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... to be feeling a bit weepy about a play date?

(30 Posts)
snowsuit Sun 06-Dec-15 18:51:29

a bit of background - my DD is in Y2, and has had minor difficulties with friendships over the past year or two, mostly because she tends to find one ‘best’ friend and become very close to them very quickly, and then have no one to play with if they are away or don’t feel like playing. we’ve been working on this with school and she’s been doing much better lately, and it’s seemed like she was starting to build a wider social circle.

she’s been saying for a while that she wants to invite a particular girl, S, over for a play date, or that S has invited her to her house. we’ve never got a proper invite from S, but last week DH picked DD up and got talking to the S’s dad and asked if she’d like to come over for tea, and apparently it was all sorted. then on thursday at school S’s mum came over to me and said they couldn’t do the day we’d arranged, but they could do a different day - i said that was fine. at this point S was all ‘yay!’ and acting excited with my DD. if they hadn’t have suggested a different day at this point, i probably would have just said something vague about letting us know when they were free and left it at that.

fast forward to this morning where we had an extracurricular thing - we arrived and immediately S came up to my DD and said ‘i’d like to come to your house but i can’t because i’m allergic to cats’. my DD said, ‘but you have a cat!’ and S did a panicky look back at her mum and said ‘my eyes water near cats’. i just said oh, that’s a shame, and tried to catch her mum’s eye and give her a smile but she wouldn’t even look at me! there were 3 mums in total from our school at this event and S’s mum pointedly avoided me, instead talking only to the other mum.

my DD was a bit quiet afterwards and asked me on the way home, ‘why did S lie about having a cat?’ and i said well, perhaps she changed her mind about wanting to come round and was trying to be polite about it, and DD said ‘but she told me on friday she was really excited’. i told DD that it wasn’t her fault and she doesn’t seem to have thought too much more about it this afternoon, but i’ve felt really upset and even a bit weepy about it all day.

i’ve been wondering why exactly this play date can’t happen - it’s just afternoon tea for a couple of hours after school FFS. if S had changed her mind and decided she didn’t want to come, well, i suppose that’s fair enough, but if i was in her mum’s shoes i probably would have let her know that once you’ve accepted an invite you have to at least go and do that one thing.

and if the mum had decided that she didn’t want it to happen, why? is it DD? is it us? i told DH who is normally very sanguine about this stuff and he’s been stewing about it too - it it all just confirms my feeling that rather than being the ‘friendly neighbourhood school’ that DD’s school seemed like at the start it’s actually quite cliquey and judgey. this mum is a SAHM and i feel like there’s a big divide between the SAHMs who all know each other and have coffee and have constant play dates, and the mums who work… but mostly i just feel disappointed for DD and wish this had been handled in a less obvious way, ie not in public. AIBU?

ClancyMoped Sun 06-Dec-15 19:06:34

I think you might be overthinking this one. I'm guessing your DD is your pfb? Kids can be fickle and parents can be fickle - it doesn't necessarily mean anything sinister.

If your DD still wants her to come over I'd send a text and send an open ended text. Something like

It's a shame the play date with S didn't work out the other day, let me know if she would like to come over another time. I could take them out to macdonalds if the cats a problem, thanks Snow

If you don't here back then you really mustn't worry about it. It might just be it's easier for the parents to arrange play dates with other parents.

Enjolrass Sun 06-Dec-15 19:08:35

So did she lie about coming over today or lie about having a cat?

Tbh, if I were you I wouldn't have suggested to dd that she just didn't want to come.

I would have glossed over it and perhaps spoke to the teacher to see if there had been any issues between the two of them that you aren't aware of.

Yanbu to be a bit upset. But it could be that the mum doesn't want her going to a house, where she doesn't know the parents. She could be over protective and not want her dd to go to your house when she isn't there?

It's really difficult as you only have half the information. Do you feel you can speak to the mother?

