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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.

Roseformeplease Sun 10-Feb-13 17:29:31

Not sure what you want us to say really. There has been support, suggestions, advice, but you don't want to go so why don't you just not go?

bbface Sun 10-Feb-13 17:29:32

Best put the different threads in your original post, otherwise it is a drip feed

LIZS Sun 10-Feb-13 17:31:53

Is it local to PIL's? could you ask them or hotel to hire a babysitter ? Then you arrive shortly before meal and leave early. Or stay at a Travelodge/Premier Inn which is less fragile ?

BlueyDragon Sun 10-Feb-13 17:32:12

X-lots-of-posts. If you don't want to go, then say so. Don't make an excuse.

ohforfoxsake Sun 10-Feb-13 17:35:10

Why don't you just talk to her and tell her you are worried about it?

If it were me, I'd go at least for one night and be very prepared with lots to distract DC. Even if i ended up going to bed at the same time as DC (often a relief at these things!) It's a rare opportunity for her to have the whole family together, I'd personally would feel worse about denying them that than gritting my teeth so they could be happy. It must matter to them and you would be missed.

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 17:39:29

I do not want to go.
I do not want to say about sn yet. It won't help and will make life harder for us if we have to tell family here and now.
I posted to see if was U to not go with toddler. Just that really - which is why posted here not SN. I would have thought the point about it being our holiday was implicit from Op.

WorriedTeenMum Sun 10-Feb-13 17:41:07

I dont think you are being unreasonable to not want to participate in this event. It is a pity that it is so far from where you will be based but that is it, it's a pity. It would have been nice to perhaps call in on the event for a couple of hours but if the drive is likely to be a problem then I can understand why you wouldnt want to do it.

You could start to say to MiL now that your DS needs to maintain his routine and that he cannot handle long drives. At this stage you can keep it factual. Dont go into long explanations. If it works for you your DH could go to the event but you wont. This will be sufficient in replying to the invitation.

If it is possible to meet with PiL before the event then that would be the opportunity to explain your reasons. This would be a kindness to them as that way they will be able to field any 'where is TrucksAndDinosaurs' questions with confidence.

Gigondas Sun 10-Feb-13 17:43:30

You don't want to go- this is just stream of consciousness to justify your view. So mil will be disappointed but it is not the worst thing you could do.

And I don't agree that telling people will make things harder- if sounds like you are at the end of your tether with caring for ds alone , in another country whilst dh works long hours. I think confiding in family might offer you some support and outlet. Ideally yes this is better face to face but you don't have that luxury and I think the opportunity to share and get help might be helpful to you.

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 17:44:15

It looks like it would be expected to go even though represents big chunk of our holiday, expense, very difficult etc with NT toddler.

So we have to offend by refusing to go or distress family and ourselves by starting to talk about suspected Asd
fuck sad

Ragwort Sun 10-Feb-13 17:46:09

What is your DH's point of view in all this, has he actually spoken to his parents and explained that your DS is very active and lively (no need to mention SN if you don't want to) and just won't be able to sit down for a formal meal.

Gigondas Sun 10-Feb-13 17:46:26

Trucks you already seem pretty upset by potential asd - will if really be worse to share this fear

TrucksAndDinosaurs Sun 10-Feb-13 17:47:05

It really, really will not help me to start talking about suspected asd with family. I am barely coping here as it is.

I think I'd rather cancel uk holiday tbh.

Gigondas Sun 10-Feb-13 17:49:43

Is there someone you can talk to - dr or similar- where you are? That seems a ridiculously excessive last post that you would rather cancel holiday than tell family. Well fine- just don't tell family, don't go to do and offer to see mil another time.

Yes mil may be put out etc but it isn't unreasonable not to guben age of ds, length of travel etc. yes you could go but you don't want to. So stop being a martyr about it and have the holiday you want.

WorriedTeenMum Sun 10-Feb-13 17:50:31

I really dont think you do have to go. By the sounds of it you are expecting the ASD to be confirmed. You have said that your MiL is a kind person. How upset do you think she would be to discover that you had struggled at what was supposed to be a happy event?

Disappointing MiL now with a full explanation later would be a kindness to MiL.

Gigondas Sun 10-Feb-13 17:50:47

And that wasn't meant to sound harsh but I think your obvious stress about ds is making you think that it is more difficult or unreasonable to do holiday you want than it is.

LIZS Sun 10-Feb-13 17:52:11

Is it really taking your 2yr old along that is the issue or is it the pressure of trying to suppress the potential diagnosis ?

shushpenfold Sun 10-Feb-13 17:53:47

Trucks - I would have found this slightly worrying but not impossible with my ds at 2yrs. 2yo ds' are not generally known for their sense, politeness, ability to not fiddle/break/use hammers (!) at this age but they should be able to be persuaded, distracted with enough adult attention for 48 hours. I think that you really need to tell your MIL about your suspicions. She may well still suggest that you come for a night and then at least she will see the issues....or your ds may surprise you - if he doesn't, no surprise, but if he does, good news. xx

Snazzynewyear Sun 10-Feb-13 17:54:04

I really think it would be doable in a very limited way. Stay one night in the nearest Travelodge / Premier Inn there is, take DS along for a very limited amount of time (just for pudding so everyone can wave hello at him), find out what parks / soft play places there are nearby and then take him to those to let off some steam.

