Kicked Out of Playdate for Coughing?!

Updated on July 03, 2012
L.M. asks from Fort Worth, TX
65 answers

Ok, so, I'm really upset about this, and I'm wondering a) if this has happened to anyone else and b) if you think the mom was out of line. My daughter is 2 1/2 and we have really never gone on a fun outing by ourselves, without her older brothers (3 and 5). We are in a playgroup and we were really excited to go to a "girls only" tea party today. I told her about it a few days ago, and she's been talking about it non-stop. I've been looking forward to it much longer and had to make special arrangements for someone to watch my boys so we could go. She woke up this morning coughing occasionally. I thought about staying home, but the group has strict attendance policies (I hadn't been to an event since mid-December and you have to attend 2 every 30 days, so I was already cutting it close). Plus, at every playdate we've ever been to, at LEAST one kid is coughing, so I didn't think it would be that big of a deal. I try to avoid going places when the kids are coughing, but in January we would be home constantly with one or another of them. She did not have a fever, was coughing infrequently, and was as lively, active and happy as a little two-year-old can be. So, I dressed her up in the clothes we picked together the night before (her Daddy had even painted her nails for the occasion), grabbed her doll, and went. I had never met the hostess before, but I knew some of the other moms who would be there, so I thought it would be fun. We were there long enough for me to put a tea bag in hot water before the hostess saw my daughter cough (and "YES!" was what I was thinking because she actually covered her mouth!). The mom said "Is she sick?!?!" (in a very offended tone). Surprised, I said, "Well she has a little cough..." Then HER daughter coughed!!!! Right after that! The mom said she really didn't want her daughter to get sick..... and that she usually doesn't take her daughter anywhere if she's sick. I was floored that she was asking me to leave. I said something along the lines of, oh...ok... I guess we'll go. I did say that my daughter wasn't the only one coughing, to which she replied "Well, I KNOW my daughter isn't sick." As I was getting our jackets, still in shock, my daughter started crying, saying "Mama, I don't want to leave!" On the way out I did say that I would no longer be in the group and asked one of the other moms to call me. The hostess said, "I'm sorry" as we left and I said "That's ok." I went home and removed myself from the group. My sweet baby cried all the way home and was still crying on my lap at home over an hour later. This devastated me. I just cannot get over it. I cried too, because my little girl was crushed. Every time she'd start to calm down, she'd say "I didn't get my tea party," and start crying again. So, mamas, what do you think? Am I overreacting?

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So What Happened?

Well, thank you all for your responses, positive and negative. Gives me some perspective. A couple of things: the group's illness policy addresses major symptoms like diarrhea, fever, etc, but does not mention coughing or runny noses. I did send the organizer an email before dropping out, and I was very nice about it, but told her that they might consider adding "cough" to the list of symptoms on their illness policy if they approve of kids being removed from playdates when they cough. My daughter NOW has a clear runny nose after crying much of the day, so it's nothing serious. Also, the hostess was the one making the rude comments, and she was DEFINITELY implying that we should leave, no question, and she even followed us to close the door behind us. The other moms didn't say anything at all, rude or in our defense, but I think they were in shock as well. The one I know best just texted me that they both were really sorry and knew I hadn't done anything wrong. My friend said the hostess felt bad... In retrospect, I'm going to choose to believe that since her daughter is 11 months younger than mine, and an only child, the hostess didn't realize that my daughter would even know what was going on until it was too late. Oh, well, not everyone has been around kids much.
My daughter certainly did pick up on what happened- she started crying all over again when Daddy got home, telling him that someone was mean and made her leave her tea party (I did not tell her this, but she definitely knew I was upset when I said we had to leave). I think I just need to get over it. I would never have done what she did, but I guess my daughter and I just need to toughen up. Oh, well. We had a family tea party this evening with the boys and we'll invite some girlies over next week and do it up right, fancy clothes and all. She'll love it! Thanks again!

Featured Answers

L.A.

answers from Austin on

I'm sorry, but if I knew my child was not sick and had a dry cough (hello asthma cough) I would have stayed.. she would have had to say to my face to get out..

Maybe "Rachel D" could mail the mummified finger to this women! Bawahahahahaha!

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D.M.

answers from Denver on

Poor thing, I'm sorry she (and you were so upset) I would have felt the exact same way, and probably not handled it so graciously... Good thing is she won't remember down the road. Maybe you can do another tea party for her somewhere with other kids or a mom/daughter one somewhere that offers them locally? I think people are too sensitive about mild colds and coughs - it's just part of life... what will this woman do when her daughter goes to school????

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

I would not have left! I would have simply said she is not sick and walked a way and started playing with the kids. What a horribly rude woman!

8 moms found this helpful

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T.N.

answers from Albany on

Bleck, sounds like a bunch of stuck up tea party b*tches!!
Start your own Cool Girl tea parties, write on the invites, Occasional Coughers Welcome. Jeez wiz!

