AIBU about visiting DC and food?

(131 Posts)
SnailsInMyPaddlingPool Sat 20-Jul-13 14:49:30

I look after DNephew (3) unofficially, usually 1-2 days a week, though it varies. As a result of SIL and BIL's working hours, DNephew is usually left with PIL for most of the weekend (11am-11pm). Poor PIL are going through a really hard time at the minute, and to give them a break and for the benefit of my own DC, I often bring DN to our house to play. Sometimes I am asked and sometimes I offer, it's nice for the cousins to see each other, etc,etc. This has been going on about 6 months plus.

The only issue is that DN will eat nothing but chicken nuggets,potato waffles, and bananas, and will only drink fruit shoots. This means that I have to buy all of the above specifically for DN's visits, as we do not eat them (except for bananas). We are on a very tight budget and cook from scratch. Living in an area with limited shops means we often spend a fiver or more on foods which are only for DN, while my DC eat the food which I have budgeted and planned for. I know it doesn't sound a lot, but it is to us. The chicken nuggets have to be a certain type- made and sold by the local butcher, so 3.50 for a box of about 10- the issue is DN will easily eat the lot in one day, as he has them for both lunch and dinner and they are quite small. The potato waffles and fruit shoots are less of a problem, because they will keep until the next time, but even so I still end up having to buy them every other week at least.

I don't often get to supermarkets, but I have tried to buy cheaper substitutes to keep for DN, but SIL found out and I got the impression she was not happy as it was poorer quality and apparently DN can tell the difference. Also tried saving the fruit shoot bottles and filling with dilutable squash, but DN refused to drink it.

For a few weeks I tried giving DN no chicken nuggets and offering him what my DC were having. He refused to eat it and was apparently up most of the evening "sobbing with hunger"- SIL kicked up a bit of a fuss and was derogatory about my own family's diet.

Basically...AIBU to expect SIL to therefore send round food for her son or accept that he will have to eat as we do? I feel as though I am being horribly petty and tight, but we really are poor at the minute and have to be so careful with our own food budget.

MadameGazelleIsMyMum Sat 20-Jul-13 14:52:11

YANBU. Your DN's diet doesn't sound good, is there a reason that it is so inflexible? I would ask SIL to provide the food.

notanyanymore Sat 20-Jul-13 14:53:28

YANBU your sail is

notanyanymore Sat 20-Jul-13 14:53:50

Not your sail your SIL!!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 20-Jul-13 14:53:53

So sil gets lots of free childcare, and complains about the quality of the free food? Of course she should provide the food.

SaucyJack Sat 20-Jul-13 14:54:26

Bless your little cottons. YANBU.

Your sil is extracting the urine.

Hassled Sat 20-Jul-13 14:54:57

Assuming you're not being paid for the childcare, she should buy the bloody chicken nuggets and a massive bunch of flowers and be insanely grateful. J

ust tell her - your PILs can't cope all weekend, you're happy to help but you can't afford but extra food. Her alternative is paying a childminder.

fuzzpig Sat 20-Jul-13 14:55:38

I think SIL should provide the food. I would certainly offer if I were in her shoes.

Has he been referred to a feeding clinic? It sounds like he needs to be (my DS is getting referred and his diet is considerably more varied than nuggets and bananas, though it is nowhere near ideal)

hermioneweasley Sat 20-Jul-13 14:56:33

What SaucyJack said x100

TimeofChange Sat 20-Jul-13 14:57:56


She is being awful.

Maybe asking her to bring his food with her will be easier than asking her for cash.

Does she know your financial situation?

SnailsInMyPaddlingPool Sat 20-Jul-13 15:03:59

I'm not sure really. His diet has never been good, lots of sweets from a very early age etc. SIL has always been a bit PFB with him, but in a strange way. He 'only wears' clothes from H&M and can 'only sit' in the front seat of any car for instance, and has to have the TV on at all times even if he doesn't watch it- she'll visit people and insist they put on the Disney channel until she and DN leave, even if DN is out playing in the garden for the duration.

