Author Topic: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners  (Read 12401 times)

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lisen

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Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« on: October 10, 2013, 12:37:26 AM »
Hi E-Hellions!

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?

Thanks!
Lisen

Nikko-chan

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 12:42:11 AM »
"I'm sorry you feel that way... oh my I just suddenly remembered I have to get up early tomorrow, it's getting late" *takes plates away as they are all eating* "So sorry. Have a nice night." then usher them out the door.

I am sure other ehellions will come up with something more polite.

Roses

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 12:43:47 AM »
I probably wouldn't have said anything until the changing of the diaper, at which point I would have produced a towel and insisted that the diaper change happen ON the towel not the carpet. 

I would not invite this couple back.

Surianne

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 12:46:45 AM »
Yikes!  If it weren't a coworker, I'd have asked her to leave.  Even with a coworker, though, I think you'd have been fine to draw the line at the changing the baby on your rug.  A simple, "I'm sorry, but I can't permit you to change your baby there.  You are welcome to use the bathroom floor" or another area that could be easily cleaned (maybe a washable mat down on a table?), would have been quite reasonable.  Whatever you would normally offer a guest who had a baby.

TeamBhakta

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2013, 12:49:12 AM »
I suggest faking an emergency phone call ("Oh golly, Aunt Sally, we'll be right over!"). Either that or retreat into another room and have your DH announce "Golly, I'm sorry, but the Mrs has started to feel unwell and needs to lay down. We'll have to cancel the party and get together another time, eh ? I have to run down to the pharmacy and pick up some medicine for her, so I'll walk you to your car."

*I am baffled that there are group outings to funerals for the purpose of "Look at me, I'm breastfeeding."  :o Are they just showing up at random people's funerals, like the Westboro bunch does ? Who goes to a funeral thinking "Gee, I hope Grandma and Uncle Fred turn around to watch and applaud my parenting choices" ?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 12:55:18 AM by TeamBhakta »

PastryGoddess

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2013, 12:51:01 AM »
I'm going to invent a compact foldable cannon.  large enough to hold a person, but small enough to fold up neatly and stored in a closet.  When needed you can open up the front door, set up the cannon, load up the person and ignite the fuel.  There will be an exhaust pipe that can be attached to vent out the living room window or back door.

Seriously though, don't invite either of them back to your house.  Marina was disrespectful of you and your home, drop the rope. If hubby wants to hang out, he can do so on the other side of the property line.  You don't have to be friends with them and it's ok.  Ask yourself, what would YOU get from being friends with these people. It's not up to you to make sure they have friends in a new area.

violinp

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2013, 01:31:34 AM »
Your friends, quite frankly, were rude and gross. I can't imagine ever changing a baby without at least a mat under - what if the diaper had, ahem, exploded?

I'd not invite them back.  :-X
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


Raintree

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2013, 01:36:35 AM »
This woman sounds totally obnoxious. I'm childless and fully support mothers who breastfeed, but this one sounds as though she thinks she's the first woman to ever have given birth, and therefore, it makes her special.

She'd never get an invite from me again.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2013, 01:40:02 AM »
Your friends, quite frankly, were rude and gross. I can't imagine ever changing a baby without at least a mat under - what if the diaper had, ahem, exploded?

I'd not invite them back.  :-X

That's actually the part that bothered me least - if the diaper is just a bit damp, it's entirely possible to change a baby without anything other than the back of the diaper touching the floor.  (A completely full diaper is another story.)  And honestly - babies leak.  Frequently, and from both ends.  A very determined baby can fill a diaper in a way that leaves biological contaminants on various surfaces even when they're fully clothed!  You were okay with that risk when you allowed the baby in the house at all, so I don't think a diaper change is all that much worse IF the parent is pretty good at timing their baby (i.e. some kids are liable to blow without warning and others almost never do) and IF the diaper change was more of a "check and I guess I'll swap it for a fresh one" instead of a desperately needed service.

