My spouse and I had another couple (Allan and Marina) and their baby (Elise) over for dinner over the weekend. These are people we knew through another friend and the husband of this couple is now working in my spouse's office. My spouse, Lucas, wanted to get to know these people better.
I was made to feel very uncomfortable throughout the visit by the behaviour of Marina. She is from another country, but one that has a very similar cultural ethic to my own, so I don't believe it was a matter of cultural differences. I do NOT want to make this post sound like I dislike children, as well. I have no issue with children as a species and Elise was an invited and expected guest. Nevertheless, I was appalled by some of the things that occurred and I was unsure what my response should have been.
Their daughter, Elise, is about 8 months old and is quite mobile. Although we told the couple that our house was not very baby-proof and that we did not have a high chair, etc., they brought no chair or bowl or toys for the baby. Instead, they sat her on the dinner table and got upset that I did not warn them about spices in the food, as they refused my offer of mashed avocado, bananas, or pumpkin.
Throughout the meal, Marina refused to speak about anything but breast feeding. When I tried to join the conversation, drawing on the experiences of a friend who is a lactation consultant, she asked me why, as a childless woman, I was so obsessed with talking about breast feeding. I wanted to reply, "I'm not, but you won't speak about anything else!"
She then expressed her disapproval of nursing covers, saying that she didn't think she should have to hide her natural functions away and discussed her participation in outings to breast feed in unusual spots (like churches, parliament, funerals, etc.) to 'de-stigmatize' breast feeding. After this announcement, she proceeded to whip a breast out at the dinner table. She repeated this 4 more times during the meal, and then multiples times afterwards during dessert.
After this, the baby needed a diaper change. Marina announced that she didn't believe in using a change table or change pad because it was inconvenient and she changed her baby's dirty diaper on my living room carpet while we were eating dessert.
E Hell, what could I have possibly said to end this behaviour early? The constant breast exposure made my spouse, who was sitting beside her, very uncomfortable. The nagging about options for the baby when I told them ahead what my house is like seemed unwarranted. The unwillingness to participate in the conversation was infuriating. But the changing of a dirty diaper on my rug was unsanitary and disgusting. Can you give me some tips that would mitigate a bad situation with guests before it gets out of hand?