would you be upset? uninvited from BD party after exposure to chicken pox - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My kids were uninvited from a birthday party this weekend because I exposed them to chicken pox last weekend. Never mind that they couldn't possibly be contagious until the middle of next week, and mom has been told that and could easily verify online or with a quick call to her pediatrician. And the family doesn't even vaccinate, it just isn't a convenient time for their kids to get it. I felt like I had been slapped when I got the text uninviting us. DH doesn't understand why I'm so upset. Would you be upset, or am I over-reacting?
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#2 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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I think I'd be totally confused but not necessarily upset - depending on any history there. If she doesn't vaccinate you'd think she would want the exposure and have read up on how long your kiddos would be contagious. Odd.
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#3 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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Maybe it's more about the other kids at the party. She may be afraid that other parents will find out that she knew about the exposure and be upset that she didn't warn them. Or, maybe she's afraid others will find out before the party and not bring their kids.

That was my first thought.

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#4 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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I respectfully think you're over-reacting.

There seem to be two approaches to chicken pox amongst non-vaccinators. One group seeks actively to expose their children so that they will catch it and develop immunity. The other group hopes that their children will be exposed at some point, but prefers not to seek it out.

Maybe you are in the first camp and your friend is in the second. I understand your friend's un-inviting to the party because I am in the second camp.

I wanted my children to become exposed to chicken pox but I could never have walked into it knowingly. If one of my children got critically ill (unlikely but not impossible) I would feel like it was my fault. The incubation period could take a while so if my children got it at separate times, we were looking at months of dealing with the pox.

You chose to expose your children and that's your perogative but the consequence is that not every mom is going to want her children exposed to yours. Incubation periods are not set in stone... I'd be afraid of a fluke earlier risk.

I know it must be disappointing to be uninvited and I am sorry for that. But I understand where the other mom is coming from. You made your choice and she gets to make hers. They just happen to be different.

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#5 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 10:26 AM
 
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Maybe it's more about the other kids at the party. She may be afraid that other parents will find out that she knew about the exposure and be upset that she didn't warn them. Or, maybe she's afraid others will find out before the party and not bring their kids.

That was my first thought.
This, Regardless of whether she wants her own children exposed, or not, she needs to be respectful to everyone else she invited to the party.

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You chose to expose your children and that's your perogative but the consequence is that not every mom is going to want her children exposed to yours. Incubation periods are not set in stone... I'd be afraid of a fluke earlier risk.

I know it must be disappointing to be uninvited and I am sorry for that. But I understand where the other mom is coming from. You made your choice and she gets to make hers. They just happen to be different.
ITA.

I think you should have offered to uninvite your kids, and not put your friend in the awkward spot of having to uninvite you herself. An easy "Hey XYZ, my kids are exposed to chicken pox, would you like me to keep them home? Ok, no problem. I hope you have a nice party."

I actually offered to have a chicken pox party. But I never would have taken my kids to anther party while they were contageous, without first OKing it with the other parents.
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#6 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 10:33 AM
 
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I would not be offended at all.

I would have uninvited my kids MYSELF. Or if the party was that important, held off on the exposure to CP. However, exposure is not particularly that impoirtant to me.
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#7 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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I think you are over reacting and not thinking. This is a birthday party, you and she are not the only people to consider, there's everyone else at the party. And I would be upset with someone who invited me to a birthday party, and then also knowingly had someone there who had been recently exposed to chicken pox, regardless of when that parent thinks their child might be contagious. I don't vax for CP, but I don't believe in trying to get my child sick either.
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#8 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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I wouldn't be upset at all. Dealing with chicken pox isn't the funnest thing in the world and I'm assuming since they don't vax, they do intend for their kids to get it but maybe they want to wait until a better time. There's nothing wrong with that.

And what about all the rest of the people at the party? Adults getting chicken pox is a big deal and there's no way to know who's had it and who hasn't.
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#9 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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I think if you choose to expose your kids to CP then yeah - you are pretty much making the commitment to the disease for that period of time and not going to gatherings where people are uncomfortable with it. There might be grandparents present who are at risk for shingles or all kinds of things.

Obviously we all get exposed to things at various times, but that is different than knowing we've deliberately worked on it.

I'm sorry for the disappointment though; it is never fun to be uninvited.

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#10 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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I don't think I'd be upset, just disappointed, however I also don't think I'd share the info that I'd exposed my kids to the chicken pox unless they were actively contagious (at which point I'd minimize their exposure to other kids anyway, as I would with any illness). I guess I just wouldn't have told her they'd been exposed & would just mention we couldn't come to the party because they were coming down with something. I tend to lean toward keeping medical issues quiet (i.e. I don't share with people IRL that we don't vax, even if I know the other person doesn't vax either, unless it specifically comes up & I feel comfortable sharing).

