General Etiquette > Family and Children

Had to pull out of bday party

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Unfortunately today we had to make the decision not to take DS to a long planned bday party of a friend's daughter. DS has had an incredibly busy week and was overtired today to the point of screaming fits. We were massively looking forward to going but to have taken him on an hour's bus journey there and back would to my mind have been cruel. He can talk, and can say when he's tired but when he's overtired, he's not good at using his words.

As soon as we realised the problem (intensified by a bad nights sleep due to storms, poor lad) I sent our unfortunate regrets by text to the hostess, as that was the only means of contact I have for her.) I said DS was ill. In my mind, he may well have been had we taken him. Like any 21 mth old he keeps going until he drops!! And more storms are predicted for tonight, making his nap today vital. He wouldn't have had it if we'd gone.

Is there anything I could have done differently??

I think you did the right thing.  Poor little guy isn't up for it, and you are a smart mom for not subjecting him or anyone else from a melt down.  I know I have had to pull out of things last minute when my kids were little because I knew it just wasn't going to go well.

I think what you did was fine. These things happen, and sometimes at the last minute it turns out you can't go to an event. The best you can do is to let the host/hostess know, which you did. Also, having seen parents be overly stubborn like this, I think it was very thoughtful of you not to force the poor thing along and possibly make the event unpleasant for the other guests.

Pen^2 exactly. I didn't want to either inflict screaming abdabs on anyone else and potentially spoil the children's enjoyment of the party and make other parents highly uncomfortable, or get him to the point where he's ill because he's just done too much. Overstimulation really winds him up. He is asleep now, which is the best thing for him. A relaxing day, easy to eat and rather bland, plain food (which he loved) and lots of quiet reading time with a quick outing to the park for fresh air. A noisy party would not have made him happy today. :( we were both really looking forward to it, me and DH, but these things happen. I guess part of being parents is knowing when to set boundaries for LO even when it's a hard thing to do.

Even though your child wasn't sick in the traditional sense, I think for the sake of brevity, canceling due to "sickness" is the right and polite thing to do.

I remember one time when my son was about 18 months old he developed a bad cough.  We were scheduled to attend a large playgroup that day.  I called the hostess and explained that I had to cancel due to his illness and she thanked me profusely for not bringing a sick child to the playgroup.   Other times when one of my kids has really bad behavior it is sometimes the first clue to an oncoming illness. 


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