To think I wasn't in the wrong here?!

(179 Posts)
PenguinBear Tue 11-Dec-12 18:49:40

We sometimes have the little children over the road to play while their mum does the shopping/ has a rest etc. I know she is using me as free child care as DP loves to remind me but my dc love her children so I don't mind having them. This has been going on a couple of years now but they are no bother so it's all good. Their father works from home but I usually only see their mum.

She is currently pregnant and wanted to go with her DH to buy some baby stuff at the weekend so asked if we could have the children for the day. 

I foolishly said yes and we had them for about 8 hours (much longer than expected). I tried to ring but they were 'stuck' in London. hmm
We ended up all going out for dinner in the evening so took them with us, dropped them home, all was well so I thought.

One of them left some bits at our house so I have just dropped them over and her DH answered the door and proceeded to tell me off for letting his children have ice-cream.  I felt like saying well come back when you said you would. They never told me not to let them have ice-cream and it was only a small child's portion after their pizza dinner at a local Italian. 
AIBU to be annoyed? I did them a favour imo and feel like I won't bother next time which is a shame as the children are lovely

Sorry for the long post, thanks if you got to the end!

whatsforyou Tue 11-Dec-12 19:38:33

I actually wouldn't wait to be asked again. I would make a point of speaking to their Mum as soon as possible and in a very non-confrontational way say how disappointed I was by her husband's reaction as from your point of view you were doing them a favour and indeed going above and beyond as they were much later than they had said they would be.

I would point out that you had not planned to take them out for dinner but clearly couldn't be expected to disappoint your DC just because they had not returned and that no reasonable person would not expect any child to sit and watch another devour ice cream unless there was a valid reason for depriving them.

I would then take it from there. Did she know her DH reacted like that? She might be horrified and rush home to send him out to apologise or she might and I suspect this might be the case just shrug as that is what he is like. It that is her reaction then you say you are very sorry but feel you cannot look after her DC again.

I actually feel a bit sorry for her but by no means does that mean you should put yourself out for them again without a HUGE apology from him!
Come and watch my DC, I won't care if you feed them ice cream as long as you keep some for me grin

SantasLittleElfycat Tue 11-Dec-12 19:53:46

What do you want to do about the free childcare you have been offering? Do you think it is time to stop? if so I'd be using this as an opportunity.

In any case I would set some very strict limits on your help to them from now on. You can explain to your DC that you want to spend more time as a family.

What a nerve the father has! Under those circumstances I'd have been delighted that you took so much care of my children and would have insisted on reimbursing you and then would then have sent you flowers. do you want to watch my DDs? wink

ChristmasIsForPlutocrats Tue 11-Dec-12 20:01:24

It sounds like he just shot his DW in the foot. What a charming man; it's a shame he won't suffer from a lack of future favours!

BrevilleTron Tue 11-Dec-12 20:08:49

How utterly rude of him! I would refuse to do anymore free child care after that little display
Is he aware how much a childminder would have charged for 8 hours
Per child!

Some people don't know how lucky they are to have kind neighbours. Please do say something as you do not deserve to be treated like this
unless the icecream was laced with LSD and/or froot shoot in which case you are SO being U

louschmoo Tue 11-Dec-12 20:13:21

Yes OP, I agree with the others who have said you should say something about it sooner rather than later. Best case, the husband will get a well-deserved bollocking from his wife for being such a twat, and a big apology for you. Worst case - she doesn't get anymore free childcare from you and she can take her kids on her shopping trips from now on. Some people have such a nerve!

LegArmpits Tue 11-Dec-12 20:15:43

Oh this reminds me of the terrible cunt mum thread who also expected free childcare and everything done her way. They too are terrible cunts. Wtf is wrong with some people?

LaCiccolina Tue 11-Dec-12 20:22:20

Yes u need to say something to the mum. This dh behaviour was appalling! Does urs know?!? I'm surprised he hasn't bopped him one. Can only imagine what mine would say....!

I think u need an apology, flowers or obvious method of contrition. Frankly whether u have the kids again is entirely up to u. If put 2hr time limits on it - eg after school only for example. I mean if u get on with the mum it's ur call here. It really does depend how aggrieved u feel.

We r all outraged for u!

RacHoHoHog Tue 11-Dec-12 20:24:18

Yadnbu how rude! No more favours for them.

