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to think people with older / adult children must forget what hard work toddlers are?

(104 Posts)
PeppermintInAPearTreePatty Sun 04-Jan-09 20:52:44

...because they seem to expect a lot from my 18 mo DD.

Today we met a friend in a cafe with his 2 teenage children. After DD had eaten her lunch she started to whinge and wanted to play so I sat her on my knee and entertained her for the rest of the time, which meant I couldn't really join in the conversation with everyone else. At the end of the meal my friend told me I was spoiling DD because I played with her too much I don't know what he expected me to do, maybe ignore DD and let her have a tantrum?!

Another instance is when we visit DHs parents they always either take us out for lunch at a restaurant or cook a big formal three course meal (with wine, napkins, conversation). This is lovely lof them and I loved it pre-DD. However now DD just gets restless and whingey after 5 /10 mins, so to avoid a full blown tantrum me or DH have to take her out the room to play and end up missing our lunch Or if we're in a restaurant everyone stares and it's embarrassing. It annoys my in-laws too, as they can't understand why DD can't be MADE to sit and enjoy the meal

Another time I was trying to get DD to sleep in her buggy (we were out). She had just had a big tantrum mainly because she was very tired. A family friend kept sticking her head into the buggy and talking to DD so started crying again. ARGH!

All these people have children of their own (now teenagers / grown-up), am I being unreasonable to expect them to remember what toddlers are like? Or have they forgotten? Or should I expect more from my 18 mo?

mrsdisorganised Sun 04-Jan-09 20:57:30

YANBU My mum can be a bit like that, and she has had 8! I think people do forget and can be quick to judge....don't let it get to you! smile
Oh, I also don't think you can play too much with your toddler, just carry on being the good Mum that you are!!

LucyTownsend Sun 04-Jan-09 20:58:21

Well, all kids are different but I would expect an 18 month old to be able to sit still for more than 10 mins.

My DD is almost 12 months and she sat with us through a dinner party at lunch time, happily joining in with eating lunch and entertaining everyone with the new words that she has learnt " oh dear" is a particular fave!

So YANBU for expecting them to be more tolerant of the fact that she is a young child but maybe you could work with her to encourage her to enjoy time at the table?

BlueSapphire77 Sun 04-Jan-09 20:59:50

Of course they forget. 'Tis natures way of making sure people are stupid enough to contemplate having more than one kid and the reason there is usually a two/three year age gap between kiddies lol grin

PaddingtonBore Sun 04-Jan-09 21:00:21

your DD sounds just like any other toddler I know smile.

But people do forget, so perhaps you could be a bit more assertive about reminding them? Maybe next time you visit PILs book a table in an informal, family restaurant, suggest everyone just has one or two courses and explain why. Tell them you still want to spend time with them, but you're missing out on the conversation if you're entertaining DD the whole time.

bodiddly Sun 04-Jan-09 21:02:20

I don't think you should expect more from your little one to be honest. My family/friends can be the same ... maybe they just had very easy going children. My ds likes his routine and always has done and I used to hate it when they would say .. let him run around until he falls asleep (never going to happen). I sympathise as it just makes it stressful for you!

randomcupsoftea Sun 04-Jan-09 21:04:39

great name bodiddly!

people do forget what it's like. I'm looking forward to the rose tinted glasses....

earlyriser Sun 04-Jan-09 21:04:40

Lucy, is this your first? only asking because at 12months my ds was a dream at the table, he is now 18 months and will have tantrums, throw food, cutlery etc, fidget and generally be a pita if he wants, or be lovely and sociable. Just saying, don't judge the op until your child is a bit older and still sits nicely at the table!!

scifinerd Sun 04-Jan-09 21:04:48

YANBU, people forget very quickly. And Lucy I wonder if you will change your mind when your dc is actually 18months, it is quite a difference you know.

Peppermint sounds like you are doing a fab job. It is their problem not yours or your lovely and very normal dc.

