Author Topic: A missed opportunity  (Read 5830 times)

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littlelauraj

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A missed opportunity
« on: October 04, 2007, 05:07:53 PM »
This is an example of when "I'm afraid that won't be possible" *could* have worked:

On this coming Sunday my husband and I will be hosting our yearly chili feed and open house.  We literally invite absolutely everyone we know, although usually only have about 100 people come through.  Of those people, about 15 are going to be kids (including ours).

Well, every year I have a new etiquette challenge, usually from the same couple and their son.  This year it's someone new.  Friends of ours (that we rarely see any more) that haven't been able to attend in the past let us know a couple of weeks ago that they will be here, with their 8yo daughter.  Yay!

Last year we had a babysitter, which worked out well.  She kept track of the kids in the basement, watching movies and playing games, while I got to actually hostess my own party.  In the past, I sometimes had to keep track of kids not my own.  This year her brother will be babysitting.

Anyway, a couple of nights ago the husband of this one couple, Dave, calls up and asks if he can also bring along his out of town guest, his brother.  Not exactly polite, but we would have invited him along if we had known he would be around.  We have a definite "more the merrier" kind of thing going on.

Then he springs the real reason he's calling.  He, his wife, and brother are planning on checking out Local Attraction that Doesn't Allow Children and for which One Must Make a Reservation-and can we watch their daughter while they go?  During our party.  WHAT?

Well, Dh was completely unprepared for such a dumb**s request and said, "Yeah, sure!"  And as soon as he got off of the phone regretted it.  I can't entirely blame him-stupid babysitting requests usually come to me, and he didn't know *what* to do.  I told him next time just say no.

It got worse, though.  Dave called yesterday and asked dh to lunch.  It's probably been more than a year since they went to lunch so my radar went up.  Dh is really disappointed now-Dave wanted to let him know that they'll be back to pick up their daughter a half hour *after* the party is supposed to be over.  I was hot under the collar, for sure.  I told Dh to practice saying, "No, that won't be possible."  This is the second time something like this has happened at chili feed.  It's chili feed, not chili feed and fun daycare!  Aargh!

Real Live Mermaids!

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Re: A missed opportunity
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2007, 05:22:11 PM »
It's not too late.  Simply call (or have DH call) Dave and say, "You know, I should have checked with littlelauraj before I said we'd watch your niece.  I feel so foolish, but I'm afraid it won't be possible to watch her, she doesn't know us, and it simply won't work out."

You don't know this kid, she could completely freak out being left alone at a huge party where she doesn't know anyone.

You don't owe these poeple anything, they are severely taking advantage of you (this is why Dave called your DH instead of Mrs. Dave calling you) keep repeating that over in your head until you believe it!

littlelauraj

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Re: A missed opportunity
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2007, 05:31:00 PM »
I'm sorry I wasn't more clear-the child in question is Dave's daughter, not his brother's.  We know her and she has been here before.  Although it's been quite some time since her last visit, so I'm not entirely sure what sort of child she is growing up to be.

I realize that we could back out, but I am choosing not to.  It could lead to a certain amount of awkwardness for my husband's professional life-nothing career-breaking, but awkward nonetheless.  A simple no at the beginning of all of this would have been better.

My daughters will probably enjoy a little visit with the girl.  It will be a special little treat for them on the end of a great party.  I'm crossing my fingers for a well-behaved guest!

I'mnotinsane

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Re: A missed opportunity
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2007, 05:37:29 PM »
I'm also wishing you luck.  Hope your girls have fun and keep us updated.

Raintree

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Re: A missed opportunity
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2007, 04:37:03 AM »
They probably figured it was OK since there will be a bunch of kids there and a babysitter, and the kids know each other so it's almost as if the kids are having their own little party. However, I think it's rude that they are using your party as a babysitting service and then they are going to take off and do something different. They should be attending your party as a family or not at all.

littlelauraj

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Re: A missed opportunity
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2007, 08:27:21 AM »
I asked my husband for sure, and he said that Dave was unaware that we had a babysitter when he asked the favor.

In fact, Dh was a little PA during the phone call.  Dave asked if they could leave their daughter, and Todd said, "Well, sure, I guess.  There will be lots of kids here and a babysitter.  Well, not really a sitter.  More of a supervisor really, since most of the parents will be here."  It went over Dave's head entirely.   :P

Raintree, I agree that they should attend as a family or not at all.  That is what we would do.  Well, now we are ready for the next time this happens.  There is always a next time!

Trisha

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Re: A missed opportunity
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2007, 01:41:08 PM »
It's not too late.  Simply call (or have DH call) Dave and say, "You know, I should have checked with littlelauraj before I said we'd watch your niece.  I feel so foolish, but I'm afraid it won't be possible to watch her, she doesn't know us, and it simply won't work out."


POD, just let them know you'll have too much to take care of.

Sirius

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Re: A missed opportunity
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2007, 07:26:46 PM »
I think Dave should also pay at least part of the fee for the sitter.  But that's just me.  And, if he doesn't want to, then he can't leave his daughter.  Otherwise, he's just using the OP. 

caranfin

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Re: A missed opportunity
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2007, 11:31:57 AM »
They probably figured it was OK since there will be a bunch of kids there and a babysitter, and the kids know each other so it's almost as if the kids are having their own little party. However, I think it's rude that they are using your party as a babysitting service and then they are going to take off and do something different. They should be attending your party as a family or not at all.

I agree. Even if it were no imposition at all to leave the kids there while they do "better" things, it's horrendously rude.
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

jane7166

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Re: A missed opportunity
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2007, 03:56:57 PM »
Well, they owe you.  Can you round up your kids and a bunch of nieces and nephews and ask good ole Dave if he'd mind watching them next weekend?

But, beware, you might get the "It's not possible" from Dave.

Actually, Dave sounds like the kind of guy I would never want to watch any kid of mine. 


littlelauraj

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Re: A missed opportunity
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2007, 02:45:59 PM »
You all are funny.  It's nice to read everyone's supportive responses.

Dave and his family came to the party.  They ate, they socialized (for a good couple of hours), and then left for their tour.  The daughter was having a *lousy* time, and declined even going to the park with the rest of the kids.  (The park is basically right out of our front door.)  After her parents left, she was having an even worse time.  I felt sad for her.

When they came back, it was technically after the party was over but a few people were still here.  I think the babysitter had already left by then, and no, Dave did not offer the babysitter or us any money for said services.  If I had been in a mood I may have asked him directly, but I was having a good day and consider this a life lesson, no cash required.

Yes, our "friends" used us.  Yes, we let them.  No, it won't happen again.  The chili was good though! :)

Shortcake

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Re: A missed opportunity
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2007, 12:05:03 PM »
Well, it wasn't really a missed opportunity. This situation helped you be prepared for when something similar happens in the future.
"Carry out a random act of kindness, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you."  Princess Diana