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  • January 30, 2015, 03:34:49 PM

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I'm not sure why some are assuming that because the kids were left with a man, that  is the issue for Lynn.  It actually drives me nuts when people start making assumptions like this.  I think it diffuses the issue.  The issue isn't about Michelle's SO at all.  It's about Michelle, and how she communicates with Lynn.

 Like I said upthread, this very recently happened to me.  I entrusted a friend and her husband to take my DD somewhere with their kids.  I had agreed to come pick my DD up at this place at a certain time.  When I got to the place to pick DD up, I realized that my friends plans that they had after this event (the reason why I was picking DD up instead of them dropping her off) actually meant they had to leave 15 minutes earlier than the event ending.  They never actually told me this.  They left my DD with a woman that I knew, and had entrusted with her care before. 

I was still angry.

Not because they left her with someone I didn't trust.  They left her with someone I trusted a lot.  I was angry because they didn't tell me they were doing this.  I thought my child was with Sue and Bill...only to find out that my child was really with Mary.  It wasn't about Mary at all.  It was about Sue and Bill making a unilateral decision to leave my daughter in the care of another adult and not even think to tell me about it.  When I asked about it later, they thought it was totally fine because she was still in the place they agreed to take care and they left her supervised.  I didn't pursue it further than that, but Sue and Bill will definitely not be trusted to take care of DD again.   

The fact that Michelle was not getting paid has nothing to do with it.
The fact that Michelle's SO lives in the house has nothing to do with it. (The problem isn't his precence, it is that Michelle is the one that Lynn knows and Michelle is the one who agreed to do the job).
The fact that the kids are 10 and 12 has nothing to do with it.  I don't stop caring about who is taking care of my child or how they are doing it simply because she is getting older.
The fact that it was just a few minutes has nothing to do with it.
The fact that Michelle leaves her kids alone with her SO has nothing to do with it.  Michelle can make whatever decision about her own children that she wants.  She doesn't get to do it for Lynn.

I don't think it takes a whole lot for a parent to realize that a fellow parent might like to know if their kids are being left with someone else.  Or even though they agreed to watch the kids at home, they decided to go out instead.  Even if you (general) parent with the philosophy that if you leave your kids with someone that gives them free reign to make all decisions unilateraly, I still think you can understand that many many parents don't feel that way. If you're not sure, then err on the side of safety and communicate the change in plans. A child is not a "favor", a child is a huge responsibility. 
Well, it's not very helpful or friendly.
What is so bad about saying "I told you so."  This is what that phrase was invented for! 

Don't do this!  It will be a disaster because of A, B, and C.

Oh noes!  This is a disaster because of A, B, and C!

If 'I told you so' quiets her, then good.
If the babysitting had taken place at Lynn's house, and Michelle had called her SO over to fill in while she ran an errand, then I can see Lynn's anger justified.

What I have a problem with is the fact that the babysitting took place in the home that Michelle and her SO share.  If SO is not trustworthy, then the entire situation is not appropriate for babysitting.  If SO is, for example, predatory, then I am sorry, bad things can still happen with Michelle in the house.  And even if SO is clueless and makes bad choices, what if Michelle had a heart attack, and SO took her to the hospital and left all 4 kids behind? 

If Lynn does not trust SO, she should never have taken her kids there.
Reading all of these stories make me feel much better about my "quirk" where I go home after working out to shower, vs. using the facilities there. I'm not a germaphobe by any stretch, but when I actually think about what people do, and so on, blech.
Family and Children / Re: Dad and the $5
« Last post by siamesecat2965 on Today at 12:31:39 PM »

FIL and MIL would not stop talking about how Dh wasted money buy buying the more "expensive" gas.  They went on about it for a good hour.  Over 13 cents!  That they didn't even have to come up with!  I tried to point out that we'd have used that amount and more in just all the driving we'd have to do to access the station but it fell on deaf ears.  It's like they saw the cheaper price and couldn't apply logic to the situation.

I know people who did the same thing, when gas prices started rising however many years ago. They would drive miles out of their way, to save pennies a gallon. I never got it. Esp when you figure out that the overall amount you save is sometimes .50 or less!

I do know that i would avoid certain stations, even if convenient, because they could sometimes be 10 to 15 cents more a gallon, but it just meant I had to plan to go elsewhere, on my way home, and not wait until I was on empty and had to go to the pricier one.
Salty licorice = <shudder> for me.  I drank Australian coffee happily, and I looooooooove vegemite.  But not pavlova.  This annoyed some people there.  I guess most foreigners have to opposite reaction.

When I was in Japan, I caused great consternation with rice pudding.  Not a Done Thing there. :-)
Are we all dating/married to the same person? My SO always has to brush his teeth/go to the bathroom/do that one thing as I am standing outside the door waiting to go. We have an early morning flight tomorrow. Wish me luck.

I think we might.  Although I have the added annoyance of having gotten three kids ready and in the car and he's still futzing around doing who knows what.

Mine used to be really bad about letting me do all the work to get the kids ready to get out of the house while he lounged around watching TV or messing around on the computer.  At one point, about 10 minutes before the EDT, he'd go out and sit in the car.  When I finally arrive, hooligans in tow and breathless, he'd ask me what took me so long, he's ready to go!

I tried and tried to explain this to him but it never really hit home.  Then one day, he was home with the kids and they wanted to go to the beach.  When I saw him after work, he couldn't stop talking about how much work it was to get the kids out of the house. And his mother was helping him!  I must have looked absolutely incredulous because he suddenly started being a little more hands on when it was time to go somewhere.