I'm sorry you and your girl are so upset. I hope you'll do something very special together to make up for it!!

:)

Who needs 'em?!!

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R.S.

answers from Sacramento on

That woman is in for a rude awakening when her child starts school!

15 moms found this helpful

E.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

I would say she was just a crazy germaphobe but it probably goes deeper than that. I think your reaction that her request was unfair and hurtful was reasonable.

Wait -- Maybe she was one of those anti-vaccinators and has to super ultra vigilant about her daughter contracting something that others simply get a vaccine to prevent? Or maybe her DD had an auto-immune disorder?

I have found that when faced with a rude or arbitrary or confusing conversation, I just look the aggressor in the eye and stand up a little straighter...And do NOT SAY A WORD. I let the awkwardness linger until they apologize or just drop it. Never under-estimate the power of silence.

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G.T.

answers from Modesto on

Who doesnt have a cough this time of year, geez!? My head weighs 100lbs right now.
I agree you should have said "Oh, it's just an allergy is there an Alpaca here?"
Don't be devistated but use this as a learning experience.... you don't sound like you want to be in one of cliques anyway, now you know who they are.
Dress up and have a tea party with Daddy, make sure he dresses up too :)

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L.R.

answers from Washington DC on

I'm sorry this happened to both you and your little girl!

Red flags: The group has "strict attendance polices" or they throw you out; the hostess is someone you haven't met before, which indicates to me that moms in this group aren't even acquaintances, much less friends; the hostess was rude. Hmm. That doesn't sound like a fun playgroup. I'm even wondering if this was something moms were required to pay for? You're better off out of a group that is so rigidly structured.

Of course you wouldn't take your daughter out if she were sick. And you wouldn't want other kids in your house who were sick. But I'd have done the same things you did -- take her temperature, watch her energy level and behavior closely, listen to how much she was coughing, etc. -- before going. I'm admiring you for not taking the low road like I fear I might have and blurting at that hostess, "Sorry, but your own child just coughed -- shouldn't she leave now too?" That would be meeting rudeness with rudeness, so be glad you didn't go there. I do understand not wanting to expose kids to illness, and right now is the start of peak flu season. But the circumstances sound like she overreacted. Well, for all we know, her child had just gotten over a horrible cold, she was worried about reinfection, wasn't thinking clearly, etc. -- benefit of the doubt. But since you and she dont' even know each other, you couldn't be expected to know if she had any issues like that which might have made her overreaction more understandable.

Get your daughter a playdate as soon as you can with a good friend of hers and go all out to make them a special tea party, but don't keep referring to the one she missed. Just be sure she knows she was NOT removed from the party for any reason to do with her - she may be thinking she was somehow bad and that caused her removal. No need to go into bad adults, just let her know it's not her fault.

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J.K.

answers from Phoenix on

I would have stayed. People are like that sometimes. They have to police everyone and get into everyone's business.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Oh gee.... what a Stepford Mom.

OTHER kids have coughed before in that group.
Not only yours.
You know that.
That woman... was really... stiff, to be polite.
I'd hate to be her kid.....

I would not want to be a part of that group again.
I have NEVER been a part of a Mom/kid group, that had such "attendance" policies or thusly be kicked out.

Get your own friends, and play-dates with your daughter's own friends.
That group is not worth it.
How yucky.

Your poor daughter... getting yanked out there, because of that woman.
HER daughter was coughing too.

Make your daughter her own tea party.

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M.S.

answers from Chicago on

You are not overreacting, that is horrible. I would feel awful too! Why don't you invite two or three girls over to your house in the next couple days and have another tea party that your daughter will be able to stay at and enjoy herself! Poor baby!!

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S.E.

answers from La Crosse on

In stead of worrying about their ridiculousness...take charge and fix it. No use crying over "spilt tea." ;)

Get a sitter again, invite some of the girls and mom's you do know and enjoy, and have your own tea party at a restaurant or coffee shop (call ahead and explain the event and maybe they can set up a special table or place for you). You and your daughter can design some invitations, table decorations, and party favors for the event. Explain to the mom's you invite that your daughter was heartbroken about missing the event (don't offer anything more than that or you could start some sort of war between you and the other mom), and you thought you would try to have a special day so your daughter could enjoy the fun idea, too.

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm wondering if she can keep those bubble snaps fastened for the rest of her daughter's life....good riddance to bad rubbish!

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

I would find a group of moms that were more casual. I couldn't deal with a group with "strict attendence policies" for goodness sakes, if my daughter was two years old. It may not be easy, but I've been lucky enough to find a group to have playdates with who have a similar parenting approach to mine, and we can all be casual and relaxed together.

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L.M.

answers from Dover on

That is crazy. I cough because I have allergies but am not sick. I have allergy indused asthma so I cough instead of wheeze.

