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To think this is unfair on my friend's daughter?

(173 Posts)
definetlynotbored Tue 04-Oct-16 15:46:30

My friends and I go to a spa for one day every week. It's run by the local college so the staff are trainees and it costs practically nothing to use the facilities and get treatments done. We love it. We go until 3pm as we have our children in nursery and/or school during those hours.
A woman I knew through mutual friends asked if she could come along as she's not met any friends yet. This has been something we've done for almost two years now. So she turned up with her Daughter and the spa staff explained they have a strict policy regarding children and she cannot bring her in. We suggested she put her Daughter in nursery so that next time she can come along for a few hours when her daughter isn't there. She gets 15 hours free so could rearrange her days to have one day longer childfree.That particular day we did something child friendly as we realised she wasn't aware of the spa's child policy.

Anyway for months now she has arrived at 10am for the spa day and brought her Daughter and kept her daughter in the pram in the reception/cafe area until 3pm. She then goes for a meal with us all. She wont let her Daughter out of the pram at all during that time as she says she plays up when she's out of the pram and not at home. She gives her an ipad and snacks to keep her occupied.

This is the only day we can do the spa day or else we would try a different day.

If she wants to sit in the reception area for hours it's none of my business, but I just feel so sorry for her Daughter. My Son would never ever stay in a pram that long and her Daughter is so bored. She whines constantly and asks to come out of the pram. She then has to stay in the pram further while we walk to the cafe/pick our children up. We then have our dinner (we all make an effort to play with her once we are out) and our children are there then. The day ends around 5pm.

We all work so this is the only day we have, to do something together as we make sure we have one day a week alone with our children/families. We don't feel we need to stop having the spa day, just because she can't go as we have been doing it for years and she does not have to come along. She could come for the meal afterwards instead. I also invited her specifically to the Spa day not anything else so I did explain what we did each day.

I'm not sure why she chooses to come along. She doesn't get to chat to anyone for those few hours and there's no little play area for her daughter there. We brought come toys for her Daughter to play with but she is never allowed out of the pram and we never saw the toys again.

AIBU to think 5 hours is too long for a 3 year old to be sat in a pram in a reception area/cafe?

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Tue 04-Oct-16 15:51:16

At 3 none of my kids would have even gone in a buggy never mind for hours!! Are you a bit embarrassed by the whole thing? Poor child!! The woman has ruined your child - free day! I would have to say something if i didn't have my kids with me - I am surprised the staff haven't said something if kids aren't supposed to be there?!
Maybe ring anonymously and complain?
Then they can stop her going!

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Tue 04-Oct-16 15:51:45

I'm not sure if I've understood this properly - the woman arrives at 10am and sits in reception with her daughter until 3pm?

Whatever, no you are NBU and I'm amazed that this woman thinks that's acceptable.

definetlynotbored Tue 04-Oct-16 15:53:38

They're allowed in the reception/cafe area but not the main spa. She obviously lets her out to go to the toilet but that's it. She brings her food to keep her occupied and an ipad but still, its a long time to be sat in a buggy! She buys a coffee and tea from the cafe so they can't tell her to leave but I'm sure they don't like it either.

We don't really mind that its affected our day. I just feel really bad for her Daughter. I know it might be none of my business, but I just feel it's really unfair on her.

definetlynotbored Tue 04-Oct-16 15:54:11

I'm not sure if I've understood this properly - the woman arrives at 10am and sits in reception with her daughter until 3pm?

Yes that's correct.

definetlynotbored Tue 04-Oct-16 15:55:00

I would feel really bad ringing and complaining.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Tue 04-Oct-16 15:56:13

That's totally unacceptable! That poor little girl. I suppose you could think the mother is lonely and this is her best chance of company but that's not any kind of excuse for treating her daughter like this.

I'm truly shocked the mother could do it.

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Tue 04-Oct-16 15:58:09

Is she trying to make a point maybe? Or is she just dense? It's not healthy for a child to sit so long. Yanbu

dustarr73 Tue 04-Oct-16 15:58:49

Some people just have no self awareness.I would have to say something.She is ruining your childfree day.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Tue 04-Oct-16 15:59:05

Poor child. Definitely not a normal scenario.

Why on earth would she want to sit there when she could be at home with her child where the child could presumably enjoy herself.

