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Old 01-25-2013, 05:56 PM   #46
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OP, sounds like you are to nice of a person to point blank tell your friend your concerns.
"beating around the bush" isn't going to work.
It is not just your friend, her son, your DH and you on this vacation you need to think about.
Others have already expressed concerns.
Do yourself and everyone else a favor and put all the cards out on the table as to what will not be tolerated.
Once you are all there and things go downhill it is going to be a long long week.


Good luck!
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:11 PM   #47
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So I am heading to the world with several friends in the fall and am suddenly finding myself in a bit of a conundrum that I could use a little advice on. When I invited friends along to our happy place I figured it would be fine, I think that of all the places to travel with friends Disney is a great one. It is easy to break off and do your own thing for a while and then meet up again later. 4 parks and countless resorts worth of personal space. Most of the people we are traveling with are down with this and I have zero qualms about them.

However I encouraged my one friend to join us and now I am running in to an issue. When I mentioned that she might not want exactly the plan we have because we do the deluxe dining plan and she has a little boy she will be bringing (he'll be 5) and I thought that much dining would be a lot for him. She didn't seem to hear what I was trying to say and said that they would just do whatever we were doing since her husband wasn't going. She has made it clear that she intends on spending every second with us. Now if everyone is having fun and we are just hanging out that is fine but I have a feeling that knowing her son and even more so her that this will not be the case. My husband along with the other family who knows her is dreading her coming now because of this and several other issues that have popped up along the way.

The second major thing that came up has me flummoxed on how to deal with it and also flummoxed on what she is expecting from everyone on the trip. We were sitting talking with a friends and she looks me and says in a horridly blunt, snotty voice "You are prepared to help with Childcare right?" I was shocked and didn't know how to reply so I said something about making sure that she got to ride things that she very obviously took as I would be at her beck and call for childcare the whole trip.

I should point out that we love her son but he is a bit of a handful. She has set a huge precedent of pushing the care of him to whoever is around, or just ignoring him till someone else deals with it so I don't doubt that she will very quickly take advantage of us if she thinks we are equally responsible for the care of her child. I had figured we would lend a hand here or there when she needed it or our other friends needed it, perhaps taking him along to rope drop or taking someone's kids to a play area or on a ride so the parents could ride something or have a few minutes of peace. However having it expected and demanded of me is upsetting and is not something I am okay with and neither is my husband. I was a nanny for years and actually am currently nannying one of the other families youngest sons. No one else has even suggested we are responsible for the care of their children let alone demanded it.

I understand that she is doing this alone and I had intended to lend a hand and give her a break sometimes, I just don't want it expected and demanded of me and the other people along. She can be fun to hang out with and that is why invited her and I don't want to end our friendship by disinviting her. I have showed her childcare services that Disney offers so she can have evenings off, what other things can I do to show her that she has options but we are not there
to watch her child 24/7 (we are getting separate rooms so more like 16/7). I may need to just tell her point blank but I am not sure how that confrontation will go so I would rather find some more subtle ways to help her get the hint. Also any thoughts on how I can encourage her to make some plans separate from us in the parks or just in dining? Any feedback would be great thanks!
Ouch! What a terrible position! It seems as your in too deep, is it a possibility to reschedule your trip? I'm sure you'd hate to lose a friend but imagine the possible blowout while on vacation? No one wants a ruined or less then enjoyable vacation either! Consider this you can sit her down alone no distractions and tell her in have been struggling with some things, tell her you understand what she needs from you and you stressed about the idea of not being as available for her as you normally would. Try to brainstorm ideas together..the alternative would be you sucking it up for the sake of conformation only for it to blow up at Disney? Right? If your really friends she should understand... If she doesn't maybe you could reevaluate your friendship. Good luck!!
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:10 PM   #48
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I think that you have different expectations than your friend on this vacation. I also think it's a little unfair to have invited her along, then expect her not to want to spend the majority of time with you. Maybe it's your experience that when you vacation with others you don't really spend time together, but if someone invited me to vacation with them, I would expect to vacation with them. I also think that since your friend is traveling without a spouse, she is probably looking for someone, other than her child, to socialize with.