I think so many people do still bring their kids around when sick that others are hyper-sensitive to it. Everyone is so scared of spreading germs, especially flu and H1N1 that people fail to use common sense. That seems to be the case here.

How does her judgement as to if her child was sick rate any higher than you knowing your child is not sick? If she feels so strongly about not exposing kids to coughing because of not knowing if they are sick or not then she should have extended that courtesy to everyone who was attending (she should have called each member of the group and said "my daughter is not sick but she is coughing so I wanted to let you know that before you arrived"). Keeping your child home but having others come to you when your kid is sick is no different. Not saying that either is sick just that her comment was that she keeps her child home if she is sick.

When she asked "is she sick?" your answer should have been "she is not sick but she does have an occasional cough". What I read in your post is that you may have sounded ambivalent. When she said that she normally doesn't take her kids anywhere if they are sick you should have said "Neither do I. I would not have come if she was sick". If it did escalate to you pointing out that others were coughing and she responded as she did, I believe a good response would have been "and I KNOW mine isn't either" (my thought here is if you moms were expected to trust her that her daughter wasn't sick then they should be extending you the same consideration). That said, if either child continued to cough (excessively) then a quick exit would have been in order. Staying home or cancelling should be the rule if there is any question to the health of the child.

I don't blame you for being disappointed and upset but try to remember that the group did not do this, the host did. Plan to host your own tea party and invite a few kids (some from the playgroup or not...whatever you prefer) and really talk it up. Your daughter will love it.

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M.F.

answers from Houston on

You are not overreacting I would be hurt if someone treated myself and my child this way. Find another playgroup with nicer ladies. I work at a preschool and the MAJORITY of the kids have a cough off and on this time of year. I am sorry this happened to you.

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A.S.

answers from Clarksville on

I don't think you are. I would be upset too. During the winter my kids will have a cough off and on, I don't worry about them being sick until I see the running nose.

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S.S.

answers from Chicago on

Oh good grief, this sounds like an episode from Desperate Housewives or something. I cannot believe this at all. No, I believe it, I just cannot imagine some stuck up (oh forgive me)snotty (no pun intended) woman blaming your daughter for a play date gone awry. Goodness gracious you don't need this group. And doesn't the woman realize her precious daughter could get a cough in the grocery store, the doctor's office (YES) and a host of other places. You can do so much better than to deal with a snob like this. (SORRY I do not like people like this). There will be other tea parties, and birthday parties and very nice women who have children with slobbery noses and cute smiles and drooling teeth. Enjoy the kind people and put her out of your mind.And have a tea party at home with something special for your daughter.

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T.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I personally think the mom was out of line...and a little paranoid too!

Please do your daughter a favor and dress her back up and repaint her nails and go to a real tea parlor in the next few days. Usually you have to make a reservation, but for only two people they should be able to squeeze you in. You both deserve it! Make it really special!

BTW...my 5 year old has been coughing for over two weeks with no other symptoms, she is still going to school!

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I am so sorry this happened to you! I am a little shocked at their reaction. Also, the rules of the playgroup are pretty strict! I have a few playgroups that we attend and there is always at least one kid who is coughing/allergies etc. Its really not a big deal. You can get sick from anything and anyone. Touching a doornob can give you the flu or another virus so its virtually impossible to put yourself in a bubble. I think that the ladies were looking for a reason to exclude you and your daughter. They sound extremely rude and cliquey and I wouldn't have anything to do with them. Start your own playgroup---thats what I did and have never been happier- We have many kids who attend and have a great time~ Don't spend another minute on these women. I am sorry that this happened to you and your daughter. Best wishes. You didn't do anything wrong.

M

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K.W.

answers from Seattle on

Kids get sick. They give other kids colds. That's what kids do. It should not have been an issue. I'm sorry your little girl had to experience this.

To Magreen,
Passive-aggressive _is_ mean. It's just mean _and_ cowardly.

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S.L.

answers from New York on

You should have stuck to your guns saying she clearly isn't sick her throat is dry, maybe allergies, but she seems very healthy that's why we're here.

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M.G.

answers from Pittsfield on

I wish your response to "Is she sick" was a simple NO! Your answers would imply to me that she was fighting something. I have felt so isolated because of runny noses in the winter months and on the flip side - I've been PISSED to finally be healthy and go to a group - only to have my kids get sick and a mom admit later - "Oh, well my son had been sick, but seemed better that morning, but with the afternoon...."
I think showing up with a sick kid is so selfish and inconsiderate, but I can't imagine literally throwing someone out. Maybe herding my kids away and declaring - "we have to give so-and-so their space, b/c we don't want to get their germs." (passive aggressive - sure, but at least not mean - right?)

