Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Shakira on March 08, 2013, 07:19:10 PM

Title: No, I don't want him to be here. ***Update pg 5***
Post by: Shakira on March 08, 2013, 07:19:10 PM
I did something today that I feel guilty about, but I'm pretty sure I was not rude and was justified in doing. Please assuage my guilt or tell me if I should rectify the situation!

DH and I are having a party tomorrow night. This is our annual, pull-out-all-the-stops extravaganza...we plan weeks in advance and send actual invitations through the mail, tons of yummy food and drinks...I get very excited about it every year.

My best friend usually comes over a couple hours early to help us set everything up and it's a fun time for both of us. She called me just now and said she wasn't sure what her plan was for tomorrow, because of a scheduling conflict with her 2yo son.

What she wants to do is this: her and her DH and their son will all come over early, she will help me set up while her husband keeps son busy. Then her parents will come pick him up about 15 minutes before the party start time. They can't take him earlier because of a scheduling conflict. I see all kinds of disasters with this: son is mostly well-behaved but is allowed (in his home) to take food as he wants it, as in, will take the prepped food off the table and counters. In addition, my friend's parents are notoriously late and will likely not arrive until about 15 minutes AFTER the party has started. Also I really like her parents and they would want to come in and talk for awhile.

I told my friend that I'd really prefer to not have him there because I don't want to maneuver wine glasses, candles, food, etc around a toddler. I suggested that her DH and son could stay at home while she came over early, and then her DH could wait until her parents got him and then join us, but their second car is in the shop. So then I said she didn't have to come over early and help, and they could arrive a little later to the party. She didn't want to do that because she says they only have a limited time at the party because they want to go to church in the morning. So her reasoning is to spend as much time as possible with DH and me.

So basically I told her I'd rather not have him there and she needed to figure out what she wants and what she'll sacrifice. I'm of the opinion that since they have a child, they don't get to do everything they want. Am I wrong in this line of thinking? I could tell she wasn't thrilled with my answer and expected me to just let him be here.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: DottyG on March 08, 2013, 07:24:43 PM
Does she know about this new-fangled thing called a babysitter?

It's even possible for the babysitter to be in your house (as a last resort) and be in a room apart from the party stuff.  I did that many a time.

Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: MerryCat on March 08, 2013, 07:40:16 PM
I don't think you did anything wrong. Not all events are child-friendly, and being a parent means sometimes you may have to miss out on those events. As long as you were polite, which it sounds like you were, I don't see anything rude in what you did.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: JenJay on March 08, 2013, 08:02:26 PM
Does she know about this new-fangled thing called a babysitter?

It's even possible for the babysitter to be in your house (as a last resort) and be in a room apart from the party stuff.  I did that many a time.

LOL yep!

I don't think you were rude. I've tried to plan kid-free parties but someone always shows up with one (or four >:(). Good for you for being honest and standing your ground. I'm sorry that circumstances aren't more convenient for your friend to come over early, but that's not a good reason to pass the inconvenience off on you.

Your party sounds like a blast!! Enjoy!
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: auntmeegs on March 08, 2013, 08:34:27 PM
This is just my opinion so I hope you don't take offense but personally I think you are being unreasonable.  Its not as though your friend was going to try to help while watching her son at the she time - her dh will be there, in charge of taking care of the child, so i guess I don't really see what the problem I with her idea. 
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: MOM21SON on March 08, 2013, 08:41:46 PM
This is just my opinion so I hope you don't take offense but personally I think you are being unreasonable.  Its not as though your friend was going to try to help while watching her son at the she time - her dh will be there, in charge of taking care of the child, so i guess I don't really see what the problem I with her idea.

I think it's a distraction even if the DH is there. 

"He wants his mommy and will no longer listen to daddy."  It happens.  Some kids just want to be where they are not supposed to be.

If they are down to one car, can't her DH drop her off and go home to wait for the grandparents and then come to the party?

And, like Dotty said, there are babysitters. 

You are not rude.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: doodlemor on March 08, 2013, 09:06:33 PM
You were not rude, and I agree that the child would be a huge distraction. 

For me, it would be much harder to concentrate on the party tasks whether I was the hostess or the mother.  The child could get hurt if he got underfoot and in the way of an adult in a hurry, too.

It sounds like your friend's life is a bit disrupted here, but her problems should not be spread into your party preparations.  This is a big deal for you, and you don't need any hindrances.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: peaches on March 08, 2013, 09:15:45 PM
You did nothing wrong.

Party-giving is stressful enough without having an unplanned-for toddler running around.

I would have felt the same as you, and told them essentially the same thing.

 
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: something.new.every.day on March 08, 2013, 09:20:03 PM
This is just my opinion so I hope you don't take offense but personally I think you are being unreasonable.  Its not as though your friend was going to try to help while watching her son at the she time - her dh will be there, in charge of taking care of the child, so i guess I don't really see what the problem I with her idea.
But as the OP said, she was not confident that the grandparents would be there before the party to pick up the child. 
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: lkdrymom on March 08, 2013, 09:25:59 PM
And how many times have we been told that so-and-so will watch their child but it turns out their idea of watching a child and your idea of watching one are entirely two different things. I know that is how it was with my now ex husband.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: KB on March 08, 2013, 09:26:20 PM
Hold on, is your friend doing you a favour by coming to help set up? Is your extravaganza that you get all the glory for, but which she helps you with all the setting out of things, or is it a shared effort for which you both get recognition that just happens to be at your place, because that would affect my view of things. In the latter case, of course she should do her part, but in the former, you are asking her to put herself at an inconvience just to suit you.

It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about. And I'm afraid I strongly disagree with your twist on 'since they have a child, they don't get to do everything they want.' You seem to think it means YOU can have what YOU want instead and they should be used to making sacrifices anyway, so one that happens to give you your way is going to be fine.

Sorry, but no, it doesn't work like that.

Besides, since you have a DH, who will presumably be co-hosting the party and getting at least half of the credit, what's wrong with making him do the work instead?
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: MrTango on March 08, 2013, 09:36:05 PM
Hold on, is your friend doing you a favour by coming to help set up? Is your extravaganza that you get all the glory for, but which she helps you with all the setting out of things, or is it a shared effort for which you both get recognition that just happens to be at your place, because that would affect my view of things. In the latter case, of course she should do her part, but in the former, you are asking her to put herself at an inconvience just to suit you.

It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about. And I'm afraid I strongly disagree with your twist on 'since they have a child, they don't get to do everything they want.' You seem to think it means YOU can have what YOU want instead and they should be used to making sacrifices anyway, so one that happens to give you your way is going to be fine.

Sorry, but no, it doesn't work like that.

Besides, since you have a DH, who will presumably be co-hosting the party and getting at least half of the credit, what's wrong with making him do the work instead?

In the OP's house, the OP gets to set the rules.

She doesn't want a toddler running around while she's preparing for an adult party.  That seems perfectly reasonable to me.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: wolfie on March 08, 2013, 09:37:51 PM
Hold on, is your friend doing you a favour by coming to help set up? Is your extravaganza that you get all the glory for, but which she helps you with all the setting out of things, or is it a shared effort for which you both get recognition that just happens to be at your place, because that would affect my view of things. In the latter case, of course she should do her part, but in the former, you are asking her to put herself at an inconvience just to suit you.

It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about. And I'm afraid I strongly disagree with your twist on 'since they have a child, they don't get to do everything they want.' You seem to think it means YOU can have what YOU want instead and they should be used to making sacrifices anyway, so one that happens to give you your way is going to be fine.

Sorry, but no, it doesn't work like that.

Besides, since you have a DH, who will presumably be co-hosting the party and getting at least half of the credit, what's wrong with making him do the work instead?

Why does the OP need to make a sacrifice to accommodate her friend's child - especially since that is going to cause her additional hardship? Why is it a bad thing that the people who chose to have this child need to make the sacrifices for him? Why should the OP's DH have to do the setup alone so that OP can babysit a child that isn't hers?

I don't understand your post at all.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Aeris on March 08, 2013, 09:41:07 PM
Hold on, is your friend doing you a favour by coming to help set up? Is your extravaganza that you get all the glory for, but which she helps you with all the setting out of things, or is it a shared effort for which you both get recognition that just happens to be at your place, because that would affect my view of things. In the latter case, of course she should do her part, but in the former, you are asking her to put herself at an inconvience just to suit you.

