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“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#1 Nov 21, 2013
DEAR AMY: I have a 4-year-old, a toddler and another child on the way. I am a stay-at-home mother. One perk of parenthood has been meeting lots of new people through community organizations such as the YMCA, library programs, playgrounds and now my oldest child’s school.

Since my son started preschool, however, I have been thrown for a loop. Several parents who have never met me or my child have e-mailed me to make arrangements with their nannies for our kids to have play dates. They have prefaced these get-togethers with reasons such as,“Our son needs more boys to play with,” and “Our nanny is looking for something to do.” I have never met their nannies.
Maybe I come from a time and a place where play time was less structured, but on one level this feels presumptuous and on another downright rude. Thus far, I have tried to gently evade these requests by stating something like,“I’d love to meet you sometime — I’ve heard a lot about your son from mine.”

This doesn’t always work. I’m fine with socializing, and I’m empathetic to the life of working parents, but when someone I don’t know asks me to schedule my time to hang out with his/her employee, I have to balk. There is rarely a minute of the day when I am “looking for something to do.”

Am I being overly sensitive in an unfamiliar situation, and what is the best way to approach this without feeling like a doormat or being snippy?-- Mother Irked

DEAR IRKED: When I was a stay-at-home mom, I frequently found myself lumped together with the neighborhood nannies, some of whom became friends. I also found myself occasionally treated like an employee by other moms whose daytime parenting seemed to comprise mainly making arrangements. Some of this awkwardness goes away when the children get older and their play dates are no longer automatically accompanied by the caregivers.

Clarity about what you want will dictate how you should act. If you (or your son) want to have a child over to play, you initiate. If a parent contacts you for a play date and your son is interested, then accept. If you don’t know the parent, the nanny or the child very well, then politely decline, as you are currently doing.

DEAR AMY: My husband and I are in our late 60s. After we retired, we redecorated our home. It is lovely and exactly how we want it. However, on our birthdays, Christmas, etc., we’re recipients of tacky stuff. We have no desire to display it in our home.

What do we do with stuff our family members obviously want us to display — college football team stuff, framed pictures of places they’ve traveled to and things they alone are interested in?

What should we say to them?-- No More Stuff

DEAR STUFF: One reason you may be receiving the items you cite is because you have become “hard to buy for.” You would be doing your family members a favor by addressing this issue, kindly and with affection.

You need to make a simple statement, accompanied by an alternative idea, and leave your judgment about the tackiness of these gifts out of it.

Tell them,“We have successfully downsized and really like our pared-down lifestyle. I wonder if you all would be willing to rethink your gift-giving. We’re keeping a scrapbook of cards and photos from you, but aside from that we’d like to share experiences together instead of material things. That would be the best gift for us.”

DEAR AMY: The question from “Dad” cracked me up. This father was concerned about whether his adult daughter’s choice to bunk with a new male friend in Europe was “ladylike.”

I bet if the roles were reversed and the daughter was a son who was going to stay with a woman he had met on a cruise, the father would be high-fiving him.-- Laughing

DEAR LAUGHING: I assume “Dad” would also not worry that the (hypothetical) female friend might be the head of a sex-trafficking ring, as this father fretted.
Cass

Claremont, CA

#2 Nov 21, 2013
LW1 - Do you want the playdates? If yes, arrange them with the nannies. If not, e-mail back and say that lovely as the playdate sounds, your kids' schedules are too booked up.

LW2 - Photos can go into albums. College football team stuff can go to Goodwill (without being announced to the family). If the family gets upset, tell them that while you loved the Trojans flags, they don't go with your home decor, and you really would just appreciate a card and no gifts.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Nov 21, 2013
1 It all sounds suspicious to me. How did they even get your email? Nannies are not looking for something to do, they are not paid to watch your rugrat and they will resent it, or you will be roped into watching theirs, equally bad.