IonaNE Sun 06-Dec-15 19:17:52

once you’ve accepted an invite you have to at least go and do that one thing.
Why? Do you never pull out of social occasions? I have a problem with her/them lying (the cat issue). But I would not say to a child that once you've accepted an invite it's set in stone. It's not.

DoJo Sun 06-Dec-15 19:19:35

I don't really understand why you didn't speak to the mum after S had spoken to you - it's hardly up to a child of that age to make or break arrangements and I would have thought it would be perfectly natural to approach her mother and say that S had said she couldn't come over and you wanted to check what was really going on. All the negativity you are feeling is based on what a 7 year old said rather than anything tangible so I would hold fire on writing off the whole school until you've had a chat with one of her parents about it.

Flamingflume Sun 06-Dec-15 19:25:51

Why not be honest with the parent. Just explain to the mum that you don't want to try to rearrange if her child is not keen any more. Try to be casual, friendly but just find out what's behind it.

bornwithaplasticspoon Sun 06-Dec-15 19:27:52

I wouldn't worry about it. It's their problem, not yours. You've been kind enough to invite a friend to play and have been rudely snubbed. If a friend doesn't want to come, fair enough, but lying about it is ridiculous. Move on.. does your dd have another friend you could invite?

snowsuit Sun 06-Dec-15 19:29:36

thanks for the replies. i didn't talk to the mum this morning just because of the situation - we were all trying to get the kids ready for this event and sorting out uniform etc and i didn't really have a quiet moment to go over to her. but it wasn't like she didn't hear what S said, she was right behind her looking on. DH's view was 'well i'll just talk to the dad and ask him what's going on'. i'm secretly hoping he does this and just finds out so we know, although part of me thinks we should just leave it. it's really the obvious lying that upset me more than anything - i realise that they are 6/7 and friendships change with the weather, that's not really what bothers me. i just felt it was all a bit odd/disrespectful.

'Tbh, if I were you I wouldn't have suggested to dd that she just didn't want to come' - Enjolrass, i didn't come right out and say that to DD, but i did mention it as she was discussing what might have made S lie to her - i wanted to let her know that it wasn't the end of the world if she had just changed her mind - it happens.

bah! going to go and have a glass of wine and watch a bit of crap tv now and try to forget about it all grin

Bluetrews25 Sun 06-Dec-15 19:41:46

I read it as S still wants to come, but her DM doesn't want her to, perhaps as you are not in the gang, as you have already felt.
She can still play with S lots at school, whatever the mum says.
PFBs all round?

Yika Sun 06-Dec-15 19:45:01

I would be upset, and in response to Iona, no I don't think it's OK to pull out of social occasions unless you have a good reason and then you reschedule.

It must particularly sting because you have made efforts to support your DD in widening her circle of friends and it must seem like a setback, not just an unpleasant incident in itself.

I think your answer about the lying was a good one, for what it's worth: you don't avoid the issue of the lie but you cast it in a charitable light. That is a good way of helping your DD handle disappointment or other people letting her down, so in my view you taken/given something useful out of the situation.

The mum has obviously changed her mind for some reason and is too cowardly to be upfront about it.


MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 06-Dec-15 19:50:37

You need to speak to S's mother. Never take the word of a small child over without checking with mum or dad.

Could well all be a misunderstanding.

Dameshazaba Sun 06-Dec-15 19:54:49

What plastic spoon said. And - The mum behaved like a dick. Don't take it to heart. Try not to overthink it - you sound lovely. There's nothing wrong with your dd, you or your house. There will be plenty more play dates, and plenty more mums who act like dicks, purely because they gave their own issues. Enjoy the wine wine

Dameshazaba Sun 06-Dec-15 19:55:17

Have. Have their own issuesgrin

EponasWildDaughter Sun 06-Dec-15 19:57:28

S came up to my DD and said ‘i’d like to come to your house but i can’t because i’m allergic to cats’. my DD said, ‘but you have a cat!’ and S did a panicky look back at her mum and said ‘my eyes water near cats’. i just said oh, that’s a shame, and tried to catch her mum’s eye and give her a smile but she wouldn’t even look at me!

