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Is this weird or am I?

(62 Posts)
ExitStageLeft Sun 31-May-15 22:11:45

It was DS's 4th birthday party today, I invited the children from his pre-school who I know are going to his infants school to say hi and hopefully build some relationships with the parents.

One little girl turned up, her Dad shook my hand and then said "you'll be overrun here, I'll leave her and pick her up later. What time?"

I was quite shocked (she's 4, maybe even 3) and said "will she be ok?" and he almost laughed and said "of course, she'll be fine. Here's my number if you need me" and left me his business card.

It was a hectic party, with around 40 adults and 20 children. My husband was on garden duty and was keeping an eye on here but after about half an hour I saw the little girl by the bouncy castle looking a bit lost. I asked her if she was ok and she shook her head but couldn't reply. I took her inside and went through the usual things, loo, drink, food and then said "shall I phone Daddy?" and she nodded.

Phoned him, he was clearly put out but came back about another half hour later all the time my niece had to babysit her as frankly I was so busy I couldn't. Poor little love she was so scared.

Dad never acknowledged it or apologised, did stay but was very rude. At one point when we were doing the cake the little girl sidled up my my husband and sat on his knee even though she doesn't know him from Adam, and her Dad was right there!

To be clear, I'd never met the parent or child before.

Who actually does that?! Or are we being weird.....?

Theycallmemellowjello Sun 31-May-15 22:17:51

I don't think he's done anything terrible, he just got the wrong end of the stick and assumed he was meant to leave her. I don't really get why you didn't just ask if he could stay if it was expected. Or I guess for next time you could put it on the invite. But no harm done, he came back when he was needed. And I don't think the girl sitting on your dh's knee reflects badly on the father.

Fairy13 Sun 31-May-15 22:19:07

DS is only 2 so obviously I would stay but with DSD I didn't start leaving her until 6? And even then I was ask. Usually stayed close by.

To leave a 3/4 year old is not ok IMO. Plus, that's how you get to know parents!

fiveacres Sun 31-May-15 22:20:48

He made a bit of a faux pas but I don't think it's quite as terrible as the OP suggests.

'Poor little thing, she was so scared.'

She's been without parents before at pre school. She was at a classmates birthday party, not being bundled into the back of a van hmm

AmyElliotDunne Sun 31-May-15 22:22:36

People who don't have the option do that.

My dd was fine being left at parties with her friends from nursery when she was 4. Having two other DCs who weren't invited and an XH who worked shifts and wasn't around at weekends, I didn't have a choice if she wanted to go she had to be left. She is now a very independent, confident and mature 8 year old.

It might be that the girl would have been fine at another party and was probably just overwhelmed at all the people.

Fwiw, if I had twenty kids to entertain the last thing I'd want is 40 adults hanging around too! I'd much rather parents dump and run, leaving the kids to enjoy the party rather than clinging to their parents' leg for two hours.

ExitStageLeft Sun 31-May-15 22:25:11

Well actually, as it turns out fiveacres there was only my son she did know because no one from pre-school turned up! She was scared! Strange house, strange adults....

He must have realised, all the other parents were there when he dropped off. Also, sorry!! Big AIBU fail but DRIPFEED when the mum texted to RSVP she said, "do we stay or drop her off" and I replied "all the other parents will stay but you're more than welcome to bring other siblings!" and never heard back!

WorraLiberty Sun 31-May-15 22:25:59

I held a 4th Birthday party at home for my eldest and I none of the parents stayed.

Their kids seemed pretty confident and they knew I'd contact their parents if they needed me to.

Much like school I suppose.

NinkyNonkers Sun 31-May-15 22:26:13

I've never seen a parent leave a child yet, not at 3/4/5. Mine certainly wouldn't be left, they'd go berserk! There was certainly no need for him to be rude on return though.

ExitStageLeft Sun 31-May-15 22:27:33

They're our friends children, so our friends stayed's a social occasion. To be absolutely clear : I've never met these people or this child before. How do they know I'm not some lunatic?!

milkysmum Sun 31-May-15 22:28:16

I think parents usually ask at that age if hosts would prefer them to stay or just drop off. By 5/6 they all pretty much drop off but at 4 do tend to ask first, I'm surprised he didn't as he didn't know you but it was awful!