My blind spot is time management.  I always think I either have loads of time or the specific tasks can't possibly take that long to do.  I've gotten better over the years (due to natural consequences) but I know it drives DH batty.

I don't know what was wrong with my ex, but simple ordinary errands like stopping for gas would always take three or four times as long as they normally would.  We could never get anything done because everything took so long to do.  Some of it was his fault, and other things...well, Murphy used to follow my ex around beating him with his law book.

I'm much more on time now because I know how long it takes me to do things and I can go the the store, get gas, and grab food in half an hour.
The Wedding Party / Re: How to bow out of a wedding you disapprove of
« Last post by gellchom on Today at 12:19:14 PM »
My advice might be different if Charlie and Ben weren't close.  But they are.  And so I think Anna needs to be very careful not to make things uncomfortable for the future.

First of all, I wouldn't back out on the grounds of disapproving of the match.  I think that's sort of a way to tell herself she is dropping out for some objective reason that isn't about her own comfort level with Desdemona and what she wants from her.  I mean, the disapproval is only based on her personality -- it's not that Anna knows that Desdemona is already married to someone else, or has told her that she plans to cheat on Charlie or murder or divorce him for his money in a year, or she plans to send a child he had away, or something like that.  That would be different.  But as it is just about her personality, then that's a very vague area -- it could extend all the way to refusing to support any marriage but one to the one person in the world you think is the very best match for your friend.  And how would she put it?  "I can't be a bridesmaid because Desdemona is just too disgusting for anyone to marry/because I know better than Charlie does who is the right woman for him."  That would be seriously insulting and put a wedge between Anna and Charlie forever, and Ben would suffer for it.  And if it's so serious that you can't be a bridesmaid, how can you be a cheerful guest anyway? 

So, if she is going to back out or scale down, I think she has to own her real reasons for doing it, in her own mind.

I suggest not backing out entirely, but scaling her involvement way, way down.  I agree with another poster that the first thing to do is to tell Desdemona that she thinks that the future sister-in-law should be the MOH, and Anna will be a bridesmaid.  She can insist that she would feel awkward being MOH when a SIL is a bridesmaid.   She can say, "No, no, I insist," as much as necessary; refuse to understand any remarks to the effect of "honest, we aren't close, family doesn't have to come first, etc." -- she doesn't have to prove her point, just make it and move on to the next part. And you never know; Desdemona may even prefer it that way.  (That happened to me many years ago; I was surprised and touched that our nanny asked me to be MOH at her wedding, but she was from Australia and none of her friends or cousins could come to the US for the wedding, so of course I agreed.  When the wedding weekend came -- surprise! -- her very best friend came.  No one asked, but I immediately dug up a coordinating dress and volunteered to demote myself to bridesmaid.  The bride and her friend were very grateful, and although I didn't tell them, I was relieved, too!  Win-win-win.)

Now it's easy to scale back.  It used to be that being a bridesmaid involved very little anyway -- just attending a rehearsal, wearing what you were told to wear (and not complaining about it  :)), showing up a bit early for the wedding, posing for some photos, and standing up during the ceremony.  No requirements about shopping, bachelorettes, or anything else.  Basically a glorified wedding guest.  Even a MOH often didn't do more than that. 

That much I think Anna should do, because of Charlie and Ben's friendship.  Yes, she will probably feel awkward at the wedding.  But that's just a few hours; she can do it for Ben.  It will be a whole lot more awkward, and for a lot longer, if she pulls out entirely.  It will probably cause some hurt feelings and maybe drama.  Certainly embarrassment among the friends.  And it will be awkward anyway if she pulls out entirely given that Ben will still be in the wedding party. 

Really, when you think about it, in this scenario there isn't a huge difference between being there as the Ben's wife and being there as a bridesmaid, given that Ben is the best man.  Given how little a difference it will make, I think Anna owes it to the rest of the people involved to do it so as to avoid drama and hurt feelings.

She can say a modified version of Kaypeep's "pulling out entirely" script:

"Des, please switch SIL and me in the wedding; she really should be MOH.  I'm honored, but I'm not comfortable being MOH with a close family member just a bridesmaid.  I know it will mean a lot to her. I'm still very happy to be a bridesmaid, but I need you to understand that unfortunately I really can't spend a lot of time or money on it between now and the wedding.  I can go on one shopping trip and I will do my best to attend any bachelorette party or shower that someone gives you, but I'm afraid that I'm just not in a position to be able to do more than that or to host or plan any events.  If you need to rely on all your attendants for more than that and want to replace me with someone else who is able to do more, I will totally understand, and I will happily attend as an enthusiastic guest.  Of course, Ben will still stand up with Charlie, and we'll be there with bells on for the big day."

And who knows -- maybe Anna will get lucky and Desdemona will say that it's better that Anna just be a guest.  But if she doesn't, and keeps Anna as a bridesmaid, then it is even clearer that Anna made the right decision by not pulling out entirely.
I definitely think Lynn is entitled to her feelings that her kids should not be left with anyone but the babysitter she designated. However, I also appreciate the argument that in this situation, Michelle used her best judgment and in fact chose the most reasonable option. If Lynn disagrees, and thus feels she can no longer trust Michelle's best judgment, I think it's perfectly reasonable for her to decide they aren't babysitting compatible, and find another solution for her childcare needs.

If Lynn went into the situation thinking this was a given, and found out to her surprise that it wasn't, I can see why she might get a little flustered or heated in the moment. But, she should probably have reined herself in, ended the call, and taken a moment to consider whether this was really a situation worth ending a friendship over (which is what I'm assuming has happened now). Maybe it's a situation worth changing her future babysitting plans, but not IMO worth an argument.
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