2 Just tell them already! NO more crap please!

3 What an arrogantly sexist thing to say. Go back under your rock you neanderthal.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#4 Nov 21, 2013
LW1: Yanno, this isn't rocket science. If your child is invited on a playdate with one of these children with nannies that you don't know and your child would like to play with this other child, then YOU BOTH MEET AT A PARK. Then your kid(s) gets to play and make a friend and you get to relax and maybe make a friend yourself. And you also get to see how the nanny interacts with her charge and your child, and if you like it then the next time you can say yes and not even have to attend, and if you didn't, than you say no for good or always have joint playdates with this particular child.

I would think that with having almost-three kids, you'd be begging for a few minutes reprieve from kidworld.

LW2: If you're asked, then you can deliver Amy's speech, but otherwise I think you're doomed to get bad gifts because it is rude, rude, rude to ask for something unless you are under the age of 18.

LW3: Too bad this rehash won't go shack up with some european dude.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#5 Nov 21, 2013
LW1: Um, I think you are making a bigger deal about this than it needs to be. Do you want to interview them before you have a play date? A phone call would probably be nice, but I don’t see a huge issue, unless your spidey senses make you reasonably uncomfortable.

LW2: Goodwill.

LW3: Pretty sure women have to worry about unwanted advances more than men, but thanks for pretending such things aren't a reality and that fathers should disregard reality and treat their daughters and sons exactly the same.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#6 Nov 21, 2013
RACE wrote:
1 It all sounds suspicious to me. How did they even get your email? Nannies are not looking for something to do, they are not paid to watch your rugrat and they will resent it, or you will be roped into watching theirs, equally bad.
When my kid was in preschool, we had a class list with contact information for all the kids in the class (if you wanted to be excluded, you had to file a form).

Our current elementary school has an available school directory with on record contact information for all the parents (once again, except those who have asked to be excluded). But you have to pay for it, and I've never bothered.

These aren't unusual. I remember having these for my schools growing up too.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#7 Nov 21, 2013
I dont like the idea that a school would provide all the contact info for all students to a parent, just because they asked.

Why would another parent want my kids contact info?

If you were an inet spammer, what a great way to get email addresses.
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
When my kid was in preschool, we had a class list with contact information for all the kids in the class (if you wanted to be excluded, you had to file a form).
Our current elementary school has an available school directory with on record contact information for all the parents (once again, except those who have asked to be excluded). But you have to pay for it, and I've never bothered.
These aren't unusual. I remember having these for my schools growing up too.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#8 Nov 21, 2013
L1: Mostly I just don't caaaaaare about this one. But this would be an excellent way to recruit a quality babysitter for evening hours.

L2: I don't care if it's tacky, I love getting Christmas lists from people. I'm not great at picking out gifts and I'm petrified of being seen like the LW's relatives.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Nov 21, 2013
RACE wrote:
Why would another parent want my kids contact info?
<quoted text>
Birthday party invitations and playdate scheduling.

I just used our school directory to get info on schoolmates of Lulu's so they could have a playdate with my MIL and the puppy.

And in October I used it to send e-vites for Lulu's birthday party.

So there.:P

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#10 Nov 21, 2013
My kids were in day care. There is a student directory with the parents names and contact information. Parents can ask to have certain information not published. This held true 27 years ago before cell phones and email addresses. No big deal.

We would occasionally ask a child to come home with us after day care and the parent would pick them up after dinner. We met a large number of people that way- as in people we did not know before seeing them at pick up or drop off.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#11 Nov 21, 2013
squishymama wrote:
<quoted text>
Birthday party invitations and playdate scheduling.
I just used our school directory to get info on schoolmates of Lulu's so they could have a playdate with my MIL and the puppy.
And in October I used it to send e-vites for Lulu's birthday party.
So there.:P
Exactly. I am about to look up my daughter's friends addresses for b-day invites today. It comes in handy. Though I should know most by heart by now!!!