Also, with the deluxe dining, I don't know the child, but I will tell you my kids are eaters, they can, and have, handled deluxe dining. If she wants to pay for it, and it's a waste of money, that's her problem.

I don't think it's fair of her to expect you to watch her child the whole time, and I wouldn't do it. I probably wouldn't have a confrontation about it beforehand, but I would avoid it while on vacation. I would just bob and weave. If she asks you to take him to the bathroom tell her you have to go, too, and ask her to come with you so she can watch him while you are in the stall, or tell her you don't have to go. Use the stall technique if she tries to send him with you. If you watch him during a ride, send him right back to her as soon as she gets off the ride.


I would have a get-together to finalize the trip arrangements. I would give a hand out of park hours and dining plan prices. I would explain what each plan entailed. I might say something like, "We are morning people, we will be at the park when it opens, how about we all meet for lunch?" I might also say, I realize you are traveling with little kids, there will be nights when we will want to stay out very late, so don't feel obligated to stay as late as we do. I would also block of a couple of dinners and tell them you and your husband are going to have "date night" and do a signature meal. I would give everyone the list of child care options.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:04 AM   #49
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...

My concerns have more to do with having gone shopping with them and having them hang out at my house while we are working on a project. (both situations were experienced after they were invited) When we go shopping I end up watching him while she shops, she does things like call me out of my dressing room to take him to the potty...every time he has to potty she finds a way to get me to take him, when he climbs on the things I pull him down etc. She does this to her other friend who is out with them a lot too. I just don't go shopping with both them really anymore. When they are at my house just the two of them I end up doing everything for him and cleaning up his mess when they leave. I find it frustrating at home but I am not not willing to deal with it on vacation. I was a nanny for years and I am used to dealing with kids, sometimes I wonder if that is why she expects me to do so much for him. Cause it is my job or old job?
...
She's not treating you like a friend, she's treating you like an employee. So if you want to work (for no money ) on your vacation, bring her.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:49 AM   #50
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I am a single mom with a very active toddler and I would NEVER ask a friend for childcare help on vacation! It sounds like you are a great friend and would love to help her out, but she needs to take responsibility for her own child.

I think getting together and talking about the trip beforehand is a fabulous idea. One suggestion - maybe all families could come with a couple of rides that they absolutely have to ride or restaurants that they cannot miss (keep it under three or four) and you could agree to all do those. It might cause even more resentment on your friend's part toward you if she feels like your itinerary is what everyone has to follow. Making it clear that you will go on at least a few rides that her and her son want to do might make her feel better and happier about the whole trip.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:00 PM   #51
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Quite honestly, i wouldnt have her go. The moment she got snotty and demandi.g, that would have been it. She has mistaken your kindness for weakness and it has shown her how to treat you. so either dump.her.or.tel her blunt and firmly that everyone will.take.turnsi including.her. The moment she tries to be sneaky call.her.on it and tell.her you are.going to go.on you're own.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:14 PM   #52
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I think it's terribly rude for you to now exclude her and her son from your plans.
No way. You simply can't be serious!
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:07 PM   #53
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I think you need to be prepared with what you are going to say while at Disney when she puts you in an awkward position-- given her track record, it will most likely happen. If you speak up the first time, it will immediately set expectations for the rest of the trip.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:31 PM   #54
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From all the replies you have given people, I think your setting yourself up for a bad outcome which I really hope you don't have

There for the best thing you can do Is have a evening where you invite EVERYBODY round and discuss plans but give everybody a lose idea of what "your"must have plans are.

I've planned many holidays events group birthdays Etc..
Ill give some examples of what we have done and said to people in the past.and how some have gone horribly wrong and what we did to salvage them!