It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about. And I'm afraid I strongly disagree with your twist on 'since they have a child, they don't get to do everything they want.' You seem to think it means YOU can have what YOU want instead and they should be used to making sacrifices anyway, so one that happens to give you your way is going to be fine.

Sorry, but no, it doesn't work like that.

Besides, since you have a DH, who will presumably be co-hosting the party and getting at least half of the credit, what's wrong with making him do the work instead?

Why does the OP need to make a sacrifice to accommodate her friend's child - especially since that is going to cause her additional hardship? Why is it a bad thing that the people who chose to have this child need to make the sacrifices for him? Why should the OP's DH have to do the setup alone so that OP can babysit a child that isn't hers?

I don't understand your post at all.

I think her point at the end was: Since you have a DH (who is your actual, acknowledged co host), why don't you have him do the extra set up work rather than this friend, who has a conflict and presumably doesn't have hosting credit.

I don't think KB was suggesting that the OP babysit the kid.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: auntmeegs on March 08, 2013, 09:44:41 PM
Hold on, is your friend doing you a favour by coming to help set up? Is your extravaganza that you get all the glory for, but which she helps you with all the setting out of things, or is it a shared effort for which you both get recognition that just happens to be at your place, because that would affect my view of things. In the latter case, of course she should do her part, but in the former, you are asking her to put herself at an inconvience just to suit you.

It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about. And I'm afraid I strongly disagree with your twist on 'since they have a child, they don't get to do everything they want.' You seem to think it means YOU can have what YOU want instead and they should be used to making sacrifices anyway, so one that happens to give you your way is going to be fine.

Sorry, but no, it doesn't work like that.

Besides, since you have a DH, who will presumably be co-hosting the party and getting at least half of the credit, what's wrong with making him do the work instead?

Why does the OP need to make a sacrifice to accommodate her friend's child - especially since that is going to cause her additional hardship? Why is it a bad thing that the people who chose to have this child need to make the sacrifices for him? Why should the OP's DH have to do the setup alone so that OP can babysit a child that isn't hers?

I don't understand your post at all.

What is the OP sacrificing though?  And who said anything about the OP babysitting the kid?
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: KB on March 08, 2013, 09:45:35 PM
Why does the OP need to make a sacrifice to accommodate her friend's child - especially since that is going to cause her additional hardship? Why is it a bad thing that the people who chose to have this child need to make the sacrifices for him? Why should the OP's DH have to do the setup alone so that OP can babysit a child that isn't hers?

I don't understand your post at all.

Why does the friend have to make a sacrifice of not having her child nearby to help out the OP when she is doing the OP a favour by coming over to help set out the OP's party? Why can't the OP make the sacrifice of having the child in another room for the time that the friend is there helping the OP with her big event?

And I'm not saying the OP should babysit the child (not sure where in my post gave you that idea) but that, if setting up the party with the friend is a problem, OP's DH could take friend's place instead. Thanks to those who did get that.

As for the sacrifices, since you clearly didn't understand that part of my post either, yes, of course couples make sacrifices because they have chosen to, but the sacrifices should be about the child, not about someone thinking 'well, you're already not used to getting what you want because of Junior, so I'm sure you'll have no problem getting what you want because of me.'
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Aeris on March 08, 2013, 09:46:53 PM
I think it's important to determine here what it is you want most of all.

Is your number one, above all else, no matter what priority that the child not be in your house at all? Even if that means your friend doesn't come to your party at all? If so, then you're on the right course. But if you will be upset if she can't come to your party at all, then you may want to rethink. You can't take a hardline stance about the kid and then harbor any complaints if she respects them - but stays home.

There's really nothing *wrong* with either stance. Neither are rude, and neither are patently inappropriate in friendships. You just have to decide where your feelings are.

I know that I've been in analogous circumstances before where I thought one thing was The Most Important Thing to me, but then I realized that if people respected that thing, and in so doing, declined my event, I'd actually be upset. And that meant I had to rethink how accommodating I wanted to be. I had to ask myself 'just how important is it that this person come?'
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: BeautifulDisaster on March 08, 2013, 09:57:42 PM
I told my friend that I'd really prefer to not have him there because I don't want to maneuver wine glasses, candles, food, etc around a toddler. I suggested that her DH and son could stay at home while she came over early, and then her DH could wait until her parents got him and then join us, but their second car is in the shop. So then I said she didn't have to come over early and help, and they could arrive a little later to the party. She didn't want to do that because she says they only have a limited time at the party because they want to go to church in the morning. So her reasoning is to spend as much time as possible with DH and me.

It doesn't sound like OP expects her friend to help with this party. It sounds like her friend WANTS to help set up for the party (but also wants to spend as much time with her DH as she can).

So yes - it's the friend that needs to figure out what she's going to sacrifice; helping with the party or hanging out with her DH.

OP - You're not being unreasonable. Unreasonable would be demanding that your friend come help you set up the party and throwing a hissy fit when she can't do that without her child. You gave her options - either come early withOUT the child, or come a bit late withOUT the child.

For what it's worth; I don't allow children in my house for any reason full stop. People that know me and have reason to come over know better to even ask, the ones that don't are politely but firmly told it's not possible.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: auntmeegs on March 08, 2013, 10:01:35 PM
I told my friend that I'd really prefer to not have him there because I don't want to maneuver wine glasses, candles, food, etc around a toddler. I suggested that her DH and son could stay at home while she came over early, and then her DH could wait until her parents got him and then join us, but their second car is in the shop. So then I said she didn't have to come over early and help, and they could arrive a little later to the party. She didn't want to do that because she says they only have a limited time at the party because they want to go to church in the morning. So her reasoning is to spend as much time as possible with DH and me.

It doesn't sound like OP expects her friend to help with this party. It sounds like her friend WANTS to help set up for the party (but also wants to spend as much time with her DH as she can).

So yes - it's the friend that needs to figure out what she's going to sacrifice; helping with the party or hanging out with her DH.

OP - You're not being unreasonable. Unreasonable would be demanding that your friend come help you set up the party and throwing a hissy fit when she can't do that without her child. You gave her options - either come early withOUT the child, or come a bit late withOUT the child.

For what it's worth; I don't allow children in my house for any reason full stop. People that know me and have reason to come over know better to even ask, the ones that don't are politely but firmly told it's not possible.

I think she meant the Op and the OP's DH, not the friend's own DH.  Regarding your stance on children in your house, that's not really relevent here since if the OP had the same policy, presumably her best friend would be aware of it.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Venus193 on March 08, 2013, 10:08:05 PM
If the child in question is permitted to grab anything he wants and he would then be in a house that isn't child-proofed and will have lots of tempting things around (like stemware and grown-up hors d'oeurvres) the OP is entirely within her rights to object to his presence.  It doesn't sound like the child's father controls him any more than the mother does.

Sorry I have no solution to your dilemma, though.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: sweetonsno on March 08, 2013, 10:11:50 PM
It isn't wrong for you to not want to have a kid underfoot, but I think it's important to realize that your friend is doing you a favor by setting up, even if you two have fun doing it. You have limited bargaining power when someone is helping you out free of charge and without obligation. If she can't make it to help you set up, so be it.

I suspect that part of the problem is that she probably thinks you expect her to be there even though she doesn't have childcare. Did you let you know that she was off the hook?
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Emmy on March 08, 2013, 10:17:06 PM
I told my friend that I'd really prefer to not have him there because I don't want to maneuver wine glasses, candles, food, etc around a toddler. I suggested that her DH and son could stay at home while she came over early, and then her DH could wait until her parents got him and then join us, but their second car is in the shop. So then I said she didn't have to come over early and help, and they could arrive a little later to the party. She didn't want to do that because she says they only have a limited time at the party because they want to go to church in the morning. So her reasoning is to spend as much time as possible with DH and me.

It doesn't sound like OP expects her friend to help with this party. It sounds like her friend WANTS to help set up for the party (but also wants to spend as much time with her DH as she can).

So yes - it's the friend that needs to figure out what she's going to sacrifice; helping with the party or hanging out with her DH.

