Need input - Not sure how to proceed....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Andy, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    difficult child has two friends H and E that come over once or twice a week after school. I limit their time until 6:00 at which time I take E home.

    I also like to make a meal for the boys.

    Last week, I had a meeting at 6:30 so told the boys that 6:00 was the absolute latest to have time to take E home and get to the meeting before it starts. (6:00 is often times 6:15 or so but if we say 6:00 than all is done and out the door by 6:30 if you know what I mean! LOL!).

    H decided to have E go over to his house which means his mom would have to take E home later. I asked him to call and o.k. it with his mom but he said, "Nah, It will be fine - she wouldn't mind". As I insisted he o.k. it with his mom, difficult child says, "Mom, his mom, unlike you, is willing to do these things. She will not mind taking E home." I told the boys that it is not a matter of what us moms were willing to do, but that they may not know their mom's plans and willing and able are sometimes two very different things.

    So, H calls his mom and I can tell by his side of the conversation that she really did not want to do this that night but gave into H as she often does. However, I don't feel it my place to interfere without her directly asking me so I let it go. It is her place to say "no" and mean it, not mine. It was however clear that difficult child was NOT invited over, just E to do some homework after dinner. (remember, I feed the boys before 6:00 but H's mom will often have supper at 6:30).

    H's mom texted me to say that it was not a good night for her to do this and that the boys were not happy because her taxi does not run at their whim. I called and talked to her and fill her in on what was happening on this end. Her brother was cooking a special meal and specifically asked when everyone would be home to serve it. This H did not tell me. She vented that H eats way too much junk food and after eating a full meal at my home will go home and eat another full meal at home. Keep in mind, she did not come out right and ask me not to feed the boys or her son. After the special meal, H had homework which E could do his at that time and then she would take E home but it was not the best night to do so. I told her I would do what I could.

    I pulled E aside and told him that H's mom was more than willing to take him home but that it was not the best night for her to do so. That it would be much easier for her if he allowed me to take him home before my meeting. E agreed - he is a good kid! :) - difficult child and H gave him a little bit a hard time about it but E stuck strong to do what was right and peace settled in for the night.

    So, last night the boys were here again and I did make supper. I decided that I would send H home at 6:00 and let E and difficult child eat before taking E home. I really don't feel that this is right either. I told the boys my dillema and H's answer was that he would just have a little bit here and then go home and eat there also! Ugh! H is also pushing his mom to let E go over to his house after their "playdate from after school to 6:00".

    H's mom called and asked me if that is what H wanted to do but I did not hear about it until about 5 minutes to 6:00 when H used the phone to ask his mom. He is very pushy about it but I had already told her that I think 6:00 is good. H figures that if my taxi stops at 6:00, then his mom's will run later for them if he gets E to his house! I don't know what she said to him that time but he quickly said, "O.K. maybe Thursday!" and hung up on her!

    H's mom like many others does not like last minute changes in plans. Sounds like he is using this time to push her buttons. She told me he will call after school and tell her to come pick him up without her knowing he was staying after. She tells him she can not leave work to get him home from school, that he will have to wait for her.

    So, my dilema is, what do I do about supper for difficult child and E? Do I just not feed them - E would eat at home and I would have to have our food sit while I took him home? The nights I am home from 4:00 - 6:00 are the times I actually like to make a meal but if I have to wait until I take E home to even start it, I will not be putting as much effort into the meal. We have better meals when I can have it ready before E goes home.

    I don't want to be rude to H and tell him he can not eat while the others do. It sounds like it will not work well to send H home before serving (is that also rude? I think so.).

    During the summer, I will send H home at meal times if I am making something that will not stretch but that is so very very rare - I like feeding who ever is at the house when the food is ready!
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I think you, and H's mom and E's Mom all need to have lunch and iron this out. That way no feelings are hurt - and 3 little boys are NOT running everyones show.

    Surely 3 women can come up with a solution that works for everyone.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    ...How often do you take him home?

    Sounds to me like, yes, difficult child is getting some quality friend time - but it also sounds like you're an unpaid taxi driver.

    And if it's that big a deal to H's mom, then maybe H needs to go home before you eat - and, no, your food doesn't need to get cold. Can his mom not pick him up from your place occasionally?

