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to not want to make a round trip to London (from Cheshire) the Sunday before Xmas?

(68 Posts)
tallulahdula Mon 17-Nov-14 13:56:47

Apologies for the long thread - I have a dilemma. My dad and step mum live in London and have asked today if DH, DS, DD and I would like to go and have a Christmas get together with them on Sunday 21st December with my other brothers and sisters (siblings have no kids between them). He hasn’t seen much of his grandkids this year due to ill health.

The day would involve drinks at his flat then lunch out. They live in London, we live in Cheshire. He lives in a beautiful flat with low tables covered in glass ornaments, white carpets etc etc. DS is 15 months, typical boy and will be crashing around the place, putting small items down the loo, emptying kitchen cupboards, climbing the xmas tree. It is not a child friendly flat and sitting down to a 2 or 3 course lunch in a restaurant as well (it’s a very smart one) will be so stressful. DH and I will be doing everything trying to keep DS sitting at the table (Dad and SM have Victorian very firm ideas about how children should behave) whilst trying to have a conversation with the rest of my family.

I feel I should go because it would make my dad so happy (has just had the all clear from illness) but it will be so stressful for me and DH. It will also involve a round trip to London in a day the Sunday before Xmas. DH and I have work on the Monday and DD’s bday party and our streets Xmas drinks are on the Saturday before (have offered to help organise/do the catering for the party), so we can’t extend the stay in any way.

Should I just get over myself and make the effort? AIBU? He has said we could arrange something in the new year if we can’t make it.

NaiceNickname Mon 17-Nov-14 14:01:29

It's one day, near Christmas, with your dad. Make the effort.

Call him and explain your worries, tell him to move his valuables etc... but I'd definitely go. Don't stress about how DS will behave at lunch, the more you stress the worse it will all seem. Take things to distract him and just try and enjoy the day for what it is.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Mon 17-Nov-14 14:05:03

I think you should go. He won't be putting things down the loo if you stop him. Take it in turns with DH.

You said yourself it will make your Dad happy. Just warn them "Ds is in a stage of grabbing ornaments so it might be good if you put precious ones out of reach"

Bogeyface Mon 17-Nov-14 14:05:27

DS is 15 months, typical boy and will be crashing around the place, putting small items down the loo, emptying kitchen cupboards, climbing the xmas tree.

I hate to tell you this but that is not typical toddler behaviour. Well it is if you let it be, but I damn well dont!

Personally I wouldnt go, explain that you would love to but you dont think that a long meal in a restaurant would be a good idea with a small toddler and would they like to come to you one weekend instead.

TheAlias Mon 17-Nov-14 14:07:29

I agree with Naice. You absolutely should go but your Dad should want you to be comfortable and enjoy the day too, so some consideration should be given to making it more family friendly.

TheAlias Mon 17-Nov-14 14:08:49

Bogey? Really? Of course OP is going to stop him, but he is going to need stopping, continuously, which is exhausting.

dreamingbohemian Mon 17-Nov-14 14:09:05

I think that's a tough age for a smart restaurant, unless they are really used to it and you know they will behave.

How old is your DD? Could you and DD go just the two of you?

Cyclopsbee Mon 17-Nov-14 14:09:51

I would go. Its your dad. Take things to amuse DS and try and enjoy. My dad did this for his 60th. Wanted all his family around him. I think its lovely.

Bricklestick Mon 17-Nov-14 14:11:23

It's your dad, he's been ill, he wants to see you all. It's just one day. Take the day and go.

I do the trip in reverse every Christmas, it's not the worst thing in the world.

Betsy003 Mon 17-Nov-14 14:11:45

I agree that that doesn't sound like typical 3 year old behaviour.

Bogeyface Mon 17-Nov-14 14:12:11

Bogey? Really? Of course OP is going to stop him, but he is going to need stopping, continuously, which is exhausting.

Yes really! If you visit someone elses home that isnt family friendly then you accept that you will not be relaxing with a drink, you will be shepherding and coralling! I know its exhausting, had 6 toddlers in my time, but thats how it is. Either suck it up or dont go.

TheAlias Mon 17-Nov-14 14:12:30

He's 15 months Betsy

Betsy003 Mon 17-Nov-14 14:12:42

You'd probably be best wearing him out before visiting the flat

manicinsomniac Mon 17-Nov-14 14:12:49

I definitely think you should go.