OP - You're not being unreasonable. Unreasonable would be demanding that your friend come help you set up the party and throwing a hissy fit when she can't do that without her child. You gave her options - either come early withOUT the child, or come a bit late withOUT the child.

For what it's worth; I don't allow children in my house for any reason full stop. People that know me and have reason to come over know better to even ask, the ones that don't are politely but firmly told it's not possible.

I agree with this.  From the OP, it doesn't sound as if the OP recruited her friend for party set-up or they are co-hosting the party.  It seems friend wanted to spend extra time with the OP and bringing her child early to help set up was the most convenient way they could go to the party and leave early like she wished.  The OP even suggested that her friend and DH can come to the party a little late after the child's grandparents arrive and not have to set up at all or DH could come later himself, but friend seemed to want to come over with the child because that worked best for her.  Although her DH agreed to watch the child, different people have different versions of 'watching' a child.  OP would want the child quiet and contained in another room, while another person may feel simply making sure the child didn't hurt himself is sufficient.  Not having the child there at all would avoid any stress on the OP's part about things going wrong (which easily could happen).  Even if friend's DH did a great job entertaining the child and keeping him contained, 2 year olds are unpredictable and he could cry for his mother and be a distraction.  Of course things could also go great, but I can see why OP wouldn't want to take a chance.

I am a parent of a toddler and while I appreciate child friendly environments, I won't try to insist my child come to a childfree environment.  If I decide it is important enough to me to go, I will arrange for a sitter, if not then I won't go.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: buvezdevin on March 08, 2013, 10:24:35 PM
OP, you were not rude.

To those posting about how the OP needs to be accommodating when seeking her friend's favor of pre-party assistance, please note (as Fallon pointed out) the OP told her friend that friend could come help early, without child, or her friend could skip helping pre-party and just come to the party as a couple of adult guests, again without child.

It isn't that OP is trying to dictate terms of a favor she is seeking, the OP is simply telling her friend that the friend can help before or simply come as a party guest - the only requirement is that friend's toddler does not come at all.  So the friend has choices, but none the OP is agreeable to involve bringing friend's child to OP's house - which seems completely reasonable to me.

The *friend* is the one trying to dictate something other than what the party host has planned, or wants to do.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Aeris on March 08, 2013, 10:31:59 PM
I told my friend that I'd really prefer to not have him there because I don't want to maneuver wine glasses, candles, food, etc around a toddler. I suggested that her DH and son could stay at home while she came over early, and then her DH could wait until her parents got him and then join us, but their second car is in the shop. So then I said she didn't have to come over early and help, and they could arrive a little later to the party. She didn't want to do that because she says they only have a limited time at the party because they want to go to church in the morning. So her reasoning is to spend as much time as possible with DH and me.

It doesn't sound like OP expects her friend to help with this party. It sounds like her friend WANTS to help set up for the party (but also wants to spend as much time with her DH as she can).

So yes - it's the friend that needs to figure out what she's going to sacrifice; helping with the party or hanging out with her DH.

OP - You're not being unreasonable. Unreasonable would be demanding that your friend come help you set up the party and throwing a hissy fit when she can't do that without her child. You gave her options - either come early withOUT the child, or come a bit late withOUT the child.

For what it's worth; I don't allow children in my house for any reason full stop. People that know me and have reason to come over know better to even ask, the ones that don't are politely but firmly told it's not possible.

I'm pretty sure the friend wants to maximize hanging out with the OP and the OP's DH; not with the OP and her *own* DH. The friend isn't trying to get a bunch of things she wants here - she's trying to figure out how to maximize her time with the OP. That doesn't mean that anything and everything she does is perfectly acceptable, but it's probably a good idea for us to stop acting like she's some sort of entitlemommy who's trying to gain something here.

She's trying to figure out how to spend time with her friend, the OP. There's nothing *inherently* messed up about that. Even if the practical details make it unworkable this time.

It sounds to me like her concerns about coming to the party late were:
1) That that seriously reduces the amount of time the OP and the friend get to spend together and *possibly*
2) That if they have to both leave early AND come late - at some point that might mean that it's just not practical to attend the party at all.

These are reasonable concerns. It doesn't mean the OP is wrong, and it doesn't mean the OP is required to change her stance. But these concerns of the friend are reasonable. And the first one is a reflection of the fact that spending time with the OP is important to the friend - which ought to be an admirable trait in a friend. Instead some posters are acting as though she's trying to get something for free.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: auntmeegs on March 08, 2013, 10:36:27 PM
OP, you were not rude.

To those posting about how the OP needs to be accommodating when seeking her friend's favor of pre-party assistance, please note (as Fallon pointed out) the OP told her friend that friend could come help early, without child, or her friend could skip helping pre-party and just come to the party as a couple of adult guests, again without child.

It isn't that OP is trying to dictate terms of a favor she is seeking, the OP is simply telling her friend that the friend can help before or simply come as a party guest - the only requirement is that friend's toddler does not come at all.  So the friend has choices, but none the OP is agreeable to involve bringing friend's child to OP's house - which seems completely reasonable to me.

The *friend* is the one trying to dictate something other than what the party host has planned, or wants to do.

I don't think the OP needs to be more accommodating.  But I personally would be for the sake of my best friend and getting more time with her.  The OP said herself that she has some guilt about it so maybe part of her feels that way too.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Aeris on March 08, 2013, 10:36:43 PM
OP, you were not rude.

To those posting about how the OP needs to be accommodating when seeking her friend's favor of pre-party assistance, please note (as Fallon pointed out) the OP told her friend that friend could come help early, without child, or her friend could skip helping pre-party and just come to the party as a couple of adult guests, again without child.

It isn't that OP is trying to dictate terms of a favor she is seeking, the OP is simply telling her friend that the friend can help before or simply come as a party guest - the only requirement is that friend's toddler does not come at all.  So the friend has choices, but none the OP is agreeable to involve bringing friend's child to OP's house - which seems completely reasonable to me.

The *friend* is the one trying to dictate something other than what the party host has planned, or wants to do.

While I agree that the OP isn't trying to dictate the terms of a favor, and I also agree that the OP does not have to change to accommodate her friend's childcare issues, I also don't see the friend "trying to dictate" anything. The friend has put forward options that work best for her; the OP has responded that those options don't work best for *her*.

It would be awesome if we could stop acting like people were automatically horrible people for having conflicting desires. Unless and until the friend comes back with an attitude about how the OP ought to be accommodating her exactly how she wants or she's a terrible person, I will not understand this insistence on casting the friend as some sort of mooch, dictator, or otherwise bad friend.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: buvezdevin on March 08, 2013, 10:51:48 PM
OP, you were not rude.

To those posting about how the OP needs to be accommodating when seeking her friend's favor of pre-party assistance, please note (as Fallon pointed out) the OP told her friend that friend could come help early, without child, or her friend could skip helping pre-party and just come to the party as a couple of adult guests, again without child.

It isn't that OP is trying to dictate terms of a favor she is seeking, the OP is simply telling her friend that the friend can help before or simply come as a party guest - the only requirement is that friend's toddler does not come at all.  So the friend has choices, but none the OP is agreeable to involve bringing friend's child to OP's house - which seems completely reasonable to me.

The *friend* is the one trying to dictate something other than what the party host has planned, or wants to do.

While I agree that the OP isn't trying to dictate the terms of a favor, and I also agree that the OP does not have to change to accommodate her friend's childcare issues, I also don't see the friend "trying to dictate" anything. The friend has put forward options that work best for her; the OP has responded that those options don't work best for *her*.

It would be awesome if we could stop acting like people were automatically horrible people for having conflicting desires. Unless and until the friend comes back with an attitude about how the OP ought to be accommodating her exactly how she wants or she's a terrible person, I will not understand this insistence on casting the friend as some sort of mooch, dictator, or otherwise bad friend.

I read the last sentence of the OP stating that friend was less than thrilled with OP's reply, and seemed to expect OP to let toddler be there as, well, friend showing some attitude, which may or may not be the case.

As I did not characterize any party in the OP as horrible people, nor a mooch or bad friend - I would appreciate your not mischaracterizing my post, or assuming I meant anything more than I stated.