StayFrosty Sun 04-Jan-09 21:08:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PeppermintInAPearTreePatty Sun 04-Jan-09 21:09:15

Bluesapphire - much like childbirth then grin

I do suggest alternatives to the 3 course meal thing when the in-laws visit us. But when we visit them I feel like we can't really have any influence over their plans. And they are doing it out of kindness because they want us to have a nice time (only we find it quite stressful!).

naturalbornmum Sun 04-Jan-09 21:11:57

Yes they do forget but TBH I think that your examples are abit OTT. Your DD needs to learn that she is not the centre of the world, yes entertain her but also join in with the conversation. I have friends who do what you do and I find it annoying and I have small DC!

LucyTownsend Sun 04-Jan-09 21:13:09

Yes, actually I do know, I am a childminder and often look after children of all ages.

Still 10 mins is a relatively short period of time to sit at a table and by involving them in the conversation or giving them little bits of food/toys will keep them occupied long enough for me and any other adults to finish our meals and have a conversation.

I said she not being unreasonable, just providing some constructive advice.

LucyEllensmummy Sun 04-Jan-09 21:13:14

They forget - I certainly did. DD1 is 18 and DD2 is 3 - believe me, i don't remember it being this hard blush

PaddingtonBore Sun 04-Jan-09 21:15:18

peppermint - I'm sure they'd change their plans if you ask nicely. Like you say yourself, they want you to have a nice time, but it's easy to forget how stressful containing a toddler can be.

LucyEllensmummy Sun 04-Jan-09 21:17:08

Blimey, im not sure i would want a CM taking my child out for meals with other adults. If I were to pay someone to look after my child then i would expect them to focus solely on that - alongside any other mindees. Doing lunch would not be something i would expect to be part of her day, even though I do it myself and DD sits wonderfully at the table, providing she is occupied. Else i let her get up and walk around if she wants - she is three. Why exactly SHOULD an 18 old be expected to sit quietly at the table while the adults finish their meals and have a conversation hmm

StayFrosty Sun 04-Jan-09 21:19:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StayFrosty Sun 04-Jan-09 21:20:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PeppermintInAPearTreePatty Sun 04-Jan-09 21:21:09

Lucy - 10mins is be fine. Obviously meals at home last about 10/15 mins and she is fine as long as she's eating or being entertained by toys/books. But today we were in the cafe for an hour and my in-laws meals go on for longer than this shock

bodiddly Sun 04-Jan-09 21:25:10

Our Boxing Day family meal is in a restaurant and lasts about 4 hours including drinks before hand ... I must say it is not easy entertaining little ones for that length of time.  Ds is older now but I still have to take a bag of things with me to entertain him!

ranting Sun 04-Jan-09 21:25:50

Of course you forget what toddlers are like, you will too. I have 9 years between my two and boy, did I forget how demanding babies and then, in turn toddlers are. It's human nature I think.

GreenMonkies Sun 04-Jan-09 21:25:55

YANBU, they do forget. It's very annoying. My sister has teenage children and has totally forgotten what it is like to be run ragged by a pre-schooler. I just let it go over my head.

I don't go to places that are not child-friendly with people who expect my children to "be seen and not heard", BUT I do always have toys, books, crayons, snacks, drinks, etc with me to keep my children entertained so that they don't take up every single second of my time when I am out with them.

Try giving a book/toy etc to one of the people with you (MIL?) and see if she would like to take a turn reading to your DD, so that you get a chance to eat your food and join in the conversation whilst someone else gives DD some focused attention.

bodiddly Sun 04-Jan-09 21:28:46

It is a little easier when they are slightly older as you can take a magazine so they can be read to, do some colouring and drawing etc.

bodiddly Sun 04-Jan-09 21:29:15

that and borrowing Where's Wally books from the library!

PeppermintInAPearTreePatty Sun 04-Jan-09 21:32:20

Stayfrosty - Our in-laws live about 1 1/2 hours away so when we visit we go for lunch and get home in time for DDs bedtime. In-laws ALWAYS eat dinner at 6pm so sadly this is before DDs bedtime (in-laws stick to a strict mealtime routine even though they're both retired can pretty much do as they please all day. Strange but true!)

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