I think since this woman was so blunt with you - you should return the favor. Let her or the group if it's appropriate know that your healthy daughter with a tickle in her throat during these dry months did not concern you as you find this to be the case with young children this time of year and while you can understand concern - you made the intelligent mama decision that she wasn't sick and not a threat to others. Go ahead and point out that the hosts child was indeed matched the single cough and you wouldn't have imagined excluding an excited child based on an occasional cough. Tell them how offensive their behavior was and that they should be ashamed to single out and alienate a child for no good reason. then wish them luck at raising kind thoughtful children and good health all winter.

(And can I just point out that leaky clear snot is abundant and not necessarily an illness in children! How many times does an adult sniff or blow their nose in the winter months - a skill toddlers don't have.Thick snot/colored snot - no good, but the clear stuff isn't so bad!!!!)

MY RESPONSE TO KRISTEN W> CALLING MY RESPONSE "MEAN AND COWARDLY"


Given the situation of my response - being indirect and, yes, passive aggressive is not mean or cowardly. It's actually a way to directly face an issue without creating a scene or causing someone to feel singled out or ashamed. Confrontation is not always the answer to healthy relationships, especially with folks that we have casual relationships with. Putting a parent on the spot and making them feel bad or their kid feel isolated is mean. Not saying anything is cowardly. Implying something indirectly, but kindly (in this case - reminding mum of the "rule" of sick toddlers) without embarrassing them or putting them in the spotlight is, sure, passive aggressive, but it's also having TACT. It's being considerate to someone's feelings and letting them know that no, this isn't cool, but no hard feelings. Hopefully they are in tune enough to catch on and recognize the issue without feeling defensive or like they were being targeted by anyone. It's actually a great people skill. Being gentle is a great people skill.

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M.E.

answers from Chicago on

I haven't read the the other responses, but personally, I would never want to be part of a group that was so uptight with that many rules. Kids are kids. They get sick, etc. What the heck is that mom going to do when her kid gets to school? Find another playgroup.

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M.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

You should start you OWN playgroup and recruit only the moms you like out of that other group. When you call you will say that you love the idea of a playgroup but its just too tough to follow the mom "rules" that they have set up and would they like to get together and do a loosely organized group that is centered around fun for both kids and moms. A group that won't kick you out if you don't show up or if your kids coughs.

And one piece of advice...never admit your kid is sick in that situation. Of course if your kid is really sick never bring...but always blame a minor cough or nose run on allergies.

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J.S.

answers from Boston on

Oh I feel so bad for you and your little precious sweet girl. I agree the hostess was way out of line, and you should stop beating yourself up over it, sounds like a good riddance to be cut loose from that playgroup. Seriously. I agree have your own tea party and invite people you like. Your little one will forget about it as soon as you have your own tea party!

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M.C.

answers from Detroit on

How terrible for your baby. That woman SUCKS:( I don't think you are overreacting. I would've probably left and never contacted this group again. You did the right thing. Why stick around such rudeness. You nor your daughter deserve to be treated like that. Definitely try to set up your own tea party with a few friends or even maybe one friend (sometimes 3 girls, one gets left out). You could even do a grandma, auntie, cousin type tea party. Also, another cool idea would be to throw your daughter a tea party birthday party.

Wishing you two the best,

M.

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M.R.

answers from Phoenix on

I used to operate under the rule that only productive coughs were considered a no-no at groups.

Kids are going to pick up this kind of airborne stuff anywhere and everywhere and the more they are exposed now the better off they will be later on, unless you're talking immuno-compromised kids who need to be protected.

This mom is ignorant. Is she a first time mom, anal about other common childhood issues as well? No one wants their kid to get sick, but it's going to happen.

Do I understand correctly? Another mom attendee made this ignorant comment or the hostess? If it was just another mom, I would have completely ignored it or pretended not to understand and I would have stayed on. Or the hostess actually asked you to leave? The comment did not warrant leaving in my interpretation.

Ditto Theresa's Cool Girl party idea :)

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C.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I didn't go through an read all the responses but I just have to say that the "host" was extremely rude...and naive... Kids get sick...Kids get the sniffles.. I could understand if your daughter was visibly ill and obviously contagious but to ask you to leave in such a rude way over a cough is really just wrong! To make your daughter cry? I'm sure you were in shock but you should have told her off....I feel bad for her kid having to live in a bubble like that! Sorry you and your daughter went through that...some people just suck!

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M.L.

answers from Houston on

Is doesn't sound like she asked you to leave, but that you took it that way and started to pack up yourself.

I would have said, "My daughter is not sick".

If she pressed further I would have said, 'I did just witness your daughter cough, so maybe you should escort her out of the room."

But, what is done is done. I'm a nursery worker and kids always have coughs this time of year. We only don't expect them to stay if they are coughing up something and have runny noses, and even then sometimes we are okay with it so long as they are happy and otherwise healthy and manageable and not too snotty.

Also, I would not let this woman defeat you. Go back to the group, head held high like she didn't phase you or join another one... and take some of those moms with you!