The good trip

..we took 20 people to Alton towers for 3 days (it's a theme park in the UK that has an amazing hotel with indoor water park etc) for my hubby's 30th birthday, we have 3 children of our own but non of the others in our group has children except Dh brother & his wife who brought along a 3 month old.
On the 1st day we decided that due to traveling anyone who wanted to go to the parks with us before having dinner could and anyone who wanted to rest could stay at the hotel, as we have that option nobody felt obligated "even though we paid for the whole thing" to come with us,
That evening we all went for a meal it was the only time we insisted everybody had to come as it was when DH would get his cake presents etc the next day my mum and DH parents took the kids I told everybody that if they wasn't up and ready for breakfast that we would meet them in the park as we wanted to make the most of our full day, everybody turned up in the morning nice and early, DH brother and wife brought the baby instead of having the parents watch the baby,
It did slow us down a little but we all took it in turns to do rider swap and watch the baby, however when it came to them needing to feed her for the god knows how many time ( new parents and all that lol) we told them we would meet them back at the hotel for dinner as we wanted to get on some things before they shut! It worked well as we have everybody the chance to come with us a set times and if they didn't manage it then they knew we would wait for 15 mins and then leave and meet later!

The next big planned trip was our wedding in Disney,
There was 15 of us and we was there for 2 wks!

9 of us stayed in the same hotel and the others stayed at DTD in a non resort hotel as they wanted to save money, and was only coming for a wk, hI came up with a rough schedule and everything was great until 1 wk before we left the UK when our best friends told us they had decided they wasn't doing Disney at all!!!!! And had decided to only get Universal tickets! As 1 of our other great friends ( the best man) lives nr the other couple they was all travelling together and staying together.
ARGH
half our wedding was based around meals in Disney lol, ( got to love friends) anyways I got over my hissy fit an decided nothing was going to ruin my WEDDING..... I made plans for only us and my in-laws and changes our wedding meals to grand Floridian cafe and Fultons.
I was going to miss out on going to see the fireworks at magic kingdom that evening as the only restaurant that could seat is all that I liked was at DTD.

Anyways we arrived at our hotel left the kids with in-laws and rushed straight to DTD to meet our friends at planet Hollywood,
We waited over 3 hours! And this was after a 10 hour flight!
They didn't turn up! so we ate and went home we called every day for 3 days and couldn't get hold of them, and they had not bothered to contact us by this time I was screwing our wedding was in 2 days!!
We wen on with our plans and even made plans incase they didn't show for the wedding, Dh said nothing was going to ruin our trip including inconsiderate friends!
We finally got hold of them the morning of the rehearsal dinner, we meet them at DTD for dinner & they have us NO excuse for what they had done other then they had been enjoying themselves at Universal, now we had tickets for Universal too so if they had bothered contacting us we could have all gone together, I was devastated at how they had behaved but I was getting married the next day and wanted to enjoy it. Our wedding day was perfect and they acted like the best friends we knew! After that however we didn't see them again until we got home lol!
On another note
Our holiday with our family was amazing, if the in-laws was tired then they stayed behind by the pool, there was also days where they wanted to go out as a couple as this was there 1st time at Disney they was on the DDP and wanted to make the most of it, so we would spilt up some nights and do are own thing, they always made it with us in the morning but sometimes came back mid-afternoon.

What I'm trying to get at is all you can do is plan a rough schedule it may not go to plan but don't let it ruin YOUR trip!
We don't even speak to the friends that came with us and did that as they wasn't true friends ( took us over 20 yrs to find that out)
Let her know your expectations for the trip and what you want out of it, let her know you will be going to rope drop and if they don't make it you will meet them at a set place at a set time! If your taking your cell phones it will be much easier for you to touch base.
Book dinner for just you and your DH and let them know that that is free time for her to do what she wants.....wether that be go to dinner with the others or swim etc. this is your trip don't sacrifice it but blend it with what she would like too.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:20 PM   #55
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When you meet with her I would bring up the childcare and give her the names of all the childcare facilities on property. They also offer a babysitter to come to your room. Let her know you do understand if she wants to go another time when her husband can come.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:35 PM   #56
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She is the kid's mom. She doesn't get to say she is tired of dealing with him.

If she wants you to take the kid to the potty, or watch the kid, and you don't want to, don't. What is the worst she can do, pout? If she pouts or whines, ignore her. Her goal is to make you feel as miserable as she is, but that only works if you give her the power to make you miserable.

