To have left this party early? (Long, sorry!)(77 Posts)
We went to a family party tonight that SIL had organised which was held at her house. When we were first invited it was addressed to the whole family so me, dh, DSS and dd. DSS is 7 and dd is 9 months. The invite said the party started at 6 so we asked if we could bring a travel cot to put dd in as she normally struggles with staying awake past 6:30ish. SIL said yes of course and she thought it was a good idea as it'd mean we could stay later. She has a DS who is 1.5 so would also be putting him to bed early.
Fast forward to yesterday when I got a text to say that the party had been moved to 7:30. I said that it may be an issue with dd's sleep as there's no way she'd stay awake until then especially as we have to drive there - she'd fall asleep on the way there and would be a nightmare. I then said "oh but as long as we're still ok to bring the travel cot I may be able to settle her as soon as we get there". SIL then said "oh I thought I told you, we've decided there's no room for a travel cot, sorry." I then said that it'd probably be best if I didn't bring dd then and stayed at home with her but that dh and DSS would still go. SIL asked if we could get a babysitter - we couldn't as MiL wasn't free and everyone else we trust would be at the party. She then said that she thought DSS would find the party boring so why couldn't dh stay at home with both kids and I come on my own? I said that I wouldn't be comfortable with that as dd is teething pretty badly and has had some horrible nights recently where she won't settle for anyone but me. I know this sounds really precious and pfb but as DSS doesn't live with us we are not happy about getting a babysitter when he's with us. I said I was sorry but it didn't look like it'd work so I'd drop a card/pressie round during the day and I hoped the party would go well.
Anyway, SIL got all upset and said she really wanted us all there so why didn't we go at 6 and see them and then the party would start properly at 7ish. I said yes as I felt that she was really trying to accommodate us at that point but I made it clear that if dd was struggling then we'd have to leave. Dd is normally great at settling herself to sleep as long as she's in a quiet dark room, in a bed. If there's anything going on in the same room, she's a nightmare!
I also asked if we should feed DSS before we got there and was told definitely no, there would be buffet food and they didn't want DSS to spoil his appetite. Anyway to cut a long story short, dd suddenly found some stamina from somewhere cos she was still fine by 7:30, and all the guests had arrived at 6 so I guess the start time was changed for everyone. But DSS was really hungry - he hasn't eaten since lunch. The food was out on a table under some cling film, so dh sent DSS to ask SIL if he could have some food. He was really polite but SIL said no - he'd have to wait. DSS came back and was quite upset but we were sure he wouldn't have to wait long. At 8pm dh went and asked and was told yes but in a few minutes. My db was also asking SIL if DSS could have some food but was also told no. It got to 8:30 and we decided that DSS couldn't wait any longer so we went home. We got DSS some food after we got back and then he went straight to bed.
I know this is really petty but we then got a snotty text from SIL asking why we'd gone so early and that if something was wrong then why didn't we say something at the time? I replied saying that DSS was really hungry and we didn't want him to get upset and ruin the party and that we thought it was best to get him fed as soon as we could. It just feels like SIL didn't want him there and was trying to make the point that it was an adults' party therefore the food doesn't get served until much later. But if that was the case then why tell us not to feed him beforehand? My dad stayed at the party and said the food was finally opened at just after 9 so was IBU to go and also to be honest about why we left?
By the way I should have separated the last bit into 2 paragraphs. I didn't text the bit about SIL not wanting him there etc, just about being hungry and needing food ASAP.
You were entirely reasonable. And your SIL is a prize arse.
Your SIL is a control freak who like to regain power by making life needlessly difficult for other people.
Don't waste any more headspace on her than you a;ready have today. Have a nice glass of wine and read a book instead.
You were not U at all, either for leaving at that point or for telling SIL why. I cannot imagine anyone being cruel enough to deny food to a hungry 7-yr-old for all that time!
