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To not want to take a toddler to horse racing as family day out?

(12 Posts)
PenelopeChipShop Fri 28-Nov-14 09:22:17

I genuinely need to be told whether I am or not as I am generally fed up with my MIL at the moment and may be making a mountain out of molehill. She made a huge fuss about the fact that she wanted us (DH, me and our DS who is 2) to visit them for Christmas this year. It's about 2-3 hours' drive so kind of has to be a one or two-night stay.

We wanted to stay at home as we finally have our own place, I want to see some of my family members who live a long way away and will only be down for a few days over Christmas and it's just more relaxing to be at home with a 2-year-old than travelling on busy roads etc. However, long story short, I gave in to huge emotional blackmail and we agreed to visit them.

She called this morning to say they are planning a trip to some horse racing on Boxing Day. Our DS is the only child in the family at the moment so everyone else going is an adult. It just doesn't strike me as a very toddler-friendly day and I can see that everyone else will be betting, cheering horses and drinking while I try to keep DS entertained and stop him getting trampled underfoot. Am also pissed off that having made such a fuss about wanting to see him for Christmas she is choosing to do something like this during which she won't get to see him much anyway.

AIBU to say we'd prefer to do something more family-friendly or do I just suck it up as we're away from home and it's their rules?

(I don't want to sound as though the world should revolve around us just because we have a small child, but I find it baffling that MIL doesn't want to do something more toddler-friendly given that she is apparently so desperate to see him for those particular two days!!)

formerbabe Fri 28-Nov-14 09:24:54

Depends where you go...I have been to ones which have bouncy castles for the kids, although that was in the summertime! There are also restaurants...I'd take a toddler I think although I wouldn't stay late as people get drunker the later it gets.

MellowAutumn Fri 28-Nov-14 09:26:23

Honestly ? What does your dh think - especially when you tell him he will be doing 50% of the childcare that day ?

NCIS Fri 28-Nov-14 09:27:56

I have taken my DC's horse racing on boxing day when they were younger and was surprised at how family focused it was, little fairground rides, magicians, bouncy castles, free ice cream etc. They do really go all out to attract and cater for families particularly on Boxing day although this was one of the big courses so I don't know what it would be like if it's a smaller one.

UriGeller Fri 28-Nov-14 09:32:07

We take our kids to family day at the races but that's in summer and they can run about and picnic.

Can you just tell them that Christmas is for kids and you've decided to concentrate on creating a special day for them that they'll remember.

UriGeller Fri 28-Nov-14 09:34:19

I don't think it's unacceptable for you to say you want to spend a first Christmas as a family in your own new home!

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 28-Nov-14 09:36:15

If you seriously think that you will be doing all the toddler entertaining that day (ratherthan you and DH both taking in turns) then YANBU to refuse to go.

(1) it wouldnt be my venue of choice for a two year old (2) itll be cold so watching inside on screens - might as well watch on tv at home! (3) youve already committed to Christmas Day with the ILs - I would insist on Boxing Day with my own family.

A 2/3 hpur journey doesnt necessarily mean a 2/3 night stay - I would go down Christmas Eve and leave after Christmas Lunch, home to put the LO to bed, you and dh have a nice evening in, and traffic will be quiet CD. Spend Boxng Day with your family.

ProveMeWrong Fri 28-Nov-14 09:45:20

Yep I would do the drive home! Sounds like a hassle to me keeping a toddler entertained and not trodden on by pissed people who are too busy talking to their mates to see a small child. 3 hours in a car after Christmas lunch when they are probably due a nap after all the morning excitement is probably quite nice, get the Christmas music playing, have a drink when you get home!

PenelopeChipShop Fri 28-Nov-14 09:56:50

Hmm i will google it and see if it is family friendly, I was just assuming it wasn't but I've only ever been to the 'big' summer ones like Derby Day which are just full of dressed up drunk people! It's something I've avoided doing since having him as I've never seen small children at those venues but maybe that's because I'd obviously never been to family events.

I get your points about DH supposedly doing 50% but that's another whole thread tbh!

I actually really like the idea of driving back home on Christmas afternoon but I don't think that will be acceptable either, she wants us there for the day and for Boxing day, I think we're allowed to drive back Boxing day evening though. Maybe if there will be bouncy castles etc I will just give in (sensing a theme here!) but if it doesn't look like a family day I think I will just text her and say I'd really rather we did something that suits the whole family. So tired of everything revolving around her!!

Johnogroats Fri 28-Nov-14 10:07:35

We went to a family day at Fontwell when one child was 2. It was fun, but cold. I remember Boxing Days freezing at York or wetherby race courses. Back then everywhere inside was smoky and foul.

Good luck!

DidoTheDodo Fri 28-Nov-14 10:38:36

I'd drive home. 2-3 hours seems quite a short distance to me (I live a 4 hr drive from family so that's my excuse!)

INickedAName Fri 28-Nov-14 10:51:34

We've been to Boxing Day races at Sedgefield when dd was also 2, I had same reservations as you, I'm gonna get flamed here but it was very snobby of me as I was worried that it would be full of drunken versions of the people who sit in local bookies day in day out and I didn't want them around my pfb, I felt very silly when I got there and saw it wasn't a bigger outdoor version of the bookies with booze added, so I got over myself and it was actually a very family friendly day out, mum would have driven us back (with a big eye roll no doubt lol) to her house if dd got fed up but we all had a great time. Id do it again in heartbeat, I'd go so far as to say its one of my fave family Xmas. It was cold though so wrap up well if you do end up going, make sure dh understands he is expected to pull his weight with childcare during the day too.

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