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#11 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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Well, that's actually at the edge of my comfort zone--it appeared with DD I think 11 days after exposure and as you can be contagious 2 days before, that would be 9 days... It's not the "standard two weeks before spots" but it's within the realm of remote possibility of exposure at 8-9 days.

4 days after you'd been exposed, I would be fine with a party, as that's very far outside of contagious zone even in the most remote fluke cases, but by 8-10 days it would be a "only if it would be a mildly annoying time to get it" and after 10 days only if we actually wanted to catch it. I wouldn't do 8 days post exposure if we had, for example, an out of state or even worse, out of country flight coming up.

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#12 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 11:03 AM
 
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I have to agree with PPs about the fact that this isn't just about your family and hers. There will (presumably) be other kids at the party, all of whom have family members they live with. We never know if there's going to be a kid there who has a compromised immune system or some sensitivity or some reason why they should not knowingly come into contact with someone who is carrying a virus. And if you want to argue and say that such kids wouldn't be at a birthday party, around other kids, fine. But they might live with someone who shouldn't be exposed. So the kid will be a carrier and bring it into their home unnecessarily.

Your kids *could* be contagious. We have no way to know that. It's better to be safe than find out someone got really sick b/c of their exposure.
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#13 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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I think I might be a little offended to receive the news in a text message instead of a phone call, but otherwise I wouldn't be upset about it. You never know, they could have made plans already that they don't want messed up by their kids being sick.
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#14 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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I would have uninvited my kids myself. A consequence of choosing to expose your kids is missing out on social stuff like this until the illness is gone.

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#15 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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I would have uninvited my kids myself. A consequence of choosing to expose your kids are missing out on social stuff like this until the illness is gone.
I agree with this 100%. The hostess has to take into account all of her guests and there is no way to know if any children or adults with weakened immune systems will be in attendance.
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#16 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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As a pregnant mother with a son going to a birthday party this weekend, I would certainly appreciate it is the hostess were looking out for everyone else who has not chosen to expose their kids to CP. You don't know what is going on in other people's lives and if someone chooses to err on the side of caution, I don't think it's right to be offended about that.

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#17 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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I would be miffed that yet again I witness ignorance and fear beats science and fact.
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#18 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is not other kids she is concerned about, it is her own. She was initially interested in exposing hers but decided it was a bad time. And this party is 6 days after my kids were exposed. The absolute widest range I could find for when they could possibly "catch" CP is 9-21 days after exposure...so there is no possibly way ANYONE could get CP at this party, and she knows that.

I think my biggest issue is more the way the text was worded than anything. I think I would have been ok with something like, "I know you know I'm concerned about this not being a good time for my kids to be exposed to CP, so I think it might be best if you didn't bring your kids to the BD party." I would have felt like that was at least tactful, and then I could have again reminded her that they will not be contagious this weekend. I guess at that point if she still didn't want to be rational about it, well, not my problem. What I got for a text was "Since your kids have been exposed to CP please don't come to the party." IMO that was rather rude, especially to come out-of-the-blue like that. If the party had been the following weekend, right in prime "contagious" time frame, then perhaps I would have uninvited myself.
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#19 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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I think my biggest issue is more the way the text was worded than anything. I think I would have been ok with something like, "I know you know I'm concerned about this not being a good time for my kids to be exposed to CP, so I think it might be best if you didn't bring your kids to the BD party." I would have felt like that was at least tactful, and then I could have again reminded her that they will not be contagious this weekend. I guess at that point if she still didn't want to be rational about it, well, not my problem. What I got for a text was "Since your kids have been exposed to CP please don't come to the party." IMO that was rather rude, especially to come out-of-the-blue like that. If the party had been the following weekend, right in prime "contagious" time frame, then perhaps I would have uninvited myself.
People often come across much shorter via text than they would IRL -- for some reason it bugs me when my MIL just writes "k" in reply to one of my texts, since I take the time to write out full sentences. But I know she doesn't mean anything by it so I talk myself out of taking offense. Your friend should have called you rather than texting so that she could speak more properly and let you down more softly -- uninviting someone from a party is a sort of big deal no matter the circumstances, and she could have been much gentler about how she went about it. I still think she was well within her rights to do it, but she should have been more considerate of your feelings.

