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To refuse to attend a meal because it will keep DS up past his bedtime?

(112 Posts)
KirjavaTheCat Fri 07-Mar-14 15:42:22

FIL invited me, DP, 3yo DS and 16 week old DD to dinner tonight, to meet his girlfriend's parents. Apparently, FIL says, his girlfriend (of 8 months) talks about them so much that they feel like they're part of their family, and would very much like to meet their daughter's 'adopted grandchildren' hmm They've picked out names they'd like our 3yo to call them by, so we're told. I find this very weird.

This meal is taking place at a shopping centre which is an hour and a half's train journey away (we don't drive) at 6pm. We asked to meet closer, given the time and the distance we'd have to travel on public transport with a small EBF baby and a tired, hungry toddler. We'd be back about 9-9.30pm, DS and DD are usually in bed by 7.30. It's just too far to travel so late.

He said no can do, we can't have the meal anywhere else because his girlfriend's parents are very particular about where they eat.

So we declined and aren't going.

FIL is enraged and had been messaging DP all day saying how very disappointed his girlfriend's parents are, they were so looking forward to seeing the children, and that they may as well cancel the whole thing now.

AIBU to not give a crap, really? And to think that it was a ridiculous idea?

HumphreyCobbler Fri 07-Mar-14 15:58:16

Deciding what the dc should call them without ever having met them?
Only being willing to eat in a shopping centre?
Won't change the time?

They sound fun hmm

No way would I take a toddler on public transport for ninety minutes past his bedtime.

ViviPru Fri 07-Mar-14 15:59:56


Sounds like you've had a lucky escape with this legitimate excuse not to attend what sounds like potentially weird situation anyway. I'd be squirmy at the thought of meeting these peculiar-sounding folk.

Evie2014 Fri 07-Mar-14 16:00:23

As I read your OP I actually said "oh f* off" out loud. (Meaning to your FIL's inlaws or whatever they are.)

(… and a smaller, similar expression for Melanie- why the f* should OP learn to drive if she doesn't want to? So she can accept thrilling invitations like this one? Or maybe she just doesn't have a car/can't afford a car/wants to spend her money otherwise?)

If they want to see you and your kids that badly let them come to your town and take you out for lunch. Perhaps they're older with time on their hands and might be up for that.

Public transport wrangling with tiny children so your FIL can impress people? Nonsense.


Sirzy Fri 07-Mar-14 16:01:09

The meal time wouldn't bother me, but the 3 hours travelling just for a meal with 2 young children would stop me going!

Sirzy Fri 07-Mar-14 16:01:10

The meal time wouldn't bother me, but the 3 hours travelling just for a meal with 2 young children would stop me going!

WitchWay Fri 07-Mar-14 16:01:14

Agree lunch would be much better then the toddler would most likely enjoy the travelling & not be overtired & grumpy. They seem very intense & more than a bit odd.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Fri 07-Mar-14 16:01:45


I wouldn't do it. If they are desperately keen to meet your DC then invite them to lunch somewhere near you (if you have a local shopping centre with the desired restaurant, of course ;) )

Florin Fri 07-Mar-14 16:06:22

No way would I take my toddler to a restaurant after his bedtime, that is a recipe for disaster. We are really flexible about our sons toddler and can work around most things apart from 6pm is his bedtime and that is that. He needs to go to bed then as he is tired. If we took him out later he would be appallingly behaved and I couldn't blame him for being so. However we go out for lunch very regularly which he enjoys and works so much better for everyone. The name thing is just plain weird if it was even suggested I would say lets just stick to first names.

higgle Fri 07-Mar-14 16:06:44

YANBU provided you have confirmed willingness t meet them and suggested some better times and dates.

Moreisnnogedag Fri 07-Mar-14 16:11:10

If you were in a car, then 930 ain't so ad. But public transport at that time of night for what is going to be a really weird meal? Nope.

