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DS Christmas present from Ex's mum

(195 Posts)
Tig33 Wed 23-Jan-19 22:53:37

I really need some opinions on this as I do not want to be unreasonable, will try to explain the situation as clearly as possible.

I left DS's dad 12 years ago when DS was one due to his unreasonable behaviour (drinking, lying, basically not being a good dad or partner). I wanted to give DS a stable and loving home and I have done so. ex's behaviour since has demonstrated that I made the right choice for DS, ex has been very unreliable with contact and financial support and we have got to the point when the last time he saw DS was last February (so missing DS birthday and Christmas). DS has very little contact with that side of the family at all. February was ex's mum's husband's birthday dinner and that was the last time DS saw or heard from any of them. Usual contact is roughly once per year, prior to this year DS maybe saw his dad 2-3 times a year (often being let down at last minute)

Anyway, what I need advice on is this: Ex's mum's Christmas gift to DS is a 'tree top adventure' at a location near her home. Out of the blue she sent him a card with a note asking for details of his school holidays. DS was not super keen to go but is a very polite child so said he would go so I emailed her with the dates. She replied to say that she would come and pick DS up on the Saturday and they would meet up with the rest of the family (including DS dad) on the Sunday. Travel is invovled. This means DS staying over with her which DS doesn't feel happy to do.

She is really a stranger to him as he has seen her so infrequently.

I replied to say that DS would prefer to go there in the Sunday but she said that does not work for them.

I feel I am being put in a difficult position as I do not want DS to be upset and I do not want to rock the boat with Ex's family.

An option would be for me to offer to take DS there and pick him
Up but based on a previous event when I did just that they were very rude to me, plus I work full time and do not want to spend my precious Sunday driving 1.5 hours there hanging around all day then driving back.

Sorry this is so long hope someone reads it.. would I be unreasonable to say sorry that does not suit us DS can't make it (tempted to point out why and perhaps highlight that DS has not seen his dad for a year!)

Thanks for reading!

Queenofthestress Wed 23-Jan-19 22:56:26

I would reply exactly that, fuck them, DS's feelings come first and he doesnt want to stay over night

paintinmyhairAgain Wed 23-Jan-19 22:57:50

this should be about your son and what he wants, stick up for him, what ex mil and co is not really relevant as they are so under invested.
what does your ds want to do?

Itwasbestoftimesworstoftimes Wed 23-Jan-19 22:58:48

I’d offer drop him and pick him up.

Get some munchies and podcasts for the car.

If they refuse that then your dS doesn’t go at all

Tig33 Wed 23-Jan-19 22:59:46

Thanks queen, I feel quite unsettled by it as just find it so bizarre. As a gift it would make sense if she saw him regularly and he had expressed an interest in it, but just out of the blue and with a sleepover seems so odd. I am protective of DS and feel uncomfortable with the whole set up

Howlovely Wed 23-Jan-19 22:59:59

I wouldn't worry about rocking the boat with your ex's family! They sound like a bunch of shits.

ecuse Wed 23-Jan-19 23:01:35

If you think they would go for the you driving option I would do it for the sake of your son: he gets to do a fun thing and will probably feel a bit anguished about letting his GPs down if he doesn't go at all.

I'd also not let him stay over, but I'd allow myself to be the bad guy to save his embarrassment. So it's not 'sorry he can't stay over because he doesn't want to' but 'sorry, I don't want him staying'.

pompomcat Wed 23-Jan-19 23:01:48

YANBU at all.
You and your DS sound very nice and considerate. Given that DS is willing to go but not to spend the night with your ex and family, I would suggest making this clearly politely but firmly, whilst considering how much you are prepared to do to facilitate contact in this instance - appreciate that you don't want to spend a precious Sunday driving/hanging around, particularly if these people are unpleasant to you, but you might think it's worthwhile if you think that DS might enjoy the treetop experience and he only has to see them so infrequently. (Then again, if DS isn't bothered you may not!)

garethsouthgatesmrs Wed 23-Jan-19 23:02:30

I think you need to say he is uncomfortable about the sleepover as he hasn't seen them in so long and that they need to come up with a solution that involves no sleepover. If they can't then he doesn't go.

