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Old 12-06-2012, 07:21 AM   #16
BiancaBernard&Penny
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I would invite the boy. She handed out rules that day but they apply to her... what she will permit her kids to do. They do not apply to you or dictate what you may ask/invite. So invite a boy to a boy's party... And sit back to observe how consistent she may or may not be.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:39 AM   #17
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I don't think you did anything wrong. She was being rude with her demands.

Her daughters were invited because they were close friends with your daughter. It was your daughter's bday, not your son's. Some day it will be her son's turn to do something fun with your son, without the girls. That's life.

Is she one of those parents that buy her other kids birthday presents on one kid's birthday so they don't feel left out?

As for leaving your other family members at home and taking him, I don't agree. This was something fun for your family to do together. Why should they be left out?

Invite her son to your son's birthday party and don't worry about the girls.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:17 AM   #18
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I don't think you did anything wrong at all. I do feel bad for the little boy but only because his mother is setting him up for a lifetime of disappointments. Life is not fair and although its a tough lesson to learn sometimes, its much better learned early.

This is a hot button topic for me though. I deal with the "keeping it fair" garbage from my family all the time and I hate it. I almost go to the other extreme with my kids to make sure they understand that life is not fair.

My sister and niece live with my parents who basically raise my niece. My sister likes to chip in for the fun stuff like birthdays and Christmas but they do the day to day rasising of her. When my daughter's birthday comes around I always notice that my niece magically has the same stuff that my parents gave DD for her birthday. I've even heard my niece say that she got xyz for my daughter's birthday?! That does not happen in reverse by my mom or us.

At Christmas my parents usually give the girls the same things or type of things of equal value. But then they do a bunch of extra for my niece if they feel that my sister didn't do enough. Then my nieces other grandmother and her dad do another big expensive gift/gifts as well. My inlaws are more in the $25 range on gifts and my kids know not to expect large presents from them and they are okay with that, they are usually just happy to see them.

When the kids were little DD didn't notice but she has started to in the last few years. Of course we could probably afford to match all of it if we wanted to, but we don't. And we basically tell DD to suck it up. And if she comes to me whining about wanting something and the words "well xxxxxx has one" she can almost guarentee that she won't get it for sure and she's starting to understand that.

I want her to know that they are different people and their lives will be different and that she needs to be thankful for what she has and/or what she gets and that life is about more than stuff. My niece's grandmother takes her toy shopping every single saturday. Its just beyond ridiculous at times how much they are all spoiling this child to try to make up for the fact that neither of her parents play an active role in her life. But in the process they are setting her up for so much more disappointment in the real world.

Sorry to ramble, like I said, its a really hot topic for me.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:37 AM   #19
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:55 AM   #20
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This may be a little off topic but I think it's kind of related to Disney World since it involves birthday parties, children and a theme park. BTW, this happened a couple of years ago but everytime one of my kids birthday's come up, I still think about it...

For my daughter's 10th birthday, we wanted to surprise her with a visit to a theme park that we had never been to located in a city about 5 hours away from where we live (not Disney World unfortunately, lol!) We wanted to invite a couple of friends that she is close with but we were having trouble deciding who to invite as it was going to be an overnight trip and we wanted to make sure it was children who we were all comfortable with and would be comfortable with us. My husband and I ended up deciding on her two eldest cousins (14 & 13) who my daughter is extremely close with and the three of them are like sisters.

I told their cousins' mother about the plan a few weeks in advance and she was 100% on board. She emailed me a few days later to ask about what she should pack for them (it was to be a surprise for them too) and if there were any other specific instructions. I replied, telling her a couple changes of clothes, bathing suit, pjs and any spending money for any souvenirs they may like to purchase. I also mentioned that it would be myself, my daughter, my son (4) and DH going.

A few days went by again, then, out of the blue I received an email from her telling me that since her son (9) was not invited, then none of her children would be going. She said that she had experience with being left out by friends and family (specifically addressing my husband's family - she is my husband's brother's ex-wife) and that it was cruel not to include him.

I was flabbergasted. I felt extremely hurt by this, especially given the fact that we (specifically I) have always made an effort to include all of her children in everything, inviting all three of them over to my house for sleepovers on numerous occasions, taking all three of them sledding, swimming, out for dinner, etc. Only once had she ever reciprocated and that was when she invited my daughter (and only my daughter) to stay over for a sleepover for her second eldest daughter's birthday.

She did not make mention of the fact that we were not inviting her fourth child though (thank goodness because she was/is still in diapers).

Although my son and her son play well together (despite being closer in age to my daughter, he is much more at the maturity level of my son and they have more interests in common) he is very much "the little brother" and his older sisters often are left with the task of looking after him and their baby sister. We thought it would be a nice break for them to just have their older "girl time".