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#20 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 12:52 PM
 
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my problem. What I got for a text was "Since your kids have been exposed to CP please don't come to the party." IMO that was rather rude, especially to come out-of-the-blue like that. If the party had been the following weekend, right in prime "contagious" time frame, then perhaps I would have uninvited myself.
It would have been nice if she had called you as emails can appear harsh with out hearing the tone, etc. However, I think her email was fine - it was polite and too the point.

It sounds like your upset because your kids would not have been contagious. In my experience I have found that often people get nervous when there has been exposure to chicken pox; and don't necessarily trust the number of days a person has been exposed.

When my child was young we had a baby/toddler group that would meet. I had started the group. One of the women sent an email to the group saying that her child had been exposed and was going to come to an event we had planned. Back then, I was not strong enough to say not to come. The other's didn't either. (boy,sometimes it is hard to speak up). Some of the women were upset that she had chosen to come to the group and were also upset that I had not told her not to come. They ended up leaving; and reading your post - I still feel sad about the way that happened.

So, whether your friend just didn't want to get it at this time, or whether it was partly to allow others to feel comfortable - I understand why she requests that you not come.
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#21 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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Maybe it's more about the other kids at the party. She may be afraid that other parents will find out that she knew about the exposure and be upset that she didn't warn them. Or, maybe she's afraid others will find out before the party and not bring their kids.

That was my first thought.
and/or their parents who may not have had it as adults tend to get it much worse.

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#22 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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Her tone could use work, but I wouldn't be upset. When I get around to exposing my children to chicken pox I'm not going to feel like my feelings about it get to trump anyone else's feelings about it.

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#23 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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This, Regardless of whether she wants her own children exposed, or not, she needs to be respectful to everyone else she invited to the party.
yes. maybe someone has a suppressed immune system. it would be embarrassing, anyway, if a bd party turned into a "surprise" pox party.
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#24 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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MO that was rather rude, especially to come out-of-the-blue like that.
Maybe she expected that you would back out of the party since you exposed your kids to an illness and was put off that she had to tell you not to come. I think most people wouldn't send sick kids to a party. The whole Pox Party thing may be common here at MDC but in the world at large, most people try to keep sick kids home.

As for me, I would be furious if someone deliberately exposed their kids to something and then brought them to a slumber party with my kid and lots of others. My own child has a neurological issue that gets much worse when she's run down and sick, to the point of falling and needing help walking. She's already had mono this summer, she doesn't need this on top of it. And then how awkward would it be explaining to other kids' parents that yes, I knew your kids had been exposed to chicken pox but decided for all of them that I was comfortable with the "window." Yikes, no.

When you choose to expose your kids to chicken pox, you don't get to make that call for other parents. I know they shouldn't be contagious at the time of the party but my experience with this kind of thing is that those time frames are loose at best.
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#25 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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No I would not be upset, and I would have taken the steps to uninvite myself & kiddos first since it my choice to expose and recognize the consequences of that decision.

I agree though sending a quick text might not have been the best way to convey the message.

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#26 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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I think that when you choose to expose your kids to an illness and share that information you should expect people to want to limit contact with you.

As a non-vaxing parent I have always kept my kids away from known exposure to illness. Scientific thinking about dates of exposure, incubation, etc... really do not matter to me, I'm playing it safe rather than sorry. If I know your kid was sick, or was around something pretty catchy or something nasty that was "going around" (stomach bug comes to mind) I'm not hanging out with you for a bit. Windows between exposure and being contagious are pretty short and there is a lot of room for error when being used as a guide in the real world.

Your kid was exposed to chicken pox for the purpose of getting them sick so I would feel better avoiding your family for a month. I would have given you a call and asked you if you minded skipping the party and instead getting the kids together next month for a rain-check, after the kids have recovered.

As a non-vaxer I am pretty open minded about chicken pox parties and how others choose to handle common childhood illnesses. But, when I think about it, I can easily see how others, regardless of vax status, would get upset at a friend that accepted an invitation to come to a child's party and then purposely exposed themselves to a contagious illness that many fear enough to vax for.

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#27 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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I would have uninvited my kids myself. A consequence of choosing to expose your kids is missing out on social stuff like this until the illness is gone.

yup - what she said.

I don't see any reason to be offended or upset.

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#28 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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i would not be upset
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#29 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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I think that the right thing for you to do is to keep your kids away from people who shouldn't get chicken pox (pregnant moms, babies, elderly people) until you're sure that they're not contagious.

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#30 of 185 Old 07-08-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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I would have uninvited my kids MYSELF. Or if the party was that important, held off on the exposure to CP.
Yes, to that!
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