OK here's the scoop -- I have an annual 23rd of December pre-Christmas dinner for a group of friends. They have all come before, and know the routine. We invite 5 couples for a dinner to celebrate the season. We word it as such "Hey we're having our annual Curry Bash on the 23rd just like last year! We'd love it if you and x (insert spouse's name here) would join us. Get a sitter for the kids, come at 5pm, bring just yourselves and an appetite." Answer is always YES, sitters are arranged for, dinner is had, a good time is had by all. The same 5 couples have been coming over with this same invitation for the past 3 years. The menu is always samosas, onion bhajees, raita, mango chutney, madras beef, balti beef, butter chicken, chana masala, dahl, rice, kheer, chai. Spicy, and all done from scratch, including the masalas (roasted and ground by yours truly) and the Major Grey's Chutney (which is a PITA btw because of the sheer number of ingredients). It takes hours to make and I love doing it and our friends enjoy this immensely.
Our dinner is tomorrow. I JUST got a voice message from one of the couples (for whom we changed the actual dinner time because of work conflicts) that, and I quote "Sammi and I will be there for 5, with offspring in tow. See you then".
Now I'm freaking out -- the point of this dinner is to have an adult time before the Christmas holidays ensue. The menu is elaborate, all from scratch and it takes hours. Wine is paired with each course, as it is an adult evening. This menu is NOT child friendly and neither is the evening. Everyone always gets sitters. Always. Except for this year. There will be 11 adults and a six year old and a 4 year old at our table. I'm completely unprepared for this as it was not the intention of the evening to have family dining, so now I feel forced into it. Nothing on the menu will suit these child's tastes (trust me, I know them well), and I'm up to my eyeballs in making the planned menu. it isn't like these people haven't been over for this same meal before, and I specifically said "Get a sitter and come over". And this isn't like a casual drop in bbq or a potluck where the more the merrier.
How do I handle this? They are expecting a call back and I don't know what to say! I don't want to be the Grinch and say leave the kids at home, but it really is going to be an imposition on a carefully planned meal, not to mention seating space. I don't have room for a "Child's Table". I don't have the time or energy to make a second child friendly menu. And quite frankly, I think it is pretty rude to do this. If you can't get a sitter, then call and say either "We can't find a sitter so we'll bow out" or at least give us an opportunity to make the decision.
Have any of you handled the issue of uninvited guests his before?
NOTE: BEFORE YOU FLAME, REMEMBER THAT I SPECIFICALLY SAID "GET A SITTER" AS THIS IS AN ADULT ORIENTED DINNER. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE A DISCUSSION OF WHETHER OR NOT FREIA SHOULD BE HAPPY TO SEE THESE CHILDREN AT HER DINNER!!! (lololol)