Dare I go back to "are children invited"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Dare I go back to "are children invited"
65
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 12:24am
I wanted to bring this up, as we just had that whole discussion about it... and I got to see firsthand how this "are children invited" confusion happens...

My neighbor, "John," is an unmarried, childless 40something homeowner. Recently he passed computer printed invitations out to the rest of the neighbors for a "barbeque" starting at 6pm on a Saturday. This "barbecue" will be catered, since he doesn't actually like to barbecue (LOL), it's in the evening, and lots of beer will be served. More to the point, the invitation was addressed to my husband and myself. Not "and Emily," or "and family." Fine with me - why would I expect him to invite my child (who is only 9 months old) to anything? He doesn't have kids, and for all I know that could be because he prefers adults only company. Not my business, I figured.

So another neighbor, "Mary," says to me the other day, "Are you going to John's barbecue?" And I said, "No, I'll probably send my husband over, but I've got to stay home with Emily." She asked why I wasn't bringing her, and I explained. To which she promptly replied, "Deb it's a BARBECUE, of COURSE the kids are welcome to come. And it's JOHN, he knows all of us. And he invited several people who have kids!!! That's CRAZY to think the kids aren't invited." HUH???

So am I nuts? I am of the STRONG belief that if the kids names or "and family" aren't on the invitation, they're not invited so don't even ask. He took the time to print them up on his computer, so I figured he could've taken the extra time to jot my daughter's name down if she was really invited. It's not like this was a "hey come on over" word of mouth thing.

What do you all think?

-Deb

 

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Avatar for ahlmommy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 11:10am
Your neighbor needs to listen to you. I am of the belief that when an invitation is sent to my DH and myself that is who is invited. If someone adds my children's name, or and family then my children are welcome. Hey I have an example...My DS got an invitation to a bday party last week. His little friend was turning 4 (my DS is 4) and the invite was addressed to my son. When we got there I asked...."Can I stay and help out?" The mom said NO....Only kids..LOL!! I wasn't invited, and she said to come back in an hour and a half to pick him up. I think it is very rude to bring anyone to a party who's name is not on the invite or if it doesn't say "And Guest". I also think that the fact that he is serving alcohol is kind of a hint that it is an adult party.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 11:12am
Some other people may disagree with me on this one. Since the gathering sounds relatively informal, I think there is enough gray area to find out if she may attend. I would call him up to RSVP and tell him that your husband will be attending and that as much as you would love to attend, you don't think you will be able to make it since you are unable to find a sitter. If he doesn't mind children, then he may extend the invitation to include your daughter. If he wants it to be adult only, he can say something along the lines of "That's unfortunate, maybe some other time."

I would not assume that she is included and just bring her along, but I wouldn't feel to guilty about fishing for an additional invitation for a BBQ at someone's house.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 11:15am
My two pesos.........

In our circle of friends, colleages, and neighbors, we're pretty open about these things. For instance, when invites go out for a "Happy Hour", that means, get a sitter, we're all just getting together for wine and appetizers and adult chatter. When invites go out for "Family Fun Nights" it means bring the kids. We're getting together for wine and appetizers (well tons of food, lol) and we'll let the kids play in the toyroom or outside. When we get invites from people like your nieghbors, it may not be apparent. If they dont have kids, usually we assume....... get a sitter, unless the invite specifically says "The S Family" or "Mike, Laura and kids", etc. If I have any doubts, I'd just ask....... Hey Marvin, we're looking forward to your BBQ, we're assuming this is an adult fare, is that correct? Or Are there going to be kids or should we leave Timmy home? I think it's perfectly acceptable to ask. And when I get asked, I dont feel "on the spot" or like I have to say "yes bring Timmy" to be nice. If timmy is the only kid that would be there, I'd say so. Since your daughter is so young, I dont know. There have been a few babies at adult parties because they are just that..... babies. They arent raving wild 2 year olds that whine and destroy and need to be rounded up to the point they may be aggitating adult guests. A baby sits in a lap or carrier, etc, so I think that provides some exclusion. When I do our adult only parties, I usually word it nicely in the invite. For example, we did an Xmas cocktail party, so I wrote a poem for the invite that said something like........ now that you've done all your toy shopping and waited in line to see Santa, leave the kiddies at behind and come for some adult fun, blah blah blah. I'd just ask....... or call John to RSVP and say, Dh will be there, but I won't, I will sah with the baby, and if he says no come, you'll know and if he just says, okay we'll miss you, you'll know! Good Luck

