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Entertaining friends whilst looking after clingy baby-how?

(21 Posts)
bellamysbride Mon 26-Nov-12 10:14:20

Our 14month old DD was previously pretty self sufficient but in the last couple of months has become clingy beyond belief. In itself this isn't a problem (a minor irritant sometimes). However I am finding it really hard to have friends over for lunch etc as when others are about I literally can't put her down. DS is 3 so I really don't want to stop having people over but I really struggle with managing typical 3yr behaviour, hosting and making sure DD isn't screaming ALL the time.

We have the family coming to ours for christmas and I am dreading it as I know DD will be clinging to me screaming the whole time whilst I wrestle turkeys into ovens and try to manage DS's behaviour. So how do you entertain with a clingy baby and make sure it isn't hell for you and your guests?

Bearandcub Mon 26-Nov-12 10:29:35

Rope them in to help?

Anyone expecting to be entertained by you whilst you have a 3yr old and a 14m old is BVU.

redwellybluewelly Mon 26-Nov-12 10:33:47

wss ^

also - sling. I had a close till DD was 5 months then switched to a buckle carrier, she is now 2 and 2 stone and I wear her whenever she in whiney and wants cuddles but I want to get on and do stuff.

but honestly - with two smalls anyone who expects to be waited on hand and foot is BVVVVVVVU

ZuleikaD Mon 26-Nov-12 13:00:58

What they said! Depute Christmas Day cooking to someone else.

bellamysbride Mon 26-Nov-12 16:42:58

Thanks. I know you are right but feel that the two small children excuse is a bit lame when they are both over one. Unfortunately it is not helped by the fact that the inlaws don't help and nobody else will do the cooking. Sorry that sounds a bit victimy (which I am not). I will make sure I have a back pack to hand. Any other top tips to get things done whilst avoiding earsplitting screaming!

ZuleikaD Mon 26-Nov-12 17:29:16

Hmm. Does it have to be turkey? Do as much prep the night before as you can - parboil spuds, peel sprouts, carrots etc, make stuffing. The veg is always a tricky one, unless you can get hold of one of those stacking steamers (that way it all only takes up one ring). I always have to do myself a timetable and work backwards from eating-time (and I used to be a chef, there's no shame in needing a list!) How many ovens do you have?

Make your inlaws bring a pud.

GimmeIrnBru Mon 26-Nov-12 17:35:21

I personally would wait until the youngest was past the clingy stage. You can entertain friends at your house once that phase is past (and it does usually pass by quickly). Can you not meet friends at soft play centres or play parks where your youngest will be occupied doing other things other than clinging to you?

bellamysbride Mon 26-Nov-12 19:18:26

Thank you, thank you. zuleika good idea on veg prep front and sheet with timings. We have a stacking steamer and two ovens. How do you store parbaked tatties? Any ideas for boxing day meal as we have got remainder of in laws arriving that day, so need a proper meal then too? Sorry, I am aware it has become a food thread. Something, where I can do a bit of prep the night before. I will ask SIL to bring a pud for boxing day.

Thank you GimmeIrnBru. I feel like I need permission to suggest somewhere other than our house to meet. It is hard not to feel rude when you get asked to friend's houses not to reciprocate. But I actually enjoy getting out and about with them and DD is much happier. We are very lucky in that we moved into a big house just prior to DD being born and DP understandably wants to have everyone around. It is a small bone of contention smile.

cleanandclothed Mon 26-Nov-12 19:24:14

You can get potatoes to the parboiled stage, shake, coat in o and the freeze. In fact you can freeze tons of stuff - gravy, stuffing, cake, etc. I prepped and prepped last year and Christmas day was v relaxed!

cleanandclothed Mon 26-Nov-12 19:24:38

Coat in oil.

GimmeIrnBru Tue 27-Nov-12 11:09:12

We have a large house but just spending Christmas on our own as a family as it's less stressful for me and also DH. We just want to be left to our own devices but will phone family to wish them a Merry Christmas and they are also free to visit us Christmas Eve or Boxing Day. I don't want the hassle of hosting (did it last year) this year.

You should not feel pressurised into hosting Christmas for all your relatives. Maybe if you'd rather have a more relaxed time of it, you could suggest having it at another relatives house this year and wait til your children are older? It is not easy to host and look after a baby at the same time.

bellamysbride Tue 27-Nov-12 14:38:25

Thank you all. Gimme I agree with you completely. I feel like I compromise the kids and our enjoyment a bit when we fill the house with the in laws. It's unfortunate that my parents couldn't come to us this year as they are really helpful and the children love having them with us. I am going to freeze as much as I can and keep my expectations of myself low. We are the only ones with a big enough house to host and we are comitted now. Next year it's on someone elses turf. Positive face on, baby in back pack and fresh air when it all gets too much.

