Author Topic: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?  (Read 8782 times)

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NutMeg

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2012, 12:40:14 PM »
I don't think this is an etiquette issue, it is a friendship issue. You should do whatever you feel is right, balancing your own needs with those of your friends. I personally would clear away most of the baby stuff, and steer conversation away from the baby ("Oh the baby is doing really well, she just *blah blah blah*, but we were definitely ready for an adult night with our friends!"), but you would not be wrong to do otherwise. This is a delicate situation, you can get through it with love and sensitivity.

Don't act like you are ashamed of the baby or anything, just acknowledge and then change the subject. They know you have a child and they are happy for you, they just don't want to think too closely about how you have a baby and they don't.
"You're hostages! This is a life-and-death situation here. Start acting like it! We're your captors. We're armed. There's rules. There's a whole school of etiquette to this!" - Dr. Daniel Jackson                

magicdomino

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2012, 12:47:53 PM »
I'd want to break down the playpen just to get it out of the way!

That's what I was thinking. 

SportsFan88

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2012, 01:23:23 PM »
I'd want to break down the playpen just to get it out of the way!

That's what I was thinking.

That was my thought as well - I'd break it down as part of cleaning the house in preparation for company.

Well behaved women rarely make history ~ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
America is the land of opportunity, not entitlement.

Eden

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2012, 02:34:33 PM »
The only real etiquette breach I've seen is I don't really think it was fair with the friends to burden the OP with the information that they weren't coming because it was too painful. It wasn't technically asking that they get rid of the baby but to me it was sort of those asking without asking situations. I think they should have just politely declined without giving the reason.

That said, since the OP has made arrangements for her little one, I'd agree with others who suggested removing the big baby items (I'd say that regardless of this couple) but not necessarily going so far as to scour the home to remove any possible signs of baby (pictures, bottles in the kitchen, etc).

Tabby Uprising

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #34 on: December 18, 2012, 02:48:18 PM »
I don't think this is an etiquette issue, it is a friendship issue. You should do whatever you feel is right, balancing your own needs with those of your friends. I personally would clear away most of the baby stuff, and steer conversation away from the baby ("Oh the baby is doing really well, she just *blah blah blah*, but we were definitely ready for an adult night with our friends!"), but you would not be wrong to do otherwise. This is a delicate situation, you can get through it with love and sensitivity.

Don't act like you are ashamed of the baby or anything, just acknowledge and then change the subject. They know you have a child and they are happy for you, they just don't want to think too closely about how you have a baby and they don't.

I'm with you, NutMeg.  You captured my thoughts perfectly.

bopper

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2012, 04:14:30 PM »
Can you put a blanket/decorative throw over it?

DottyG

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2012, 05:09:54 PM »
Quote
If the friends cannot be happy in a home obvioulsy lived in my an infant, it is up to them to decline.

They did decline.  Quite graciously, it appears to me.  They did what they thought was best - declined.  It was the OP who said that there was an alternative (also gracious, I want to add).

And I'm with the others in wondering why this is a question to begin with!  If I'm having a party, I'd be picking up toys and moving the playpen and stuff like that no matter what.  Just to tidy things up and make the place look clean.  That would have been just a "pre-party" thing I'd be doing regardless of this couple.


bah12

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2012, 05:55:36 PM »
Aside from being aware of their feelings and sensitive to them, I would imagine there's some practicality to moving the playpen.  A large, bulky item in the middle of entertainment space is probably not conducive to the party atmosphere, even if it is small and laid back.

I think you should make whatever attempts are practicable to move the playpen out of the way.

Rohanna

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2012, 05:59:35 PM »
Most playpens are easily folded and packed away into a compact cube- I travel with mine as a portable crib all the time :)
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

peach2play

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2012, 09:15:56 PM »
I think you should have accepted their refusal and not tried to make it better.  Now, they are even in a more awkward position because, yes, the baby is gone, but the house has a baby in it and here you've gone to so much trouble so now they'll feel obligated to come, even if it's really, really painful.  They will want to make you happy, but in your want to have them there, you have caused them pain which may lead to resentment.

TurtleDove

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2012, 09:20:21 PM »
I think you should have accepted their refusal and not tried to make it better.  Now, they are even in a more awkward position because, yes, the baby is gone, but the house has a baby in it and here you've gone to so much trouble so now they'll feel obligated to come, even if it's really, really painful.  They will want to make you happy, but in your want to have them there, you have caused them pain which may lead to resentment.

Yes, this is where I was coming from when I said it is on them if they cannot handle a normal party at a house where an infant lives.  If they cannot, they need to say so and follow through.  I don't think the OP can fix this for them.  This is their own inside job. I am not judging them if they cannot, but it is up to them to make that call and not to expect other people to cater to their eggshell perspective on this issue.

blarg314

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2012, 09:48:47 PM »
Given that you've already offered to hide the baby so that your friends will go to your house, I think you will need to sanitize the public areas of all baby related items (and censor your conversation to avoid anything  baby related, and take phone calls with the babysitter in another room with the door closed, and remove pictures from the wall) in order to have a pleasant, stress free evening.

If your friends are in such an emotionally unbalanced state that they can't handle the presence of a baby, then I suspect that evidence of the baby or discussions of the baby will also put a damper on the evening.

I do think that it would have been perfectly fine to accept their regrets when they said they couldn't come over if the baby was there. But you've agreed to go along with it, so you might as well go all out.

Rohanna

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2012, 10:01:54 PM »
I think you should have accepted their refusal and not tried to make it better.  Now, they are even in a more awkward position because, yes, the baby is gone, but the house has a baby in it and here you've gone to so much trouble so now they'll feel obligated to come, even if it's really, really painful.  They will want to make you happy, but in your want to have them there, you have caused them pain which may lead to resentment.

Yes, this is where I was coming from when I said it is on them if they cannot handle a normal party at a house where an infant lives.  If they cannot, they need to say so and follow through.  I don't think the OP can fix this for them.  This is their own inside job. I am not judging them if they cannot, but it is up to them to make that call and not to expect other people to cater to their eggshell perspective on this issue.

They tried to do that, did they not? I think a lot of people are getting offended at this couple when they have so far done nothing much wrong. Don't attach your feelings on the poor way other infertile couples behave on a pair, who thus far, have only committed the crime of feeling pain and grief.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. ~ Jack Layton.

fountainof

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2012, 12:12:52 PM »
I feel bad for the couple.  I kind of think they probably feel they had to say yes when the offer of removing the baby was made.  I know this has happened to me with other things and I realize after a back and forth of options I should not have provided additional information that could be challenged and should have just politley declined.

Because the offer of baby removal was made I would include the stuff in the main rooms as well.  I don't really hang personal pictures so I'm not sure where pictures would be.  I think on the hall wall is fine to leave but if there are small things on the end table that have baby photos I would move them.

TurtleDove

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Re: New year with baby-less friends: do I clean away all the baby stuff?
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2012, 12:18:23 PM »

They tried to do that, did they not? I think a lot of people are getting offended at this couple when they have so far done nothing much wrong. Don't attach your feelings on the poor way other infertile couples behave on a pair, who thus far, have only committed the crime of feeling pain and grief.

I am not offended at this couple or attaching any feelings.  I am saying that the OP has no control over whether they can handle a situation or not.  The couple needs to decide what they can handle.