I do fault her for doing it on the carpet instead of on a tile/linoleum floor, though - when I've been in this situation I've always at least carried my baby to a wipe-up-able surface  :-\

The breastfeeding thing, for me, would be much worse.  Fine, she feels strongly about her right to breastfeed everywhere - that's a polarizing debate and I do tend to agree with the theory.  Her refusal to use a nursing shield or a blanket, though, is purely because she believes her ideological stance is more important than your comfort and more important than acting like a polite guest.  And that's not okay.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 01:43:01 AM by Slartibartfast »

figee

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2013, 02:10:51 AM »
Yeah. No suggestions at all - you were more restrained than I could be.  However, the nappy changing/ exploding nappy did make me think of this ad, which makes me laugh.

Warning, a bit gross, but I suspect most parents and unfortunate babysitters can relate.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=paw0M7p1-8k&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dpaw0M7p1-8k

Ceallach

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2013, 03:33:18 AM »
I'm the mother of an 8 month old and I would have found your guests behavior utterly obnoxious!  I do tend to feed my son whatever we are eating, but if dining with friends I bring some purée too just in case what they serve isn't suitable for the baby.  I would never complain about what I am served!

Honestly I don't think there's a lot you could have done, assuming you wanted to avoid an awkward conflict situation.  Never invite them back!  I hope your DH is on the same page as you are on this.

"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


perpetua

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2013, 03:45:49 AM »
I suggest faking an emergency phone call ("Oh golly, Aunt Sally, we'll be right over!"). Either that or retreat into another room and have your DH announce "Golly, I'm sorry, but the Mrs has started to feel unwell and needs to lay down. We'll have to cancel the party and get together another time, eh ? I have to run down to the pharmacy and pick up some medicine for her, so I'll walk you to your car."


Normally I'm a fan of the polite fiction. But I think in some cases the rudeness is so blatant that there's absolutely nothing wrong with asking them to leave and telling them exactly why instead of making something up and I think this is one of those cases.

Alpacas

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2013, 05:25:06 AM »
That doesn't really sound like a nice evening.

The diaper change would have been the last straw for me. I know that Babies leak and can have damp diapers, but i also know that sometimes they have that impecable timing that makes changing the diaper a challenge.
My Cousin once managed to flood the changing table in the seconds she was without diaper, and my best friends baby imitated a sprinkler when she changed her. ;D

Normally I'm a fan of the polite fiction. But I think in some cases the rudeness is so blatant that there's absolutely nothing wrong with asking them to leave and telling them exactly why instead of making something up and I think this is one of those cases.

POD

I would avoid next get togethers with them. Should they ask why then you have the perfect opportunity to state politely that you did not enjoy the last encounter because of X.

Carotte

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2013, 05:42:45 AM »
Was she actually breast-feeding when she was wipping out her breast (more than 4 or 5 times it seems)?
I know nothing about breast-feeding but that sounds weird. (the multiple times in a short span).
It sounds like she was just doing it to show you guys the goods  :o
In that case it would have taken me a while to blurt it out but I think a "Marisa, Elise is not using it or needing it right now, we are not using it, we do know how it works, would you please put it back where it belong now?"

shhh its me

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Re: Guest Couple's Objectionable Parenting Manners
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2013, 05:52:52 AM »
That doesn't really sound like a nice evening.

The diaper change would have been the last straw for me. I know that Babies leak and can have damp diapers, but i also know that sometimes they have that impecable timing that makes changing the diaper a challenge.
My Cousin once managed to flood the changing table in the seconds she was without diaper, and my best friends baby imitated a sprinkler when she changed her. ;D

Normally I'm a fan of the polite fiction. But I think in some cases the rudeness is so blatant that there's absolutely nothing wrong with asking them to leave and telling them exactly why instead of making something up and I think this is one of those cases.

POD

I would avoid next get togethers with them. Should they ask why then you have the perfect opportunity to state politely that you did not enjoy the last encounter because of X.

The bolded is where I disagree.... people who have come to dinner once aren't so close you have to "break up" with them. Acquaintances  you don't have fun with you just don't invite back. Plus its a co worker , if they invite you somewhere just decline just , don't socialize outside of work any more.