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Grrrr....rant about bad party manners!

(17 Posts)
2kidsintow Sun 14-Aug-11 23:46:42

Last year my DD had her party at a play place. She invited a good friend of hers, who has a younger sister. Her younger sister wasn't a party guest, but was brought along by her Mum, who paid to get her into the play place. All good so far.

Not so good was the fact that the Mum then took the little one into all aspects of the party. It was a hair and nails party. Little one was sat down for hair and nails to be done; little one lined up with all the party guests for the party disco, party games and dinner. Even though I kept reminding the party organisers (discreetly) that she wasn't on the list, it did cause a problem when I tracked down my niece to get her to the party room to find that they had done a head count, got the 'right' number by including the little sister and started the party. On entering the party room there wasn't a seat for her....you can guess who was sat at the table instead. Grrrr. The year before, on leaving the party we were a balloon and party bag short because the same Mum took two. I had a word this time and managed to avoid that. I did tell the Mum at the time that they kept counting her little one as a party guest, and she pulled a face, but didn't do anything about it. I was too polite to cause a big fuss.

At a friend's daughter's party, same Mum brought her little one again, and again asked if she could join in with the party. She did pay for an extra place, but it annoyed me. If it were my DD, she would be aware that there was a child at the party that she hadn't put on her list.

I know that some people have to take siblings along with them due to childcare issues, and I have frequently had to take my little ones (or older ones) to a party that their sister had been invited to, but I always make sure that I kept the uninvited sibling well away from the party and fully occupied to not distract at all.

It is party organising time again and my DD wants her birthday in the same place and will again invite the same child as they are still really good friends. Am already slightly stressing over the same thing happening again. Problem is, I am not good friends with the Mum, just aquaintances, so it is a tricky one to broach. She will probably ask if she can bring the little one, and I will struggle to decide what to answer when she does.

Thankyou. Rant over.

AnnieLobeseder Sun 14-Aug-11 23:52:38

OMG that is so beyond rude! And she's done it twice now!?! To be honest, as unfair as it is to the child, I'd consider not inviting her this year. Or, and listen to me carefully as I whisper to you, JUST SAY NO!!! grin

Or, more reasonably, just offer to pick up the child and take her to the party yourself as mother obviously has childcare issues.

clam Mon 15-Aug-11 00:06:26

I would have been furious too. That said, Ialways used to make up one or two extra party bags for emergency gate-crashers. But you could always write names on the bags, so it is harder for the mum to take two.
If she asks you if she can bring the younger one, then be ready for it and say, "No I'm terribly sorry but that's not going to work." Don't expand on it and start to give reasons or excuses, otherwise she can counter them with "solutions." If she really pushes it, you can offer to take the older DD for her, if childcare is an issue.
I wouldn't worry about being perceived as rude - she's the rude one, in expecting you to cater for her uninvited child.

Dawnybabe Mon 15-Aug-11 00:25:10

I'm sorry but I disagree. How bloody mean are you? Why do you begrudge this poor child fr

Dawnybabe Mon 15-Aug-11 00:28:40

...sorry, on bloody phone, rather deflated me!

Was just going to say I would have been more than happy to accomodate another little one and in fact have done so a few times. As I have taken my littlest to eldest daughter's friends' parties. It's just what we do, we all kind of take all the kids to all the parties.

Seems a bit mean otherwise. What are you going to do, ask them to leave?

cat64 Mon 15-Aug-11 00:33:50

Message withdrawn

Limejelly Mon 15-Aug-11 00:37:21

What if everyone decided to bring their siblings along? Surely you need to draw the line somewhere....hmm

OnEdge Mon 15-Aug-11 00:46:30

Ive got 3 kids who are all pre schoolers and it is tricky at parties to know what to do with the other two.

I think you are being a bit tight, and she is taking the piss a bit.

Last time this happened to me, i contacted the Mum the week before the party and checked about the other two and she said to bring them along. (youngest is only one) But I kept an eye on things and diplomatically steered the 2 year old away from awkward moments like party bags etc. I kept him close to me, allowing him to have fun, but not get under the feet of the older ones.

clam Mon 15-Aug-11 08:18:43

But onedge the mum in question here isn't doing that. Her younger child is right there in the thick of things and the mum effectively sanctioned her getting a party bag at the expense of a child who was invited.

