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Wedding Woes

You sound like the crazy one, not Elaine.

Q. Other people’s childrenMy good friend “Elaine” can’t have children of her own. To compensate, she dotes on her friends’ children, especially my daughter “Alexandra.” Our other friends think Elaine is amazing—she’ll happily babysit, brings back gifts when she travels for work, invites us to go to children’s plays with her—but her actions have always seemed desperate to me. Recently, Elaine greeted us at a party and asked if she could hold Alexandra. I joked, “I don’t know. I’m worried you’ll run off with her.” Elaine was embarrassed, at least, and left the party with her husband shortly afterward.

Now I’m not sure what to do. Sometimes, it seems like I made a casual comment that Elaine took too seriously. Other times, I think the comment spoke to an underlying fear I have that Elaine’s interest in other people’s children is dangerous. The one thing I can’t force myself to do is feel that badly. I am worried, however, that Elaine will tell our friends what I said. None of them think she’s weird, and when I’ve tried to talk about it with them, they’ve hinted that I’m being unkind. What do I say the next time I see Elaine?

Re: You sound like the crazy one, not Elaine.

  • Apologize and send Elaine over here. I could use a free babysitter
  • Take the hints. You were unkind. 

  • I don’t see how Elaine’s actions are dangerous.  I need to know what else LW sees besides babysitting, getting gifts and going to plays

    This is the only part to me that sounded like it could be really "off".  What children's plays is she inviting her friends to?  Is she referring to plays that tend to be more kid-friendly?  Like Disney on Ice?  Sure, I could maybe see that.  Maybe she wants experiences like that to be a special treat for her friends' kids.

    Or is Elaine literally going to random elementary school plays because she likes seeing kids in plays?  Because I would find that super cray-cray and alarming.

    That was a mean and hurtful remark she made to her friend, though I realize it probably came out worse than what she meant it to be.  Either way, her friend was offended and she should apologize for making such a stupid and bad joke.

    However, I'm not going to be so quick as to judge the LW and her bad vibes/fears about Elaine.  Are they completely irrational?  Probably.  But if Elaine gets the LW's Mama Bear hackles up, I'm not going to tell her to second guess her intuition.  She needs to be polite and behave normally with Elaine, since Elaine is part of the friend group.  Let Elaine hold and/or play with Alexsandra at gatherings.  She even says Elaine is her close friend.  But, whether right or wrong, it's the LW's prerogative to be cautious of how close she allows Elaine to be to her daughter.

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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    LW is the weird one, for sure. 

  • Yea, Elaine isn't the crazy one... She's the one living vicariously through her friend's kids not realizing "Domestic Adoption!!!"...  
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  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2018
    MesmrEwe said:
    Yea, Elaine isn't the crazy one... She's the one living vicariously through her friend's kids not realizing "Domestic Adoption!!!"...  
    yeah I’m going to strongly disagree with this. 

    Being involved with friends children doesn’t mean she she’s “living vicariously” or not living a full life of her own. 

    And I don’t know one woman who doesn’t know adoption is (theoretically) an option. I find it pretty condescending to act like women don’t know what the general options are for having children. 
    I didn't mean this in a negative tone - she's exactly the type that would make an awesome parent to adopt (too many are scared away when there are so many kids that would give anything to have a parent like that here in the states)..  LW needs to chill out there are enough eyes on "Elaine" and as others have posted the overboard protective Mom..  LW is the type that would annoy all the other parents at the PTA meeting over the chaperones for the school trip even though they've all been background checked...  
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