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To think if it's an evening invite then no kids, surely?

(60 Posts)
QuandryQueen Tue 03-Jan-17 12:00:17

A friend of ours has invited dh and I round for a meal end of the month. We both have small kids (our ds is 4, dd 2), they have ds also 4, dd aged 2 and another ds 6mo.

We accepted the invite and we're looking forward to it, however it transpires they want us to bring the dc. Both our kids go to bed 7ish and whilst we will keep them up for stuff like weddings or what not, a sit down meal at a friends house isn't something we would ever think to bring such small kids to.

Obviously we assumed their baby would be part of the evening with him being so small, and have said we are happy to wait till their elder son and daughter has gone to bed if that makes life easier - and offered to bring a course with us I should add.

They do seem rather insistent that our sons and their dd will play together while we dine but tbh I know I won't relax. Invariably small kids and late nights are exhausting and dh or I will constantly be on alert for arguments over who had what first and that sort of thing. And dd is an early bird who likes her bed and would be unbearable after 6pm

I'd rather, if kids were involved, all do a day out or meet for lunch.


yellowstarlight Tue 03-Jan-17 12:02:59


SaucyJack Tue 03-Jan-17 12:05:58

If you and your DC wouldn't enjoy themselves, then it's fine for you to not go.

Just be careful when speaking to them that you don't confuse your personal preferences for your family with what's normal or best.

Lots of kids would be fine with a dinner date at the weekend.

FrankAndBeans Tue 03-Jan-17 12:07:03

YANBU. If I wanted someone to bring their kids I would spring for them to have an all day invite. There will be less chairs and tables, more crowds and lots of drunk people, not appealing for a child at all.

KondosSecretJunkRoom Tue 03-Jan-17 12:07:29

I think you should either accept their invite or decline it, I think it's a bit rude to tell them you'll wait for their kids to go to bed if it is their intention to have them stay up for the duration.

FrankAndBeans Tue 03-Jan-17 12:07:48

Sorry I read it as a wedding evening invite. I'm getting married in August, I'm obviously obsessed blush

DailyFail1 Tue 03-Jan-17 12:07:57

Are you close enough to the couple to tell them all that? Tbh I think yabu if a tiny bit - kids should be able to cope with some flexibility to their routine and if it's happening on a Fri/Sat night you have Sunday to get them back on track.

Katy07 Tue 03-Jan-17 12:07:58

Are you the only guests invited? If not then maybe you're the babysitters but they're willing to feed you grin
In my experience an evening meal with uninterrupted civilised intelligent conversation does not go well with small children playing with each other when they're tired....

FrankAndBeans Tue 03-Jan-17 12:08:20

The same still stands though, or I would make it a really early dinner. Like 5/5:30.

luckylucky24 Tue 03-Jan-17 12:09:08

I would definitely try to move it forward and explain that you wont be able to relax the same.

MuseumOfCurry Tue 03-Jan-17 12:09:32

Everyone does this differently. If your kids are accustomed to being in bed at 7, it won't work for you. Just say you'd prefer to book a sitter.

KondosSecretJunkRoom Tue 03-Jan-17 12:10:34

And it can work. We regularly do this and our children and our friends children have a brilliant time playing while we catch up over a meal. That doesn't mean it has to work for you but I don't think their invitation is unusual.

PuppyMonkey Tue 03-Jan-17 12:10:37

I think your assumption that evening invite = "no kids, surely" is wrong.

Have been to zillions of evening dinner invites with my kids, even when tiny.

But otoh if you don't fancy bringing yours along, that's fine too - but it sounds like they want yours to come and entertain theirs to me.

QuandryQueen Tue 03-Jan-17 12:11:04

Just us invited.

If it was a big party style get together then I'd be more willing to take the dcs as there's no sit down meal getting interrupted or expectation from the kids to play sensibly while the adults sit and chat.