So express your expectations before the trip, then go and see what happens. Remember, you and your DH are adults. The only kids you are required to take care of on this trip are your own. Maybe she will surprise everyone.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:54 PM   #57
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She has to know what taking a kid on a trip alone (without her dh) entails. It means she might not be able to ride rides with you guys if her kid is too short, scared or doesn't want to. It means she might have to go back to the resort, alone, if her kid has a fit or is tired, etc. Also, I don't know about you but I don't feel comfortable being responsible for a child that wasnt mine at a place like WDW, where kids often wander or get lost. If you're kid needs a potty break- I'm sorry, that's your kid- you gotta do it.

There are definitely things you need to have some dialogue about before you even go. If she really is clueless about these realities you should probably be the one to bring them to light for your sake. It might just be that you need to set new boundaries with the woman. Ex: We "used to" be okay with taking your kid to the bathroom when he was little, etc- but "we're not going to do A, B & C for you anymore. And don't do it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:34 PM   #58
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She's not treating you like a friend, she's treating you like an employee. So if you want to work (for no money ) on your vacation, bring her.
Bingo!! I read this whole thread and I was going to bring this up as well. You are too nice of a person to realize you're being taken advantage of with this 'friendship.'

She calls YOU out of the dressing room to take HER son to the bathroom?

As a guest in your house, he makes a mess and she doesn't even have the courtesy of a good friend, never mind a responsible parent, to clean up after her son?

To me, this is not a friend that would be a hardship to lose. You've already said you won't go shopping with her any more.. that's just a simple trip to the mall for a couple of hours.. this is as close to 24/7 as you can get without sleeping in the same room. I hate to say this, but from what you've already shown us, I really feel that no matter what you do, she's going to abuse your kindness on this trip.

Because you have already invited her, I agree that you can't take back the offer, but you HAVE to set ground rules. You HAVE to tell her that you will stick to those rules. If she gets upset, too bad.. she's taken advantage of you too much. Also, I would make sure you're not alone when you talk with her. If she decides not to go on the trip, one less problem to worry about. If she decides to not be your friend anymore, that's her decision.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:12 PM   #59
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This is really hitting the nail on the head as far as my husband's biggest concern, she will disappear on us while we are watching him for a minute and we will miss a reservation or he will have a meltdown.

My concerns have more to do with having gone shopping with them and having them hang out at my house while we are working on a project. (both situations were experienced after they were invited) When we go shopping I end up watching him while she shops, she does things like call me out of my dressing room to take him to the potty...every time he has to potty she finds a way to get me to take him, when he climbs on the things I pull him down etc. She does this to her other friend who is out with them a lot too. I just don't go shopping with both them really anymore. When they are at my house just the two of them I end up doing everything for him and cleaning up his mess when they leave. I find it frustrating at home but I am not not willing to deal with it on vacation. I was a nanny for years and I am used to dealing with kids, sometimes I wonder if that is why she expects me to do so much for him. Cause it is my job or old job?
I am also concerned she will just demand we watch him cause she can't take him anymore. I don't mind helping but I don't want to get stuck with every aspect of his care. And I want to help cause I want to and it is a nice thing to do not because she demanded it of me.





I don't mind if she wants to do it, I just think it might be too much for them. I am also concerned that it is expensive, and if they just back out of to many dinner they will loose money. Or if he is in childcare and she is at dinner his credits will get wasted. They may be better off paying OOP.

I don't care if they join us for every meal. I care if she demands we miss one cause they have to. But I think pointing out that someone has to show for the ADRs might the the solution to this. The other people traveling with us will most likely not be doing Deluxe and we may have one meal a day with them, as a group. I was going to suggest some character meals for us to do as a group.
First of all, go shopping with her again. You need practice saying "no, you should take him to the restroom." She needs practice hearing it. And he needs to learn that you are not just his most fun grown-up friend. (I'm betting she doing this becuase he's aking for you to do it.) You really need to learn to set boundaries before the trip. Usually I say to parents having problems with their kids "Do you let grown-ups treat you this way?" In your case, as a former nanny, you KNOW how to set the boundaries, you just need to learn to apply it to grown-ups.