I do think that explaining why one would want a host/friend to have an unexpected unplanned for toddler for any part of party prep or actual party makes sense when asking to bring a toddler.  I also think it's definitely not good form to react poorly if the request to bring a toddler is declined by the host, nor do I think the host/friend needs give any reason for declining - though in this case, the OP seems to have a few considered reasons.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: snowdragon on March 08, 2013, 11:00:28 PM
I think the child is a bit of a red herring. She's asking to bring two uninvited people to another person's house. That's not cool. And the age doesn't matter. 
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: auntmeegs on March 08, 2013, 11:47:52 PM
I think the child is a bit of a red herring. She's asking to bring two uninvited people to another person's house. That's not cool. And the age doesn't matter.

I disagree.  The age and who it is matter very much here and to me this is not a red herring situation at all.

Et - who is the second uninvited person?
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: snowdragon on March 08, 2013, 11:53:04 PM
I think the child is a bit of a red herring. She's asking to bring two uninvited people to another person's house. That's not cool. And the age doesn't matter.

I disagree.  The age and who it is matter very much here and to me this is not a red herring situation at all.

Et - who is the second uninvited person?

The friend's DH who would be coming to the set up to watch the child.  So the OP would have two uninvited people at her house for the set up.  It sounds to me that the OP can handle the set up with her DH and the friend would be better off not coming until her parents get home to watch the toddler, but it seems that is not acceptable to the friend.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Aeris on March 09, 2013, 12:00:09 AM
I think the child is a bit of a red herring. She's asking to bring two uninvited people to another person's house. That's not cool. And the age doesn't matter.

I disagree.  The age and who it is matter very much here and to me this is not a red herring situation at all.

Et - who is the second uninvited person?

The friend's DH who would be coming to the set up to watch the child.  So the OP would have two uninvited people at her house for the set up.  It sounds to me that the OP can handle the set up with her DH and the friend would be better off not coming until her parents get home to watch the toddler, but it seems that is not acceptable to the friend.

1) The friend has not indicated that "this is not acceptable". Don't add things that haven't happened. The friend "wasn't thrilled". I'm 'not thrilled' about lots of things I don't have tantrums about.

2) The OP did not indicate that she had any particular problem with the friend's husband joining for the pre-party. I don't see any reason to make this a bigger issue than the OP has.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Lindee on March 09, 2013, 12:22:12 AM
I don't think you are being unreasonable at all.  I share your misgivings about having a toddler there while you are setting up. He is used to being able to help himself to food from tables and there is little chance he'll be happy staying quietly in another room with his father instead of being where the action (and food and decoration) is. It is a long time since I had toddlers but I have a good memory.  You already know the grandparents are likely to be late and will want to chat with you while you are trying to greet your invited guests and where will the two year old be then? Climbing all over the tables is my guess.

I don't see it as asking your friend for a favour or trying to make her do the work without recognition as someone was implying. She enjoys helping set up with you but sadly this year it is not going to work out.  She has already decided that Church the next day is more important to her than spending the extra time with you at the party  but it is not then your obligation to make up the time by stressing yourself out worrying about the toddler.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Pen^2 on March 09, 2013, 12:34:03 AM
I don't think you are being rude or unreasonable at all, OP. It's your house, and therefore, your choice as to who is allowed to come in. Nothing remotely unreasonable about that. The only possible rude thing here is if your delivery was nasty, and it doesn't sound like that at all.

As for me, I would be stressed to have a child in a house that was not child-proof or child-ready at all, let alone while trying to set up for a major party. No thank-you. And as others have pointed out, the friend's DH looking after the child could easily be different to what the OP or other people see as 'looking after'. The child may be allowed to run riot in the house with the father following behind, only there to ensure the child doesn't get hurt, and nothing more (I've seen this a lot). The father may be great and keep the child entertained off quietly in another room, on the other hand. But it is a gamble that one doesn't want to take at the last minute while stressfully preparing for a big annual event.

It sounds like the friend could easily work around this (many people have made good suggestions), but doesn't want to. I feel that this isn't because the friend is being difficult, but rather, it's because she is used to having a toddler around and doesn't realise that other people don't see it as the normal everyday thing that she does. And let's be honest, we're all guilty of this at time in various small areas. Just because we don't see something as a problem, we have difficulty accepting that something so simple and harmless is apparently abhorrent or impossible for others, and can start assuming that they are being silly or something, when in fact, they just don't see the world as we do, and aren't acclimatised to the same types of things.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Slartibartfast on March 09, 2013, 01:27:39 AM
Is there a park nearby, or a library, or somewhere else a child might find interesting?  Your friend's DH could drop her off at your house and take the kid to the park/library/whatever until the grandparents can come get the kid.  That would solve the car issue and the getting-to-see-each-other issue.

I'm normally pro-kids-as-long-as-they're-behaving, but setting up for a party is a stressful time.  You have to be able to put something down or get something ready and have it still be there even without constant supervision - which you can't do with a two-year-old around!  If it were me, I'd say the house really isn't toddler-proofed.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Aeris on March 09, 2013, 01:32:54 AM
Is there a park nearby, or a library, or somewhere else a child might find interesting?  Your friend's DH could drop her off at your house and take the kid to the park/library/whatever until the grandparents can come get the kid.  That would solve the car issue and the getting-to-see-each-other issue.

I'm normally pro-kids-as-long-as-they're-behaving, but setting up for a party is a stressful time.  You have to be able to put something down or get something ready and have it still be there even without constant supervision - which you can't do with a two-year-old around!  If it were me, I'd say the house really isn't toddler-proofed.

I like this suggestion a lot. The distances involved could preclude the friend's DH from driving all the way back home after dropping her off, but if there's somewhere in the area to go that could solve all the problems neatly.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: sammycat on March 09, 2013, 02:10:13 AM
I don't think you are wrong at all OP. When I was setting up for parties when my children were younger, I didn't even want my own toddlers around, let alone anyone else's.

My reading of the situation. OP, please correct me if I'm wrong:

1.  Rather than OP roping Friend in as a favour, Friend has volunteered for this each year, for whatever reason (eg. loves setting up; gets to spend extra time with OP).
2.  OP's DH also helps set up. Friend's help is a bonus, not essential.
3.  Friend seems to want to have her cake and eat it too - help/spend more time with OP, visit church in the morning (what that has to do with the party I have no idea), and have her toddler in tow as well.
4.  Friend seems to be unwilling to compromise with OP's very reasonable requests.

I like a pp suggestion of Friend's DH taking the baby to a nearby park or attraction if there's one nearby.

Bottom line, Friend's parent's in law's plans, unusable second vehicle, desires to go to church the next day, are not the OP's concerns, and shouldn't have any bearing on OP's party.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Aeris on March 09, 2013, 02:33:10 AM
I don't think you are wrong at all OP. When I was setting up for parties when my children were younger, I didn't even want my own toddlers around, let alone anyone else's.

My reading of the situation. OP, please correct me if I'm wrong:

1.  Rather than OP roping Friend in as a favour, Friend has volunteered for this each year, for whatever reason (eg. loves setting up; gets to spend extra time with OP).
2.  OP's DH also helps set up. Friend's help is a bonus, not essential.
3.  Friend seems to want to have her cake and eat it too - help/spend more time with OP, visit church in the morning (what that has to do with the party I have no idea), and have her toddler in tow as well.
4.  Friend seems to be unwilling to compromise with OP's very reasonable requests.

I like a pp suggestion of Friend's DH taking the baby to a nearby park or attraction if there's one nearby.

Bottom line, Friend's parent's in law's plans, unusable second vehicle, desires to go to church the next day, are not the OP's concerns, and shouldn't have any bearing on OP's party.

Ok, I agree that the OP doesn't need to change her stance on this. But where in the world are you getting that the friend is "unwilling to compromise"? The friend suggested one plan to get together that worked best for her, the OP said that wouldn't work for the OP, and the friend seemed disappointed. That's all we've got. I don't see any substantial 'unwillingness to compromise' from this friend. She's probably disappointed because she *gasp* likes the OP and would like to spend time with her and is trying to figure out how to do that with competing obligations and logistical difficulties. She thought she'd come up with a workable solution and then it turned out it wasn't, and she's back at square one. And she's disappointed. That doesn't make her entitled.

And when did we start characterizing a friend wanting to spend time with us as 'having her cake and eating it too'? That's a phrase I use for people trying to get more than they deserve, or get things that benefit only or primarily themselves. Is it really awful that the friend wants to spend time with the OP? So many posters keep making it sound like the only one who gets anything out of hanging out is the friend, and being so entitled to try to figure out how to make it happen.

