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MIL wants to celebrate important wedding anniversary with big family get together in antiques infested chintzy country hotel. This want work with madly active 2.5 YO DS will it?

(109 Posts)
TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 14:50:01

We live abroad but will begoing back to Uk this summer for a few weeks and renting a family friendly apartment in London so we can see family and friends and manage DS n safe space,continue with routine etc. (DS NEEDS routine or turns impossible. Possible ASD issues, being investigated. Not good in social situations at all,we don't/can't do restaurants etc yet, bad sleeper etc).

MIL wants us all to attend big family get together at country hotel several hours away. Spindly antique tables with china vases of flowers at grab height. Piles of cushions and curtains to climb and pull. Breakables everywhere. All very exquisite and hair curlingly posh. Well heeled older people sipping sherry in quiet peace. Croquet on lawn. Fine dining with tablecloths and silver,mlnen, glassware etc.

DS is 2 now but I can't see him being any less prone to destruction, climbing, running about, letting off wild shrieks etc by the summer. WIBU to say sorry we just can't do this and please come over for a nice lunch with us instead where we can manage DS? Or maybe just send DH up for the meal and overnight gathering?

It's sad we won't see the whole family but I don't see how to manage it. And if its an evening meal DS will be in bed and one of us will have to stay up in rom with him missing the meal anyway.

bryonywhisker Sun 10-Feb-13 15:51:32

I would't go. Apologise profusely, be honest about ds and send a nice bouquet this week.
If she takes the hump then that's her look out.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 10-Feb-13 15:54:15

I think you have to send your DH.

The thing is, that if they don't see your DS very often then they won't realise. We would, and have, done things like this when both our boys have been little - and of course it isn't as relaxing as it would be with older children or no children but that is just how life is. But in general things like that are doable even with toddlers, so they probably don't realise how impossible this will be for you.

Get your DH to give his Mum and ring and have a chat.

WipsGlitter Sun 10-Feb-13 16:10:24

I hate threads like this. You don't want to go and no matter what anyone says or does you will find excuses not to go.

i think it would be do-able. You don't have to sit in the hotel for two days. Find some things to do. Put DS to bed, bring a monitor (or get a sitter) and let your mil enjoy an adult meal with you. Put him in a pushchair. Go for one night. It's not about you, it's your mils and by default tour DHs day and I think you should make an effort.

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 16:21:44

I am happy to make strenuous efforts but unfortunately I can't just 'put DS to bed' nor 'put him in a pushchair'. He's not like other NT toddlers.
I can wrestle him in and strap him down while he screams and headbangs and push him round the carpark so as not to inconvenience everyone while DH eats, then swap.

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 16:27:40

MIL kind and gentle lady, would be mortified both by DS behaviour and his distress and I think she'd also be mortified that we had to go through so much stress to accommodate her meal. Thing is, we haven't told her about the suspected ASD and she hasn't seen DS other than on Skype at home. She has never spent any time with him as we live abroad. She remarks how he s never still and seen him start to tantrum but then we end the call. She has no idea of how he really is and how difficult this would be.

HanneHolm Sun 10-Feb-13 16:30:12

Would it be a weight off your shoulders to start hinting at all not being well?

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 16:34:27

I'd rather not tell until we know for sure.
It will cause huge concern and I can't really deal with well meaning grillings and disappointed family members. It would just be added pressure on us as they can't offer any practical help, since we don't live in the UK.

WorriedTeenMum Sun 10-Feb-13 16:34:38

Given everything you have described I really think you would be better making your apologies now and sending DH (if he wants to go of course!).

I will disagree with WipsGlitter as I think this is not about making the effort. This is about making an event work for both PiL and your family. I am sure that your MiL will be disappointed but that is far better than a chaotic event with you constantly on tenterhooks, wrangling your DS out of rooms and generally apologising.

Dont be surprised if MiL suggests all sorts of things with the idea of making it possible for you to attend. If these suggestions wont work then a simple 'that wont work for us' will suffice. Dont give explanations as that will only mean more inappropriate and unhelpful suggestions.

WorriedTeenMum Sun 10-Feb-13 16:40:25

I didnt mean the inappropriate and unhelpful suggestions comment to mean that your MiL would do these deliberately just that your DS has very specific needs and well meant suggestions about asking Great Aunt Maude to look after your DS or whatever wont help.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 10-Feb-13 16:49:05

I can understand you not wanting to say anything, but they are going to think you are giving them the brush off if you make excuses not to attend and don't say anything.

You don't want to damage your relationship with them, do you?

WipsGlitter Sun 10-Feb-13 16:54:28

I do sympathise. I have a child with SN, but I still think you could try to find a way to make it work. Explain it will be a nightmare stuck in the hotel and is it ok if you do some outings. Or go for one night.

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 16:58:17

Ali, that's the issue really and why I posted in parenting rather than special needs. Would it be very difficult even with a boisterous two year old who didn't have suspected ASD? I wanted to hear from other parents about whether they would have found it hard with a toddler to do this.

So I could see if I could reasonably excuse ourselves on grounds of 'not suitable for a 2.5 year old - too disruptive and tension inducing, wont be fair on anyone inc other guests' rather than be forced into along about suspected SN before we are remotely ready. If we do have to have the SN chat I'd rather it be when she had met DS and played with him and spent time with him. Not like this, not now.

