What do you think?

imamommyJanuary 24, 2011

I'm planning a birthday party for DGS. He will be 2 & it's going to be at a baby gym facility. The party is on a Saturday but his actual birthday is Sunday. I'm inviting the kids in his preschool/daycare class... about 10 other 1 1/2-2 year old's. My grown kids & my sister plan on being there as well. My DH & my dad will be working so I was planning on having cake at my dad's house the next day (Sunday) with family. (My sister is planning to attend Saturday's party because she lives out of town & Sunday is too difficult for her schedule)

Well, over the weekend my dad tells me that SD11 told him that she is planning to ask her mom if she can rearrange her weekends so she can attend the party. I have a few problems with it:

1.) SD11 should not be deciding when her weekends with her mom are to be rearranged. She did not discuss this with her dad. (or me) ** For those that don't know much background, SD barely acknowledges my existence, let alone talks to me.

2.) DH doesn't even know when or where the party is because he's working that day & wants nothing to do with planning a party, so if SD wants to go I think she should have talked to me about it first, then talked to her dad about whether he was okay with changing.. and THEN let her dad arrange it with her mom.

3.) On Halloween, DH let SD (at my urging) change weekends so she could attend a party BM was having. SD really wanted to go to the party & DH wasn't going to allow it because her grades are so bad. (Just got her progress report~3 F's & 1 D-) I felt bad & got DH to relent. The day after SD came home, we found out she had withheld info on getting two behavioral referrals... she didn't tell us she was given two detentions so she could still go to her mom's party. Before she left for that weekend, I told her that I was putting my faith in her (to do better) & I hope she doesn't let me down. When we found out she had gotten two detentions in the two days before she went & didn't tell us, we told her that we are NOT going to change weekends with her mom anymore so she can attend activities here or there. If something is happening on a weekend she is there, fine... but if it's on a weekend she is not there, too bad. THAT was her consequence. So, considering that this is the first time something is happening that she will miss & we just got her progress report with a D & F's, I am against changing weekends so she can attend.

4.) Last year, we did change weekends so SD could attend DGS's 1st birthday. It was a family party at a pizza place & at the end of the evening, SD took MIL aside & complained to her about me... I looked over & SD is in a booth with MIL, sobbing. I asked what's wrong? Both say nothing. On the way home, DH says MIL wants to know why I won't let SD play with DGS? ** MOre background, SD11 has been failing in school since 4th grade. She's in 6th now. DH took away her TV & Stereo. She was told that she can't 'play' until her homework is done... but since she lies about doing her homework, I told her that when her grades improve & we stop seeing missing assignments... she was told she can't play: Outside, video games, at her friends, etc. She would ask to play with the baby & I would ask if her grades are improved. No, then No. She has neglected to tell MIL she can't play at all, not just with the baby. But, MIL jumped my stuff on Fourth of July because SD told her she isn't allowed to play with the baby & I'm sure she's told MIL how unfair I am to her so MIL was all fired up. Which leads me to my last issue.

5.) SD takes it upon herself to invite MIL to parties. My mom had heart surgery last year. My son came back from Afghanistan for a couple of weeks because my mom's surgery. It was coincidental that he arrived back on his birthday so we had a small family get together the weekend after my mom came home from the hospital. My mom was going to stay at my dad's during her recovery, so my brother & sister came over to see her & we got a cake for my son. SD had told MIL & DH had to "uninvite" them because we were not having a real "party". We were trying to celebrate my son's birthday but keep minimal people around my mom at the same time.

I'm just at a loss of how to deal with SD doing this. It really causes a problem for her to not talk to me about anything, but then goes around making plans and inviting her other grandparents without discussing it with anyone. I don't want to start world war three over it, but it really creates stress for me. SD was at MIL's yesterday & who knows what she told her? MIL won't call me, she will call DH to ask when & where the party is. Of course if that happens, he will tell her about the party at my dad's on Sunday, not the toddler party on Saturday... but that would be the one SD would tell MIL about. And then I have the dread that MIL will "confront" me & demand to know why I don't let SD come to DGS's party.

I just want to enjoy making a party for DGS but this has put a damper on it for me. AM I wrong to feel this way?

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If the agreement was she was not to change weekends per the above #3, then Dad needs to remind her of this. Consequences are consequences. Odds are the girl does not even remember what happened in October without being told the what and whys again. Kids seems to have selective memories especially when it does not affect the immediate timeframe.

It's a party for tiny ones. Except for the feeling of being left out, she's not going to enjoy a baby gym party. It's not meant for her. I'd try really hard to push away (set aside) past feelings/resentments towards the SD though when making your decision on this individual event. Yeah, she has little use for you and seems bent on making your life at times just as hard as possible...but that should not be the issue/consideration in this.