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#12 Nov 21, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
LW1: Um, I think you are making a bigger deal about this than it needs to be. Do you want to interview them before you have a play date? A phone call would probably be nice, but I don’t see a huge issue, unless your spidey senses make you reasonably uncomfortable.
LW2: Goodwill.
LW3: Pretty sure women have to worry about unwanted advances more than men, but thanks for pretending such things aren't a reality and that fathers should disregard reality and treat their daughters and sons exactly the same.
lw3:wasn't the daughter like 28? At that age, you should treat them the same: as grown ass adults regardless of gender

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#13 Nov 21, 2013
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
When my kid was in preschool, we had a class list with contact information for all the kids in the class (if you wanted to be excluded, you had to file a form).
Our current elementary school has an available school directory with on record contact information for all the parents (once again, except those who have asked to be excluded). But you have to pay for it, and I've never bothered.
These aren't unusual. I remember having these for my schools growing up too.
my kid's pre school gas a shutterfly website where they post pics and calendar events. One page is a class list with parental contact info. Parents have to enter that info themselves if they want it included.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#14 Nov 21, 2013
RACE wrote:
I dont like the idea that a school would provide all the contact info for all students to a parent, just because they asked.
Why would another parent want my kids contact info?
If you were an inet spammer, what a great way to get email addresses.
<quoted text>
I'm 42. When I as in geade school and hs, all kids got a stident directory to take home with everyone in your class's phone #. This is not a new concept

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#15 Nov 21, 2013
Stina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
Exactly. I am about to look up my daughter's friends addresses for b-day invites today. It comes in handy. Though I should know most by heart by now!!!
i've used the liat for that too. Race is just paranoid about anyone having any info on him. Maybe he's in witness protection

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#16 Nov 21, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>lw3:wasn't the daughter like 28? At that age, you should treat them the same: as grown ass adults regardless of gender
Don't remember the letter.

28 year old women don't have to worry about their safety? You can only get raped when you are under the age of 28? I'm pretty sure if

I had a daughter, I would worry about her safety and advise her to take reasonable precautions no matter how old she was. I'm also pretty sure I'd worry less about my son's ... at least in that context.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#17 Nov 21, 2013
RACE wrote:
If you were an inet spammer, what a great way to get email addresses.
<quoted text>
There are far, far easier ways to get email addresses than getting a print copy of a contact list and typing them all into your computer by hand.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#18 Nov 21, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't remember the letter.
28 year old women don't have to worry about their safety? You can only get raped when you are under the age of 28? I'm pretty sure if
I had a daughter, I would worry about her safety and advise her to take reasonable precautions no matter how old she was. I'm also pretty sure I'd worry less about my son's ... at least in that context.
worry? Sure. Express your concerns to her? Sure. Write to an advice columnist (or consult any other 3rd party) for ideas on how to stop her from going? No. That's where treating her as an adult comes into play. She knows how you feel and what your concerns are. Now back the f off and let her make her own decisions.

My sister is 32 years old and my dad still acts like she's 10. I think so. She thinks so. My mother thinks so. His concerns are typically met with eyerolls at this point.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#19 Nov 21, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>worry? Sure. Express your concerns to her? Sure. Write to an advice columnist (or consult any other 3rd party) for ideas on how to stop her from going? No. That's where treating her as an adult comes into play. She knows how you feel and what your concerns are. Now back the f off and let her make her own decisions.
Like I said, I don't remember the letter or what he was asking. I just disagreed with the general notion of today's letter writer pretending men and women are the same in every respect. If I went abroad and shared a bedroom with some woman I hardly knew, my folks might not be crazy about it, but they wouldn't be concerned so much for my safety. My sister they would very much so.

In terms of the letter writer consulting an advice columnist. I honestly think the same thing could be said about 99% of the folks who write an advice columnist. I can't think of any situation where I would write one, unless I wanted to f' with one.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#20 Nov 21, 2013
I never got anything like that. It would have been so much easier to ask girls out if I had one.
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I'm 42. When I as in geade school and hs, all kids got a stident directory to take home with everyone in your class's phone #. This is not a new concept

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