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HowBoutScottyDont's picture

Quick Summary of my background: DH is overly enmeshed with SD18. She plays him; he refuses to see it and is quick to forgive. BM is a loon, and DH and SD18 team against her... and me at times. MIL and FIL are nice people. Their other son, DH's only sibling, is a horrible human being, along with his wife who stirs up trouble and overdrinks. We are going to a winery next weekend rather than hosting a party at our house for the HS graduation of SD18. So here is my question - what to do about the ceremony and LOs (Baby and Toddler).

The winery will take up most of Saturday. I expect SIL to over drink and for them all to go back to their hotel afterwards. But then there is Sunday -- the day of the ceremony. The class has 2200 students, so they hold the ceremony 30 minutes from us at a large college arena. Pictures will happen beforehand outside our home. I am debating whether or not to attend and how to convey this to DH. The ceremony will take place from 1-4 pm. LOs will not stay in one place the entire time - especially Toddler. Neither of my parents are attending (they are disgusted by SD18s behaviors as well as DHs, and are concerned that they will speak out of turn when it comes to BIL.... so they have respectfully declined and will send SD a small gift.)

But can I really not go? SD will have no clue whether LOs and I are there, but surely someone will mention it. And as a matter of principle, do I need to be there? If I do go, I will need to get a sitter for the LOs and right now, I don't have one lined up. If I bring the LOs, one will be in a carriage, and the other will maybe last an hour, possibly more if I bring an IPad and headphones. And as usual, I will be the one chasing Toddler around a crowded arena.

Bottom line is that I have no desire to attend. But believe that I should as its the "right" thing to do.

tog redux's picture

Graduation ceremonies are hell on Earth. 2200 graduates?!  Dear god.  

Don't ask - tell.  "DH and SD, I'm not chasing Toddler around for 3 hours, the Little Ones and I will be staying home. I'll be thinking about you!"

Or - find out if they stream it.  A lot of schools do now. Then you tell her you will watch it from home (lie). 

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

I think I'll use this phrase exactly. Good call on the streaming.

ESMOD's picture

'Those kind of mass ceremonies are not great for little kids.  the other related festivities are ok.. but I would arrange to drive separately (or is uber available?) so that you can exit when the kids become worn out.

honestly, it logistically isn't a great place for toddlers and babies who can get overheated and cranky and ruin the experience for a lot of other people.  Do the other stuff but beg off the ceremony itself.. maybe even volunteer to be within cell contact so they can call you after to pick them up so they don't have to fight the parking lot?

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

I could take my own car with the LOs, but I think I am going to tell DH that its not suitable for them and therefore we won't be going.

I'll still go to the winery the day before. I am hoping my Mom decides to meet us at the winery, but as of right now, neither of my parents are attending either day. I will have my own car (with the car seats) that Saturday, and keys in my pocket.

advice.only2's picture

I agree with Tog see if they stream it, this way you can "watch" and SD gets DADDEEE all to herself at the arena.
Also put it in this perspective, do you really think SD will show up for your kids graduations?

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

Who knows....SD will be in her 30s by the time the LOs graduate high school. I'm guessing not...

STaround's picture

I would suggest dad speak to her and tell her the truth, that there is no way these kids can sit through it, they will take away from the experience of other parents, etc.

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

Love my LOs as they do, they are not going to add anything to the ceremony....

shellpell's picture

I also have a baby and toddler. They can be a nightmare together when we're out. I would just say you don't want them to ruin the event for others.

Thisisnotus's picture

I have a 1 year old and its a NO for me. I didn't go to SD11 5th grade promtion thing last night b/c I do not want to try and keep baby quiet. I don't have it in me. I will go to my own child's and take baby next's different. There is already stress when I am at an event for SD's cause my MIL who has to tag along acts like a lunatic since BM is there and she's all panicked and acting all sad and scared and NUTS thinking BM may get mad at her for being there with way on this earth will I endure that crap AND have a toddler on my lap. NO just no.

I took baby to SD11s play last month....I spent the entire thing outside b/c baby kept yelling and the music teacher wanted it quiet. That was 2 hours of torture.

Gimlet's picture

I agree with the others, I would not go.  That is way too much for the little ones and for you.

Teens tend to want to mill around and see their friends afterwards as well, so being stuck there with two angry kids would suck for you and for the family if they want to stick around for any length of time.  Let your husband know you want the focus to be on her day and stay home from that godforsaken event.

notarelative's picture

Ceremony -- no way would I take a toddler to a graduation ceremony. For children who have no idea of what is going on, it's torture for both the child and the adult with them.

Winery --- if there's a place for them to run around, maybe. But, since you can't skip this one, I'd opt for a sitter. At a winery, and for this occasion,  I'd want a drink and I wouldn't drink if I were supervising toddlers. 

If it were my family, I'd skip the grad ceremony and attend the winery without the toddlers. If tell DH that I didn't want to leave the toddlers with a sitter two days.

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

is very kid friendly and geared towards families. since i don't drink, I'm ok watching the LOs. but i'm still bringing my own car in case they are not cooperating that day!