Thymeout Sun 31-May-15 22:28:34

I think it's weird to have 60 people to a 4 yr old's birthday party.

milkysmum Sun 31-May-15 22:28:57

*wasn't awful not was

fiveacres Sun 31-May-15 22:29:46

I must admit, I don't tend to assume my children's classmates parents are lunatics! grin

As Worra says, it's much like school. If your friends stayed because it's a social occasion, it rather explains why this man didn't as by your own admission, he doesn't know you or you him!

I'd stay at age 3/4 but probably not at 5/6/7. So it isn't something I'd do but I honestly don't see it as some sort of terrible thing either.

milkysmum Sun 31-May-15 22:29:46

Ha yes thyme out I would agree at that!

ExitStageLeft Sun 31-May-15 22:30:13

Thanks Thyme, very useful and completely relevant.

Theycallmemellowjello Sun 31-May-15 22:30:22

I think there's just been a miscommunication. I think yabu to be annoyed that someone had to 'babysit' her - you accepted responsibility for her so of course someone had to look after her. I think also it's u to be annoyed he didn't stay when you had the opportunity to ask him to.

Hallamoo Sun 31-May-15 22:33:59

Sounds absolutely fine to me, I don't think the Dad did anything wrong, he left his number, he didn't disappear off the face of the earth!

My DD is 4, and is the youngest of 4 DC, she's very confident and I've been leaving her at parties for a few months, without a problem. Obviously I'd stay if the parents explicitly said they wanted parents to stay, but OP wasn't explicit. As someone else said, it's not always possible to stay if you have other DC, there would probably be another AIBU about parents staying at parties, and bringing along their other DC who weren't invited!

In what way was the Dad rude when he returned, I don't think the OP said?

ExitStageLeft Sun 31-May-15 22:34:41

I suppose my surprise is that someone would leave their 3/4 year old with people they don't know. I get they get left at pre-school but you stay with them the first couple of times. If you feel weird about staying in a party with people you don't know, maybe think your kid might feel the same and decline the invite!

ClawofBumhead Sun 31-May-15 22:36:25

I'd do this. I would do it thinking it would make life easier for you.

I wouldn't even imagine you were looking to "build relationships" with me, but if I got a whiff of that I'd be doubly quick to exit. Let's keep it professional, you know? smile

ExitStageLeft Sun 31-May-15 22:36:52

Must just be me then! I would never leave mine and he is far from lacking in confidence but I'm clearly in the minority. Thanks All!

Notso Sun 31-May-15 22:37:23

I remember when DD had her first party being baffled because all the parents stayed. When I was a child maybe a couple stayed to help but the rest left.
In DS1's 7th party all the parents got asked to leave Frankie and Benny's because they were hovering around behind their kids.

...the little girl sidled up to my husband and sat on his knee even though she doesn't know him from Adam, and her Dad was right there.
Not sure what the problem with that is tbh.

theendoftheendoftheend Sun 31-May-15 22:44:28

I agree with you OP!

fredfredgeorgejnr Sun 31-May-15 22:46:36

So you had a party for 40 of your good friends and their children and 1 3 or 4 year old girl you've never met, and you think her father is the weird one?

Her mother asked if it was drop or stay and although your answer was particularly weird and failed to actually answer the question, it implied it was fine to drop.

You were the weird one.

fredfredgeorgejnr Sun 31-May-15 22:49:18

ExitStageLeft But the kid does know other people - all the other pre-schoolers! Of course, in this case he wasn't to know all the other parents -knew you were trying to network and ran for the hills- were busy today.

Pedestriana Sun 31-May-15 23:20:17

I took DD to a party last year, when she was nearly 3.5, it was a friend from pre-school. When I got to the venue ( a soft play type thing) the 'host' (from same soft play thing) said that if children were over 3, they could be left, and picked up after an hour. I asked DD if she wanted me to stay and she said, "No" and ran off to join her friends. I went to the shops.
When I got back, I found out that all the other parents had stayed but in a side room, so they could keep an eye on their kids. Weird.

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