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to be annoyed that 'playdate' turned out to be a birthday party?

(64 Posts)
FCEK Tue 23-Jul-13 18:32:31

I'll give a wee bit of background as I don't want to drip feed.

My DD is in her first year of primary. The mother of one of them is a bit strange. Other mothers have commented on this also. She does not appear to enjoy conversation - not responding or acting irritated that you have tried to speak to her.

If my DD went up to her DD to give that girl a hug goodbye at home time, the mum would pull her daughter away and shoot me a dirty look hmm

Last week, she sent me a Facebook message. I was surprised as we don't have mutual friends and also because my privacy settings mean I shouldnt be 'found' but anyway...the message was asking if my DD would like to come to her house for a playdate with her DD.

I was taken aback but said it would be nice and agreed as DD does like her DD. I arranged for DM to drop her off and pick her up as DM watches DD whilst I'm at work.

I arrived home from work at my DMs to pick up DD and DM tells me when she dropped DD off, there was a 'happy birthday' sign on the door. DM thought maybe it was the mum's birthday or something but there are about 10 other kids there. DM is embarrassed as DD did not have a present with her, nor was she dressed for a party - just casual and a bit wet as she had apparently jumped in a puddle on the way there blush.

The mum said she didn't want anyone bringing presents (which I think is a shame for her DD). according to my DM, DD was visibly uncomfortable at the fact she was not the only one there, that she didn't know the other kids etc (she's normally confident).

AIBU to think its unfair to let me and my DD think she was the only one invited, for DD to feel special (it was to be her first ever 'grown up' playdate that didn't involve going to next door neighbours houses), to not enable DD to bring a present (it seems other kids did), to embarrass us, and to think its downright ODD not to say something is a birthday party when it is?

Wbdn28 Wed 24-Jul-13 23:54:07

> From what you say of the mum, it may be that she struggles a little socially - sometimes getting things wrong. Some people are like that - it doesn't make them horrible people.

Totally agree with the above. I think she's shy and finds it hard to make small talk and keep up a smiling, confident face. Why not stop judging her and be a bit kinder to her?

BridgetBidet Wed 24-Jul-13 23:18:46

Hrrm, you've said it better than I did. Just because the Mum doesn't particularly want to be part of the school gate set her daughter has been blacklisted and the OP has really taken against her for no good reason.

I bet part of the reason she did it like this was because she thought otherwise the invitation would be turned down out of spite.

Hrrrm Wed 24-Jul-13 23:01:18

Oh FFS. Stop trying to see this mum as 'odd'. Good for you that you know all the ridiculous rules for how children are supposed to socialise. Perhaps she doesn't. Is she British or from another country? Perhaps it is considered odd by some people to just run towards others to hug them? (No idea if this is the case anywhere, but your rules aren't the be all and end all.)

Why don't you get to know her and find out more? Or would you be considered odd by your circle if you did this?

I'd find it a little bit odd if a child went to a summer camp or whatever and then went on a play date straight after. Isn't this exhausting for small children? If I'd been the hosting mum, I'd feel as if that child had to squeeze that play date into their busy schedule, so my child might not feel special.

(I do get the point about autism though. I'm not autistic, but I definitely like to know what kind of situation I'm going to find myself in. I'd not be comfortable at all with an unexpectedly large number of people. When I know in advance it's fine though.)

FreudiansSlipper Wed 24-Jul-13 22:53:44


i really can not understand what the problem is confused

op maybe you need to find a hobby

BridgetBidet Wed 24-Jul-13 22:45:48

Hmmm, are you part of a 'group' at the school gates. You sound like you might be. Are you sure you've not just taken against this mother because she's not one to get involved with groups?

Jinty64 Wed 24-Jul-13 21:30:45

YANBU even if she didn't want to say it was a party she would have been better to have said she was "having a few friends" over.

Helltotheknow you daughter might have "mucked in" but my ds2 would definitely not have done. He would not have stayed if he had found a house load of children he didn't know. If I invite friends to play I would always let parents know who else would be there and would expect them to do the same.

Floggingmolly Wed 24-Jul-13 20:51:02

God yes, zatyaballerina, that's very possible. How sad sad

kinkyfuckery Wed 24-Jul-13 20:47:52

If your DD didn't know anyone else there, I'm assuming she was the only one from school. Could it have been a surprise party and she didn't want your DD spilling the beans?

MissStrawberry Wed 24-Jul-13 20:41:43

I can't get my head around talk of wanting to feel special, first grown up play date etc.

Play date has to be one of the most annoying phrases ever.

xylem8 Wed 24-Jul-13 20:29:29

I wont say/do anything and just let it go

Helltotheno Tue 23-Jul-13 20:49:10

I can't believe you're making such an issue out of something so small. My DD would've mucked in... the more the merrier for her, and birthday cake to boot.. sorry but aren't most kids pretty happy with that scenario??

Yes a little embarrassing to find that it's a birthday party and you have nothing but you weren't told. Nobody expects you to be a mind reader! Also, you could've just given her a fiver from your purse, that's what I would've done.

I think you need to manage the message here with your DD and not make such a big deal out of it. I'm quite sure your DD minded a lot less than you're saying and you've just projected your feelings on her.
So what if this woman doesn't conform to your idea of normal?! You're talking about her as though she's an axe murderer and to be avoided at all costs!

zatyaballerina Tue 23-Jul-13 20:45:41

Maybe she phrased it as a 'playdate' to save from potential embarrassment if nobody else showed up? If she's that socially awkward then she's probably been on the receiving end of rejection herself and feared that for her daughter?