Tig33 Wed 23-Jan-19 23:02:54

DS definitely doesn't want to sleepover. He grudgingly agreed to go to the adventure (out of politeness as he mentioned it being a gift.) I want to suppport him but do not want to be difficult although ex's mum seems to hate me anyway but I mean more in terms of DS long term relationship with that side of family. So hard

Leeds2 Wed 23-Jan-19 23:03:22

I would probably drive him there and back on the Sunday myself, staying in car and not having any interaction with any of them.
Or, I would tell them that DS does not want to stay over and that one of them (surely his dad?!) can come and pick him up, and bring him home, on the Sunday or he isn't going.
I would first check with DS whether he would prefer to stay at home.

CrazyOldBagLady Wed 23-Jan-19 23:03:30

If he wants to go I would drop him off and pick him up. Sucks for you but it might be the only chance he gets to see that side of the family.

garethsouthgatesmrs Wed 23-Jan-19 23:03:49

perhaps a compromise would be that you drop him and pick him up at a halfway point?

BornInAThunderstorm Wed 23-Jan-19 23:04:18

Nope. If he isn’t happy about this then it isn’t a gift, its something he would have to endure.

If he says no then I would say the same

Tig33 Wed 23-Jan-19 23:04:37

Thanks everyone sorry my replies are out of sync as I am a slow typer!

Will try to catch up

Tig33 Wed 23-Jan-19 23:08:19

The sleepover is just with ex's mum. DS dad won't be there as rest of family is travelling on the Sunday. I suggested dS travelling with the rest of them on the Sunday if possible but she said too much out of way too pick DS up.

There was no mention of the sleepover in the original request, that was only mentioned once I had emailed the school hol dates which I feel was a bit cheeky as think DS would have said no initially Had he known that it was over 24 hours rather than half a day or so.

FinallyFree123456789 Wed 23-Jan-19 23:09:15

It's not about what works for them.
If they wanted to be active grandparents in your child's life they could have done so without their son (your ex) playing any part.

If it doesn't suit them to have him only on the Sunday then they are 2 options.

1) you drive him on Sunday only and wait around for him
2) he does not go at all

Why did ex's mother not email you and ask you if your son could do the activity instead of booking it and telling you a date that they had booked. Shouldn't they have asked you first, you discussed it with your son and then they book the dates?

rosiejaune Wed 23-Jan-19 23:09:37

Can't you just drop him off on the Sunday? They would have had to bring him home that evening anyway with their plan. Then you don't have to hang around.

garethsouthgatesmrs Wed 23-Jan-19 23:11:39

Does the Ex live nearer to you than the place they are going. Could you arrange to meet him somewhere nearer on the sunday morning and drop DS there?

Tig33 Wed 23-Jan-19 23:14:20

I do think that DS preferred option would be to stay at home! As he does not know these relatives they are not really family he has seen them around 10 times in his life and no phone calls, letter (other then Christmas card and bday card from Ex's mum) or photos to maintain a relationship.

He would far rather do this activity with family he sees or friends.

For context a similar situation was Ex'a mothers 60th birthday (8 years ago) despite rarely seeing DS she wanted him to miss school to attend her party. I said no he can't miss school so I took him and picked him up (4 hour round trip that involved me sitting in a library for three hours) and she was rude to me to my face when I went to pick DS up. He hadn't eaten and fell asleep in my arms on the way to the train station (yes I do still resent this which does not help!)

Drogosnextwife Wed 23-Jan-19 23:14:33

No, they hardly know your ds, fuck them. Tell them exactly why your ds doesn't want to go.

garethsouthgatesmrs Wed 23-Jan-19 23:17:27

Then just say no to the sleepover and no to you driving anyway and i they can't find a solution he doesn't go. Don't worry about repercussions they don't sound like reasonable people so whatever you do/say you will be the bad guy.

badg3r Wed 23-Jan-19 23:18:14

If you accepted the invite for the Sunday could you tell them he is busy on Saturday evening so it is drive him down Sunday morning or not at all? They don't need to know that "busy" is having pizza on the sofa at home in front of a film. I agree that it all sounds weird though.

SaturdayNext Wed 23-Jan-19 23:19:25

Can't you just take him on the Sunday morning, on the basis that they drop him back in the evening?

PepsiLola Wed 23-Jan-19 23:20:14

I'd respond saying "I'm really sorry we are going to have to rethink plans, DS was not aware this was overnight and he's not comfortable with it. Obviously he still wants to see you as it's been a year(!), so the best scenario is that I bring him in Sunday."

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