Author Topic: Seated at the kids' table  (Read 4119 times)

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Bexx27

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2012, 09:16:18 PM »
OP, what would your alternative seating have been? I have a 2.5 year old and I absolutely need to sit with her to eat. Do you think another adult should have sat with her?

Given that the tables were a foot apart, and I'm sure you could have mingled in the room, I don't think the hosts were rude. If your child was clearly old enough to feed his/herself, that's another story.

You say your husband's family doesn't get to see each other a lot, I don't see the point in putting your husband at the kids table too. I guess I just don't. If you're feeding your little one or assisting anyway, you're probably tied up with that. It's easy to read this as rude but perhaps look at it as practical.

If your kids table was in another room, as my IL's have every Xmas Eve, then I'd say 100% rude if they seated you there. I voluntarily sit at the kids table with my little ones and am usually the only adult there. Even better, they close the door between rooms to keep the noise down. But that's sort of what I figure is what happens when you have small children, until they can tend to themselves. Two table heights next to each other is hardly exclusionary.

Well, one possibility would have been for hosting SSIL to sit at the kids' table instead of me. 2 of the kids were hers (and frankly her hyperactive 9-year-old required a lot more "handling" than my DD, so she was up from her seat dealing with him anyway), her in-law status is the same as mine, and she is the one who chose the arrangement of chairs and tables. If she assumed that DD would need to sit next to a parent (which I agree is not unreasonable), she could have seated DD at the main table with me and DH and seated her own mother and sister, who were both single guests and the only attendees from her side of the family, at the small table with her kids. Or she could have put 2 adult couples at the small table and all the kids at the big table. Or put me, DH, DD, and DH's single stepbrother at the small table. There are a lot of possibilities that wouldn't have involved isolating one adult.

Not that it matters, but aside from feeling excluded, I was also uncomfortable because I am not a kid person (despite having one). I am not good at making conversation with other people's children.

It was not possible to talk with the other adults from where I was sitting. The closest people had their backs to me and their heads were several feet above mine.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

miranova

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2012, 09:36:27 PM »
OP, what would your alternative seating have been? I have a 2.5 year old and I absolutely need to sit with her to eat. Do you think another adult should have sat with her?

Given that the tables were a foot apart, and I'm sure you could have mingled in the room, I don't think the hosts were rude. If your child was clearly old enough to feed his/herself, that's another story.

You say your husband's family doesn't get to see each other a lot, I don't see the point in putting your husband at the kids table too. I guess I just don't. If you're feeding your little one or assisting anyway, you're probably tied up with that. It's easy to read this as rude but perhaps look at it as practical.

If your kids table was in another room, as my IL's have every Xmas Eve, then I'd say 100% rude if they seated you there. I voluntarily sit at the kids table with my little ones and am usually the only adult there. Even better, they close the door between rooms to keep the noise down. But that's sort of what I figure is what happens when you have small children, until they can tend to themselves. Two table heights next to each other is hardly exclusionary.

 There are a lot of possibilities that wouldn't have involved isolating one adult.



I completely agree and I think the host was rude.

O'Dell

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2012, 09:48:33 PM »
Given the description of the "high" table, I think it perfectly reasonable to assume that the smaller and lower table be given to the kids in attendance. It may have been more difficult for the children to sit at the higher table.

Also, MIL did offer to sit there in place of OP yet she declined, so it was not as if she was 'not allowed' to sit at the table with her husband.

I don't get what you are saying here. MIL was also a guest. It shouldn't have been up to another guest to fiddle with the seating arrangement so that people were comfortable. The host should have been seeing to that. They weren't.
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Ceallach

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2012, 09:51:21 PM »
When arranging allocated seating, the onus is on the host to attempt to seat everybody next to at least one person they will be able to talk to.  Sitting 1 adult with only children is not reasonable, as it's fairly clear that an adult would like *some* additional adult conversation.  I think the host here was a little clueless or didn't put sufficient effort into her seating plan.

Interspersing adults and children throughout both tables would have been a more satisfactory solution.
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penelope2017

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2012, 05:35:29 AM »
Can your little one comfortably sit at a high table like that? Mine couldn't. I think the high table is probably the biggest problem here.

I think it was poor execution, don't get me wrong. I just think it was probably cluelessness vs. rude. I wouldn't have expected another adult to sit with my 2 year old while she eats. I think it was probably a "I'll put the kids at one table" and figured your child needed help/supervision, so put you with her.

Like I said, I'm coming from a place with a 2 and 4 year old where regardless of seating during meal times I am almost never able to have an adult conversation at a family party. I'm tending to my little ones. So I guess that's why this seating would make sense to me. If I wasn't sitting with her, I'd be over there with her the whole time anyway making sure she wasn't dumping her pasta on the floor or pouring juice in the flower arrangement or something. Or maybe I just have a crazy 2 year old.

Also I think your DH could have offered to take shifts at the kids table so you could have adult time too.

Oxymoroness

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2012, 06:51:15 AM »
Given the description of the "high" table, I think it perfectly reasonable to assume that the smaller and lower table be given to the kids in attendance. It may have been more difficult for the children to sit at the higher table.

Also, MIL did offer to sit there in place of OP yet she declined, so it was not as if she was 'not allowed' to sit at the table with her husband. 

Yeah, but how awkward.  If she'd taken her up on her "offer" she'd have looked petty.

MIL could have seen the situation as an opportunity to spend some quality time with her grandkids.

The offer was somewhat reluctant, not enthusiastic.

It doesn't matter if the offer was reluctant, disingenuine or passive aggressive. If the OP didn't want to sit at the kids' table she should have accepted the offer. If MIL didn't mean it she shouldn't have offered.

a

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Re: Seated at the kids' table
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2012, 07:04:13 AM »
I agree that the seating arrangements were a little clueless, but I would agree that I am not sure it was rude.

Regarding the other options you suggested, I think it would have been very strange to seat your core family + one stepbrother at a small table – had I been the single stepbrother (and I have been the single extra person many times in my life) I would have felt like the odd one out there (possibly different for you depending on your relationships).

Being the hostess and not being able to see the food etc (when is it time to get the next dish out e.g.) might be difficult, but if their son needed help it might have been natural to put the father there.

My preferred option in this case would probably have been to circulate the seating for the dessert e.g. so that every second person moved “two holes to the right”, giving everyone new people to speak to (possibly excluding the children). But the very best option would have been to use another set of tables!

It is not easy seating people so that everyone is happy. In your case I would try hard not to think about it anymore. Hopefully the dinner did not take up all the meeting time so that you had a chance to speak to people before/after as well.