Anyway, I replied and told her it certainly was not our intention to hurt anyone's feelings but it was my daughter's birthday and we just invited the two eldest (GIRLS), we didn't invite any of her other cousins including my sister's two kids (no one else had a problem with this). I explained that we simply don't have the space or the money to invite her son as well this time around but that we would certainly make it up to him in the future.

She replied holding firm that unless all three of them were invited, none would go (not true, we took the eldest daughters ziplining as their Christmas present later that summer) and that held true if only the son was invited somewhere and not his older sisters, then he would not be allowed to go either.

So there it was left. We ended up scrambling at the last minute to do something else for our daughter and although we had a good time just the four of us, it wasn't as nice as it could have been for her.

Now, with my son's 7th birthday approaching, I'm left wondering if it would be in poor taste of me to just invite her son and not the two eldest daughters now 16 & 15 (or the 2 year old...still in diapers) for a birthday event/party/sleepover for him???

I should probably add that my kids get invited to separate things all the time and I am in no way a believer in that both of my kids should be invited to everything in all circumstances. If the roles had been reversed and she wanted to invite just my daughter (or my son) to the theme park for one of her children's birthday, I would have had no problem with this. I would have simply used that weekend to spend some one-on-one time with the other child. Also, my daughter has had opportunities to have weekends or even weeks away with friends or family where her younger brother has not. In my world, it's called the perks of being an older child and he'll get his turn when he is older.

Another thing that kind of bothers me about this is the fact that she does things with the two eldest and not the son all the time (overnight shopping trips to the US, trips to the movie theatre, etc.), their father would not have objected to it had I asked him first (he would have just taken the son to the hunt camp or the cottage that weekend) and the fact that she had already taken all three of the kids to the theme park in question before and the son did not want to go on any of the rides...

Anyway, that is my situation. Any suggestions/feedback on how this could have been handled differently?
You haven't done anything wrong and not sure why the reaction was what is was. My kids are 2.5 years apart (have some common family friends) and for their birthday, we only invite their friends to the parties and whatever. Never have we invited a sibling to be "fair" (unless it was a diversion tactic to make everyone's life easier).

I would invite just her son and it is up to her whether he comes or not. You should stick to your guns on this one.

Both of our kids have always been taught that life is not fair. Each has and will always have separate friends and activities outside of the things we share as a family. If one is invited somewhere or earns a special reward, then the other is not entitled to that reward/experience.

As an example, my DD had really focused on school and worked hard on everything I had asked her. She managed to raise her grades, stop fighting with her brother, committed to her non school activities and was really working hard on everything. Her reward was a week in Disney with dad. Her mom and brother did not go. Her brother plays an AAU sport (expensive) as long as his grades are kept in order. This is his reward and does not entitle her to play a sport. We do a lot of things together, but birthdays or individual achievements are celebrated for what they are.

Good luck.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigs32
Sounds like she wanted a weekend with just the baby and tried to string arm you into taking her son. If you invite just her son for your son's bday party, I bet she'll have forgotten all about her new rule.
Exactly what it sounds like to me. You did nothing wrong, OP.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:56 PM   #22
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I told their cousins' mother about the plan a few weeks in advance and she was 100% on board. She emailed me a few days later to ask about what she should pack for them (it was to be a surprise for them too) and if there were any other specific instructions. I replied, telling her a couple changes of clothes, bathing suit, pjs and any spending money for any souvenirs they may like to purchase. I also mentioned that it would be myself, my daughter, my son (4) and DH going.

A few days went by again, then, out of the blue I received an email from her telling me that since her son (9) was not invited, then none of her children would be going. She said that she had experience with being left out by friends and family (specifically addressing my husband's family - she is my husband's brother's ex-wife) and that it was cruel not to include him.
The Bold is what's utterly wrong with this scenario. If you have family rules for your kids, you have family rules. Others may not agree with them, but you sort of have to respect them. But this... it's not a family rule one day when she says Sure, what do I pack, but then the next day you're the devil for inflicting such a harsh, cruel punishment on her son? What the everlovin'? Did she not realize at the onset that it wasn't just you and the girls? Why would she assume that your whole family wasn't going, and if it was an overriding concern in all of her children's arrangements, why didn't she ask before agreeing?

It doesn't sound like she approached it from the standpoint of, "look, it's been weighing on me that my boy is really upset about being left out lately and I'm going to have to alter our participation from now on because of it..." She seems to have approached it from the standpoint of the part where she agreed to send the girls never even happened, only the part where you excluded her son. So she gave you an ultimatum? On a free amusement park trip for her girls? That you should also have to pay for and watch her son also? Really???