Can you not suggest that she meets you in time for the meal rather than sitting waiting for you? It would make me very uncomfortable to know she was there waiting.

Is there any reason she can't be at home on the day?

FourToTheFloor Tue 04-Oct-16 15:59:07

Well I think you should mind, for the dd sake! What an absolute shit thing to do to your dc.

I would be embarrassed to be friends with someone who treated their kids like that tbh.

buckyou Tue 04-Oct-16 15:59:34

OMG why the heck would someone do that??? She sounds like a bit of a wierdo to me. 5 hours in a cafe, on your own with a kid thats moaning all day?? Very strange.

My kid wouldnt stay in the buggy for 5 minutes never mind 5 hours!

definetlynotbored Tue 04-Oct-16 16:00:28

The one and only time I mentioned she might be bored she said 'well lots of people go shopping all day and have their child in the pram that long then'.

Personally I've never done that as my Son would be too bored and grumpy and it would be a nightmare. But some do. But that is a little different as at least they're seeing different sights and the buggy is moving!

JacketPoTayTo Tue 04-Oct-16 16:00:42

Is it possible that there's something going on in this lady's life that's causing her to not want to be at home or not want to be alone? I know she's not actually with you all day but she is at least out of the house and presumably there are people bustling about. Could she be struggling? It's very sad for her dd but try not to judge because you don't know the facts. I'd try having a gentle chat with her, just the two of you, to see if she's OK. I can't understand why someone would choose to sit alone in a reception area for 5 hours unless there was something else going on.

itsmine Tue 04-Oct-16 16:01:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

definetlynotbored Tue 04-Oct-16 16:02:37

I've suggested she meets us for the meal. She has no problems at home. Honestly, I think she's just super lonely and bored of being at home. So being in a cafe one day a week is better than being at home. For whatever reason she would rather be in the cafe.

definetlynotbored Tue 04-Oct-16 16:03:11

She lives alone with her Son so definetly no problems at home

KoalaDownUnder Tue 04-Oct-16 16:03:21

But you're in having spa treatments, right? So she can't even talk to you for most of the 5 hours? Or what?

I don't do spa days and am v confused!

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Tue 04-Oct-16 16:04:49

Ok fair enough spending some time in the cafe, say an hour, but 5 hours is just too much. I'm surprised the staff haven't asked her to leave.

definetlynotbored Tue 04-Oct-16 16:06:16

I love spas. It means a lot to us to have the girlie day out. Nope we cant go back out to that area once in so we cant even go out to say hi to her during that time.

I know she must have reasons for doing what she does. But it's completely unfair on her Daughter. There's other ways to have company. :-(

definetlynotbored Tue 04-Oct-16 16:06:58

The staff wont ask her to leave as shes buying stuff from the cafe so they can't really.

The80sweregreat Tue 04-Oct-16 16:07:42

she does sound a little strange and for her to keep a child in a buggy for that amount of time is just not on. Difficult one for you, if the staff are happy for her to spin out a few hot drinks all day and not kick them out then there isn't much you can do. Can you not suggest she comes over after you;ve all had your spa treatments and go out with her then? Just say ' we've noticed your daughter getting a bit bored waiting, why don't you meet up with us at whatever time you finish?' she might get the hint, if not, there isn't much else you can do really! poor kid though.

dustarr73 Tue 04-Oct-16 16:08:10

Im surprised the staff are not charging her rent.One of you will have to say something.Even if you ring and complain anon.She wont know its you

OlennasWimple Tue 04-Oct-16 16:10:27

I'm not sure I completely follow the logistics of this (is the child in the pram while her mum has a facial, or whatever?), but it's clearly not acceptable to leave a child old enough to make use of an iPad strapped in a pram for hours on end!

One of you needs to tell her this. The wimped out way is to say that you want to go back to a completely child-free spa day, so when she has sorted childcare out, she should let you know so she can come again. The braver way (and better for the child) is to say that it's not OK to leave the child in the pram so long.

Does she need some extra support, such as a SureStart centre, perhaps?

buckyou Tue 04-Oct-16 16:13:10

Surely she could just go and drink coffee at soft play all day, then at least the baby could play and she would probably have more chance of talking to people.

Its almost like she is stalking you!! Would make me really uncomfortable!

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