutta Tue 25-Jun-13 19:51:25

That was in response to honeytea by the way!

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 25-Jun-13 19:54:02

The chair is empty - it's all yours.

The chair has a 5 year old sitting on it - he moves to his mother's knee.

He doesn't want to sit on her knee - he sits on the floor.

Job done.

IsotopeMe Tue 25-Jun-13 19:54:29

Could you pack your dds clothes and a snack in a small bag and walk straight there after school? That would save you a little time and allow you to get there earlier and get the chair?

Yanbu, btw!

unobtanium Tue 25-Jun-13 19:54:39

Silly woman.


Keep using the chair. Try to be bolshy about it... you have every right.

SauvignonBlanche Tue 25-Jun-13 19:54:57


DawnOfTheDee Tue 25-Jun-13 19:58:46

Think of this as your opportunity to toughen up. I'd take a magazine/kindle with me, plonk my fat arse down and ignore her. If she says anything, big smile and 'your son doesn't appear to be using it' or similar.

Or blow a raspberry everytime she says anything. Childish but satisfying and I bet she'd soon shut up.

Floggingmolly Tue 25-Jun-13 19:59:18

She's a nutcase. Normally asking as you did is the polite thing to do, but with loons like this don't bother again. If the seat's empty, sit in it.
Don't ask anyone's permission, certainly not her's.

ThirdTimesABrokenFanjo Tue 25-Jun-13 19:59:57

Please sit in the chair next time and don't even argue about it if you don't feel comfortable. Just pull out your phone and make yourself busy.

If she asks why her son should sit on the floor ask why you should when the chair is clearly free.

She's a dick obviously

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