I really don't know why people keep characterizing the friend in this wildly negative way.

The OP is perfectly reasonable to not want the kid there. The friend is perfectly reasonable to be trying to maximize the time they get to spend together. The OP came here asking for validation that she wasn't being a jerk. And she isn't. But just because SHE's not being a jerk doesn't mean the friend IS being a jerk. No one is being a jerk so far. Not every story has a bad guy.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Scuba_Dog on March 09, 2013, 03:11:07 AM
No one is in the wrong as far as I'm concerned. 

Sounds like it's not going to work out this year to spend time together before the party.  I'd just let it go and look forward to next year.



Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: sammycat on March 09, 2013, 03:20:22 AM
But where in the world are you getting that the friend is "unwilling to compromise"? The friend suggested one plan to get together that worked best for her, the OP said that wouldn't work for the OP, and the friend seemed disappointed. That's all we've got. I don't see any substantial 'unwillingness to compromise' from this friend.

From the OP:

I suggested that her DH and son could stay at home while she came over early, and then her DH could wait until her parents got him and then join us, but their second car is in the shop. So then I said she didn't have to come over early and help, and they could arrive a little later to the party. She didn't want to do that because she says they only have a limited time at the party because they want to go to church in the morning. So her reasoning is to spend as much time as possible with DH and me.

This doesn't sound like the Friend trying to compromise to me. Friend wants to attend the party, attend church and bring the baby. She's been told she's (still) welcome to attend the party, either as a guest or early helper. However, the child is not welcome. It's not up to the OP to work out the Friend's logistics. She's suggested a few alternatives (baby and DH stay home till babysitter arrives, or come later), but no, the friend wants to come for the whole time and bring her unwelcome child.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: auntmeegs on March 09, 2013, 04:42:54 AM
But where in the world are you getting that the friend is "unwilling to compromise"? The friend suggested one plan to get together that worked best for her, the OP said that wouldn't work for the OP, and the friend seemed disappointed. That's all we've got. I don't see any substantial 'unwillingness to compromise' from this friend.

From the OP:

I suggested that her DH and son could stay at home while she came over early, and then her DH could wait until her parents got him and then join us, but their second car is in the shop. So then I said she didn't have to come over early and help, and they could arrive a little later to the party. She didn't want to do that because she says they only have a limited time at the party because they want to go to church in the morning. So her reasoning is to spend as much time as possible with DH and me.

This doesn't sound like the Friend trying to compromise to me. Friend wants to attend the party, attend church and bring the baby. She's been told she's (still) welcome to attend the party, either as a guest or early helper. However, the child is not welcome. It's not up to the OP to work out the Friend's logistics. She's suggested a few alternatives (baby and DH stay home till babysitter arrives, or come later), but no, the friend wants to come for the whole time and bring her unwelcome child.

There is still nothing suggesting that the friend was unwilling to compromise. 
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: YummyMummy66 on March 09, 2013, 05:35:10 AM
Her reasoning....she wants to spend as much time with you and your dh as possible...on her terms....at your home.....for your party.

No, you were not rude. 

How much time can she really spend when she is helping you, her dh is supposed to be watching the kid, (we all know how that goes), the "kid" free party starts and her kid is still there?

I think you are completely justified in your answer and should not feel guilty about it either.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: YummyMummy66 on March 09, 2013, 05:38:00 AM
Hold on, is your friend doing you a favour by coming to help set up? Is your extravaganza that you get all the glory for, but which she helps you with all the setting out of things, or is it a shared effort for which you both get recognition that just happens to be at your place, because that would affect my view of things. In the latter case, of course she should do her part, but in the former, you are asking her to put herself at an inconvience just to suit you.

It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about. And I'm afraid I strongly disagree with your twist on 'since they have a child, they don't get to do everything they want.' [b]You seem to think it means YOU can have what YOU want instead  [/b] and they should be used to making sacrifices anyway, so one that happens to give you your way is going to be fine.

Sorry, but no, it doesn't work like that.

Besides, since you have a DH, who will presumably be co-hosting the party and getting at least half of the credit, what's wrong with making him do the work instead?

Her home, her party, of course she gets to do what she wants to do.  Why should someone else be able to dictate what happens in her home? 
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: YummyMummy66 on March 09, 2013, 05:42:29 AM
I told my friend that I'd really prefer to not have him there because I don't want to maneuver wine glasses, candles, food, etc around a toddler. I suggested that her DH and son could stay at home while she came over early, and then her DH could wait until her parents got him and then join us, but their second car is in the shop. So then I said she didn't have to come over early and help, and they could arrive a little later to the party. She didn't want to do that because she says they only have a limited time at the party because they want to go to church in the morning. So her reasoning is to spend as much time as possible with DH and me.

It doesn't sound like OP expects her friend to help with this party. It sounds like her friend WANTS to help set up for the party (but also wants to spend as much time with her DH as she can).

So yes - it's the friend that needs to figure out what she's going to sacrifice; helping with the party or hanging out with her DH.

OP - You're not being unreasonable. Unreasonable would be demanding that your friend come help you set up the party and throwing a hissy fit when she can't do that without her child. You gave her options - either come early withOUT the child, or come a bit late withOUT the child.

For what it's worth; I don't allow children in my house for any reason full stop. People that know me and have reason to come over know better to even ask, the ones that don't are politely but firmly told it's not possible.

I'm pretty sure the friend wants to maximize hanging out with the OP and the OP's DH; not with the OP and her *own* DH. The friend isn't trying to get a bunch of things she wants here - she's trying to figure out how to maximize her time with the OP. That doesn't mean that anything and everything she does is perfectly acceptable, but it's probably a good idea for us to stop acting like she's some sort of entitlemommy who's trying to gain something here.

She's trying to figure out how to spend time with her friend, the OP. There's nothing *inherently* messed up about that. Even if the practical details make it unworkable this time.

It sounds to me like her concerns about coming to the party late were:
1) That that seriously reduces the amount of time the OP and the friend get to spend together and *possibly*
2) That if they have to both leave early AND come late - at some point that might mean that it's just not practical to attend the party at all.

These are reasonable concerns. It doesn't mean the OP is wrong, and it doesn't mean the OP is required to change her stance. But these concerns of the friend are reasonable. And the first one is a reflection of the fact that spending time with the OP is important to the friend - which ought to be an admirable trait in a friend. Instead some posters are acting as though she's trying to get something for free.

The OP states that this party is one they do every year.  I am sure there are plenty of other opportunities for this friend to spend quality time with the OP other than this party.  Which, due to preparing for the party, having the party with other guests, etc., how much time can the friend actually spend with the OP?  And second, the friend is choosing to leave early for personal reasons.  That is not the OP's problem.  I'm sorry, I don't see these as reasonable excuses on the friends' part to spend time with the OP.   
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: CrochetFanatic on March 09, 2013, 06:43:39 AM
I don't see any rudeness on either side.  As long as she doesn't get nasty or try to pull a fast one (ie, "He's here now, so he can stay...right?"), she wasn't rude to make her request.  You weren't rude to say "Adult party - no kids". 

Children that age touch everything they can get their hands on, and they aren't particularly careful.  For example, a little cousin of mine, same age, took a flat car magnet off our fridge and tore it in half with a big grin on her face.  Her parents grinned back, said, "Oh, DD!  Don't do that." as if this were the cutest thing in the world, and then got on my mom's case about how many magnets and things were on the fridge; "Well, you have too many things on your fridge anyway.".  Apology?  Nope.  And they got offended when we didn't let her in the kitchen after that. 

Now, if there are going to be glasses of wine and other things that you (the OP) don't want a child getting into or knocking over (*gasp* red wine on carpet!), there is no guarantee that even a well-behaved child won't get away from his/her minder for a few seconds and bump into something.  Accidents can happen, even under the best of intentions.  You're well within your rights to say "No kids this time", and it sounds like you did say it nicely.  I hope your party goes well!
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: jaxsue on March 09, 2013, 08:52:35 AM
No need to feel guilty, OP. If I were preparing to throw a party I'd prefer that a small child not be there, too. It's stressful enough cleaning house and preparing food!