At the ages they are I just don't see it working but have no doubt in a few years time they will be able to keep themselves entertained for the evening whilst the adults chat.

MakeItStopNeville Tue 03-Jan-17 12:16:53

It's normal to have dinner at friends and take your children. A lot of people don't see the point of paying for a babysitter when you're just going over to your friend's house for the evening. Equally, it's fine if that's not for you but maybe just give it a go. What's the worst thing that can happen? You don't have a particularly good night?

QuandryQueen Tue 03-Jan-17 12:19:36

. What's the worst thing that can happen? You don't have a particularly good night?

Well, yes this.

I know already going into it that it won't be relaxing or fun having to manage tired kids, watching my food go cold, up and down constantly to check they're not up to mischief, etc

So why do it? Why put ourselves through it when we could (1) arrange a sitter or (2) arrange a more child friendly activity at a more child friendly time of day

MuseumOfCurry Tue 03-Jan-17 12:21:33

My kids would have happily watched a movie and left us alone for dinner at that age, but only you can know how this is likely to unfold. Just make a decision and let your friend know, it is not a big deal one way or the other.

QuandryQueen Tue 03-Jan-17 12:23:57

At 2 and 4? Gosh I think I need to start training my kids grin

FatGreen Tue 03-Jan-17 12:27:10

You seem rather insistent that the worst will happen, though, OP. DH and I have no local babysitters at all, so we can't accept evening invitations unless one of us stays at home with four year old DS, or he comes too -- and actually, it's usually fine now he's 4 (though I sympathise, because I can think of several occasions in the past when I took him out somewhere myself with friends who wanted to meet him, and it was so not-fine that there's a restaurant in my home city that I can barely bear to look at because it was such a disastrous lunch, and with friends I hadn't seen in years).

But last week, DH and I went to a big dinner party with about ten adults and eight children aged between four and ten, which was perfectly civilised. The children ate first and then went off and played and watched a film, and we ate in comparative peace. It can happen!

WonderWombat Tue 03-Jan-17 12:28:44

When my daughter was about 1 my husband and I received a dinner invitation. We got a sitter and I was really really looking forward to an evening of adult conversation. Only to find that our friends' - somewhat older children - were downstairs, fully dressed and although they had been fed had absolutely no intention of watching a DVD in another room. They were in and out permanently, not wanting their parents attention to be on anybody rather than them. And their parents seemed quite happy for the meal to be of that interrupted kind.

My husband and I had felt it was an unsatisfactory evening.

Though a family lunch or a picnic or daytime barbecue would probably have been very enjoyable.

QuandryQueen Tue 03-Jan-17 12:30:26

Not insistent just realistic. As I said above if it were a bigger group or maybe they were a little older I'd be a lot more relaxed about it.

The 2yo is not good with later nights she just cries and cries when she is tired and no reasoning helps at all. So I suppose I'm wary of rocking the boat with her routine tbh. And whilst the two eldest biys are good friends they don't half swing from best friends to "I'm telling on you" quickly and I'd rather like to dine in peace!

QuandryQueen Tue 03-Jan-17 12:31:18

FatGreen the kids at that event were much older!

Lorelei76 Tue 03-Jan-17 12:32:29

I get very confused by these threads
Just tell them " thanks for the invite but it doesn't work for us to have the kids out in the evening". Then you can suggest an alternative to see what works for everyone.

SpookyPotato Tue 03-Jan-17 12:33:00

My 2 year old would definitely keep coming to find me! YANBU OP, but neither way is wrong. Just don't go if you won't enjoy it.

eddielizzard Tue 03-Jan-17 12:34:13

i wouldn't take the kids. tell them they won't manage it and you don't want the stress. some kids like staying up (like mine hmm). great if you have kids that sleep - don't mess with that dynamic!

i went to a nye that included kids. the hosts were astonished that we left at 10pm when our youngest was having a massive tantrum due to exhaustion. was a weird and stressful evening.

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