Can you get the train? If you can then Cheshire to London is no problem at all in a day (think it will only be a couple of hours on the train). If you have to drive then granted that will be a pain. But worth it to make your Dad happy and make memories. We never know how long we have left with older relatives.

TheAlias Mon 17-Nov-14 14:13:53

Bogey, I'd agree with that if you were "visiting" but at your parent's house, the child's GP? I think it works both ways. I know my parents would be horrified to think we found visiting them hard work.

Ilovehamabeads Mon 17-Nov-14 14:14:06

It's your dad. He's looking forward to seeing his family and it's just one (long) day. Take a big bag of distractions for your toddler and do it. Maybe just ask your dad if he could move some of the ornaments for the day to allow you to relax a bit more too.

JustSpeakSense Mon 17-Nov-14 14:14:20

Make the effort, you will be glad you did.

Betsy003 Mon 17-Nov-14 14:14:47

What about you going on your own so it's easier?

nobutreally Mon 17-Nov-14 14:14:58

I tend to feel that - given your dad has been ill, that you should make the effort - sorry! Are your siblings doting aunts/uncles? If so, you could rope a couple in so that you, dh and one/two of them take it in turns to be on ds duty - if he has constant playmates, presumably the whole thing will be easier? I'd warn your dad that ds is a typical toddler, and to keep really precious ornaments out of reach, but also take lots of toys/books/entertainment to keep him in check? Maybe ask about the possibility of including some outside time during the say to wear him out - wander through some parks/along the S Bank etc. Even just walking round the area near the flat if he's getting too bouncy will help.

Could you suggest a more family friendly restaurant (although ime, posh places are often very accommodating of little ones?) - or that you spend less time at the flat, which I'd expect to be the hardest element of the day.

Tbh, if it was me, I'd also consider cancelling your involvement in the street drinks and going part way down the day before (or even leaving the do early and getting a few hours travel under your belt that eve whilst your ds sleeps.

On which note - will your ds sleep for some of the time so you'll at least get a break then?

amicissimma Mon 17-Nov-14 14:15:15

Could you go alone this time and leave DS with his dad? I know your dad hasn't seen his grandchildren for a while, but this sounds like a stressful trip. Perhaps plan a more relaxed one for your family in January or February and take a night in a hotel.

If you go alone you could go by train. Coffee. Book. Music on phone. Relax. You don't say where from but you can get a return from eg Chester on 21st for £64 (with a change a Crewe on the way down). Or go home 1st class for £28 more!

TheAlias Mon 17-Nov-14 14:18:28

Surely the main point of the trip is that Dad wants to see the children?

My parents would rather I sent the children on their own than went by myself.....actually, there's a plan grin

SoonToBeSix Mon 17-Nov-14 14:23:10

Bogey do you have a toddler boy?

MrsHathaway Mon 17-Nov-14 14:23:50

Sounds horrendous to me (DC3 is a similar age) as it just isn't an event for a toddler.

I'd say you could either go on your own (tiring but limited to just you) or not at all, and have a longer get-together more suited to a small child in the New Year.

You'd spend so long herding you might as well not be there.

Bogeyface Mon 17-Nov-14 14:24:46

Not at the moment but I have had 2, my youngest (3) is a girl. DS2 is now 9 and he was a proper handful as a toddler, but chucking stuff down the loo and climbing Xmas trees? No.

CinnabarRed Mon 17-Nov-14 14:25:17

I was going to say the same as nobutreally - in my experience the posher the restaurant the nicer they are to children.

I'd plan to leave early on the Sunday morning, make time for a run around in a park before getting to your dad's place, and take lots and lots of things to do in the restaurant (and be willing to take DD and DS out for walks between courses, even though it means you and your DH get less time conversing with grown ups - you may find that doting grandparents and uncles/aunties take up some of the slack).

I have found all of the following to be good in restaurants: toy cars, crayons, a small selection of building blocks/duplo, stacking cups, play doh (but only for restaurants without table clothes). I'd also take a small tray to keep things contained. (I have 3 DSs, by the way.)

You don't say how old your DD is, but have you considered downloading the CBeebies app onto your mobile phone? It's free and will keep my just three year old entertained providing that I help him a little.

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