It's a shame that the friend's situation has changed her options; some of that is beyond her control and some isn't. The part she can control she won't consider changing, so she needs to accept the limitations.

No one is wrong in this case, but like you I'd stand firm on the "no child" rule in this particular matter.

Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Redsoil on March 09, 2013, 09:00:53 AM
Seems pretty simple to me.  This is not an appropriate time or place to have a toddler around. The OP does not need the extra stress, and has asked the friend not to bring toddler.  Sounds reasonable to me.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: bloo on March 09, 2013, 09:31:00 AM
OP, I think you're completely reasonable. Your friend is disappointed but she'll get over it. Push this out of your mind and hope the logistics work for next year.

I have a couple of friends where this same scenario would be wildly different. One friend has an extremely well-behaved child that would have stayed out of the way or tried to help (of course this would mean giving up some help from one of my kids, partly) and another friend with a toddler that's clingy and screamy, with no sense of boundaries. 

With the second friend I tried to have a 'girl's nite' at my house and asked my kids to watch 'Clingy&Screamy' but C&S refused to go upstairs and play with my kids (none of the other gals brought their kids and C&S's mom is a single mom with limited options for babysitting. C&S glued herself to her mother and yelled and interrupted everything if she felt mom wasn't paying sufficient attention to her. Changed the whole dynamic.

So to Friend 1 I would've said, "Great! Bring the rugrat!" and to Friend 2, "Oh I guess we'll see you later."

OP knows her friend and obviously where she fit on that spectrum. Accommodating her friend how her friend wished to be accommodated sounds like that would simply not work for OP. So I think OP handled a variation of "I'm afraid that won't be possible" perfectly!
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Luci on March 09, 2013, 09:44:16 AM
Seems pretty simple to me.  This is not an appropriate time or place to have a toddler around. The OP does not need the extra stress, and has asked the friend not to bring toddler.  Sounds reasonable to me.

Yup! Well said.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: random numbers on March 09, 2013, 10:18:25 AM
Can the OP's husband or someone pick up the friend before the prep and the friend's husband drives over when the babysitters get there?
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: bonyk on March 09, 2013, 10:52:15 AM
I wouldn't want to set up for a party with my own toddler underfoot, let alone somebody else's.   I don't hanging out in another room with the father would work -- most toddlers are really into "helping" -- making most tasks take triple time.   ;)

OP, I would just keep putting it back on your friend.  "It doesn't sound like coming early is going to work out this year.  ::sigh::  See you at party start time, then!"
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Firecat on March 09, 2013, 10:55:13 AM
I don't think the OP is being rude at all; I think she's being very sensible, actually. 2 year olds can be very unpredictable, and I totally agree with those saying that there's a good chance he'd refuse to be kept quietly entertained by Dad and insist (loudly) on being where his mother and the action are. Maybe that wouldn't be the case, but it's not the way I'd bet if I were a betting woman. Setting up for a major party can be stressful enough, and for me, a potentially-tantruming toddler would be just too much.

Given that he's allowed, at home, to take food off tables as he wants, I see huge potential for disaster. A two year old normally allowed to grab food as he wants around all kinds of party food? ::shudder:: For that reason alone, I think the OP should stick to her guns on not wanting the child in the house before the party. And even if his father is usually really good about watching him, all it would take is a few seconds of inattention on the father's part or a quick run and grab by the toddler...and they always seem to be faster than you think they're going to be.

The grandparents' habit of being late is just, in my opinion, another reason to say "no" to having the little one there during setup.

Now, that doesn't mean I think the friend is an awful person, or entitled, or any of that. I don't, not just based on the evidence provided by the OP. But I do think that the friend is just very much wanting things to work out, and she's maybe not really thinking through the practicalities and potential problems.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: snowdragon on March 09, 2013, 11:04:32 AM
But where in the world are you getting that the friend is "unwilling to compromise"? The friend suggested one plan to get together that worked best for her, the OP said that wouldn't work for the OP, and the friend seemed disappointed. That's all we've got. I don't see any substantial 'unwillingness to compromise' from this friend.

From the OP:

I suggested that her DH and son could stay at home while she came over early, and then her DH could wait until her parents got him and then join us, but their second car is in the shop. So then I said she didn't have to come over early and help, and they could arrive a little later to the party. She didn't want to do that because she says they only have a limited time at the party because they want to go to church in the morning. So her reasoning is to spend as much time as possible with DH and me.

This doesn't sound like the Friend trying to compromise to me. Friend wants to attend the party, attend church and bring the baby. She's been told she's (still) welcome to attend the party, either as a guest or early helper. However, the child is not welcome. It's not up to the OP to work out the Friend's logistics. She's suggested a few alternatives (baby and DH stay home till babysitter arrives, or come later), but no, the friend wants to come for the whole time and bring her unwelcome child.

And this is also where I saw her feeling what the wants as unacceptable, This passage reads to me as the friend wanting what she wants and no compromise involved. 
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Calistoga on March 09, 2013, 11:05:22 AM
It sounds like both sides tried to work it out in a polite and reasonable manner.

Me, personally, it would depend on how well I know the parents handle their child. Saying DH will keep the kid busy doesn't always mean the kid will be out of the way entirely. There have been several times where I've had to say "No" about children because their parents weren't great about keeping them busy.

I'm guessing that the OP doesn't have kids, so chances are, there isn't one room that's super kid friendly. So there most likely wouldn't be a good, obvious space to keep the child contained, especially if the child is used to running through a whole house.

Even on a non-party day, it doesn't seem like there's a 100 percent guarantee of keeping the child out from under feet. Toddlers are sneaky.

So the OP was well within her rights not to want to deal with a child on such a busy day. Add in the fact that the grandparents are usually late and the OP came up with some really good alternatives- namely, the husband staying home and joining the party later- it comes down to mom and dad to make the choice her. You can't always expect everyone to accommodate your child.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on March 09, 2013, 01:04:18 PM
I hope you can find the words to make your friend accept your decision without hurt feelings.  I'm with firecat in thinking that introducing a 2-year-old into the party prep (and probably start of party) will not go smoothly.  I envision the child ruining one or more party dishes by sticking his hands in them, possibly spilling them as well.  There are so many things that could go wrong, and it could become the party you will always remember as the one that was ruined by your friend.  The big picture is that it will be easier for your friend to make alternate plans this year than for you to deal with long-term resentment.  Of course, your friend may not see it that way.

It's not personal . . . it's just that 2-year-olds are 2-year-olds. 
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: *inviteseller on March 09, 2013, 02:36:20 PM
It is OP's house, her party so if she does not want a toddler there, and for very good stated reasons, she is within her rights to say no.  Friend coming by to help set up seems like just that, a friend offering help, not someone co hosting.  I have kids and I am well aware of what is and what isn't kid friendly, and because of what OP describes, I would not want a toddler there either.  And if he ends up staying because friends parents are late/ stay and socialize, then what does that say to the other friends who arranged babysitting for an adult night out.  The OP throws this party once a year, it is not like she has no kids allowed dinner parties weekly.  She also didn't tell her friend she can't come to the party, just that she didn't need the help setting up so friend did not have to bring 2 yr old over. It is the friend saying she can't stay because of other plans so she wants to help beforehand so she can socialize then.   No guilt needed, and if friend wants to try to give you grief, she is wrong. 
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: LadyR on March 09, 2013, 05:13:00 PM
Why does the OP need to make a sacrifice to accommodate her friend's child - especially since that is going to cause her additional hardship? Why is it a bad thing that the people who chose to have this child need to make the sacrifices for him? Why should the OP's DH have to do the setup alone so that OP can babysit a child that isn't hers?

I don't understand your post at all.

Why does the friend have to make a sacrifice of not having her child nearby to help out the OP when she is doing the OP a favour by coming over to help set out the OP's party? Why can't the OP make the sacrifice of having the child in another room for the time that the friend is there helping the OP with her big event?

And I'm not saying the OP should babysit the child (not sure where in my post gave you that idea) but that, if setting up the party with the friend is a problem, OP's DH could take friend's place instead. Thanks to those who did get that.

As for the sacrifices, since you clearly didn't understand that part of my post either, yes, of course couples make sacrifices because they have chosen to, but the sacrifices should be about the child, not about someone thinking 'well, you're already not used to getting what you want because of Junior, so I'm sure you'll have no problem getting what you want because of me.'

