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DS1's playdate fiasco...

(25 Posts)
dinosaur Fri 30-Jan-04 11:34:45

DS1 had an invite to play at someone's house yesterday. He's been going to playgroup and then nursery for two years now and this is the first time that he's had a "spontaneous" invite from another child (as opposed to playdates engineered by his anxious mummy).

Trouble was, they have six dogs at this other boy's house and although the dogs started off closed in another room, after they'd eaten their tea DS1's friend let the dogs out without his mum's knowledge. DS1 was terrified when all these dogs ran at him and the mum had to phone us up to go and collect him.

Poor old DS1 - I just feel so sorry for him. He's always been really timid about dogs, for no readily apparent reason, and he says that he doesn't ever want to go back to this boy's house again (of course, he may not be invited back!).

What should I do? Should we go ahead and invite the other child for a return match next week, as planned? Should I suggest to DS that if he goes back to this boy's house, I could come too and we could meet the dogs together - maybe that way he would see that they are not scary?

It is just a little thing, I know, but for some reason I feel ridiculously upset about it.

twiglett Fri 30-Jan-04 11:37:36

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dinosaur Fri 30-Jan-04 11:39:56

thanks twiglett

the other little boy's mum was very apologetic, but obviously he's only four and I suppose he just didn't understand that DS1 would be scared, when obviously he's not scared himself, if you see what I mean

I just hope that DS1 doesn't get teased at school about it.

mrcheese Fri 30-Jan-04 11:40:17

My ds hates dogs and I say up front. I hate them too

agree with t

tamum Fri 30-Jan-04 11:55:29

Blimey, it doesn't seem like a little thing to me! My ds, aged 9, would have been a gibbering wreck if that had happened to him even now. I would go ahead with the playdate, but talk to the other child's mother about it before (if) he goes back so you can give him a guarantee it won't happen again.

binkie Fri 30-Jan-04 12:20:35

6 dogs, dinosaur! I'd have been upset, and dd, who (unlike my ds) never gives me cause for concern about whether her responses to stresses are "ordinary" or not, would have been hysterical.

Do have the other boy back to yours, definitely. Going forward, perhaps you can have playdates in parks etc. for a bit so that the boys can develop being friends without focus on the scary thing. That's what I'd do anyway.

Batters Fri 30-Jan-04 12:47:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tamum Fri 30-Jan-04 12:51:20

Sorry to hijack your thread, but I'm dying to tell someone- I just asked a new boy in ds's class if he'd like to stay to tea when he comes round to play with ds next week and he said "Well, I'd be honoured". Oh, bless bless bless

dinosaur Fri 30-Jan-04 13:00:05

Thanks everyone for your messages.

Tamum - how sweet!!!

twiglett Fri 30-Jan-04 13:02:47

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Blu Fri 30-Jan-04 13:04:07

Oooh, that's so sad, and I can completely understand why you are upset that it all went wrong on his first spontaneous invite. Really, really bad luck. I'm not surprised he was terrified. I can't see why the other friend can't be invited back, and if they do seem to get on, he could always come to yours, couldn't he? Or maybe after a while, you could pop in to the other house, just dropping the friend off, for e.g, but not stay, and see if, in time, your DS got used to the idea? And the other Mum could be on the alert for unauthorised dog escapes!

coppertop Fri 30-Jan-04 13:20:14

6 dogs?? I like dogs but even I would be worried if 6 of them came running towards me!

I would definitely invite the other boy back to yours to play, then wait to see what happens next.

Ds1 developed a fear of dogs after a big dog jumped up at him one day. It was on one of those extending leads but the owner was too busy texting to pay any attention to the fact that the lead was getting longer and longer. Strangely ds1 is fine with dogs off their leads but screams hysterically if a dog is OFF it's lead.

Tamum - That is so sweet!

tamum Fri 30-Jan-04 13:20:35

Oh good point twiglett, I'll get me candelabras out now...

He seems a lovely lad actually, I hope they have a nice time together.

Blu, that's a good point, playdates don't have to alternate, I guess, do they?

coppertop Fri 30-Jan-04 13:21:10

Of course I meant he's terrified of dogs ON the lead!

dinosaur Fri 30-Jan-04 13:28:51

Yes Blu - exactly.

Is it "normal" for playdates to alternate? I am a bit hopeless at all this...

Kayleigh Fri 30-Jan-04 13:46:00

we do tend to alternate play dates if mums are SAHM or part time workers like me. But there are a couple of ds1 s friends whose mums work full time and we therefore always have these kids play at our house, but ds1 has never been to their houses.

Blu Fri 30-Jan-04 14:26:44

I don't think it matters about alternating. In the circumstances, the other parent must realise that the dogs are likely to put off ANY young visitor, and she may be happy to get her DS off her hands more often!
I hope it works out, it would be lovely for your DS.

fio2 Sat 31-Jan-04 10:13:38

dinosaur i dont think you are over-reacting and i would do a return date. I think it is lovely that your ds has a friend. I have 2 dogs and i always keep them locked up whenever we have visitors especially kids because they are a bit mad

tanum thats lovely

Davros Sat 31-Jan-04 17:44:25

Agree with Twiglett, let the other boy come to you and don't force your boy to go back to his house if he's scared (I would be too). It'll soon be nice enough for them to go to the park together or McDonalds etc.

tigermoth Sun 01-Feb-04 13:17:16

yes, agree on a reciprocal playdate. And mention your son's fear of dogs to the other mother of the boy. Honestly, six dogs converging on a room out of the blue is enough to fighten anyone - it would frighten me!

If you're worried your ds will be teased, when this boy comes round, could you arrange for the two boys to do something your know your ds is confident at - cycling in the garden, lego, painting, etc then praise him a little in front of his friend?

BTW, sometimes I find that there may be long gaps of even six or more months between playdates with some of my son's friends. If this happens to you, your son may be so scared of the dogs the next time he visits.

tigermoth Sun 01-Feb-04 13:18:05

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Eulalia Sun 01-Feb-04 21:25:13

6 dogs is a lot - too much for your son to try to overcome his fear of dogs. YOu didn't say what kind they are - a nice placid labrador is what he needs and only one of them! I would invite them to yours but explain about the dogs and maybe suggest meeting in neutral territory next time,

Bron Sun 01-Feb-04 21:33:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thomcat Mon 02-Feb-04 10:56:05

Blimey! Who wouldn't be unnerved at 6 dogs suddenly running into a room, poor little mite, bless him. I should think the mother was apologetic - that was a stupid insensitive thing to have done.

No reason for the return match not to go ahead though.

Lots of love x

dinosaur Tue 03-Feb-04 09:50:55

Thank you all so much for your messages - I really appreciate them.

DS1's friend is going to come round to our house for tea this week, then we'll see what happens after that - obviously I won't try and force DS1 to go round to his house if he really doesn't want to. The two boys obviously play together a lot at school, which is great, because one of the things I was most worried about was how DS1 would manage in the playground.

This little boy is on a gluten free diet. I might post a separate message about what to look out for - obviously don't want to go inadvertently feeding him gluten, poor love.

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