Maybe i'm being naive but perhaps S did lie to your DD at some point about having a cat and S really is allergic to cats, and the mum felt awkward about it on the morning?


Dunno. I just think it would be rather odd for a mum to prep her DD to lie about being allergic to cats - with the watery eye info and everything - just to get out of a play date.

TheDowagerCuntess Sun 06-Dec-15 19:58:30

Some people really are completely socially inept and clueless - honestly, it's not you, it's them. They're being completely weird.

flowers wine

snowsuit Sun 06-Dec-15 20:00:11

yeah, pfb, for me but not her... i'm generally not at all precious about friends, play dates, though - my DD can be quite dramatic about stuff so i try to offset that by being super-pragmatic about it all. don't know why this in particular has got me a bit emotional...

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Dec-15 20:00:34

Ive got a feeling, it is not the friend, but the mum who dud nit want her dd to have a play date with her dd, she kept making excuses. and got her dd to lie.very shitty of her, she sounds mean, poor dd sad. Parents are fortunately less involved when it comes to senior school.

SummerNights1986 Sun 06-Dec-15 20:01:22

Don't overthink it. There could be a load of reasons why the mum has decided not to let her come over.

Maybe it's a punishment because she's done something really naughty at home or school. Maybe she's started having accidents and the mum wants to save her any embarrassment. Maybe the mum is embarrassed about their home and has panicked that she'll have to invite your dd back.

Or maybe the other girl has decided she doesn't want to go over, pulled a massive strop over it and the mum has had to decline to avoid forcing her to go and is trying to save your dd's feelings. And if so, so what? Plenty of other kids to invite!

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Dec-15 20:01:37

Meant your dd friends mum did not want her to have a play date with your dd.

EponasWildDaughter Sun 06-Dec-15 20:07:25

I was thinking along the same lines as summernights.

You don't know what's going on in other peoples lives, and as hard as it is to do, you need to put this behind you and not dwell on it.

There could be a million and one reasons behind why either S or the mum wanted or needed to cancel with none of them have anything to do with you or DD. She could have handled it better, but that is the one and only thing we can say for sure.


Fatrascals Sun 06-Dec-15 20:10:07

Don't dwell on it. There will be other disappointments and weird encounters with children/parents. It's all part of school life unfortunately.

blatantplacemark Sun 06-Dec-15 20:14:18

Goodness me, please don't get your DH to talk to her father - you're going to look deranged!

Yes it's disappointing and you're entitled to feel hurt but just leave it now and encourage other friendships. Trust me, there'll be lots of this sort of thing with friends as they move up the school

Aeroflotgirl Sun 06-Dec-15 20:21:43

I would just leave it, as dd gets older she will meet other kids.

ricketytickety Sun 06-Dec-15 20:26:19

The mum sounds a bit odd.

My dd had a best friend who's mum was like this. My dd used to come home and ask why her friend's mum didn't like her because her friend had said so. I didn't believe her mum could have said it until the day her dd said she wasn't allowed to play with my dd again and her mum was right behind her. It was weird. My dd moved schools after that (not because of this) so made a new set of friends. The other girl has gone on to become a bit of a bully.

I have to say, it made me really cross because I took it as an insult to my dd and a kind of bullying (not sure if that's the right word) by an adult through her dd. But I chose not to say anything and told my dd it wasn't her problem - that not all adults are nice.

So I think you're dd is better off not developing a friendship with a girl who is being encouraged to lie and not have her choice of friends round because the mum is a bit odd. There is probably nothing more to it than her mum being controlly with her dd and nothing to do with your dd or you.

shebird Sun 06-Dec-15 20:43:25

I echo what other have said about trying to have a little chat with the other mum as it might well be a misunderstanding. Peoples lives are complicated, sometimes they overcommit and you just don't know what might going on.

I'm a bit slack on the play dates front due to work, lots of extra curricular stuff and just lack of time and energy. Having said that I would never accept an invitation and then back out without good reason because I know the kids would be so disappointed.

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