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Was there any way I could have avoided this?

(14 Posts)
allhailtheaubergine Wed 19-Oct-11 16:54:15

Not strictly speaking a 'relationships' issue, but I wasn't sure where to post and I would appreciate a considered response.

I will try to be concise.

6 months ago I regularly attended a mother and toddler group. One week a new woman came, she introduced herself to me, checked that I had a child of the same gender and similar age as her, suggested we swap numbers and invited us for a playdate the following week. All very direct and businesslike, but fair enough, why not?

The playdate never materialised and that was that. I stopped going to the toddler group as youngest started nursery and I didn't see her again.

Until now - where it turns out her youngest is now at the same school as my eldest child. We bumped into each other and she recognised me and immediately suggested that we get our two youngest together to play one weekend. I said that would be nice but that weekends are family time for us and we are always busy.

"Okay then, so when shall we get them together?"

I was a bit on the back foot and said that it would have to be a weekday then.

Then she pointed at my youngest and asked if that was the child I had brought to the Toddler group. I said it was. She asked which class he was in at school and I told her he didn't attend the school. She was a bit put out and asked if it would be better then if my child who did attend the school should play with her child. I said probably not as my child who did attend the school was a 5yo girl not a 3yo boy. Then she asked my name and my son's name.

At this point I decided that I was going to be polite but truthful. You know how on Mumsnet people always suggest being direct and honest but in a polite way? That.

I felt that she was being very pushy about a playdate considering that she doesn't even know my name, my children's ages or genders let alone name, or anything about us. Even though I will normally be friends with ANYONE (I know how hard it is to be new and in need if friends) I just felt uncomfortable and tbh a bit irritated. So I wanted to say "you know what? Actually I don't want to."

But I didn't. I said "Erm, well erm okay then, that will be lovely" and am going over in two weeks time. I will have to find out her name before then.

How could I have said no in a polite but assertive way?

Or was it the right thing to do to give her a chance? (I'll go now I've said I will).

garlicScaresVampires Wed 19-Oct-11 17:15:15

I was going to ask if she's American but it's irrelevant really. There has been a mismatch between her object-oriented approach (child must have suitable playdates, irrespective of relationship) and your more functional approach (relationship with child must be suitable for playdate). You can still cancel - I would!!

It would have been appropriate, I think, to respond in kind: "Thank you, but I prefer to make play dates with people we already know." If/when she queried this, you could then have explained about knowing children's names and having some sort of pre-existing relationship.

garlicScaresVampires Wed 19-Oct-11 17:16:02

She sounds weird hmm

lolaflores Wed 19-Oct-11 17:44:31

Don't be pushed into it if you don't really want to. Easier in the long run really

ThePumpkinKing Wed 19-Oct-11 17:50:34

Well, desperately looking for positives here, at least you'll always know where you stand with her grin.

And it's kind of cool that she remembered you.

Is she American?

philbee Wed 19-Oct-11 18:09:21

Sounds a bit weird. But I'd give her the benefit of the doubt. She might just not be great socially, and maybe has Asperger syndrome or similar, so not sure about the way to arrange these things. If you go and it's too weird, make excuses and leave and don't go back. But it is hard trying to get to know people, especially for people who struggle with that stuff. Of course could be she's just a sociopath! No, no, I'm sure not. smile

JamieComeHome Wed 19-Oct-11 18:23:14

I'd cancel. But I'm not very assertive either. Life's too short to make arrangements with people you don't want to associate with.

allhailtheaubergine Wed 19-Oct-11 18:56:59

Lol at everyone wondering if she is American.

I wonder why she doesn't arrange any number of play dates with the children in her son's class. She has sought me out twice now so she definitely wants to be friends with us, but I can think of no earthly reason why given that she doesn't even know our names!!

Anyway, it is done now and I've said I'll go and I will.

But I am still mulling over if there was any way I could have said no, other than faking excuses which I didn't want to do.

Garlic - your idea is a possibility. How about deflecting it to my son a bit... "oh that's very kind but I'm afraid that ds is just at that age where he prefers to play with friends" ...? But no, that's balls isn't it. 3yo's will play with anyone.

" that's very kind but I'm afraid we're very busy at the moment " but that's a bit mean. She wants to be friends. Oh well.

catsrus Wed 19-Oct-11 19:22:40

She's probably the OP from the OTHER thread (can't remember which section now) who was asking advice about how to make friends with the other mums at the school gate :O

IIRC MN consensus was really just to get stuck in, identify a victim potential new friend and try to arrange a play date, LOL!

allhailtheaubergine Thu 20-Oct-11 20:39:29

I am all in favour of 'get stuck in'. Some of my best friends have been made by taking a leap of faith and inviting someone on a playdate based on the fact that we appear to have procreated at roughly similar intervals over the last few years.

eandz Thu 20-Oct-11 23:59:51

go for it!

btw, I am American and I don't have the balls this lady does. She's worth a go!

ChippingInToThePumpkinLantern Fri 21-Oct-11 00:09:13

She sounds barking grin

You have to go now because we need to know what happens.

I would actually cancel - I can't see this being much fun at all.

garlicBreathZombie Fri 21-Oct-11 00:50:14

Lah! Totally second Chipping's post, including the crossed-out bit wink

mumblejumble Fri 21-Oct-11 01:14:44

Oooh, she sounds very quite intrigued by her.

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