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M.P.

answers from Dallas on

Poor sweet darling! How ridiculus! Where in Ft Worth are you? I have three girls and we could throw her a party <3. I don't think you're overreacting at all and it's not like she was even the only one!!! Rash, I would have been fuming at that:(.

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

i think you reacted just fine. but do help your daughter not to be devastated by it. it stinks that you encountered such a rude hostess, but it's also good that are being proactive in throwing your own (better!) tea party.
yes, it's good to toughen up. life can be nasty at times. that doesn't mean that what happened to you was okay.
khairete
S.

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L.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

I have to laugh at this because right now I am coughing but it's not because I have a cold. My allergies are acting up and my throat is extremely ticklish. So, from my own personal experience, I don't necessarily equate having a cough with having a cold or flu. I look for other symptoms as well like funny colored stuff coming out of the nose, fever, sore throat and lethargy.

I just think this lady is being overreactive. It was very rude to make a point of telling you that you should not have come. The situation may have been beyond her germ comfort zone but, let's face it, as careful as we are with our kids, they are going to pick those germs up one way or another. It just happens. Whether we like it or not.

Sorry that you and your daughter had such a disappointing experience today. Hope you can find a new playgroup that have members that are a little less afraid of ocassional coughs.

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T.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

There is so many reasons for a cough. I have asthma/reactive airway disease. Long after a cold or any virus, i am stuck with a cough. People look at me like i am contagious. Some of my daughters are like me. We use a nebulizer. It is not fair to jump to conclusions and kick you out. If it was a bad sounding sick cough with other symptoms, that is a different story. I am sorry that you and your daughter went through this. It sounds like a very uppity playdate group :( Just reading the 2 times a month rule was weird to me. What do i know. I have playdates with my sisters and girlfriends.... we don't judge each other.

Do you have some close friends or family that you can set up your own tea with? You can get your daughter excited for this. She can help plan and get ready and feel special :) I don't know if you have any near you, but, there is some nice tea rooms. My mom, sisters, myself and my daughters went to one. We had our own room. They even catered to my kids and made special pb&j tea sandwiches! (the adults had wraps and fancy tea sandwiches) There was also a three teired tray with mini desserts. It was wonderful! (my mom treated, but i think it was only about 20 dollars a person)

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C.W.

answers from Las Vegas on

Wow, what a bunch of jerks. There was some uncertainty in your response but that is no reason to push you out of a playgroup. How can you (the other woman) do that to a little girl that is so happy to be there? What a mean woman. Even if she was worried about her being sick, she still should've stopped you going out when your poor daughter was so upset by it, but I guess not everyone is affected by other peoples' kids' feelings like I am.

The first little bit about their strict attendance rules already had my eyebrow raised like wow really! That's just silly... it's not a golf tour club or cheer camp geez.

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M.P.

answers from Provo on

I think you should start your own playdate group! Have your own awesome tea parties! Set rules to what you think they should be. Then steal away your friends from the other. Sounds spiteful, I know, but you need to have a way to escape your everyday schedule. If I was still a SAHM, I would do it.

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L.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I felt so bad for you and your daughter after I read this! I am sensitive to this kind of thing, because my son has a ton of allergies and asthma, so he coughs often and IS NOT SICK/CONTAGIOUS. I feel like I am constantly having to reassure other people that he's not sick, every time he clears his lungs. And I often feel like people don't believe me, so then, I have to try to give them the 15 second version of his medical history and the reason for his coughing.

I see that you are planning your own tea party, and doing it up right, which is EXACTLY what I'd do. Hope you and your daughter have a wonderful time.

Shame on the hostess for jumping the gun, and not being more courteous in how she handled the situation.

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L.M.

answers from Honolulu on

I don't. If other kids were already coughing I think that they might have just wanted you gone and came up with her being sick as a reason to reject you. I would see if you could find a tea shop in the area and just have a tea party with her in the near future though.

My kids have sensitives (they are sensitive to scented shampoos like Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo... so unless EVERYONE they are in contact with are using scentless shampoos and conditioners along with no perfumes... well they just have runny noses, coughs, sneezes and itchy eyes everywhere but home) that can present as a cough so I always bring it up when asked if my kid is accused of being sick and ask if anyone here uses scented beauty supplies on themselves or their children. I also mention that I usually don't mention it because it isn't like you can dictate what others do but they seemed so... involved.

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K.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

Like any mom, I want my kids to be healthy and cringe when we are out or on a playdate and there is a coughing or an obviously sick child. Have I ever removed them when an obviously sick kid was present? No. Seems silly. It helps to build there immune systems and they could just as easily picked something up at the grocery store. besides, what are you supposed to do, keep them on lockdown for 10-14 days till all signs and symptoms have passed because truly, as long as symptoms are present, you are contagious. It sucks but this woman sounds ridiculous. I would be happy to be done with that group with their weird attendance policies!