And I missed the whole 5000 string debate on kids at weddings. We had a black tie wedding....... NO KIDS. We wanted it that way. We had a flower girl, ring bearer, etc, but like kids want to eat pate and waltz to an orchestra, and at the buckage per plate (was it $200 or so, I dont even remember) who wanted to see a 4 year old waste it? And while we knew most would comply, we also knew some from out of town wanted to make their venture to Chicago a family vacation, so what would they do with little ones? We had a suite in the hotel and provided 2 girls to be attendants (teenage sisters of a bridesmaid who wnated to each make $$$$ on a Sat night). We had the suite catered with hamburgers, pizza, movies, and vidoe games.. and God Bless Stephen, our wedding coordinator, who came up with the idea and made sure guests showing up w/ children were graciosuly told about the fun-suite and diverted kids the other way. In all, it was a success, the kids were more than happy to be away from the 'boredom' of etiquette and rules and the parents were excited to have dinner without having to reprimand or worry that Jr. would knock over the $1800 cake, etc. And littler ones went to bed in the suite since the party went on till 1 or so. It was the perfect solution. Like I said, for the 10 or so kdis that ended up in the suite, none complained, and the parents were thanking us weeks months after the wedding for doing it that way. So see, you can be "tacky" in a Martha Stewart hostess like way. LOL.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 11:23am
If it were my neighbors/friends, the kids would be invited, whether they were addressed on the invite or not. But that is my friends. Seems there are a lot of people who don't work the same way we do. In your situation, where you don't know, but assume she isn't invited, I would call the host, and RSVP that your DH will be there, but you will not be able to attend, so that you can stay with the baby.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 11:26am
you know, the alcohol may or may not be a hint. I have some family who do not have ANY barbq without beer. (Which is why I don't attend them.) And their children are always there with them, enjoying the barbq, while the adults are drinking. Heck, my sister has had barbqs for my nephews birthday with beer served for the adults (my kids didn't attend).

So, depending on the people involved, the alcohol may or may not be an indicator.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 11:39am
Hey, we're having two couples over tonight, and there will be 8 adults (both couples have children who've recently turned 18) and five children under the age of 8. And we will have wine, beer, and a couple of pitchers of my husband's margaritas available. The kids will drink lemonade.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 12:06pm
We always ask. Many people don't know the protocol on invitations. So, we always ask. Sometimes time answer has been no children, and sometimes the answer has been yes children.

Janet

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 12:11pm
We drink at parties where kids are invited (family cookouts, etc.) If you don't think there is anything wrong with drinking, why hide it from the kids? I view it as teaching my kids how to drink responsibly. We don't get drunk, we space the drinks appropriately, one doesn't drink in order to drive safely, etc.

My dad always serves wine at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Always has. Even with kids around. The kids don't get it of course, but I loved drinking my milk out of a wine glass.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 12:18pm
I agree with your suggestion. In similar instances, I've said something similar to the hosts and if kids are OK, they've told me to bring them.

-A

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-30-2003 - 12:19pm
STM,

In that huge discussion there were quite a few posts along the lines of if the child's name is not on the invite, don't even to inquire about it because it is rude to put the host on the spot. I'm with you, I don't see any harm in asking about the adult only status of the event if it is an activity that the child might be able to enjoy. I wouldn't think about bringing my son to a black tie wedding even if he was invited.

Off topic,

I am looking for some input on being a 20 something mom with a part time professional career and family. Let me know if I may email you at your Ivillage account. I'm almost 26 with a 2 y.o. and I work in a male dominated field. Thanks.

-Sara

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