    ...You're being taken advantage of, by not only the boys but the moms too in my opinion.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'll look forward to reading the responses. Believe it or not, lol, I'm not giving advice. I do understand that different families have widely different patterns when it comes to meals. Like you I love feeding a crowd and also serve early. on the other hand I have never had friends who were always present at meal time. Very interesting. DDD
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Daisy face ----how did you do that? That's cool! :likeit:
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I don't mind taking him home. The other two mom's are great about helping out if I am unable to (or unwilling to in the case of bad roads) get him home. It is very informative to have the boys in the vehicle talking as if I am not there - I get to learn what the topics of interest are these days. :)

    H's mom and I have decided that we will put an end to the push to have E go over to H's house to prolong the playdate. As long as I know I have her blessing, I can tell her son "No, E is not going to your house."

    H's mom has also not come right out and asked me not to include her son in the meal. I just don't want to make her go "ugh" whenever H comes over here now that I know what is going on with the food issue. Whatever we can do to lessen each other's stresses is my motto and I am glad to help out whenever possible.

    I think Star is right - I have to just come right out and talk to H's mom about this.

    14 years old boys!!! They are all great kids but you put H and difficult child together and WATCH OUT!!! Manipuation to its highest degree. I can keep difficult child in check but the ways H comes up with to get what he wants is just OMG!!! And when he gets difficult child's backing to a plan than Warrior Moms to full armor and then some!!!

    We are going to put our foot down to the 6:00 and I will talk to H's mom about serving meals and what her expectations are. Maybe the one night that the boys are scheduled to come to my house I get to cook and the other night when they usually go to E's house but for some reason end up here I do not cook!
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    My mom is one of those who loves to cook and loves feeding people. My friends, and my brother's friends, knew that if they were around when she was cooking, baking, etc. they would get to eat. My brother's friends were more than capable of eating a full dinner, plus dessert at our house, then go home and eat another full meal an hour later.

    With that said, I think you should find out exactly what H's mom's objections are. If he's eating too much junk food, limit the snacking stuff at your house, but I wouldn't call a dinner, that you had cooked from scratch, junk food. I imagine that most of this stems from her resentment at being manipulated by H and his expectations that she run a taxi service based on his ideas.
  8. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Star! There's a new "like" button on the bottom sorta works like Facebook!

  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I agree that the mothers need to get their heads together. You will of course have different ideas and different approaches, but each woman's kid needs to be handled according to her wishes. That is the key.

    As for feeding the kids - if you cook like I do, you plan well ahead, you cook a balanced, nourishing, tasty meal and can stretch it a lot of the time too where needed. But to be feeding a kid who is just using you to get extra calories when he already has more tan his mother is happy with - if you can ask his mother point-blank, "Would you prefer I did not feed your kid, even if what I have prepared is balanced?" then respect those wishes and tell the kid, "You mother has asked me to not spoil your appetite; she has your dinner ready for you when you get home."

    I tend to cook well ahead and cook extra. What I cook can generally be re-heated quickly, too. There are a lot of meals that can be simmering in the crock-pot (or similar) so to serve up is a quick job. Example - I made osso bucco last night, I simmer it very slowly on the stove. We cooked some potatoes and kumara at mother in law's, reheated the pot of osso bucco, mashed the vegetables and served it up. Leftover potato and kumara is in mother in law's fridge for me to turn into gnocchi on Thursday evening. The rest of the osso bucco I brought home. difficult child 3 asked for me to get him some lunch today (while he kept working on his Maths) so all I had to do was re-heat a serve of osso bucco. But - no mashed potato to serve it with! So I quickly microwaved a small serve of rice. From request for lunch to serving it up, took me 12 minutes. What he got was nourishing, filling, tasty and balanced. I estimate there were (besides the veal) 12 different plant products in that dish. At least. I've found that the more different plants you eat in one day, the healthier your diet tends to be. An Aussie diet expert says we should aim to eat at least a dozen different plants each day. Even a sprinkle of herbs counts as a separate plant. I find it also teaches my kids to appreciate a range of flavours and textures, which has stood them in good stead as they get older and have to mix in the real world.

    So don't be put off cooking if you enjoy it. Don't even fret if you have to feed two kids but not a third. Explain to the kid missing out, that his mother's rules must stand even under your roof. He can have a glass of water at the table while the others eat, so he's not left out socially. And if you feel you need to make the others wait - do so, knowing that the microwave oven is one of the best recent gifts to the modern kitchen.

