Mmmmm, Foooooood

My kids have become picky eaters.  I don’t really know when it happened.  Aiden used to love vegetables so much that he surprised my friends one night when he asked for a salad.  My friends were watching him for the evening and had made tacos for dinner.  What two year old asks for salad?? 

One of Dallin’s favorite first foods what broccoli and beef with steamed rice.  Those were not really fun diapers to change, but he loved that broccoli!  Now, however, I’m happy if he eats one actual meal a day.  He’ll eat some snacks (and I try to keep out the really bad junk… but it’s also just easy to give him a package of fruit snacks), he’ll drink just about anything I give him, but he really won’t eat.

Since I wanted to eat more healthily, I thought I did well Saturday night with dinner:  Grilled salmon fillets, steamed veggies, steamed white rice (I can’t bring myself to do brown yet.  Sorry).  Ches hates fish, so I grilled a chicken breast on the George Foreman grill for him. 

Right as we were about to eat, the doorbell rang.  My neighbor had come over to practice with me as we were playing a special musical number in church the very next day.  I was kind of surprised to see her two kids with her, but I welcomed them all in.  Now, her kids aren’t exactly “normal” kids.  They have behavior problems.  They are overweight.  The boy has just been diagnosed with learning disabilities and a slight case of Asperger’s and was switched to new classes where he receives a lot more attention.  He is a 6th grader.  The girl is in elementary school.  I don’t know if she has any learning disabilities or anything at this point.

Well, her kids immediately set out to play with mine.  Fine.  Except they hadn’t eaten yet.  Needless to say, my kids were so busy showing off, being loud, and running around that they really dind’t get anything eaten until I was done practicing with my neighbor.  She took her kids and left, which brought the decible level in my house down considerably.  Ches and I rounded up our kids to try eating dinner again (with me this time), and I was all set to be proud of the boys because I could see they had eaten the salmon off their plate.

Not so.  The kids didn’t touch their plates.  Ches of course didn’t touch the salmon.  I was practicing.  Who does that leave???  Hmmmm….  That’s weird.

(EDIT – I forgot to mention this paragraph, so I’m adding it in now.  Which is okay because I don’t think anyone has read this post yet anyway…)  In church on Sunday morning, we ended up sitting in the same pew as this family.  The boy switched seats so he could sit by Aiden (which did not please me as I was working hard to get him to stay reverent and he did not need the distraction of the boy), and as Aiden was eating some fruit snacks and a granola bar, this boy was trying to be subtle and asking him for some of his food.  I had to tell the boy “no” at one point because I only bring a few snacks and they have to last all three of my boys for all of church.  I don’t mind sharing with other babies in Sunday School because by then my two older boys are in their own classes and the other babies’ moms usually share snacks with Parker, too.  But I didn’t like this 12 year old begging snacks off my 5 year old.

Last night my neighbor called to ask me if they could drop off her daughter this morning for school as the mom had to go sub at 7 am and the dad had to leave for work by 7:30 am and school doesn’t start until 8:20.  I’ve given the girl lots of rides, so I said “Sure, no problem.”

7:30 came, and so did the girl.  Aiden and Dallin were just starting breakfast.  As they finished up and Aiden went to get dressed, the girl said to me, “I’m hungry.”  Several times she said that.  Now what am I supposed to do, I thought.  We don’t have any money and I’m being stingy with food so we can make whatever we have work and this kid wants to eat??

I asked the girl if she had breakfast, thinking the answer was yes so I could tell her, “suck it up!”, however she said no, her dad woke her up, got her dressed, and brought her over.  Hmmmmm… weird.  So I fed her breakfast.

This is kind of bothering me.  I mean, who goes to someone else’s house and eats off the KIDS plates??  Who sends their daughter off to someone else’s house to go to school without getting her totally ready (which means EATING breakfast)??  And when did it become part of my job description to take things away from my own strugling family just to help out another family???  It’s just food, but it’s getting to me.

I don’t know.  What do you think?

7 responses to “Mmmmm, Foooooood

  1. Before I got pregnant with Jesse, I was asked to watch our neighbours daughter in the morning before school. She would send her over with her “breakfast”. Turns out breakfast was coffee. I was wondering if that was normal to give your eight year old coffee, let alone the only thing for the meal. I was a little perturbed, but I felt more sorry for her that she wasn’t eating.

    In the case of you friend I would say “if” she asks you to watch them again, that its fine that she bring he kids over but to please feed them first as your children are having a hard time eating. Just be honest. You could also say you haven’t been to grocery store yet and there isn’t any food.

    Sometimes parents are in such a hurry and if they aren’t hungry they assume there kids aren’t hungry or they just don’t think of it.

    The thing is if you don’t say something then you will resent the kids and you will start not letting them play with your kids and friendships will be ruined. Thats rough when you are neighbours. Unless that’s what you want 🙂

    I think the wierdest thing for me about the kids eating off my kids’ plates is that I know they had just come from someone’s house where they had dinner… and a LOT of it. They were complaining about being full. I think I need to mention about the girl needing breakfast when she got to my house this morning, though. I know her dad is a little clueless sometimes, but that’s not a good thing to be clueless about!

  2. Alyson brought up some really good point. I want to add only one thing, it’s possible there is a lot more going on in that other home than you know. But I agree with you, it is not okay for a 12 year old to try to mooch food off a 5 year old, Asperger’s notwithstanding.

    On another note, Little Red sometimes requests “just salad” for supper, too. Makes me so proud!!! 😀

    There are actually a lot of issues at home with that family. I won’t go into them because A) it’s too much to talk about here, especially when none of you guys know them, and 2) A lot of it may just be gossip from other women at church. There’s a lot of issues about some families and how they interact with each other in our ward. I think it’s a big soap opera!