For meals, the group needs to set up ground rules. With that many people, you just cannot plan to have everyone go to every meal together! So there should be some full group meals, and some smaller group ones. She should probably do no more than the DDP, or pay OOP for meals, so that she recognizes that she and he son are invited, but they may find better things to do than go to a signature restaurant. Definately you all could plan that at least some of you will go to Wispering Canyon and/or Prime Time, because those places, while fun, are even better with a 5 year old! The reason she should not do dxdp is because, while they are welcome to join any dinner, no dinner will be cancelled because any child can't make it, and no dinner will be ruined because any child went, but shouldn't have.

If she mentions the work 'childcare' again, I'd just stop her. Tell her that this is a group trip. You expect that there will be times that everyone will be together, and times that each subgroup will split up. The goal is that she and the other subgroups enjoy family time with their own family. And she will discover some fun times with her son both alone and as a group. As part of a group, everyone pitches in with everyone elses kid, but there is no 'childcare' involved. Everyone hopes her son wants to ride rides, and everyone wants to ensure that she gets to if he doesn't. But no one's vacation involves being called on for babysitting.

It could end up not being as bad as you're imagining. Or it could be worse. Good luck!
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:05 PM   #60
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Thanks for all the feedback and advice! I think you are all right in that she is not treating me like a friend. However I think she thinks she is. After observing her with her childhood friend and seeing their relationship I see why she thinks she can treat me the same. She is used to being the boss at all times, her other friend jumps to care for her child or do whatever she says. The other girl doesn't seem to mind it but I do. This leaches not only in to the childcare issue I presented here but also our other interactions as friends.

I have started making roads in to dealing with it starting this last week. I made a point to tell her I didn't like it when she bossed me around. I tried to keep it light and jokey but from her face I know she got the point. I also made a point to stop her the second she started bossing me in my own kitchen and tell her thank you but I know what I am doing. She prides herself on being blunt (really it mostly comes off as rude) and would have not issue telling me what she expects so I need to treat her the same. I am hoping that by starting to be firmer with her about what I like and don't like in all aspects of our friendship I will make it easier to say no in Disney and hopefully cut down on the asking/bossing me to do things for her child.

Also I think I made my point about childcare or at least headway in to it. We were discussing Disney over the evening and I snuck a few things in to conversation. We talked about if he was scared to ride things, and I brought up that they have ride swap and that everyone would be taking turns with it. I said that she would be able to ride something if he couldn't/wouldn't. I made a point to tell her that someone would watch him just long enough for the line and ride just like would be done for the other families. I also brought up the Childcare centers. I kept it light but mentioned she should look in to them so she could have a break. I said break so hopefully she would understand that if she needed an actual break from her child she should make arrangements for it.

We also talked about the deluxe plan and I still think she wants to do it. I did point out she could pay out of pocket and that she might lose money if they had to skip a meal. I also talked with her again about the childcare centers, saying that he was fed there so his credits might be more wasted. I made a point to tell her that we were planning our dining and while she was welcome to join us it might be a lot. I explained that I like the break of sitting down to eat but she shouldn't feel like she has to do that. I also told her how much we look forward to our ADRs and we would not be missing them if someone didn't want to go. I offered to help her choose other places and make her reservations if she didn't think they would like all the ones we chose. I also brought up the childcare centers again and suggested she save up for them so she could have some Mommies nights out with us at a Sig.

From her demeanor and attitude by the time we finished talking about everything I am pretty sure she got my point. We are happy to hang out and we will lend hand so she can ride things, the same as we will for everyone else. However if she needs a break she will have to schedule childcare for that herself. I tried to keep everything light and fun but I also left no room for her to demand I do anything. The one time she started to say something about if she needed a break I quickly said he can go the the childcare clubs, they look so fun he won't even miss you! before she could say will you watch him. I am just going to have to keep moving in this manner with her. And if she does bring up needing childcare again I will make sure I am ready with a quick answer this time telling her no, it will not come from us.
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