Francagoestohollywood Tue 27-Nov-12 14:57:43

I second the prepping the night before, wehn they are in bed.

My dd used to be the same. From when she was 12 months to probably 2 yrs old, at about 6, when I was cooking dinner, all she wanted was to be glued to me.
So, either dh would do the cooking or even better, as I needed a break from constant childcare, dh HAD to look after her no matter what while I was cooking (a welcome distraction for me).

Can your dh look after her, while you are preparing the food or help you with the cooking?

ZuleikaD Wed 28-Nov-12 10:38:47

Roasted veg are much simpler than ones cooked on the stovetop and you can blanch them the day before - parsnips and carrots. They'll be fine with about the same amount of oven-time as the spuds too, but do the potatoes and the veg in the second oven - having loads of stuff in one oven plays merry havoc with cooking times. Then all you've got on the top is gravy and sprouts. Bread sauce can be taken off the cooker when you get the turkey out of the oven to rest it and make the gravy.

HearMyRoar Wed 28-Nov-12 12:01:23

I agree with France. Where is your dp in this? They are his kids, his parents, and it is apparently his idea to have a houseful so why isn't he doing the childcare or cooking so you aren't trying to do everything?

Tgger Wed 28-Nov-12 22:42:02

Delegate. Don't try to do it all yourself. Pass clinger to DH. A lot of the problem solved. If you don't do this already start now so she gets used to it. Involve 3 year old-so he feels included (but not all the time..), give Granny a book to read to him/stick on DVD. Job done grin.

Or alternatively get your DH to do the cooking. You can't do it all, disaster.. (Craig Revel Horwood smile)

Rockchick1984 Thu 29-Nov-12 10:20:54

Re Boxing day - make (or buy) some pastry, get a massive pie dish and just bung your leftover meat and veg into it - Christmas Pie and it'll only take about 30 mins in the oven to do smile I always make a cheese pastry, can dig out the recipe if you like (it takes about 10 mins to make the pastry, then refrigerate for minimum 1hr, but could do it first thing and just roll it out before cooking).

Definitely agree the sling or DH are the only way to make this manageable smile

bellamysbride Thu 29-Nov-12 13:36:15

I know, i know DP should be more involved. He is shocking at cooking and the mess he creates would cause me more work than doing the cooking in the first place. DD will simply go ape if I give her to him. I know this doesn't sound great but the deal in our house is that he works extremely long hours to bring in the bacon and I do childcare and domestic duties. Generally works well for us (except for in situations like this smile).

The pie idea is great. I can get up early and do the pastry when everyone is slumbering. Recipe would be great please rockchick. What do you serve with it? Can get DP to demeat the carcass.

tger looks like we are heading towards "disaster"! Hey what's christmas without a deranged mother throwing evils at the inlaws grin

Tgger Thu 29-Nov-12 14:49:40

Yeah, I had a clinger too....think yours is at the hardest age, mine got better from about 18 mths, but tough love works if you can cope with the initial screams.. grin

Rockchick1984 Fri 30-Nov-12 00:33:02

I do the pastry in the food processor but you could just mix it yourself.

225g plain flour
75g hard butter
75g grated or crumbled cheese
1 egg yolk
Some water (half a cup or so)

Mix ingredients in the order I've listed them, on at a time, except water. Pulse the food processor after each one goes in. Mix the water in a tiny bit at a time until you can squish the mix into a pastry. Squash it together, and split into 2 pieces - 1/3 and 2/3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This size will serve 2-4 people, just increase proportions if serving more.

For the filling, I mix the meat and veg in a frying pan, add a splash of cream and simmer on the hob for a bit to let the flavours merge together and soften the veg. Once it's reduced down, roll larger piece of pastry and place into greased pie dish. Pour in pie filling, and put the other piece of rolled pastry on top. 30 mins in the oven on 180 if fan, 200 if not.

I tend to serve it with chips I'm so posh but any sort of potato would work, or just some green veg that isn't in the pie (green beans or something). Hope that all makes sense!

tigersmummy Fri 30-Nov-12 07:11:43

If your DP wants everyone around knowing the stress it will put on you then he should at least help!

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