However, you really seem set on not doing it and don't seem to want to contemplate any compromises, which is a bit sad for everyone, really. I also think it's a shame that you are so set against even raising the difficulties you are having with your DS before you get to the UK. It's just my view (then again, you have asked for the views of Internet strangers so here you go...) but I think it would help either to try to make some effort towards a bit of participation in this event that's so important to your MIL, or to explain in advance why it will be so difficult and stressful for you. Sorry to say it but by doing neither, you are going to seem unreasonable. Do you really think it wouldn't help to talk about it? They are your family - wouldn't they love DS regardless, and wouldn't they want to shoulder some of your burden even if only by sympathising and expressing support verbally from many miles away?

JustasmallGless Sun 10-Feb-13 17:54:51


If I was your Mil and you were travelling for 12 hours by plane but then said you couldn't attend for my special birthday because it was too far I would be hurt.

However if you explained to me about your DS issues then I would understand. I would be sad if you couldn't attend, but I would understand.
This is a special family occasion which they would all love you to attend without knowing your day to day life.

I would and have taken my DC to this type of occasion and been pretty stressed before. The events themselves have usually worked out ok with no major traumas (apart from me needing a vat of wine in the evening!)

I get why you don't want to tell your Mil without her meeting DS but surely as GP they would be able to help and support you and DH?

CaseyShraeger Sun 10-Feb-13 17:56:29

This might be the time to take this into SN. Because

(a) I don't think those of us with NT children are going to be properly able to grasp just why you are so reluctant to talk about your DS's SN with your family, but I bet the parents there will

(b) If you aren't going to go and aren't going to give MIL the reason why then there's a good chance you are going to offend her. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the wrong thing to do -- you have to put your DS's needs first. And that's the sort of issue where the SN board parents will have BTDT many times.

Posting here to see what people with an NT toddler would do was a good idea, but the consensus seems to be overwhelmingly that we'd suck it up and go. So it does seem to be the ASD that's the decisive factor, and I think now you might find support from those who know what it's like more helpful than the rest of us blundering about.

cassell Sun 10-Feb-13 17:58:26

I have no experience of SN, I would have gone with ds1 when he was 2.5 and I'm sure will do so with ds2 (9mths at moment). Yes it's hard work but if it's a very important occasion for the people concerned and they hardly see the dc then I would make the effort. I would however explain that I wouldn't be able to join in the whole of a long meal and that I would leave with ds once he'd finished eating so as not to disrupt everyone else. I'd bring lots of things to entertain him with and take him off for a walk of necessary. I'd also clear my hotel room of easily reached breakables before letting dc lose.

Personally I think you're making a big deal of it because you don't want to go (understandable) but as I say no experience of SN and what difference that makes.

I know that for most relatives the simple fact that you have a toddler wouldn't be seen as a decent excuse not to go and you should expect your PIL to be upset about it and for possible affect on your relationship with them. Your dh should def go even if you and ds don't.

ohforfoxsake Sun 10-Feb-13 18:00:13

If it was something you wanted to do, you would and make it work. I think the prospect of it is really daunting for you and perhaps making you panic.

That makes me wonder if there is something going in within you - the fear of a diagnoses, inability to cope, all the while having to do this far away from family and friends.

I'm sorry of I'm reading In between the lines and getting it wrong, but you are already taking DS overseas and staying in a rented place - and that's big in itself. Is this event just too much for YOU on top of that?

Where's your DP in this? What does he think and is he supporting you?

MrsMcEnroe Sun 10-Feb-13 18:05:28

I have a DS with SN (dyspraxia and moderate hyperactivity) and there is NO WAY he - or I - could have dealt with that kind of family get-together when he was aged 2. I fully relate to the OP's fear of tablecloths being pulled off, candlesticks knocked over, meltdowns etc etc. DS was a happy little chap but from the moment he was born he never, ever stopped moving and was totally unable to sit at a table until he was about 6 years old. It was horribly stressful, I couldn't take him out anywhere for a meal or even a coffee as he would just wreck the place, and I lived in fear of being judged by other parents who had no idea what it was like to deal with a child who simply didn't understand how to comply with social norms (and I was in total denial that there was anything wrong. I thought I was doing something wrong; I didn't realise that DS had special needs. I'd never heard of them).

OP - you sound as though you desperately need some moral support regarding your DS's condition and I know that you will find it on the SN boards on Mumsnet; please post this on there.

My DS is 8 now and is doing really well. He is sweet, kind, and able to concentrate and sit still sometimes. It takes work and you need to get the right help. The parents on the SN boards will understand exactly what you are going through x

abbierhodes Sun 10-Feb-13 18:09:28

You clearly just don't want to go. You want to stay in London an see your friends. If I was you MIL, I'd be hurt.
If I was your DH, I'd take my son and go without you. SN or not, you can surely manage one 2 year old between 2 of you.

Bunbaker Sun 10-Feb-13 18:20:24

"If you aren't going to go and aren't going to give MIL the reason why then there's a good chance you are going to offend her"

I agree. I realise your son is hard work and is likely to disrupt the party. What I don't understand is if he can't cope with being in a car for a couple of hours how on earth are you going to manage a 12 hour flight?

If it is a landmark wedding anniversary your ILs will be extremely disappointed that their son, who will be in the same country, won't be able to attend. So I would be inclined to sty in London and let your husband go on his own.

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