  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Mom's need to hash this out as to who is willing to do what when and where. Sounds to me like the boys are playing all the mom's and coming out the winners.

    Me personally? If I discovered a mom was feeding my kid and then he was coming home to eat too? I'd whack him upside the head and put a stop to it. Of course I never did the taxi thing either. But then I'm a mom of difficult children so.........that's probably why. lol

    I only fed the kid's friends if they were over to sleep over. All friends left the house before dinner was served, standard rule. My kids weren't allowed to eat at someone's house without special permission and then I also had to discuss it with the mom to be sure she was ok with it.

    I think a nice lunch with all you Mom's is an excellent idea. Then you all know what each other want and the kids can no longer snowball or bully any of you.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Oh, not sure if this is just my kids trick or what.

    They'd wait until they had friends over to ask to do things they knew they weren't allowed to do. Or better yet, have the friend ask. For some reason this has always rubbed me the wrong way. It resulted in said child being grounded for 2 wks every time it was tried. It still took forever for them to get the idea that this trick didn't work on me. So I'm guessing other mom's cave if there is another kid around?
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    How about inviting the other mothers round to your place for lunch? It will also give them an idea of what sort of food you are serving their boys.

  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    While I agree that having all the moms talk this over is an excellent idea, I don't think that the other mom handled this the best she could have. You have not just started to do this, and I am SURE her son did not just start to have a second dinner. Why can she not just tell her child that since he has already eaten with your family, he can go and finish his homework, do chores, take a shower or play a game. Whatever is the norm for their home after dinner. I really cannot figure out why she had to wait to dump this in your lap and want YOU to come up with the solution for her. Not cool at all in my book.

    You are going out of your way to have her child at your home, to feed him, to supervise him, and to be his unpaid taxi driver. What is so hard about calling you to say that she appreciates you and the time you spend with the boys, but could her son come home a bit earlier, before you eat, so that they can help him handle a dietary issue? Or asking you to let her know via text or whatever if he is eating with you or waiting until he gets home? Why can she not just ask for what the child needs? If she isn't comfortable with that, why not just fix food he HATES on days when he is at your house? Everyone has a few things they do not like and it can be a way to manage this kind of thing. I know exactly what to cook to get any member of my family to skip a meal or entree, and they all know what to cook to make me say "no thanks" (tuna casserole, liver, lima beans, fried bologna, any bologna, husband's super hot chili).

    As for the other kid coming over, that is a tough situation because the boys are putting you on the spot. That is an area I would figure out how I wanted to handle it and then it would be that way unless a parent asked you to do something different. Last minute changes can be a problem for everyone, esp at mealtimes/homework time/bedtime. The boys would all be told that at X time we are leaving, we are not calling other moms to see if someone can come over, and this is not up for discussion. Changes in plans must be made at least a day ahead -by the parents. You may even want to let the other moms know that plans need to be made the day before the boys come over (be sure to set a time that they must call before, like 9 or whatever will give you some wind-down time before bedtime). Let the parents know that of course you can and will be flexible if an emergency comes up or there is another problem, but unless plans are made in advance the boys cannot stay later or go to any home but their own.

    Lisa - I am completely with you on the asking with the other kid right there so mom feels pressured. Dirty pool, in my opinion. I would enforce the rule that the least wanted option would be chosen if a guest or other child was present when permission was asked. They also get extra chores for trying such a rotten stunt and being manipulative (I vastly prefer making the kids do chores instead of grounding them - it reduces the number of chores that I have to do, lol! Might as well get some benefit out of someone trying to manipulate me, Know what I mean??).
  14. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    When I was a kid - friends went home BEFORE dinner - though that was after we moved to Ohio, before that Mom would pick me up at day care then home and I'd help make dinner. Anyway - I rarely had friends over BEFORE. And I was not allowed to leave until we had eaten as a family and dishes were done. Then I could walk around the park with friends. Had to be home by 8:30 PM. We never ate before 6:30...

    Onyxx has found out that if she asks me something with friends around, it depends on what, and if she's been good... My standard response is "after you finish your chores, come see me and we'll talk." In front of friends. husband asks said friends to help! (Move furniture, stack wood... Etc.)