FivesGoldNorks Tue 11-Dec-12 20:26:46

Lurks

maddening Tue 11-Dec-12 20:28:40

I would have a word with the wife - start with that you were disappointed to have been talked to by her husband when a. You were doing them another favour b. They were late c. You were not advised of dietry requirements. That you are upset and while you don't want to fall out over it you feel an apology is in order.

GreyTS Tue 11-Dec-12 20:29:14

What is wrong with some people, honestly I am considered slightly uptight regarding food but if someone looked after my children all day and then all evening I quite frankly wouldn't mind what the hell they fed them. OP you are a fantastic neighbour and friend and that man had no right to be rude to you.

maddening Tue 11-Dec-12 20:31:13

Haha just read down further and see what'sfor has said it already smile

letseatgrandma Tue 11-Dec-12 20:34:43

Next time she asks just say:"You are joking, you expect me to help out with childcare after you left your kids here for 8 hours, and rather than thanking me, I got a telling off from your husband for giving them ice cream."Then close the door and breathe.

WSS

ceebie Tue 11-Dec-12 20:36:34

I agree with every word maddening said

ceebie Tue 11-Dec-12 20:37:56

and whatsforyou

MerylStrop Tue 11-Dec-12 20:38:09

Is he always such a complete arse?

I'd have a word with the kid's mother and tell her that you enjoy having the children to play but that her husband has been unbelievably rude and ungrateful.

berri Tue 11-Dec-12 20:38:33

"What you should do is go over and have a word along the lines of "I was very hurt by what you said the other day. I looked after your children all day and bought them dinner and to be honest I expected a thank you rather than a bollocking. I love having your children over but I really don't appreciate being spoken to like that"

What ^^ said - agree that it might be hard to say in person, but I'd be tempted to put it in a note and put it through the door.

MerylStrop Tue 11-Dec-12 20:40:03

or next time, give them a double espresso, a can of fanta and packet of cola bottles just before you send them back

PenguinBear Tue 11-Dec-12 20:44:10

I feel better now, thanks all smile

My DP isn't that surprised, he thinks her DH is very strange but thinks he told me off because he's older than me ( old enough to be my father). Maybe he is old fashioned. He became a father much later than what might be considered normal, I would guess he is probably about 65, she is almost 30 years younger!

Do you plan to say something?

Aspiemum2 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:46:03

I literally never ask folk to have my kids but on the rare occasions its happened - play date after school for example - I send something round like a box of biscuits as a thank you.

For 8 hrs and feeding them I would probably give flowers, chocs and a bottle of wine.

The response you had absolutely floored me, I can't get over the nerve of the man!

PenguinBear Tue 11-Dec-12 20:47:24

I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to confrontation! blush. They have an Au Pair starting after Christmas so I don't think we'll see them often so probably better to leave it unless they ask me again!

agedknees Tue 11-Dec-12 20:48:12

What he should have said was thanks and given you some wine for your trouble.

He sounds an awful, horrid man. Print out this thread and post it through his letter box.

YANBU of course.

Your story fits neatly in to my theory that All of Human Interaction can be explained as a Pissing Contest wink:

You have much more contact with mum, you know she is 'using' you for free childcare but you don't really mind, you have little/no contact with dad over this. You do them a massive favour, spend time, money and energy on their kids and HE gives you a row - I am sure if one of the kids was diabetic or summat that would have come up before that day. I think he felt defensive about how frigging outrageously they took advantage of you that day, also maybe felt that he had lost the right to the upper hand (see where the Pissing Contest comes into it? grin) and did his best to Put You In Your Place.

FWIW, if the children are friends with your children, it would seem cruel to stop them playing together. But I agree with everybody else, do it on your terms. It does NOT always suit to have other people's children round.

You sound lovely, and he sounds like a prick. I think you have a case for asking them to pay for their kids' dinner - including ice cream!!

Oh no, no confrontation, you need to practice passive-aggressiveness: "Sorry, I cannot have your children today as we are having ice cream for dessert"
"Nope, I am worried I might give them something they should not have"

I am rubbish at confrontation, but much better at the assertiveness lark - a great boon of middle-age, I find, calling a spade a spade.

"I'd love to have them, the children play so well together, but it seems mean to give mine ice cream and not yours"
"We are off to the ice cream parlour this afternoon"

I am sure other MNers can do better than me...

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