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Daughter's friends' drinking (heavily?) during play date

(79 Posts)
lonerdottierebel Tue 20-Aug-19 12:13:28

I recently took my daughter for a play date with a girl at school she's very fond of and often talks about. I had met the dad before and seemed to get on with him, and I was aware that him and his partner were good friends with another couple, whose daughter my little one sometimes has play dates with.

Whilst my daughter went off playing with her friend for a few hours, I stayed and socialised with the parents. For the most part we got on really well, had lots in common, and it turns out we know a lot of the same people and have probably crossed paths when we were younger. However, there were a couple of things that concerned me. They offered me a drink, and I asked for a glass of water. They both then started drinking (alcohol). In the three hours we were there, dad had drank about 3 gin and tonics, and his partner has drunk 5 glasses of wine. To me this seemed a lot, considering it was a play date with two 6 year olds to look out for, not to mention their 4 month old baby, who was also being breastfed.

As well as this, there was a lot of talk about how they often have a load of their child's friends over, and whilst they are upstairs entertaining themselves, the grownups set up a bar and have a bit of a party and the vibe I got was that a lot of alcohol was consumed. Apparently they did this on their daughter's 6th birthday too. For me, if I'm throwing my daughter a party, it's all about her, and I'd be too busy to be having my own party.

I don't drink these days, and when I did it was before my daughter was born, so I don't really know what it's like to be intoxicated whilst a small child or baby is around. I'm aware, my perspective might be different as a result, as I couldn't imagine doing that personally. A few beers at a family bbq or something, fair enough, go for it, but what are everyone else's views on this situation? Am I being snobbish, overly-anxious, a party pooper? My memories of going to my friends' house never included their parents drinking. Did I just have a particularly alcohol-free childhood?

I noticed as well, that their spirit bottles were all lined up on the radiator in the living room, well in reach of the children. My daughter is very well behaved and her friend seems well adjusted, but the idea of her being their alone in the future - as she has been invited again, makes me nervous. Not to mention that when they were making pizzas for their tea, this woman handed the kids her empty wine bottle to roll the dough.

The other thing was that they swore a lot, even when the kids were in the room. At first I thought it was accidental, then realised they didn't seem to care. Personally, I don't swear in front of my daughter. Am I being snobbish again?

These parents are friends with some of the other parents I associate with, who don't seem like this at all. So it would be hard for me to just cut them out if I didn't approve of them as that could have a large knock-on effect to my daughter's social circle, which I am trying to help expand for her (her mum isn't social and doesn't do play dates and so my daughter has suffered a bit in that area). And considering they've asked for further play dates, a sleepover, and to help pick my daughter up from school, leaves me in a tricky position. Not to mention that if I put everything I've mentioned aside, they seem to be really nice people.

user1473878824 Tue 20-Aug-19 12:31:28

I hardly think using an empty wine bottle as a rolling pin means spending any time with their child is going to turn yours into a raging alcoholic and the idea of spending time at a 6 year old's birthday without a drink sounds like a nightmare.

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Tue 20-Aug-19 12:36:26

Well done user you picked out the one part of the OP that wasn't a problem hmm
The rest of it I agree with you OP, apart from anything else, what happens if a child hurts themselves and needs attention, who is going to be the responsible (sober) adult? I wouldn't feel happy letting my child stay there without me.

Mitebiteatnite Tue 20-Aug-19 12:38:45

YANBU about any of it, apart from the wine bottle as a rolling pin. IMO it's far superior to a rolling pin grin

HollowTalk Tue 20-Aug-19 12:40:29

And considering they've asked for further play dates, a sleepover, and to help pick my daughter up from school, leaves me in a tricky position.

I would really limit contact. There wouldn't be any play dates unless I was there and there's no way they'd be picking my child up from school or having her sleep over. No way at all.

OliviaCat Tue 20-Aug-19 12:40:36

Those is exactly how I parent TBH. Although I wouldn't leave spirits in reach of children, any more than I would leave bleach in their reach! But drinking on play dates was the only way I used to socialise.

OrchidInTheSun Tue 20-Aug-19 12:40:45

The fact that they've offered to pick your child up from school is a definite red flag.

WhiskersPete Tue 20-Aug-19 12:43:00

YABU to worry about alcohol transmission through breast milk as there is so little it is negligible.

user1480880826 Tue 20-Aug-19 12:43:21

I totally agree with you OP. You can’t be responsible for young children if you are drunk/having your own party downstairs. It’s quite shocking that they drank as much as you say, especially 5 glasses of wine. I would be very anxious about letting my child play there without me.

managedmis Tue 20-Aug-19 12:43:23

Five glasses of wine? Over a period of how long? Sounds excessive

SellFridges Tue 20-Aug-19 12:48:20

Were you invited round just for a play date, or was it a generally social thing?

Totally normal amongst my friends to have a few glasses of wine while the kids play but it wouldn’t be termed a play date as such.

Play date to me is usually a couple of hours after school, or day time in the holidays with kids only. Something more social would be “why don’t you all come round and the kids can play while we catch up and have a drink”.

I’m not at all precious about drinking in front of the kids though so that element wouldn’t bother me.

