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Help me get out of these play dates in the nicest possible way

(16 Posts)
Fanfeckintastic Sat 01-Nov-14 11:19:36

I really just want to know how to completely get out of ever play dating with this woman and her son again, in the nicest possible way. She's a lovely woman but her son is a different kettle of fish altogether, really nasty to me and DD (she's 3.5 and he's nearly 5) every single time we've met. Roots in my bag and hides my phone, shoves toy swords up into my face constantly making me flinch, locking DD out the back in the rain, slamming doors in her face, when he gets sick of her he tells her she's not allowed come to play again or not allowed come to his birthday etc, never shares anything so she's always left with nothing, it's bloody infuriating to watch and the mother does nothing except the occasional softly softly plead "Oh play niceee". Anyway after last time I decided it's just not fair on anyone to keep this up, it's excruciating!! She did text to apologize if he upset her as he was "in a funny mood" which I didn't reply to, it was late. She texted yesterday asking to meet next week and I said we're not around but maybe sometime soon but this time at soft play "to prevent any spats they may have, haha" (Yes I'm a massive coward and I can't just come out and say no more, I feel too bad!) She replied yes sounds good and reminded me to keep his birthday date free for his party, I didn't reply but there is absolutely no way we'll be going so I was thinking when the time comes of saying something like, Oh I thought she'd have forgotten it by now but she's not too keen on going after he said she wasn't allowed etc, don't want to upset her, best leave it.

I know I sound really wimpy but I would hate to upset her, she's eager for him to mix and he's the only one and doesn't seem to gel with anyone else, though how she could think they gel is beyond me.

I see them around a lot so definitely want to keep it as amicable as possible and she seems quite sensitive I want tin softly softly approach but I definitely don't ever want to play date again.

Roseformeplease Sat 01-Nov-14 11:24:46

What about pleasing the age difference? "We are a bit busy with friends closer to her own age because of going to school soon. How about you and I meet for a drink and a catch up without the children some time?"

Sort of preserves your friendship but ends the children's "friendship".

Fanfeckintastic Sat 01-Nov-14 11:33:25

Yeah I was thinking of mentioning meetin for a coffee etc without them, just so she knows it's nothing personal (ish)

I wish I was more assertive with these matters but they're so awkward!

Nanny0gg Sat 01-Nov-14 11:35:00

If you have to meet up with them again you need to be much firmer. There is no way a child would be rooting in my bag. It would be done up, removed and the word No would be used very firmly. Same with swords.
Every time he was mean to DD I would intervene.

If it carries on at softplay then you'll just have to say that your DD didn't enjoy it and invite her around for coffee when he's at school.

As to the birthday, do you think most people will bail? At least at the party there will be adults to intervene, if you're going to be softhearted. Otherwise you'll have to have a previous engagement you can't break.

bonzo77 Sat 01-Nov-14 11:37:54

I have similar, though my DS and here are the same age. She knows her DS has behavioural problems, is seeking help by thrown by money at the problem rather than addressing her parenting. Anyway, I told her ages ago that the boys rub each other up the wrong way, it's probably a phase, so let's stick to grown-up only meet ups where we can catch up properly without constantly watching the boys. It's working fine 2 years later, I mean we still go out but the boys don't see each other.

BlueGreenHazelGreen Sat 01-Nov-14 11:39:08

Re the party, just apologise and say, I'm so sorry we're not going to be able to make it. No explanation required.

CromerSutra Sat 01-Nov-14 11:53:37

I used to absolutely hate these sorts of situations when Dd was little. I think you have 2 options, say something or back away slowly. My own experience is that backing away slowly is the better option. My attempts to broach the subject were not very successful and led to a lot of bad feeling.

Fanfeckintastic Sat 01-Nov-14 12:55:10

Thanks everyone, it's one of those situations where each time we've said goodbye etc I think well at least that's definitely the last time because it's been so embarrassing awful I reckoned we both knew well it certainly wasn't a success but she is relentless with her requests, and the mad thing is I actually quite like her company but I'm not sure suggesting meeting without the children could work because we both work and have very limited free time (though I can see her asking every week can we meet on the one day I'm off so maybe I'll have to mention something about them rubbing each other up the wrong way etc)

Iik I'm so gone off "play dates"! Are they essential for an only child (and the only child on both sides of the family)? That's the only reason I've been making such an effort with them but I'm so fed up wasting my one day off a week hanging around people I barely know!

blanklook Sat 01-Nov-14 15:57:50

bonzo you said She knows her DS has behavioural problems, is seeking help by thrown by money at the problem rather than addressing her parenting

Tell me, which of the professions that can diagnose a behavioural problem do you belong to? What's that? You don't? Well then how are you so certain that it's her parenting skills that are at fault and not some as yet undiagnosed condition her ds has?

Your post suggests she's going along the private assessment or therapy route, have you looked into that to see if you can be supportive? Have you asked her about what works for her dc?

Read this, you may learn something, even if it's only not to be so judgemental of others.

championnibbler Sat 01-Nov-14 16:16:38

What a little shit he sounds. Back away slowly and just pull out of any future meet ups. Ask yourself why you are putting your child in the way of such a little tyrant.

MellowAutumn Sat 01-Nov-14 16:20:54

As above your politness and actual lack of bottle means you are subjecting your child to abuse rather than offend an adult

hollie84 Sat 01-Nov-14 16:24:35

Without coming out and blaming her kid, I'd say the children don't get along/age difference/boys and girls but maybe we could meet up without them while they're at school.

lemonpuffbiscuit Sat 01-Nov-14 16:32:48

I came clean with my friend because it was such an awful experience for my DS and each play date he ended up being attacked. I adore my friend though and explained that my DS is really struggling on play dates and gets too upset about them, so can we meet in the evenings for a couple of months. It was totally fine and now 8 years later they are best friends.

pilates Sat 01-Nov-14 16:35:31

I would say sorry DD doesn't enjoy the play dates so can we have a little break for a while. Short and sweet and truthful. Then offer to meet up for a coffee/drink at some time so she knows you want to continue with the friendship with her.

Fanfeckintastic Sat 01-Nov-14 18:58:22

No I'm absolutely not subjecting her to him again, I gave it as many chances as seemed fair and DD would want to go too but I think we've both come to realise that it's just a horrible experience from start to finish.

I'm usually fairly assertive but for some reason these situations floor me and I think because she's almost twenty years my senior it makes me subconsciously feel a bit inferior or something.

lemonpuffbiscuit Sat 01-Nov-14 19:22:06

Just say that DD is getting upset about the play dates and suggest going to the cinema to see a nice girly film

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