She is normally lovely which is why I agreed to still go to the party even though it was a real faff for us. I honestly didn't expect DSS (or dd) to be treated like that and I know my brother was upset both at how we were treated and the fact we had to go early. I was just so angry on DSS' behalf, he is a lovely boy and none of the guests would have minded him having a little plate of food an hour or so earlier than everyone else.
What an utterly pointless party - who was it aimed at, exactly? Why the pissing about with start time, eating arrangements, etc?
I think YABU to not have given DSS a snack between lunch and the party really - even if food was expected it is still a long stretch for him to cope with being not fed.
However generally it seems your SIL is a spoilt madam who expects lots of people including young children to do as she wants rather than what's needed.
I don't think it needs a massive falling out just better prep in future and be aware this is what she is like.
I don't think YWBU.
You had explained all the potential problems with your SIL, you had made compromises, and most people are aware that a hungry child needs feeding, not kept from food for such a long time. And your SIL was unreasonable because she hadn't pre-warned you that the food would be served late.
I just feel so stupid for not feeding DSS beforehand anyway despite what they told me but like I said SIL has absolutely no form for this so I had no idea this kind of thing would happen. I was even feeding him dd's mini breadsticks and rice cakes at one point just to show how ridiculous the situation was!
Re-reading this, is your DB your SIL's DH? then why didn't he just get up and serve the child some food? Instead of just being upset about it?
Euphemia it was an adult's birthday party but 90% of the guests were from our family so we knew most people there. They were all really embarrassed about the whole situation (and I think they were hungry too - I know I was!)
You are not being unreasonable, why couldn't she have given him something to eat? Even if she wanted to serve it properly later she could have put a few bits on a plate for him. How mean.
Don't let her cob on with you about this.
FryOne he is yes, he did say something to SIL who said she was going to serve the food in a minute so he left it at that, then his son (who'd been put to bed) woke up and needed him and took ages to settle again, by which time we'd had to decide to go. So he was upset as we were walking out the door as he'd expected DSS to have been fed by then.
and I think they were hungry too
Indeed. If I were invited to a party from six onwards and found myself stood around looking for the food for three hours I think I'd leave and get fish and chips myself, children or no. Life's too short for shit parties with useless hosts playing games.
Honestly we all forget sometimes and despite saying YABU for not giving him some snacks etc I can see that as you DB's wife you would take her word for it and wouldn't expect her to withhold food.
I agree that your DB could have helped more and told her straight but he probably is used to this behaviour.
I can see why your DB was upset, now you've explained.
And as for your SIL's text, well, you did say something at the time, you were asking for food for your DSS. It's not like she didn't know.
Although she may well have said to your DB that you didn't make it clear to her.
Your SIL was a prize arse. Next time, order in pizza. It will arrive before SIL serves.
OP, just forget it. Either your sister was stressed and forgetful, in which case she'll quietly apologise, or she was trying to be a controlling arse, in which case you know where you stand. See what is said next time you see her.
But I'd suggest avoiding Christmas with them, because they do sound hard work. "No room for a travel cot?" Seriously?
I can't believe someone would make a hungry child wait for food like that! I would be furious.
Yes FryOne she had been asked for food 3 times by DSS, dh and db. I'd also told her that DSS normally goes to bed at 7:30-8ish so having known that I'd been told not to feed him beforehand and also knowing that we were originally only going to stay until 7:30ish, when did she expect him to eat?! I'm now thinking that she didn't cater for us which is why it wasn't served until after we went but there was loads of food there, definitely enough for everyone and more! And if she didn't have enough food then why tell us not to feed DSS before he came?
friday we are meant to be going round on Boxing Day
I may pack a picnic.
But on a serious note I am not going to drink (I don't normally have much anyway) so that if she pulls a stunt like that again then I'm driving DSS home to have the biggest turkey leftover sandwich EVER
YANBU. Agree with the poster who said how rude to invite people round for 6pm then make them wait until 9pm for food.
Sil sounds like a nightmare.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.