StealthPolarBear Tue 20-Aug-19 12:53:20

Tbh even the wine bottle as a rolling pin seems a bit grim. I wouldn't use a rolling pin that had been handled by people's grubby hands and had wine dripping down it

Rapbitch22 Tue 20-Aug-19 12:54:36

@lonerdottierebel yeah OP I wouldn’t be rushing to let my son go over there again either. If your gut is telling you that you don’t trust them, i would trust your instincts and just be ‘unavailable’ for a while.

@WhiskersPete I think if the baby was older and feeding less frequently then 5 glasses of wine wouldn’t be an issue, but a four month old feeds regularly and I’m guessing this wine binge was within a few hours. There would be alcohol in the milk... and it Seems excessive to me confused poor baby!

GiveMeAllTheGin8 Tue 20-Aug-19 12:57:15

Sounds like my kind of play date tbh

MillicentMartha Tue 20-Aug-19 13:03:56

Blimey, it’s more than I drink, but really, is it that bad? The only thing I’d be concerned about is the spirits within reach and whether they’d be driving afterwards.

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Tue 20-Aug-19 13:03:58

When mine were younger I got caught up in a social group that was like this. Honestly, looking back it wasn’t a good thing. Kids got hurt and there wasn’t a sober enough adult to deal with it properly. Supervision was pretty lax, the older kids had too much responsibility for the younger ones, and too often they overheard talk that wasn’t good for little ears. I’m not saying cut them off entirely, but I would probably seek out other friendships as well, and not be leaving your child in their care.

ItsABubbleParty Tue 20-Aug-19 13:03:59

That sounds exactly my kind of play date grin I would say maybe 5 glasses of wine is maybe a bit much unless it's really small glasses but 3 G&Ts sounds OK. It's fine to breastfeed and drink unless you go in to bedshare or get to the point you are unsafe in holding the baby.

ReggaetonLente Tue 20-Aug-19 13:05:50

Maybe I'm a lightweight but I'd be pissed after 5 glasses of wine.

I have an almost 1yo and have had the odd Aperol Spritz at lunch with other mums, and I did offer a nice cold glass of rose to another mum on a playdate in that week it was really hot, but surely there's no need to drink as a matter of course when looking after kids?

I wonder if it's a class thing- I grew up WC in a very WC area and only alcoholics would have drunk around their kids during the day, apart from special occasions. People swearing at/around their kids would have attracted raised eyebrows too. But now I live in a wealthy, hipster area of London and the most well to do people are the ones swearing casually in conversation around their children and drinking at every opportunity. One of the craft breweries here holds a playgroup on Mondays and includes a bottle of beer with the admission price! Lovely, but I did find it strange at first!

YANBU OP, I agree with you. I'd be forgetting to respond to messages and shooting off quickly after pick up. Just slowly and quietly withdraw.

WhentheRabbitsWentWild Tue 20-Aug-19 13:06:40

Did you miss the word parents ?

I thought you meant you had a teen DD or something and it was her friends necking booze.

walkintheparc Tue 20-Aug-19 13:06:52

You sound really boring OP. If they were sitting there having a regular conversation with you (and not rolling around the floor or vomming) then I would say they were fine to parent.

You don't need to 'cut them out' you just don't need to stay and chat if you don't want to.

I use a bottle of wine (wrapped in cling) to roll pastry, its quite normal.

walkintheparc Tue 20-Aug-19 13:09:22

I wonder if it's a class thing- I grew up WC in a very WC area and only alcoholics would have drunk around their kids during the day, apart from special occasions. People swearing at/around their kids would have attracted raised eyebrows too. But now I live in a wealthy, hipster area of London and the most well to do people are the ones swearing casually in conversation around their children and drinking at every opportunity. One of the craft breweries here holds a playgroup on Mondays and includes a bottle of beer with the admission price! Lovely, but I did find it strange at first!

Interesting! I associate the 'lush' parents with being vaair middle class but then again everyone drinks G&Ts nowadays

ReanimatedSGB Tue 20-Aug-19 13:16:50

YAB a bit precious TBH. You say yourself that you rarely drink at all, and non-drinkers can get terribly pearl-clutchy over anyone having more than a small sherry at Christmas.

You say they seem like nice people, apart from the fact that some of their habits are different from yours. I would advise you to get over yourself unless/until something actually upsetting happens. Not everyone is going to be like you, or parent like you, and it's better to teach DC that people are all different rather than that people who seem nice must have something wrong with them just because they are different.

As to the swearing, you really need to get over that, as well. Unless you live in a bubble, your DC will hear expletives: you need to teach them that some words are not appropriate for DC to use in some settings, and then let it go.

StealthPolarBear Tue 20-Aug-19 13:18:26

Yes as the op has young children the title confused me too grin

hopefulhalf Tue 20-Aug-19 13:20:01

I'm with you OP. Tbh it just gets worse as they get older. Check out Claire Pooley's stuff on drinking and parenting - very insightful. But yes very common and bizarrely middle class phenomena

Evilmorty Tue 20-Aug-19 13:22:40

I went to a party like this once and left pretty early. The kids were being what I would consider to be very rough and tumble as well, and I was just waiting for one of them to get whacked and start crying. The parents were all about the wine, no one watching the children. You couldn’t hear yourself think.

I’ve not been invited back and I wouldn’t go even if I was.

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