The family get together on Sunday will likely upset her the most. Maybe she'll work harder at bringing the grades up so she does not miss out again (look up on calendar and see what that might mean the rest of the year as incentive). I would not, but at the most you might consider doing is agreeing to let her BM bring her home a little earlier Sunday afternoon so she could partake in a bit of the event at your father's. I think that part would depend on how much crap she gives you when Dad tells her 'no' to Saturday.

She blew it. Did it all by herself and no, she can not rearrange her weekend...especially not without prior permission from her dad. Now that she has already tried you will once again be 'Bad Bad Ima' but Dad needs to remind her about #3 and he needs to add in that children do not rearrange their own schedules. Let Dad put a stop to this, stay neutral and remind her if cornered that this is not up to you (per #3) and you can not/will not interfer with what Dad has laid out as her consequences. Take any chances of 'Bad Ima' right out of this issue.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 3:08PM
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1,2,3,4 = I understand and agree.

5) kid needs to be told very clearly that it is up to the hostess to invite guests. This is an issue of manners, and if she doesn't realize this she will have a hard time of it when she gets older. You are under no obligation to invite ALL of your family or friends over at the same time. Just because I invite one set of neighbors over for dinner does not mean the whole neighborhood is invited, right??

I remember the crying in the booth episode regarding you not letting her play with the baby. She's making choices... she's having to sleep in her bed.

No reason for MIL to go to a party for babies not related to her. Advise her there is a limit on guests at the baby gym. If SD already invited MIL, SD should pay MIL's way as well as her own way, and then be instructed to not ever invite people without permission again. How rude. And she's old enough to know better. (also, personal issues should not be made much of at parties. If she's going to cry to MIL she should not do it at a birthday party. Period)

As to the house party, you may have to have MIL there to keep the peace. But no, I don't feel you are wrong for your feelings at all.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 3:31PM
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I agree completely with the others. Furthermore, these are parties for DGS, not for SD, not for MIL, not for you, and not for some generalized event like "Super Bowl Sunday" or Fourth of July. I realize that DGS is still a baby right now - but that's going to change, and you don't want to set a precedent now that will be difficult to change later. What's going to happen in three or four years when DGS is five or six and is excited about his birthday party with his little friends - and SD says "Ooooh, party!" and not only basically crashes it but decides to bring along who knows how many friends, BM, MIL, whomever? Birthdays are the one day a year when, for most kids, it is OK for it to be all about them - and SD is trying to take that away from him.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 4:46PM
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"What's going to happen in three or four years when DGS is five or six and is excited about his birthday party with his little friends - and SD says "Ooooh, party!" and not only basically crashes it but decides to bring along who knows how many friends"

That's a great point. I threw SD a party last year & she wanted to invite BM. Fine, it wasn't part of my plan but it is her mom & it is her party... so she invited BM. BM brought her mom, BF & baby.. but she also brought older sister who brought her own friends from high school. I found it rude they brought a clan that I had to pay for but for SD's sister to bring friends to hang out with... pretty much leaving SD out because she's too young. (plus BM was not only 40 minutes late, but she brought no gift & stayed in the corner with BF & baby the whole time) So, I get what you mean, it should be all about the birthday kid.

I'm already gonna have to deal with inviting DIL (DGS's BM). She came to last years party but brought a group of friends too. I let it go because I think she wanted some of her friends so she would feel more comfortable since everyone else was my family. Her parents declined to come, saying they would throw him a party but then they never did.

I just wish it could be simple & enjoyable.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 5:56PM
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What part of "disengage" means that you must babysit your SD at your DGS's birthday when your DH will not be there? Forget the other issues (which I feel are also legitimate) but leave it as: SD wants nothing to do with me, we previously decided to limit my contact with her as well, I will NOT take responsibility for her at ANY event - that is DH's job. If DH is not going to be there, then she should not be either.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 9:41PM
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I agree with what everyone else says. If SD happens to be home then she should attend, if she is at moms, that's where she needs to be. How ridiculous MIL wants to attend parties for your kids/grandkids.

Your DH needs to deal with both SD and MIL. Not to say you have to deal with everything separately but sometimes it is the best: you deal with DSG and his party, he should deal with MIL's and SD's bad manners, tell them "no" and explain why.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 11:41PM
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I am usually one to say "take the high road" but in this case from now on I would simply tell these people "I can not accommodate extra guests". The one exception is your SD's BM. If she wanted her mom at her own BD party I guess I would fold with the above understanding, no extra guests!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 10:29AM
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Lone is right. How can anyone (not just you) manage being a hostess at a public place, with many small guests, and be a caregiver for a 2 year old, and manage a tween who does not listen and has a history of lying and bad behavior??

Too much. I'm sure you are capable of it but who would want that stress? SD doesn't go unless dad goes. MIL doesn't get invited. Sorry, no accommodations available... as Eahndhl said.

They can all come to family party if that's what dad wants, if dad will be there. If not... WTH are they thinking?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 10:46AM
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Your response to MIL:

"And you *believed* that?" Shake head, then walk away.
Repeat until it sinks in...

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 2:27PM
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