  3. I don’t know the whole issue with the family, but I’m going to share how it would make me feel, and does make me feel. I hate it when friends come over to play and all they want to do is eat my food. I don’t mind one or two small snacks, but when they just ask for snacks over and over, it really bugs me. I try to not let my own kids have more than 1 or 2 before dinner, so go away and play!!! That’s why you’re here anyway!!! I know they get fed at home, because their mom is one of my best friends here, so it seems like it’s a little bit of greediness. Anyway, enough of that!

    I don’t know how to tell you to deal with it because I am crappy at that sort of thing. So,all I say is…GOOD LUCK!

  4. eep. My kids beg food off of EVERYONE. It drives me nuts. I WISH people would tell them NO! (I tell people to tell them ‘no’ and they say, “oh, it’s okay!” which just makes my kids do it all the more)

    I have to tell everyone “Really, I DO feed them!” because they’ll go around begging like I starve them.

    I have a rule of no food at church so they’re really bad at begging the people sitting in rows around us. I tell them “no, it’s not yours and if you’re hungry you should have eaten more breakfast” and then the parent or kid gives them the candy or whatever anyway.

    But your situation sounds a little more odd than that. I DO feed my kids before dropping them off at other people’s houses. And as far as I know, they don’t steal food off of people’s plates. I guess just tell the kids no, eat at home, and then kindly tell the mom, “Wow, they were really hungry, but I knew you had just fed them breakfast (or whatever meal) so I didn’t feed them anything.” I would think that would give her the hint…but I don’t know. I’m not the best one for advice. One of the ladies I VT calls me DAILY (sometimes multiple times daily) asking for favors or for rides all over creation (hello, although I don’t mind helping occasionally, I’m not a free taxi service) and I’m too nice to be rude with her so I keep coming up with excuses why I can’t help. I keep thinking she’ll get the hint, but she hasn’t yet. Oy. Gotta love the crazies in the ward, eh?

  5. So your mooching neighbor is LDS? That makes the whole thing a bit easier. I would go to the RS pres in confidence. If the family is having an unknown food problem, she would be the proper person to check it out. The kids could have been saying they were full under instruction, but still actually be hungry and unfed. I’ve seen that before. Stealing food off the plates is a serious problem–either hunger or behavior. The RS pres can determine that. Secondly, to keep a decent relationship, follow Featjersky’s suggestion. They need to be told “No, this is for the little kids–you’re much too old.” Or if you can bring one extra for them to share when they do not beg, they will soon learn that if don’t ask, they will receive. I’m sure that you are not the only one having a problem with this family.

    To Feathersky–on your ride situation, there comes a time when being nice is not the right thing to do. The next time she asks and it is convenient, take her, and during the ride mention how glad you were able to help out that day, but you really can’t be relied upon due to [your family’s circumstances]. Tell her you’ll be glad to take her to the Dr or to the grocery when you go or ONE such thing, but that you can’t do other rides. I do not drive. I often have to get a ride. I try not to as much as possible [I ride my bike year round–or stay home.] At this point you are enabling her…she needs to find her own path to independence. A bike, certain people for certain days of the week and/or to certain places etc. My bishop once told me I had to stop helping a certain sister I VT because I was enabling her dependence. [I was relieved!]

    Sorry, Sariah, I just had more than 2 cents worth on this topic!

    The “moocher” isn’t the mom or the parents, Mom, it’s the kids (mainly the boy). They don’t have a food problem at home. The kid just doesn’t know proper behavior. The night they came over to practice, the mom and kids had been at another family’s house with a third family learning how to make some Venezuelan food and then they ate it. A LOT of it. And the mom of the third family told me the “moocher’s” kids were the only ones that went back for seconds.

    The issue is more about behavior than hunger.

  6. Well, I hope you figure it out. I feel sorry for that mother, I really do. It sounds like she has a lot on her plate. (Um, that might not be the best metaphor under the circumstances.) I’m sure it can’t be easy to have to deal with those kids — and to try to do it within a community where everything that happens to you is fodder for gossip-mongers (again with the food analogy!) must be even harder.

    I feel bad, too. I think I’ve decided to mention the breakfast thing to the mom and I’ve been advised by a friend (who is also friends with this mom) to let her know about the eating off my kids’ plates business, so I think I’ll do that. I see her tonight, so I’ll talk to her.

    The hardest part is that I’m trying to be friends with this mom and I know she doesn’t feel like she fits in with anyone. She has friends, but no one likes her kids, really. Their behavior is atrocious in many situations and effects everyone around them. She and her husband tend to turn a blind eye to a lot of the behavior with a “kids will be kids” attitude or a “my child has disabilities” attitude. Neither attitude is without merit, but I personally don’t think they can be used as an excuse to let your kids at inappropriately around other people, at church, at people’s house, etc. It’s not like these are isolated incidents. This kind of thing happens a lot.

    I hate the gossip, though. I’m afraid that yes, I am part of it, but I try not to be. It’s just easy to start venting with a group of women who are already venting about the same thing. Not making excuses. Just saying what it is. Anyway, I wish that if everyone was going to sit around and talk about other people, maybe we could figure out ways to help this mom other than jsut being frustrated and never saying anything TO the mom. I don’t know. I really don’t know.

  7. can you not just say, “we don’t mind helping where we can, but it would really help us if you sent snacks with your kids.”

    but… i’m simple minded and sometimes wear a helmet just for fun. 😉

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