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OK, on the first one, as an anal retentive myself I relate but assuming everyone had fun in the end, you are coming across as a wee bit inflexible. If it was v impt for you to go to the playpark, you had the option of declining the change of plans and going alone with the kids. As it was, you chose to go along with the change, albeit grudgingly perhaps! That isn't a "mommy lied" deal but a "things changed" deal and you and the kids can certainly cope.

Now, the second, is heinously rude. Once you made plans and changed things around, for them not to show up was wrong, wrong, wrong. I'd be mad too. In fact, similar events (repeated) led to the ending of a friendship for me. I realised I'd had it when I no longer planned a special meal etc b/c I was so sure the folk in question would call and cancel. Always with a good reaons (oh the drama) but still ...

In any event, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, you have to get over the "mommy lied" thing. Your kids will understand that there are matters beyond your control and that you will do your best regardless.

Eight years and 4 kids later, I get around this (as it pisses me off to no end also) by not telling the kids until the last possible second. That way, when things come up, I don't have to deal with my children's disappointment too...

Okay... Breathe!!
Both thoser people were wrong for changing plans and not letting you know on time. It happens to me all the time and people just figure it's okay to call and casually say 'Oh by the way it's not happening'. I guess we are all a bit Anally Retentive :)

A sincere explanation for the kids can go a long way. "Unfortunately, our plans have changed, and the Blah-Blahs aren't coming over today after all. I'm disappointed, too." Especially if the kids are distraught about it—if you tell a crying kid you know exactly how he feels and that you're disappointed, too, but that it was out of your hands, he won't be mad at you.

Also: Distraction! Redirect the kids' attention to something else so they'll focus on the positive, and they'll probably forget the change in plans completely. Make a new plan and get the kids to buy into that. Usually works like a charm.

I'm with you. I'm really big on being on time and so I plan in advance so we are never (well, RARELY) late, even with having to get two kids ready and in the car.

Canceling plans at the last minute is a big social faux pas and pisses me off to no end. Your first situation is a little different, since they thought you already knew about the change. The second one is awful, though -- you changed the plans you already had!

I love plans and planning. It makes me feel in control, even if I'm really not. Maybe I'm not anal, just a control freak?

On the social end, I tend to give people with kids a wider berth for changing plans because things have a tendency to go pear-shaped so quickly - like if someone comes down with something.

I know for myself I tend to be grumpiest about people changing plans if I have been making my -own- life miserable by adhering to a schedule and then someone dares to say enough and change it! How dare they take the easy way out! :)

For the kids though - honestly? I think that although it is disappointing and if it were something gut wrenching I would probably take them there anyway or whatever, it is actually okay and maybe helpful for them to learn that plans do change and people do cancel and that then you get 3 hours back in your life to do something spontaneous and fun instead.

I don't think that has anything to do with inflexible.. it has to do with politeness and good reasons.

I mean, we weren't given a reason for why instance A was cancelled, but obviously YKW realized T didn't know because she called again to confirm that things had changed - at the last minute. Why couldn't YKW have called to confirm that morning or earlier instead of trusting whomever was supposed to call T?

And instance B was also impolite. If those people weren't sure their plans were finalized, they shouldn't have asked T if they could come visit, etc. And knowing T rearranged her schedule, they should have nixed their other plans and stuck with what they had.

And that leads me to reasons... if YKW had to change plans for a "very good reason" i.e. not whim or decision to just do something else, then OK, that's a bit easier to take. Sometimes, yes, things come up and plans have to be cancelled. But if it's simply whim or just not feeling like doing whatever, that's NOT OK. You made a commitment, you need to keep it.

So I don't think it has anything to do with being anal, it has to do with respecting your commitments and being polite.

0. get laid.

everything, including being anal, is easier on everyone around you when you've had a good jungle romp recently.


Ok everyone, I was one of the rude people in question here. I have to defend myself a little here though....
When we make plans, sister A. (that would be A for anal) seldom sounds very enthusiastic and normally does a we'll see, what if it rains, or a maybe, or a what about the naps etc.
Sister B (B for bloody marvelous) takes that as a maybe or it is not confirmed plan.
Sister A then decides she is actually keen (Goldilocks and the 3 bears perfect example!) but doesn't confirm with Sister B. Sister B then makes other plans because Daniel had gone with to Hout Bay.
But Sister B was wrong and she is very sorry and as mentioned, sorry that kids were dissapointed. My kids were also dissapointed but we just lied and said the place was closed.
Life has dissapoinments sometimes and teaching kids how to cope and be flexible is not always a bad thing.
Spontenaity can be quite fun too. Aunty Mel will have to teach that!