I had to laugh at Rissa who said to wait till they start school! Ain't that the truth! You can't control anything there! Lol!

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B.F.

answers from Atlanta on

Well, I'm a bit older I bet then you I would have said look she has no fever and the heat has been on it can be a dry cough from that. I may have giving her a cough syrup before I left a dry throat can make a child as an adult cough. However I understand it takes time learning to deal with all kinds out there.

I would let it go they do sound a bit stuffy themselves, look for another group or hey form your own. I don't think you are overreacting and to make up for it to baby girl, have your own tea party and invite a few of your close friends to join you and her. It only takes a few to have a tea party and yes dress for it as well.

I feel they were a bit rude and lets face it you can get sick anywhere anytime just go to the store that's all it takes. Let it go however write it up as a life lesson. I would if anyone contacts you from that play group that you on other visits noticed kids coughing and if you must name names, then be done with them.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I think that just like that mother that "knew" her child wasn't sick, you knew your child wasn't sick. It sounds like you just saved yourself a lot of grief by getting out of that playgroup. I completely understand the strict rule on not bringing a sick child to playdates. No one wants to expose their child to illness unneccesserily, however, there is a better way to handle it. If this was the 3-4th time you brought your child to a playdate coughing, runny nose, irritated eyes, I may have said something, but if this was the first time your child coughed at a playdate, then just be happy you are no longer with that group. Find yourself some moms at the park to hang out with, find some fellow moms from church, or in your neighborhood. You can start a playgroup too and set your own rules!

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B.B.

answers from Dallas on

I don't think you're overreacting. You're daughter is upset b/c you and she were kicked out of the tea party she wanted to be at so badly.

A cough is a tricky thing. It can definitely be a sign of illness, but not always. My ODS has had an occasional cough, mostly first thing in the morning. But he has NO other signs of illness at all. Is he sick? No. It's a cough. People cough everywhere....grocery store, restaurants, etc. Like you said, other kids were coughing (at not only this, but other playdates). I understand not taking kids when they're sick, but a cough is such a hard way to say if one is sick or not (unless it's a constant cough, but you said it wasn't). Her daughter coughed too, and I highly doubt she would have picked up a cough from someone so quickly, so chances are the cough was not caught from your daughter.

I would contact the playgroup organizers and tell them what happened. I don't know if I would go back or not, probably not. But I would definitely contact the organizers and let them know the hostess kicked you out.

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M.3.

answers from St. Louis on

Awww that makes me want to cry!! Poor little baby! Their loss, you can find a better group! Totally ridiculous! I hope you have better luck next time!

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L.L.

answers from Dallas on

I think that the lady is way out line. So what if a child has a tiny cough, in the wintertime that is to be expected.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

So I didn't read others responses but wanted to give you my perspective as a leader of a playgroup myself. We have "rules" about not bringing sick kids to playdates and certainly I think parents ought to keep them home if they are sick or even suspect they are getting sick. With that said, at the same time I'm one to say "if you're in a playgroup, you're kid is going to get sick at one point or another from playgroup". You can't keep kids in for every little cough/sneeze/CLEAR runny nose in the state of Texas when nearly everyone suffers from year round allergies. That's just my opinion though, so I see nothing wrong that you brought her since that was her only symptom! At the same time, if I were you I would have contacted the organizer and seen what she said before leaving. It should be up to the organizer if you had to leave the group and I think you might have over reacted in that regard to let this one mom make you feel angry enough to leave the whole group. I can tell you now that the whole group most certainly does not share the same views as this one mom with one kid who has no perspective apparantly. If the organizer emails you back (and if you were in my group I would tell you to come back and that the other mom had no right to do that to you) I would consider rejoining. If she doesn't mention you rejoining then I guess I would just try to find another group. Playgroups, sadly, can be full of drama if you let them. Just try to ignore moms like that and do your best to find the other moms who parent more like you, I promise they're out there! Good luck with whatever you decide to do and I'm so sorry that happened to you :(

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

Did you overreact? No. Let me say that I hate it when people take sick kids out. My entire family was sick for six weeks straight when a thoughtless, brainless mom took a green goopy-nosed kid to my daughter's dance class JUST TO TRY IT OUT--they weren't even enrolled and hadn't even paid for it, so it could have waited! That kid coughed and sneezed and dripped everywhere, and as we other moms kept glancing over at this one mom, she kept saying, "Oh, the pediatrician says she's not contagious." (If that is true, that pediatrician needs to lose his/her license--my family went through six weeks of hell after that class.)