Why is childcare for younger siblings an issue once children are of an age to be dropped off at a party anyway? Surely it gives you an opportunity to go and do something 1:1 with the other child/children? Part of this whole issue might stem from some people's belief about fairness, i.e. that if one sib has something, the others have to have exactly the same. It can store up a heck of a lot of trouble if you don't train your kids from the off to know that sometimes one will have something that the other won't but it evens up in the end as it'll work the other way next time. And if not, get over it. That's life, and no, it isn't always "fay-err."

vigglewiggle Mon 15-Aug-11 08:26:19

She extremely presumptuous and rude! I would go with Annie's suggestion and if she asks to bring the sibling just offer to take her DD to the party instead. I would explain the confusion and upset it caused last time to shame her to make it clear. smile

LynetteScavo Mon 15-Aug-11 08:44:27

When I held a party at a play place, I put on the invitations to let me know how many siblings would require tea.

Maybe I was lucky that only two people took me up on the offer, and I guess you could risk doubling your party numbers, though.

LynetteScavo Mon 15-Aug-11 08:45:54

But yes, the other mum is being very rude....when I've stayed at play place soft parties, I've always bought my other DC food from the cafe while the party tea was going on.

whyme2 Mon 15-Aug-11 08:54:20

Actually I think it is rude to expect an uninvited sibling to be able to fully join in. I understand about childcare and have had to take all of mine when only one has been invited. Like the poster who managed the situation so the sibling is kept out of the way at the appropriate times that is what I have done with mine.
I have been to a party where my two were invited and came away without party bags because two uninvited siblings were in the queue first.
I think it is rude and cheeky - people spend a lot of money on parties and there isn't always extra to extend to uninvited guests.

Dawnybabe Mon 15-Aug-11 21:16:01

I suppose in my circle of friends we just expect smaller siblings to come. I can't imagine turning anyone away and I know if they invite my eldest they assume I'm going to arrive with the youngest in tow.

Mind you we do all socialise with all the children so we're probably just all used to being together. When I had a party at the local play barn for dd1 she had about four friends all turn up with younger siblings. She knew them all and it would never have occurred to me that they wouldnt have come.

And when I took dd1 to a party without dd2 because she had a cold I was met with surprise that I hadn't brought dd2.

2kidsintow Mon 15-Aug-11 22:20:28

Ooo....glad to know that in the majority of cases people have supported my viewpoint. Thanks to all who replied.

In parties where it is a free for all and the only cost is the room and the catering, I have often made spare food and spare party bags and included all siblings who might have come for whatever reason I've also taken my own when the need arises - because mine don't like being left at parties for me to go back home or shopping - and I've entertained mine and said a grateful thankyou if they have been invited to partake of the party food or given a party bag.

There is a shared understanding between the Mums I know, however, that paid-per-head parties are different. If I've had to take my own to such a party I've kept them in a corner and I've kept them entertained and fed myself. Dawnybabe: At the cost of £12 a head on average for a party around here, I must admit to having (in OnEdge's words) to be a bit tight as an extra sibling or two breaks the budget somewhat. I had no issue with the child being at the play centre at all...indeed how can I when it is essence a public place, in fact the mum had paid her entry price. As someone else rightly said, it was an issue with her taking the place of one of the invited guests. It upset my niece somewhat to be left behind when the party went into the room and it upset her more to find that when she entered the room there wasn't even a seat for her.

To complicate matters, the little one is in the same after school club now as mine, so they do sometimes play together. Should my DD add her friends sister to the party list then she will get an invite. Should she rather a different school friend instead then I will let her have who SHE chooses as it is her party. Places are limited, because money is. Should my DD not inc the sibling on her list, and the Mum asks, I will tell her that she can bring her to play, but NOT be part of the party, or she can pay the cost of a party place if she wants her to join in everything. (Ducks and waits to be called 'bloody mean' again by one or two.)

Thanks again for the supportive replies. smile

vigglewiggle Mon 15-Aug-11 23:16:31

I don't think you are being mean at all, but I don't think you should entertain the idea of agreeing to the child coming to the venue. This mother obviously takes the piss doesn't know where to draw the line so I think you are asking for trouble.

As for those who have these complicated arrangements about an 'understanding' that siblings are brought along. You could well be the kind of person discussed on a thread like this. It seems very simple to me. If they wanted the sibling a the party - they would invite them! If they are not invited then you can't assume anything.

I hope the party goes well OP!

2kidsintow Mon 15-Aug-11 23:42:30

Thanks vigglewiggle. Party officially booked today. Now need to do the difficult job of narrowing down a list of her friends to invite.

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