Ouch. I guess I'm one of those "Meeting at 15.00. Let's see... It's 14.20 now. I'll need 30 minutes to drive there. Let's read some blogs before I leave, or I'll just be wasting time when I get there. Oops. It's 14.35 now. Let's get going. Where's my purse? Loo. Loo. Now. In the car. Oh, well, I'll only be 5 minutes late if there's no traffic. Oh. Traffic jam. Always when I'm in a hurry. Let's call friend and tell her I'll be running late because of traffic (not a word on my blogging overtime). Voicemail. Whatever. Where or where can I park the bloody car? Ha! There's friend. What is she looking angry for? It's only 15.10. It's not like I'm ever on time anyway, so why would she arrive here at 14.50?"

But I would never make other people change their plans for me and then cancel on them on that particular day. I would be arriving sort of late though. Sorry.

Haha! Sister B outed herself!

The mother of A and B said that it was all on for Sunday! She said that she has spoken to Sister B. Which means that betw you and Mother, it is both your fault!

And as for Goldilocks, you said we were going! I even bought the damn Goldilocks book to prepare them.

Let's blame it on Mother. It is all her fault.

I cannot STAND IT if people are late. I try my utmost best to be on time, evenmore so if I go somehwere with the triplets because I don't want people to think I use them as an excuse for being late. As for cancelling at the last minute - RUDE PLAIN RUDE, you only do this if there is a emergency like illness etc.

I don't see ANYTHING inflexible, anal retentive about being punctual and wanting set plans to follow through. I think it is people that are chronically late, don't care about plans to expect others to "relax" and "don't eb so uptight" that need a reality check. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be on time, uphold commitments, particularly when there are kids involved. I have a friend that is alwyas late for playdates, wouldn't show up at the playground, etc. I finally quit expecting her to change, and went my own way. When we get together it is great, but it just isn't who I am or who I wnat to be. There is nothing wrong with being who you are, uptight and all. It is much less exhausting than trying to change!!

You and your sister make me laugh!

But seriously, I hate it myself when people change plans (only sickness and death allowed LOL) at the last minute just because they won't commit. Our lives are also so hectic that it usually involved a lot of switching around and co-ordinating to get the date in the first place.

Funny thing is I actually do schedule spontaneity. I get my stuff done quickly on weekends so there's time for spontaneity :)

Never ever ever ever tell kids anything about what you're doing until you are leaving the house and have confirmed via cell phone that the other party is coming.

I have learned this the terribly hard way. Kids get sick all the time, so often we'll plan a playdate, and then 10 minutes before the others are supposed to arrive, the mom calls and goes, um, suzieq just barfed all over the car? I think we'd better not come, right? Or, SuzieQ woke up from her nap 10 min ago with a fever of 104? Beyond sickness, I've learned that others are not as anal about plans as I am (or you seem to be, T), so I just solved it by never banking on anything too hard unless I've confirmed it on the day of the event, less than 1 hour before.

It's easier than getting mad.

Why are you telling you kids what they are doing in advance? The world doesn't always work your way and you are setting them up to expect everything to be presented in a nice anally retentive presented package.

Instead tell them what they are doing 5 minutes ahead of time. That way they are never let down by a change of plans and you never have to feel that you "let them down" about a change of plan. As a side benefit, you can teach them to go with the flow, since it might be hard for them to learn that from two v v anally retentive parents.

I'm not bashing anally retentive, because it has many positives. I want to be anally retentive, but I have other set backs that don't allow me to.

Also if you have a friend/sister who is chronically 30 minutes late for an appointment, why don't you know that her 2:00 is really your 2:30. Just a thought, for an easier compromise.

Being a-retent isn't the same as having your plans f*d over hardcore. THATs not fair to the kids. I learned real quick not to tell the kids ANYTHING until the people that said they were coming were knocking on the door, or the place we said we were going to was actually surrounding us because we were inside of it. THEN tell them.

For someone to call you day of and say OH we decided to go somewhere else?!?! SERIOUSLY!?! That's rude.

I told my friends and family if they decided to renig on plans regarding my children, THEY would have to tell the CHILDREN themselves. Stopped a few of them in their tracks, that tactic did.

I don't think this has anything to do with being AR, you made plans, had expectations. They were rude not to let you know plans changed. Some of the expectation when you make plans with someone is that they let you know if things change, that's called being an adult and taking responsibility.
The whole late thing bothers me, I have a friend who is chronically late...her husband was 2 hours late to dinner at our house once. Anyway, not sure how to address the chronically late so I'll just add them to the rude and inconsiderate pile (illness and other last minute unfortunate events not withstanding).