I feel like you have totally misread the OP. The OP is ok with the friend not helping, she has told her friend that she ans her DH can handle it on their own, her friend is the one who isn't happy with that arrangement.

OP, I think you're in the clear. I wouldn't want my own toddler around as I was setting up, let alone so,eone else's. If we have a party, he goes to Grandma's or she comes and keeps him out from under foot while DH and I set up.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: cross_patch on March 09, 2013, 07:05:54 PM
But where in the world are you getting that the friend is "unwilling to compromise"? The friend suggested one plan to get together that worked best for her, the OP said that wouldn't work for the OP, and the friend seemed disappointed. That's all we've got. I don't see any substantial 'unwillingness to compromise' from this friend.

From the OP:

I suggested that her DH and son could stay at home while she came over early, and then her DH could wait until her parents got him and then join us, but their second car is in the shop. So then I said she didn't have to come over early and help, and they could arrive a little later to the party. She didn't want to do that because she says they only have a limited time at the party because they want to go to church in the morning. So her reasoning is to spend as much time as possible with DH and me.

This doesn't sound like the Friend trying to compromise to me. Friend wants to attend the party, attend church and bring the baby. She's been told she's (still) welcome to attend the party, either as a guest or early helper. However, the child is not welcome. It's not up to the OP to work out the Friend's logistics. She's suggested a few alternatives (baby and DH stay home till babysitter arrives, or come later), but no, the friend wants to come for the whole time and bring her unwelcome child.

And this is also where I saw her feeling what the wants as unacceptable, This passage reads to me as the friend wanting what she wants and no compromise involved.

I don't think that comes through in the OP at all. As aeris says, there is nothing wrong with the friend wanting to spend as much time as possible with the OP. It really reads like you are trying to paint the friend in the worst possible light with no evidence.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: kudeebee on March 09, 2013, 08:02:08 PM
Setting up for a party is time consuming and the people doing so need to be able to move freely and do what needs to be done without worrying about having a young child underfoot.  Why take a 2 year old out of his home to go to another home for 2 to 3 hours without any toys to play with.  Everything will be new and exciting and he will want to explore and touch everything.  Also, if he is used to just grabbing food (not a good habit that the parents have taught him but that is another thread) it is a disaster waiting to happen.  So is the fact that the grandparents are notoriously late and may decide to come in to chat.  OP does not have time for a chat during the party--and who would be watching the child during that time?  All the hard work could go down the drain very quickly, even if child was supervised during setup.

Unless parents are going to bring along a lot of stuff to entertain him, unless OP has a room that will work for this, unless dad is very good at only watching the child and keeping hiim entertained and picking stuff up, unless the grandparents are on time and not running late and won't come in to chat or stay===that is too many "unlesses" for me.

I can understand that the friend likes to come and help and spend time with OP.  However, this year it just isn't going to work out.  That happens sometimes.  Friend is sad because she won't get to spend much time at party, but that is friend's choice as well.

I think OP was fine in what she said, she didn't make friend feel guilty, she told her she would see her at party.  OP, I am not sure why you feel guilty.  You did nothing wrong.  You can't control friend's feelings and reactions.  And yes, when you have children, things do change.  Parents can't always do the things that they did before.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: snowdragon on March 09, 2013, 08:14:01 PM
But where in the world are you getting that the friend is "unwilling to compromise"? The friend suggested one plan to get together that worked best for her, the OP said that wouldn't work for the OP, and the friend seemed disappointed. That's all we've got. I don't see any substantial 'unwillingness to compromise' from this friend.

From the OP:

I suggested that her DH and son could stay at home while she came over early, and then her DH could wait until her parents got him and then join us, but their second car is in the shop. So then I said she didn't have to come over early and help, and they could arrive a little later to the party. She didn't want to do that because she says they only have a limited time at the party because they want to go to church in the morning. So her reasoning is to spend as much time as possible with DH and me.

This doesn't sound like the Friend trying to compromise to me. Friend wants to attend the party, attend church and bring the baby. She's been told she's (still) welcome to attend the party, either as a guest or early helper. However, the child is not welcome. It's not up to the OP to work out the Friend's logistics. She's suggested a few alternatives (baby and DH stay home till babysitter arrives, or come later), but no, the friend wants to come for the whole time and bring her unwelcome child.

And this is also where I saw her feeling what the wants as unacceptable, This passage reads to me as the friend wanting what she wants and no compromise involved.

I don't think that comes through in the OP at all. As aeris says, there is nothing wrong with the friend wanting to spend as much time as possible with the OP. It really reads like you are trying to paint the friend in the worst possible light with no evidence.

Since I am not the only one reading it that way, I doubt it.  I think you are trying to excuse the friend's behavior where it's not warranted.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: oopsie on March 09, 2013, 08:25:28 PM
Seems pretty simple to me.  This is not an appropriate time or place to have a toddler around. The OP does not need the extra stress, and has asked the friend not to bring toddler.  Sounds reasonable to me.

Yup! Well said.

POD.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: --- on March 09, 2013, 09:51:49 PM
I highly doubt the OP is painting her friend in the worst possible light, consdering said friend was given options and she decided to either not take them or just didn't seem willing TO take them. If the OP does not want a young child in the house during the set-up and what I assume is an annual adult-orinented party -- of which I, again, assume the friend has known about for a while now -- then the friend, or anyone else invivted for that matter, should respect the wishes of the host and, I dunno, not bring their children.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Ida on March 10, 2013, 12:40:34 AM

It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about.

Other parts of this post have been answered, I think, but I have to ask: Does this, esp. the bolded, really mean what it appears to mean?
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Marbles on March 10, 2013, 01:01:46 AM
It sounds like this is not the event for the little guy. I completely understand; I send my toddlers to their grandparents' house when I want to prep for grownup parties. We all have more fun that way.

I would say that what you are probably looking to do is to maintain your relationship with your friend. Perhaps you can invite the three of them over some other time when you can do a more child-friendly event.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Shoo on March 10, 2013, 09:39:12 AM
OP, I think you're in the clear here.  You told your friend it wouldn't work for you to have her toddler there, offered some alternatives, which apparently won't work for her, and so you've said that you don't expect her to come and help you.  I don't know what else you *could* say to her. 

It doesn't sound like either of you are being unreasonable.  She may be disappointed, but that's okay.  Having a child often interferes with things people would really like to do.  She'll face this kind of thing a lot, as a parent.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Roe on March 10, 2013, 09:47:32 AM
I'm curious, OP how did you decide to handle the situation?  (I'm assuming the party was last night?)
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Shakira on March 10, 2013, 01:08:30 PM
Hi everyone, OP here. Our party was last night and it was a blast!! We had tons of our friends show up and everyone said they had a good time.

My friend and her husband decided to stay and wait for her parents to come get her son and then come to the party. They ended up not coming until almost an hour after the party start time, because (surprise!) her parents were late. So I'm REALLY glad I stuck to my guns and said no.

I was mostly feeling guilty I guess because I wanted her to be able to do what she wanted but unfortunately this time it just didn't work. I'm actually not sure if they made it to church this morning because her DH was a little tipsy when they left, lol.

Thanks for the advice everyone!
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here. ***Update pg 5***
Post by: diesel_darlin on March 10, 2013, 01:48:28 PM
Wonderful update! Im sorry that you missed out on prep time with your friend, but I am glad you stuck to your guns! As you expected, her parents were late, and that would have thrown quite the kink in your plans!

Glad everyone had fun and your party was a success!  ;)
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: KB on March 10, 2013, 05:41:40 PM

It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about.

Other parts of this post have been answered, I think, but I have to ask: Does this, esp. the bolded, really mean what it appears to mean?

I don't know what it appears to mean to you, but I certainly worry about/take care of/help the other members of my family. I consider what their needs are, what they are doing and whether they are free to adjust to circumstances in their daily routines if I am doing something that needs them to be changed from normal. Is that what you had in mind, or were you thinking of something else?
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: artk2002 on March 10, 2013, 06:14:04 PM

It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about.

Other parts of this post have been answered, I think, but I have to ask: Does this, esp. the bolded, really mean what it appears to mean?