KirjavaTheCat Fri 07-Mar-14 16:12:38

They live overseas and are here on a visit, so this is our one chance to meet them, hence FIL being so annoyed. DP's a bit nonplussed as to why we're supposed to give a hoot about his girlfriend's parents, as keen as they sound. And a bit hmm about them giving themselves grandparenty-sounding nicknames.

We don't drive because we don't need to! Which is lucky because we probably couldn't afford it.

Moreisnnogedag Fri 07-Mar-14 16:13:41

Higgle why on earth should she? They sound weird (or FIL is being massively weird and over-egging it) and tbh I'd be starting to think of any excuses not to meet up "Sorry no can do, Taurus isn't in alignment" etc.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 07-Mar-14 16:14:16

The time wouldn't bother me, but I think that if your FIL wants to organise a meeting then he should do it at a time which is convenient to you.

The whole thing sounds a bit odd.

Out of interest, how old are your FIL and his girlfriend and therefore her parents?

KirjavaTheCat Fri 07-Mar-14 16:15:56

FIL is in mid-forties (had DP very young), his girlfriend is the same age as DP. Her parents are mid-fifties.

Jolleigh Fri 07-Mar-14 16:16:30

Travelling 1.5 hours on public transport each way with a toddler and a newborn, simply for the 'pleasure' of a meal in a shopping centre with a pair of creepily over familiar strangers that will interfere with your children's routines? YANBU. Don't blame you. I wouldn't.

ThePinkOcelot Fri 07-Mar-14 16:20:52

I was going to say YABVU and precious about bedtime when I read yor title. On reading your thread however, I have changed my mind. 90 mins on public transport?! They're having a laugh! They should be making the effort to travel to you.

hoobypickypicky Fri 07-Mar-14 16:20:53

YANBU. Usually I'd say it was a bit precious to fuss about keeping a 3 child or baby up past his bedtime as a one-off but this is different. I can't see the appeal of taking an over-tired, hungry 3 year old to a shopping centre eatery on a winters evening any more than you can.

Also, what on earth are they gf's parents on, deciding on names for the child of their daughter's boyfriend's son to call them? The only appropriate names are akin to Mr Smith and Mrs Smith or George and Margery unless you, the parents, prefer your children to go down the route of old fashioned English custom and give adult friends of the family the courtesy titles of 'Auntie' and 'Uncle'.

hoobypickypicky Fri 07-Mar-14 16:26:18

*A 3 year old child, not a 3 child!

Bambamb Fri 07-Mar-14 16:32:13

YANBU. The public transport issue is the deal breaker. Plus I have a 15 week old DD who goes into meltdown mode from about 6pm onwards so just the meal at 6 could be hellish. Sounds like it would be v.stressful.

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 07-Mar-14 16:32:15

If you are important enough to be at a meal, then you should be consulted on when and where would be suitable to meet up. Not ordered to be there.

And they are his girlfriend's parents, in no way are they your kids' grandparents. Totally insane. And very grabby. And entitled.

Dishaster Fri 07-Mar-14 16:32:56

If the resteraunt was good I would go. But in a shopping centre? Erm no thanks. And to meet people who are what to you exactly? Nope yanbu.

BackforGood Fri 07-Mar-14 16:34:51

What Jolleigh said.
I was never precious about betimes, but seriously, if the purpose of a gathering is to meet a baby and a 3 yr old, then it really would make a lot more sense to arrange a lunchtime thing.

cory Fri 07-Mar-14 16:36:29

Me, I have done plenty of late evening travelling with babies and toddlers.

I still cannot for the life of me see why their need to eat in exactly the shopping centre of their choice should trump your need to avoid an evening journey with an overtired toddler. Why do they get to be so precious just because they don't have children?

Twooter Fri 07-Mar-14 16:36:47

Are you sure the grandparenty names aren't for your dp to call them?

Pollyputthekettle Fri 07-Mar-14 16:37:31

YANBU. Suggest a lunch.

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