I agree with the "Don't Tell the Kids" game. This way when you arrive to the "Surprise Destination" they are super sxcited to have just shown up somewhere awesome, double surprise if other family is there too.

um, that should say Excited. oops

I HATE when people change plans on me. Seriously. I usually cry. So it's totally okay. I can understand where you are coming from.

Ha - I know EXACTLY where you are coming from - I have to plan everything and know days in advance what we are doing on X day, how we are getting there, how long we are staying etc - drives your brother mad

Wow, reading the comments I have learned something.

I had no idea that changes of plan were such a horrendous experience... annoying, yes. But sometimes I like the time to do something else unscheduled and that's how I've approached it with my son and so far it doesn't devastate him. Not sure if that's personality or just how we approach it.

Arg! I have so many friends like that. I've weeded many of them from my list of friends.
Here's the deal. It is SELFISH to waste someone's time by making them wait for you. When you are chronically late, you are telling your friends that your time is so much more important than theirs, that you are methodically going to make a point of making sure they are the ones that have to cool their heels until you deign to make your much anticipated appearance.
Of course, everyone gets tied up once in a while. That's life. But we all know who the people are that are always going to be late. So they must know it, too! They know exactly what they're doing.
Pretty much ditto with the swapping up of plans and sickness not being the excuse. (Puking/high temp kid = get out of jail free card.)
Whew - that felt good to get off my chest. I think I have a few people I need to unload that on face to face. Actually...nope! They've just been weeded.

Just a few thoughts on the "Don't Tell the Kids" game.

I do not like that. My boys do not like it either. Sometimes it works, especially now they are older (10, almost 9). But normally they needed plans, too. It would have confused them if I had come in telling we were about to leave right now. Hey, they were playing! They had little "plans" in their heads, too. I guess they had to learn that some things change. Disappointment is part of our lives.

Yet they know that we expect them to keep their promises. If there has to be a change for severe reasons, tell the others. Otherwise do what you promised to do.

If others cancel for severe reasons they will have to cope with it. If there are "friends" you never can rely on...perhaps these are not the best friends. Don't expect too much then.

When they were younger we would have tried to set a new date and/or compensate with another event. However, I would not like to have friends like that.


On the other hand: I often struggle to be in time myself. And often I am not really enthusiastic on suggestions. Sometimes I need some time to find out that it could be a good idea. Then I should make sure with the others.

We also don't tell our daughter a lot of plans until the last minute, but sometimes we do if it's a special friend that's coming over (and she over hears me discussing it with the mom - can't get a lot past my daughter).

That said, I'm the anally retentive planner, my DH is very happy-go-lucky, let's change plans at the last minute kind of guy. Drive me nuts. Hopefully DD will come out with some kind of balance. Poor thing, though, I think she's just like me.

There is a big difference between being spontaneous and blowing people off for something else. Drives me absolutely insane too, and it happens like 9 times out of 10. People make plans and then at the last minute decide something better came up or later tell you they forgot. It's plain rude! Now, I can be spontaneous. I am quite often. However, if you alredy have plans with me and I set aside the time to get things ready for our plans and make myself free for them then you had better not be a flake and ditch out on them! I especially hate when they give you some lame excuse why they cannot make it any more and later you come to find out what they did instead was no different than what you had planned, they just choose to do it with someone "better" or "more fun" than you. Pisses me off. Can you tell this is one of my biggest annoyances? haha

I am of the "don't tell the kids until you are pulling up to park" camp. Seriously. Then, you are covered because they have no idea if you are going on a fabulous outing or a trip to the post office!

And, I can understand how communication gets in a family...not that it is okay what happened, but we all just assume that someone told the other, and on and on.

HOWEVER, cancelling plans like the second scenario? There had better be a sick child somewhere in the picture when that happens. Saying they are going somewhere else is inexcusable.

One thing I have learned in my short tenure as a parent is to not promise ANYTHING to my daughter until it is imminent. I try not to tell her that we are going to go see Nana until we are literally walking to Nana's front door. Or that Grandma and Papa are coming to visit her until their car pulls up in the driveway. She doesn't understand the concept of time yet (and I imagine that she won't for quite some time), so if I mention ANY future plans to her she is going to think said plans are happening immediately. One day we were driving home from the store and I promised her that when we got home we could play outside. I pulled into the garage and it started raining out. Boy, was she mad at me!

So, that's my two-cents.