I don't know what it appears to mean to you, but I certainly worry about/take care of/help the other members of my family. I consider what their needs are, what they are doing and whether they are free to adjust to circumstances in their daily routines if I am doing something that needs them to be changed from normal. Is that what you had in mind, or were you thinking of something else?

You seemed to be implying that the OP was somehow obligated to accommodate her friend's changed circumstances. She isn't. Friend has a child, friend is responsible for said child. OP doesn't want that responsibility and shouldn't have to.

Yes, Friend was going to do the OP a favor. Bringing the child along negates the value of the favor, especially since Friend would then be responsible for said child and/or husband. OP asked friend to help (or friend volunteered, I'm not entirely clear), but that doesn't mean that the OP has to accommodate the changed circumstance of the toddler. It's Friend's responsibility to do so, or to decline the request if she can't.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here. ***Update pg 5***
Post by: NyaChan on March 10, 2013, 06:28:20 PM
Thanks for the update - sounds like the boundaries you set were well placed.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Shakira on March 10, 2013, 06:42:38 PM
It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about. And I'm afraid I strongly disagree with your twist on 'since they have a child, they don't get to do everything they want.' You seem to think it means YOU can have what YOU want instead and they should be used to making sacrifices anyway, so one that happens to give you your way is going to be fine.

Sorry, but no, it doesn't work like that.

Besides, since you have a DH, who will presumably be co-hosting the party and getting at least half of the credit, what's wrong with making him do the work instead?

Ok, first of all, I am not MAKING anyone do any work. DH and I work together to put on a party that our friends will enjoy. I also do not 'make' my friend help me. I'm not sure why you put the phrase 'fun time' in quotations. It IS a fun time for both of us. She enjoys helping out, as I enjoy helping her out when she is in a similar situation. It's enjoyable for us to be able to catch up and talk while we prep.

And honestly, when people have children, they DON'T get to do everything they want. Just like I don't get to do everything I want because of my work schedule. But it's a good job and so the schedule is my sacrifice. People make sacrifices, it's a fact of life. Having a child and making subsequent sacrifices involving child care is the example I used because that's what my question was about.

In no way did I mean that because they have a child, I get whatever I want. My question was about my house, my party, my money and my time being spent on a special party that DH and I throw annually. That's why I was pretty sure I had done the right thing in deciding what happens in my house. I came to ehell for clarification.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Aeris on March 10, 2013, 07:17:02 PM
It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about. And I'm afraid I strongly disagree with your twist on 'since they have a child, they don't get to do everything they want.' You seem to think it means YOU can have what YOU want instead and they should be used to making sacrifices anyway, so one that happens to give you your way is going to be fine.

Sorry, but no, it doesn't work like that.

Besides, since you have a DH, who will presumably be co-hosting the party and getting at least half of the credit, what's wrong with making him do the work instead?

Ok, first of all, I am not MAKING anyone do any work. DH and I work together to put on a party that our friends will enjoy. I also do not 'make' my friend help me. I'm not sure why you put the phrase 'fun time' in quotations. It IS a fun time for both of us. She enjoys helping out, as I enjoy helping her out when she is in a similar situation. It's enjoyable for us to be able to catch up and talk while we prep.

And honestly, when people have children, they DON'T get to do everything they want. Just like I don't get to do everything I want because of my work schedule. But it's a good job and so the schedule is my sacrifice. People make sacrifices, it's a fact of life. Having a child and making subsequent sacrifices involving child care is the example I used because that's what my question was about.

In no way did I mean that because they have a child, I get whatever I want. My question was about my house, my party, my money and my time being spent on a special party that DH and I throw annually. That's why I was pretty sure I had done the right thing in deciding what happens in my house. I came to ehell for clarification.

MrsCrazyPete, you didn't do anything wrong. You had every right to insist that the toddler not be around during setup, for a whole host of valid reasons. (Heck, even if your reasons WEREN'T valid, which they are, you'd have the right anyway).

I think sometimes there is a strong tendency for people when reading these scenarios to need someone to be 'the jerk'. Thus, whoever they identify more with becomes 'the victim', and automatically that makes the other party 'the jerk'. I think that a small number of people in this thread identified more with your friend, and thus needed to identify *you* as 'the jerk', while a larger group identified more with you and thus needed to cast your friend as 'the jerk'.

But in reality, most stories of real life don't actually have a victim and a jerk. It's usually just two people with somewhat conflicting desires muddling through as best they can.

I don't fault your friend for trying to maximize her time with you. I don't blame you for feeling that the toddler coming with her was a recipe for disaster. I don't blame your friend for being disappointed. I don't blame you for standing your ground. I'm glad that the situation worked out reasonably well.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: snowdragon on March 10, 2013, 07:35:08 PM

It sounds to me like you haven't taken your friend's changing circumstances into account and are expecting her to turn up for what you view as a 'fun time' as if she didn't have the responsibility of a two-year-old and, to a lesser extent, a husband to worry about.

Other parts of this post have been answered, I think, but I have to ask: Does this, esp. the bolded, really mean what it appears to mean?

I don't know what it appears to mean to you, but I certainly worry about/take care of/help the other members of my family. I consider what their needs are, what they are doing and whether they are free to adjust to circumstances in their daily routines if I am doing something that needs them to be changed from normal. Is that what you had in mind, or were you thinking of something else?

You seemed to be implying that the OP was somehow obligated to accommodate her friend's changed circumstances. She isn't. Friend has a child, friend is responsible for said child. OP doesn't want that responsibility and shouldn't have to.

Yes, Friend was going to do the OP a favor. Bringing the child along negates the value of the favor, especially since Friend would then be responsible for said child and/or husband. OP asked friend to help (or friend volunteered, I'm not entirely clear), but that doesn't mean that the OP has to accommodate the changed circumstance of the toddler. It's Friend's responsibility to do so, or to decline the request if she can't.

 This. Yes, children require sacrifice, but the people who need to sacrifice are the parents of those children - not the people around them. The people around them need to realize that things have changed and the parents can't always do what they did before but the idea that the accommodations need to come from friends changing how things are going to be done in their own home, not so much. The OP did accommodate the fact that the friend has child - she suggested several alternatives for the friend to choose from....that's the extent that she is obligated to "take into account the friend's changing circumstances."
   OP - you did nothing wrong and I admire you for holding firm.   
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here. ***Update pg 5***
Post by: CrochetFanatic on March 10, 2013, 08:29:19 PM
I'm glad the party went well!  Even the sweetest toddlers tend to be busy, especially when they're bored, and have no place at an adult party.  Glad it all worked out.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: Just Lori on March 10, 2013, 08:47:18 PM
I think sometimes there is a strong tendency for people when reading these scenarios to need someone to be 'the jerk'. Thus, whoever they identify more with becomes 'the victim', and automatically that makes the other party 'the jerk'.

I think this is fabulous insight. 
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here.
Post by: KB on March 10, 2013, 11:08:30 PM
My question was about my house, my party, my money and my time being spent on a special party that DH and I throw annually. That's why I was pretty sure I had done the right thing in deciding what happens in my house. I came to ehell for clarification.

My impression was that you came here wanting other people's opinions on what had taken place/was going to happen. That, based on my reading of your situation was mine. I'm not going to apologise for having an opinion that differs from yours. Nor will I offer a faux-apology about 'if I hurt your feelings' because, while I clearly did, I'm afraid that that was how I felt about the situation.

And for those who might be wondering, I have no husband, no kids, no family I live with, etc. I based my statements on my only inclinations and instincts as a result of reading the original post.
Title: Re: No, I don't want him to be here. ***Update pg 5***
Post by: LifeOnPluto on March 10, 2013, 11:52:47 PM
My first inclination was to say "C'mon, it's your best friend and she's helping you out. Surely you can accommodate her request?"

But then I thought about it some more and changed my mind. Setting up for a party is stressful and busy. And there's no guarantee that the toddler would be kept under adequate control. So I think you were fine in telling your friend she couldn't bring her child (and husband) to "setting up time".

And given the update - the grandparents were an hour late in arriving to babysit - your decision was even more justified.

Another thing too, as a host I would have felt obliged to offer the grandparents a drink when they arrived. And yet another thing, other guests who had to find babysitters for their own children might have felt rather disgruntled to have seen your BF's toddler running around at the party.