Roseformeplease Sun 10-Feb-13 17:05:56

What about renting a cottage nearby and booking a babysitter / nanny?That way MiL can come and visit you in more child-friendly surroundings and you can go over to the posh hotel for a meal. You and DH could take turns for the afternoons etc. I am sure. If you phoned the hotel, they might be able to help you, or one of the cottage agencies?

WorriedTeenMum Sun 10-Feb-13 17:06:42

I know that my DM found my DN's (ASD) needs a lot easier to deal with once she understood about DN's condition.

However, I can also understand that this isnt how you want to introduce MiL to the idea.

surroundedbyblondes Sun 10-Feb-13 17:09:34

We have 2 DD. I would have done this without question with DD1 but the thought of doing it with DD2 fills me with dread. We coped with similar for my DGM's 90th though the times were shorter and we had a lot of family help. Like you we live abroad, so my DM was not a familiar face to DD2. But it did work. Everyone did their bit to help and DGM had a lovely day which was wonderful. In hindsight I would do it again. Though I realise it was easier being with my family rather than ILs because I could be clearer svout what I needed from them rather than walking on eggshells.

tobago04 Sun 10-Feb-13 17:10:18

My 2.5 ds would be a nightmare in this situation and he has no sn. He'd cause havoc,i would maybe think of sending dh but i can see that even that would be hard for you being left with ds on your own. I would have a chat to mil and explain that he is very lively and you don't want to ruin it for every one else and maybe suggest having a get together separately.

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 17:13:56

The thing is as well, we do not live in the UK. We live 12 hours away by plane.
Thisis our first holiday since he was born, and this is me of only two weekends we can see our friends who work whom we miss and really want to see.
MIL and FIL are retired and like London and could easily come down midweek and have an additional celebration lunch with us and meet DS. I really don't want to have to spend a big chunk of my only holiday in a cottage miles from everyone whilst DH sees his family and I stay in or go out with DS. It's a bit too much to ask from my selfish POV, I am very happy to spend 2-3 days with them in London and work from our base and cook for them but I am stressed and shattered after 2 years of dealing with DS largely alone as DH works long hours and its not U to want to see my friends and DH on holiday, is it? And to want to tell people about suspected ASD face to face when they have met DS? I want to accommodate MIL but I have some needs of my own too.

(Feels selfish for saying this but it is true)

bbface Sun 10-Feb-13 17:14:08

There WILL be accommodation close by. You can deny it, but in that part of the world you an hardly swing a tampon without hitting a holiday rental.

So, I suggest you hire somewhere apart from this hotel.

Then, on the day of the birthday, just explain to MIL that given issues with your son that you have described here, you are really concerned about disrupting her birthday. However, you would love to attend and for you DS to see hs grandma on this day. So the solution is that you will turn up in time for dessert and coffee. Ensure DS is well fed and had a busy happy morning and save a new toy for him. Be prepared to depart if things go awry.


bbface Sun 10-Feb-13 17:15:51

I have just read latest post. Be honest with yourself, this hotel suggestion does not suit you. No big deal, but don't kid yourself.

Sometimes we do things for others even if a giant pain in the arse. A special birthday for my MIL I would count as one of those times.

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 17:17:36

It doesn't suit DS DH or me. That's 3 people. We can accommodate and celebrate with MIL but not this way. I don't think that's TOO U.

bbface Sun 10-Feb-13 17:23:29

Totally agree, and fair enough

But why then in your original post do you refer to the reason being as totally focussed on your DS? And the multitude of reasons why he will spoil things? When in fact it was other reasons, including you wanting a break and wanting to see friends.

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 17:27:22

It's something I'd consider if ds was NT.
As is, I'm only just getting head round idea it's ok to think not only about his needs but also mine and DH. Not going to apologise for that, this thread is me thinking it all through.

BlueyDragon Sun 10-Feb-13 17:27:41

I would go with my nearly 3 year old, but his level of activity and behaviour would mean simply that DH and I would take turn and turn about with him. I'd expect the fact of a boisterous toddler to be understood by those around him, and we'd take steps to minimise the impact. We'd put a family gathering first and cope with the fall out.

But we would be travelling within our own country and DS does not do some of the things you describe, like the head banging, which must be unpleasant for anyone to witness and hard to understand for anyone who doesn't know your DS. It strikes me that this isn't about what people would do normally - I'd be pretty hmm at anyone who offered a toddler as an excuse not to go to a family party - but about dealing with your DS's potential SN with the family.

If you can't bear to go and want an excuse, the "We've travelled enough" one is there. But isn't honesty the best policy here? I can understand you might not want to discuss the SN until you have a diagnosis but wouldn't it be nice to get some support and understanding from family at a tough time? Can MIL see DS before the party instead?

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 17:28:20

And tbh it is about ds first and foremost. It always is.

CaseyShraeger Sun 10-Feb-13 17:28:35

You can't generally rent holiday rentals for a couple of days in high season -- so it would be renting a cottage for a whole week when MIL is only going to be in the area for 48 hours at a time when you are already paying for another rental in London.

I do think you need to tell MIL about the likely ASD, because that's the factor that makes this really impractical. All the other stuff in your post would come under the heading of "things you need to get over yourself about for a special occasion with a MIL you see very very rarely" (I have a boistrous 2yo and I would groan inwardly but suck it up), but the ASD is in a different category.

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