Whothefuckfarted Tue 23-Jul-13 20:32:32

Being considered odd isn't a crime.

hurricanewyn Tue 23-Jul-13 20:26:47

I've done this - kinda

For one of DS's birthdays we couldn't afford a party, so we invited three of his friends over for a playdate - we had a nicer tea than normal and had birthday cake for pudding.

I didn't tell the parents because I didn't want a big fuss from them - we weren't having a big party or party bags. DS had a lovely time though, with his friends there.

Might it be the same for this woman?

BiscuitDunker Tue 23-Jul-13 20:25:19

Perhaps she's a germ-a-phobe and worries about her or her dd getting sick from other peoples germs (even if they're perfectly well)? Some people are like that. If you don't make an effort to talk to this mum you won't get to know her or the reasons behind the behaviour you describe as odd... If she is paranoid about germs or something similar then her hosting a party for her dd is a really big deal for her and perhaps is a big step towards her changing the way she is about other people?

There could be one of a hundred different,but perfectly reasonable,explanations for the mothers behaviour at the school gates. For all you know she may act that way because she's heard you and/or the other mothers bitching about her and only invited your dd to please her dd as it was her birthday and perhaps she hoped you would reply to her invitation with an excuse as to why your dd couldn't go because that's the kind of person she thinks you are? Who knows!

I'd say to use this playdate/party invite as an olive branch and try to become the womans friend,not just to find out the reasons behind her "odd" behaviour,but because perhaps she's actually a nice person and has made the effort to find you and contact you on facebook so perhaps,even if she has heard you bad mouth her,she feels you are the nicest and most approachable out of the other mums and wants to make the effort to make friends with you for both your and her dds sakes as they're such good friends...

SarahAndFuck Tue 23-Jul-13 20:18:36

Actually I know someone who organised a church christening for their baby and turned up in a wedding dress because they had also booked their wedding without telling anybody.

They got married and had the baby christened at the same time, all the guests were a bit shock but also delighted and they said they had been together for so long anyway that they didn't want all the planning fuss or people bringing presents or anything, they just wanted to give everyone a nice day.

So unusual, but not odd. It's perhaps more common than you think OP.

Kiriwawa Tue 23-Jul-13 20:14:21

It's a bit of a silly thing to do - many children of that sort of age need to be mentally prepared for a group of children where the dynamic is totally different from a one on one playdate (horrid term). My DS (who admittedly has SN but wasn't diagnosed at that age) would have completely freaked

BackforGood Tue 23-Jul-13 20:12:43

Have to agree with most - it's a bit unusual, but people have suggested lots of reasons why she might have done it. As others have said, mine would have thought "even better!" if they thought they were just going round to play and it turned out to be a party smile
Sounds as if the Mum is socially awkward for one of a number of reasons, but just because she's done things differently from the way you would have, doesn't have to mean it's a bad thing.

StillSeekingSpike Tue 23-Jul-13 20:10:01

It may not be 'nastiness' she may have a germ phobia, be very anxious about other children, even be over protective of her daughter. A 'nasty' person would harldy invite another child to a birthday party, would they?

SarahAndFuck Tue 23-Jul-13 20:09:39

Perhaps the children who took gifts were family children, who already knew it was the girl's birthday. And the ones who didn't were like your DD and invited as a play-date.

People think I'm odd. Or stuck up. I'm not, I'm lovely grin I just seem to have a different style to most of the other mums at the gates and I can be a little shy.

That said, I'm the one who talks to the most people while we wait, while many of the others stand alone or in their groups. I'm the one that makes the effort to chat to whoever might be there and more than a few of the others will stand in silence if their particular group isn't there yet.

If that makes me odd then so be it. I don't care, which seems to be another reason people find me odd.

Perhaps they don't go to other parties because they can't afford a present, and for that reason they said it was a play-date not a party, they didn't want to receive presents they can't reciprocate with.

FCEK Tue 23-Jul-13 20:05:35

I tend to listen to the other mums at social situations, rather than starting gossip myself if that makes sense. I don't actually like gossiping and try to keep my thoughts to myself or voice them on MN.

I think many of you have ignored the way she responds to DD trying to hug her DD goodbye etc. That's more than being socially anxious, that's nastiness. She has pulled her daughter away when other children have approached her DD to talk to her as well.

Thanks for the contributions anyway.

mirry2 Tue 23-Jul-13 20:01:42

FCEK you've done the right

numbum Tue 23-Jul-13 20:00:06

Or perhaps others were invited but have decided the poor mum is too 'odd' to make an effort with?

FCEK Tue 23-Jul-13 19:59:14

Actually I have been saying to DD how much fun it must have been and chatting to her about the games, what the cake looked like etc.

And I've sent the mum a 'thank you' FB message on DD's behalf.

Mumsyblouse Tue 23-Jul-13 19:59:08

See- if my daughter came home and said 'guess what mummy it wasn't a playdate it was a party!' I'm pretty sure she would be really happy and I'd say 'that's amazing, how lucky are you to go to a party!' It's all in the way you spin it really.

Also- remember if the mum is socially awkward or a bit odd, then asking people's children she doesn't know will be a big deal for her, ok, she might have mentioned the party aspect but she still invited your dd, your dd's get on well together, so I don't see anything negative about this at all. This mum might have social anxiety and if so, putting together a party at home for her child is a major achievement, please don't talk about her being odd to other parents, there's just no need to comment on any parent with other parents at the school gate and if people say bitchy things or try to tell me about some parent's affairs/oddness/wierdness, I just make a mental note not to be their friend as I hate this type of talk.

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