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to tell my dad we're not coming?

(39 Posts)
ExasperatedSigh Tue 09-Jul-13 13:36:18

My dad works in a secondary school. They are putting on a production of Little Shop of Horrors. My dad has been very involved in making this happen and is really keen for DS and I to go along. I can't make up my mind whether to go or not, so am 'canvassing opinions' grin

DS is 4 (nearly 5) and we live about 20 miles away from the school. In order to get there we will either have to train it into London and then back out again, or drive across the wilds of south London. The performance starts at 6.30pm.

I also have 2yo DD to manage. This means that, in order to attend, I will have to do one of two things:

1) get train to other side of London during rush hour with both kids, meet DH from work, he takes DD home again while I take DS back across town to the performance, then we train it home afterwards (in and out of London again) so probably getting back by about 10pm;

2) take DD with me and spend the entire performance trying to stop her joining in, chasing her around the auditorium or standing outside with a grumpy tired toddler.

I could pay for a babysitter but I know she would get hysterical at being put to bed by a stranger without anyone else there, so that's out.

My dad for some reason is desperate for DS to see this show confused He's a very loving grandad, if a bit clueless, and I think he wants DS to see what grandad does for a living iyswim. But it's so hot and the kids are so tired at the moment and I just know it will be a massive hard work nightmare for me. OTOH, DS would probably enjoy it and I'm not averse to the principle of occasional after-normal-bedtime adventures...just the mechanics of this one grin

AIBU not to go? What would you do?

ExasperatedSigh Tue 09-Jul-13 16:26:50

Arf and also barf at the image of my dad in stockings and suspenders grin

Thank you all very much for your points of view, tis much appreciated. My family relationships are sort of benignly fucked up and posting this has made me realise how much of that informs my choices when it comes to them. My dad and stepmum are loving but due to complicated history between us, I think I keep them at arm's length when it comes to getting really involved with the kids sad Which is all the more reason why I should go, I suppose.

Hercy nothing hugely objectionable about driving across S London, it's just a pain in the arse and I find it hard work. Have done it once this week and will be doing it again on Monday. It also canes my fuel tank with all the stopping and starting, and we're skint.

wouldliketobethere sadly my mum is long dead, otherwise there would be no issue as I know she would have happily babysat the kids and been brilliant with them.

MaxPepsi yes, good point about there being more than one performance, I hadn't thought of that <slow on the uptake> I suspect that is me automatically seeking excuses as to why I can't go.

Like the dress rehearsal idea, I'll ask him about that.

lisianthus Tue 09-Jul-13 23:33:19

Do check out the play (plot etc) before taking your DC though. If your son is quite a robust child it might be fine, but it would be terrifying for my DC and most other DC I know of that age. There's a reason it's being performed at secondary school, not primary school!

aldiwhore Tue 09-Jul-13 23:41:24

I would take both children, I would be stressed, sweaty, annoyed during the performuiance, I would definitely go, I would grin through gritted teeth and I would tell my dad he's wonderful.


I would also never let my dad forget it, I would expect him at every single performance of my DC's until the youngest turned 18, and he would be expected to do babysitting duties many times to make up.

I don't envy you, but I'd go.

I do recommend canvassing your Dad to see if he can arrange anything that will make it easier for you.

McGeeDiNozzo Wed 10-Jul-13 04:01:41

Really tough one this one. I think I'd err on the side of not going, not because LSOH is inappropriate - I don't really think it is - but because of the terrifying logistics.

It's a shame, as your DF sounds like a good guy doing good work. If he's that put out about your DS being unable to go, perhaps he himself can suggest a way for you to overcome the logistical headache.

claraschu Wed 10-Jul-13 05:42:06

I have done a lot of ridiculous things like this because my husband is a musician. Our kids have been dragged on hundreds of inappropriate and inconvenient trips. If you think LSOH is not good for 4 year olds, try Schoenberg Quartets.

My feeling is that, if you can bring yourself to have a good attitude about it, it is worth doing, and the kids will get something out of it. I always think there's something to be said for getting out of your routine and doing something unusual, but I might be influenced by the fact that my father died earlier this year, so I'm thinking: seize the moment.

TangfasticMrFoxalastic Wed 10-Jul-13 05:45:53

Are they not recording the performance? Assuming you still want him to watch, you could arrange a viewing at your house, making a fuss that it's grandad's show, popcorn, fake tickets etc having explained to him when the journey is too much

ZacharyQuack Wed 10-Jul-13 05:48:56

A school play with none of your own children performing? God no.

McGeeDiNozzo Wed 10-Jul-13 05:52:21

Tangfastic's idea is great.

Mrsrobertduvall Wed 10-Jul-13 06:29:22

Totally inappropriate show for a 4 year old.
Dd did it at school this year, and no small children allowed.

Sadistic dentist boyfriend, man eating plant....
And they won't be allowed to film it .

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 10-Jul-13 08:19:20

tangfastic's idea is also illegal unless they have permission which is almost never forthcoming from the rightsholder. But it is totally an unsuitable show for a 4-year old, which is the reason I would give for not going.

HOWEVER, had it been the case that your dad used to go and see all your school shows, sports days, gymkhanas and drive you here there and everywhere when you were little, I'd have thought a bit of returning the favour to show him the support he gave you IF the show had been suitable might have been in order.

NutellaNutter Wed 10-Jul-13 09:58:08

Ugh no way, don't go. Sounds like a bloody nightmare and will be beyond stressful for you. Tell him you'll be freer to do things like that when the kids are a few years older.

ExasperatedSigh Wed 10-Jul-13 21:46:08

Thanks so much for all the opinions, they've really helped me think. As a result of posting this thread, and having talked about it a lot with DH, I've decided to go - we're meeting DH at the train station, I will hand over DD, then DS and I will train it down to the school.

Called my dad just now and he sounded totally made up, which made me feel good smile

I think it will be great for DS to have some one-on-one time with me tbh, likewise DD with DH. If he finds it scary I will take him out, but my dad says they've had other kids there who have enjoyed the show.

Dad also offered to give us a lift home if I bring the booster seat along, which was good news!

GingerBlondecat Thu 11-Jul-13 06:31:30

I'm glad for a good update.

and unless your Dad was Father of the Year, he wold have little idea how hard it is to get 2 children out and about.

It just wasn't 'required' back in the dark ages for Fathers to 'take point'

ExasperatedSigh Thu 11-Jul-13 14:31:52

Yes, well, although he was and is a great dad in many ways, in many others he's been a bit shit over the years and has let me down in all kinds of hurtful ways without really meaning to. Hence why I do the arms-length thing, I suppose. It's all very complicated and the bottom line is that he loves us all and does his best, so I should probably chill out about it smile

It's tonight, so if I have a nightmare I will be back to moan about it later grin

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