Having said that, I keep my kid home with colored nasal discharge and fever or any stomach bug/diarrhea. Dry cough? No way. As others have pointed out, there are way too many other causes of a cough, such as allergies or asthma. I would be furious if I were you, and it sounds like you are handling it very graciously. Me, I would have looked that woman right in the eye and told her, "My child only coughs when she's exposed to dust and mold. Have you cleaned under your sofas recently?" And what a hypocrite she was to stand there and kick you out when her own child was coughing, too. By all means, stay on the high road and continue your gracious reaction to the situation--I'll be plenty mad and stewing for you. What a mean-spirited, ungracious woman that "hostess" was.

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A.H.

answers from Chicago on

I know you've received a ton of responses on this, but I wanted to just chime in because the story brought tears to my eyes! That is so ridiculous that she asked you to leave. The hostess might not have known what a huge deal this was to your daughter (and to you), but it really doesn't matter. It's crappy.

I agree that no mom wants their child to get sick. But your daughter was covering her cough, which sounds like it wasn't even that bad. And if people never left the house if their child had even the slightest cough, play dates would be ghost towns all winter long! And I think that sometimes the neurosis that moms experience when trying to protect their kids from getting sick gets totally in the way of logical thought and good manners. She should feel horrible for making you leave, just my opinion.

If I were you I'd invite over the sane moms who were at the tea party and invite them and their girls over for a special girls only tea party at your house. I wish we were in Texas - I'd host one just for your daughter!

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H.X.

answers from Los Angeles on

Your emotions aren't out of line. But i would have waited until you slept on it before you removed yourself from the group. I also cannot stand that people take their sick kids out and about, but I think she would have been best to handle it with a follow up reminder not directed at anyone in particular. The problem is, you may not get any resolution out of this for leaving the group.

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T.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Oh Boy! I'd either start my own "playgroup" or ask to be moved to another one if possible. Unfortunately these types are everywhere and I'm beginning to think you'll run into them the rest of your Mommy life. I've thought of writing a book of the outrageous things Moms have said to me but it would just be too Snarky and negative. I swear it wasn't this way with the women I worked with. Some of them were ahem, snotty in a different way, but not so judgemental upfront about it. I hope you can have your own Tea Party with your daughter or friends to make up for it and have fun!

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

I am so sorry, my heart goes out to you. This hostess was definitely overreacting in my opinion, based on what you've shared. I think you handled it just fine, and I think it's a great idea to host a party of your own. My thought on illness is simply that if there is a little cough or runny nose (clear), that all is OK. I would hope no one would bring their child intentionally around mine when they have the flu, diarrhea, a fever, etc...but we all have to continue with our lives to the extent we can within reasonable limits, and I think you made a perfectly reasonable decision taking your child to the party. Don't sweat it anymore!

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K.S.

answers from Denver on

Oh this just breaks my heart- for you and your sweet little girl! You got great responses on how to handle this type of thing in the future, but I wanted to add my vote along with those who said to do some kind of tea party with her again. Invite another mom and daughter, or just you two, or something, but go to a tea room/tea parlor and have fun! Tell her this one will be much better! Good luck.

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D.K.

answers from Dallas on

oh poor baby! I feel so sorry for you and your little one! the hostess was just a germophobic... she over-reacted at the expense of breaking a little one's heart! You did the right thing. No need to be in such a group of jerks!

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T.B.

answers from Miami on

If there is a strict policy for no sick kids, then I would have to say you are over-reacting. I totally understand how hurt you and your daughter must have felt. I have a "policy" in my house (not that I have play dates, but mostly for my extended family members) that if anyone is sick, please stay away. My family (most of them) are very considerate because we are a family of 5 and I am pregnant so it is very important to ME that I not get sick. My children come home with illnesses from school, yes this is true and we deal with it as a family within our own household but for someone to come into our home knowing they are actively sick is just plain inconsiderate. I believe the lady who made you leave certainly could have handled this situation in a better way, especially since your little girl started to cry. Gosh, I think even I would have made a one time exception but just pull you aside privately and remind you of the "rules." I don't blame you for feeling like you need to remove yourself from the group but it might be a good idea to give her a call and explain your disappointment and how badly this affected your little girl. Just a thought....

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

was it a Keller Early Childhood PTA playgroup?

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P.K.

answers from New York on

Did she ask you to leave? Doesn't sound like it. Sounds like you were
upset that she said something. I would have just said, she coughs now
and then but is not sick. I would have never come if I thought she was.
That would have been it. I would have stayed.

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

Geez, such drama. I agree with you but it's the choice of the hostess to err on the side of caution. Some parents are just super-paranoid, and you just met one. Quitting the group may be over-reacting. Perhaps you can just avoid that one Mom. We just can't all be friends all of the time, and I think every social group has an Alpha member (or somebody who thinks they are).

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S.T.

answers from New York on

The thing I just don't understand is that there's a formal play date group? with rules? This is way too much effort for kids to play. Let them have their own tea party. My daughter's favorite memories are tea parties with her grandpa who is now gone. Seeing this big masculine guy drink tea out of tiny china cups was a wondeful thing for this girly-girl. Forget the formal play date organization and make your own fun - go for hikes, play on the playground and make some real friends - not ones whose moms are hyper- crazy and chase out little kids who cough. In NY in the winter you'd never get together a everyone is coughing!