And as far as other people cancelling or changing plans last-minute, I am with you. Many people may have very casual, unscheduled lives, but I don't know anyone like that. Even running to the store takes careful planning, and to have a wrench thrown at you at the very last minute is just not fair. When it is unavoidable that is one thing, but when it is not I think it is just plain inconsiderate.

I am with you on this one. I am all for spontaneity - as long as I know when its going to happen!

No Tertia, it is not your "issue", they are the ones who are rude. People seem to value "spontenaity" and telling everyone else to "chill" or whatever. But who would you want as a friend when you really need someone you can count on (say, to take you to the hospital or pick up your kid at the last minute): someone who changes plans on their whim and is chronically late, or someone who is "uptight" and "anal" about sticking to what they promise? I say that the anal ones are the best friends in the long run.
And don't get me started on those who blame having kids for being late or cancelling plans. First they would say "you don't have kids, once you do you will know why I'm always late." Then "you only have one kid, you don't know what it is like to get 2 kids ready." Well, I wasn't late before kids and I'm rarely late now. I know how long things take and I make being on time a priority (barring last minute barfing or other surprises.)
I'm a little bitter about this now, the same thing happened to me yesterday when a friend cancelled plans (actually never returned my call) and I was left with a disappointed kid. I need to weed her out as a friend since she does this a lot, I don't need the stress.

I'm on the fence...first, if someone is late it says to me that they do not respect my time enough to get to wherever they are supposed to be on time. Sometimes I have plans after our plans and need and am expected to be on time for those...if you put me behind schedule then I have to work to make up that time.

Second, I do understand when people call to cancel plans. I like to be flexible so in order to do that, I have to understand when things happen and plans change.

Having said that, I love that Mel outed herself. Too funny!

I agree with pretty much everyone else: this doesn't sound like a case of being A.R. as much as it is a case of honoring your commitments and expecting others to do the same. For me, it comes down to trust. If someone tells me they will be there, I need to be able to believe them. I can't be friends with someone I don't trust.

ok, I don't comment all that much, but first, there are lots of us moms out there that LOVE that you show up when & where you say you will. Seriously. Lots!
Second, re your post about the new doc/pills, now is the time to go easy e*a*s*y on yourself. do you read that? EASY. So, if it feels ok to loosen up, why not. if it feels like work, put it off.
take care of yourself, ok?

Nah, I'm not loosening up. The rest of the world needs to get it's collective slack-arsed rudness in order!

I do not think it is being anal. It is about respect, respect of other people and their time. If I am meeting someone, I always try to be on-time, even with two kids. If you make plans with me and can't make it, that is fine. I know things come up, but unless it is emergency like kids get sick, or your car is on fire :), you need to give people 24 hr notice for plan change. I will be very pissed off if others call me at last minute for plan change. To me it is plain rude and disrespectful.

I'm with you. If you make the plans, keep the f-ing plans. And if my kids and my appt. schedule are involved I freak right out. Even when it's my dear darling sister who runs a heartwarming charity in SA! (Just guessing it was HC sis Mel from the jokey tone, sorry if I guessed wrong, for all I know she is as retentive as you and I are!) :)

As a mom to three (two of which are twins) I can understand your pain. When they were young getting out and getting somewhere ON TIME was hard but 99% of the time I did it.

I had a friend who was chronically late and put up with it until one day when she breezed in 1/2 hour late with all her excuses and I said wearily, ' Well XXXXXX, you are ALWAYS late'. Point taken.

BTW how am I to bribe my children if I cannot tell them of superfantastic outing coming up??! ;)

not anal, respectful.

if you say you are going to be somewhere at a certain time, then it's only respectful to be there at said time.

people who are consistently late are disrespecting you. i have an issue with disrespect of that nature.

i don't buy the traffic excuse- my traffic is precisely the same traffic everyone else has, yet i get there on time. hum?

Maybe I'm anal too. I hate it when someone elses inability to plan and or commit causes me to let other people down. I hate letting people down or dissapointing people.

You commited to your kids. YKW cancel's, and you have to be the one to break the bad news. It's not fair.

You're not being anal by becoming annoyed/angry when people cancel on you at the last minute for no real apparent reason other than 'something better came up' or 'we changed our mind' or 'oh, didn't someone else call you about the change in plans?'. People who do this are being rude, and you have a right to call them on it, especially because organizing small ones is a major factor.

i'm just as anal t- i am ALWAYS on time and i plan outings to the last detail... i loathe people arriving late or "forgetting" or rocking up with nothing when we we agreed who was bringing what!

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