When I told them that I e-mailed a couple of friends from our neighborhood to trick-or-treat with us today, they both became visibly frustrated. "You didn't ask us who we wanted to go with," and "I don't want to go with anyone else, just us!" were their remarks. There were tears too.
I did a little of the, "Oh, c'mon, we're all friends. This will be fine," but it didn't work. They were adamant that I should have consulted them before arranging a plan. It was a tense moment.
I have learned that the only response in these moments (oh, and we were in the car) is to back off and listen. The problem for me was that while I understood their points, I was dreading making any change to the plan because that meant I would have to go back to the friends and share the story or some mock version of the story with them. Fallout unpleasant.
But that's what I had to do. Here's the message I wrote:
Hi everyone - Sorry, but my kids were really mad at me this afternoon and they really want to trick or treat alone. I hope you'll all gather and that we'll "run into" you. But, I have to back out. It's more complicated than I knew. Sorry.
We'll see what I learn today. I imagine this lesson will come up again.