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M.S.

answers from Omaha on

I'd be furious. A fever I would understand, but not a cough. Kids everywhere are coughing this time of year. Your poor daughter. I felt so bad for her. She was very rude to do what she did. At the very least you were able to see that you don't fit in with this snobby bunch. Count it as a blessing.

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

As the mom of a child who has multiple autoimmune illnesses, I always worry when she's around other kids who are coughing or possibly sick.

She doesn't look sick so most people don't know all that she has been through since the age of 2 unless I have shared it with them.

My daughter is on immunosuppressive medications and highly susceptible to getting sick. And when she gets sick, she has sometimes ended up in the ER unable to walk due to inflammation in her joints, etc. Her body doesn't react the same way to a cold that most kids' bodies do. So... if I was at a playdate and saw a child coughing, I would be on edge, but I wouldn't ask the cougher and his/her parent to leave I would however, watch the situation and steer my child away as much as possible from the child who is coughing *in case* that child is sick.

I can't protect my daughter from every illness, but I know how bad it can get when she gets sick, so I try. I don't know what motivated that mom to be rude, but perhaps there's more going on than what it appears. Some people come off as abrupt or rude when they're distracted in thought of the "what ifs". I wasn't there, so I cannot say one way or another what was going on with the mom, but wanted to share my opinion coming from a mom who worries about every cough, sneeze, drip, etc. that comes near my fragile child having seen the consequences.
.
If nothing else, it's a good life lesson teaching opportunity about how not everything always works out how we'd like, but we can make lemons out of lemonade (like you did by throwing your own tea party!). I hope she's feeling better about it now. Sorry you guys had to go through that.

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M.T.

answers from Dallas on

I'm sorry your daugther got so upset. I would have been a little miffed also. But, I think quiting the group because of something one mother did is a little bit of an over-reaction. That being said, I would definately have been irritated. Kids get sick, the best thing we can do as parents is encourage good hygiene and not be over anxious about every germ they come in contact with. I can only imagine how crushed your poor little girl was, and I can't believe this mom didn't take that into consideration at all. I'm glad to hear that you'll be having your own tea party. That will help to make up for it.

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T.H.

answers from Chicago on

Hi ladies! I work for a new daytime TV show, and I'm currently searching for women who have encountered mom "cliques" or "bullies". I'd love to speak with you guys about your experiences with other mom groups in your neighborhood. Please email me at [email protected]____.com if you're interested!

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B.C.

answers from Dallas on

No, I don't think so. I am horrified just by reading your story. Boy, with my temper, if that was my kid,... I would have acted pretty badly, and yes, I would STILL be stewing. I think you were very polite about the whole thing.

Sometime soon, if you can, thrown your own teaparty at your house with the mom/s you have kept in touch with. My daughter is 3 next month, if your near Denton, email me. :-)

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C.J.

answers from Dallas on

I'm going against the grain (I only scanned the other responses, so I feel like I'm the only one, but...) I did think you overreacted. From personal experiences, my kids have gotten super sick from people who knew and who didn't know their kids were sick and exposed them. When my son was 6 1/2 someone brought their sneezy, coughing, clear runny nose kid to a function and said it was only a cold. Wrong. My son was super sick for 6 weeks (me for 8 week, with the cough lasting longer-I had complications due to asthma). More recently, we were (unknowingly) exposed to strep. He quickly got croup as well and he had to be hospitalized because of problems breathing (his lips were turning purple). So, maybe this mom has had similar experiences? Should she have been rude? No. You can ask if your child is sick politely and non-accusing (I do). I don't think I would've left the group entirely, but I definitely would've let the moderator know to add coughing to the list. I would just chalk everything up to "that's life when it sucks" and move on. Maybe weekly tea parties could be a new thing at your house?

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S.L.

answers from San Francisco on

Ditto everyone who feels they need to chime in even though you've had tons of responses...you sound like a GREAT mom and I love your "oh well" attitude in the "So What Happened" section. I believe that hostess is going to look back on this event and feel badly for it for quite a long time.

Your idea to have your own tea party is fabulous, and puts a really positive spin on things. What a wonderful lesson for your little girl!

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L.C.

answers from Allentown on

I would have been furious. I am always torn about whether to take my daughter out with other kids if she seems to be getting sick and we usually blow it off if she has a bad runny nose and definitely fever or diarrhea. But my daughter had a really bad cough last week, i kept her from school and too her to the doctor who said she could definitely go back to school! A cough can be an allergy!! I think the hostess was very insensitive -- she could have stayed, just been careful not to share food etc with the other kids. I agree with Patty K but if I felt the hostess was really asking me to leave, would have done exactly as you did.

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