Then, in the summer, you took both girls and not the boy, but that was fine. Hmph.

I don't know, I call door number 3 here. Something else hit the fan between the initial invite and the meltdown, whether her boy was told/found out and had an epic meltdown, some third party is trying to sabbotoge something for whatever reason and stirred a still pot, or something happened involving her exdh's family (your family) that caused her to project her issues onto you... who knows. The flip flop does it in for me.

Not to mention, where does she get off insisting that you put all of her kids' needs first, but she has no problem yanking the cord on her neice's birthday celebration at the last minute and essentially ruining it? How is that fair to her neice, or her nephew? Uh-uh. That ain't right.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:27 PM   #23
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:28 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kt_mom
I don't think you did anything wrong at all. I do feel bad for the little boy but only because his mother is setting him up for a lifetime of disappointments. Life is not fair and although its a tough lesson to learn sometimes, its much better learned early.

This is a hot button topic for me though. I deal with the "keeping it fair" garbage from my family all the time and I hate it. I almost go to the other extreme with my kids to make sure they understand that life is not fair.

My sister and niece live with my parents who basically raise my niece. My sister likes to chip in for the fun stuff like birthdays and Christmas but they do the day to day rasising of her. When my daughter's birthday comes around I always notice that my niece magically has the same stuff that my parents gave DD for her birthday. I've even heard my niece say that she got xyz for my daughter's birthday?! That does not happen in reverse by my mom or us.

At Christmas my parents usually give the girls the same things or type of things of equal value. But then they do a bunch of extra for my niece if they feel that my sister didn't do enough. Then my nieces other grandmother and her dad do another big expensive gift/gifts as well. My inlaws are more in the $25 range on gifts and my kids know not to expect large presents from them and they are okay with that, they are usually just happy to see them.

When the kids were little DD didn't notice but she has started to in the last few years. Of course we could probably afford to match all of it if we wanted to, but we don't. And we basically tell DD to suck it up. And if she comes to me whining about wanting something and the words "well xxxxxx has one" she can almost guarentee that she won't get it for sure and she's starting to understand that.

I want her to know that they are different people and their lives will be different and that she needs to be thankful for what she has and/or what she gets and that life is about more than stuff. My niece's grandmother takes her toy shopping every single saturday. Its just beyond ridiculous at times how much they are all spoiling this child to try to make up for the fact that neither of her parents play an active role in her life. But in the process they are setting her up for so much more disappointment in the real world.

Sorry to ramble, like I said, its a really hot topic for me.
Are you sure we don't share the same family LOL!
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:36 AM   #25
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You did nothing wrong. I would definitely invite the boy to the BOY sleepover. I think there will be a distinct difference in his mom's mind between an event that is obviously for boys only and an overnight trip to a theme park that includes a hotel and travel time and is a big deal.

I can sort of sympathize with his mom because in my family, my mom completely favors my daughter. She actually pretended to be afraid of my son when he was an adorable, wonderful baby. She would physically flinch when she saw him. She would constantly pick up my daughter only for fun and sleepovers. She'd bring presents for my daughter and nothing for my son. As he got older, this became more and more obvious to both kids and I put my foot down- unless it was a super-special occasion that my son wouldn't enjoy, BOTH kids would be included. Unless it's a birthday, bring presents for both (or better yet, for neither.) Anyway, my kids are 12 and 10 now, and I'm still touchy about this. I would still see a HUGE difference between a boys only sleepover and a weekend trip to an amusement park. If one of my daughter's FRIENDS invited her for that weekend, I would NEVER consider that my son should be invited. If it was my mom, I would be extremely offended if she tried to take only my daughter. Again, I don't think you did anything wrong, but if she's had anything similar with favoritism in the past, I can sort of see where she's coming from (on the amusement park trip only) because despite the fact that you were taking her girls as FRIENDS, you are still family.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:23 PM   #26
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TL; DR.

I don't know how I'd feel about this. My son doesn't get invited to all of the same parties my daughter does, but if it was a party for a cousin, I'd expect both my children to be invited. Then again, both of my children are equally close to their cousins.

However, since you specified how this was working up front, we would have decided in advance whether the older child would go instead of waiting until the last minute.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:58 PM   #27
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People make mistakes, and opinions change. We learn new things every day. If presented with the same situation you have played over in your mind from years ago (she was rude in asking to add her son, IMO), she might give you a completely different answer today. Don't worry about what she may/may not do, but just do what is right for your family.

If it doesn't make sense to invite some older girls to a younger boys party (girls stopped receiving invites from DS at 6 for us), then don't invite them and don't worry about it. I'm guessing she won't think twice about it, and won't see any connection to what happened years ago.
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