This does not happen when DN is with us mind you- DN is a lovely boy who doesn't seem to notice if TV is off in our house, doesn't mind wearing my DC non-H&M clothes when his own get dirty etc- however he does refuse all other food.

HRMumness Sat 20-Jul-13 15:04:29

If my 1 yr old DD can't eat what is offered when we are guests, I will bring something for her (in addition to the snacks I normally bring).
She isn't a fussy toddler mind but if a child has a very specific restrictive diet by choice and not by an allergy, the parent should cater for it.
Sounds like your SIL needs to encourage your DN to eat a wider range of foods. A little bit of hunger isn't going to hurt if he learns that he must eat what is offered (rather than being pandered to all the time).

exoticfruits Sat 20-Jul-13 15:07:54

I should just tell her that you will have him. It be will have to eat what is offered or go hungry. I am surprised the grandparents put up with such nonsense! Once be has cried with hunger a few times he will eat at least some of what is offered.
My take as the adult is that I buy it, cook it and clear it away- they only have to decide to eat it or not. I am not a restaurant. I take special requests once in a while but that is it!
The fruit shoots is simple- I would just say 'sorry- we don't have them' and list the alternatives.
If SIL is derogatory about your diet I should stay calm and just tell her it suits you as a family and she can either accept it or not send her DC.

SnailsInMyPaddlingPool Sat 20-Jul-13 15:08:17

Glad to know I'm not BU - felt like a horrible cow resenting DN's chicken nuggets. I love having him round but will tell SIL about the food, as come to think of it, chicken nuggets are cheaper than childcare. Though hopefully that wouldn't result in PIL minding him more, which would be a shame as they already so put upon.

whatsleep Sat 20-Jul-13 15:15:57

Try refilling the fruit shoot bottles with cordial, I bet he wouldn't notice the difference.

exoticfruits Sat 20-Jul-13 15:17:45

Have you discussed it with PIL? Are they not fed up with it?
My mother's friend' grandchild used to come with a whole list of what he would eat and not eat- she just used to say yes, yes, and yes and then ignore- she found he just ate it- however she was a tough lady, he knew there was no point in arguing!

ihearsounds Sat 20-Jul-13 15:19:57

What is she going to do when her pfb starts school? Demand that they only give him nuggets, waffles and fruit shoots? She is clearly living on another planet.

Carry on offering him the food you are cooking. When she again brings it up, tell her while in your care, you will feed him what you are cooking. If this is not acceptable, then it is well within her right to go and find paid childcare and try and convince them to feed the child such a shit diet.

trinity0097 Sat 20-Jul-13 15:21:03

The boy just eat more than that as there is no way a school canteen would dish up that kind of food each day nor would he have that kind of food in a packed lunch. What does he eat for breakfast at home? If he refuses the meal you have cooked for your family I would offer him toast or cereal. That way he won't starve.

specialsubject Sat 20-Jul-13 15:22:13

as long as this isn't a matter of allergies, time to change the rules. Starting with the expensive, teeth rotting, obesity causing fruit shoots.

surprised the poor little sod hasn't died of deficiency disease already. Let him refuse real food and see what happens.

or explain that free childcare (of a nice kid) means he eats what you eat, like all good guests.

formicadinosaur Sat 20-Jul-13 15:24:59

I Think you just need to let SIL know ghat you won't be buying in nuggets drinks etc as you can't afford them. Give the boy everything you give your own kids, if he chooses not to eat then that's his decision. He won't starve in one day and if he is upset in the evening it's because people haven't cow towed to his picky demands. In the long term it is in his interest to have a varied and balanced diet. If SIL is unwilling to run with it, she can buy the crap food. She has set him up to have these food issues.

formicadinosaur Sat 20-Jul-13 15:26:45

He will eventually get used to your good food but obviously will try and kick off to get his own way. Don't cave.

coronalover Sat 20-Jul-13 15:28:15


SIL/BIL should send him with a packed lunch or offer you money towards whatever you are providing. They should certainly not expect you to go out of your way and pay for special food. How rude of them!

Also agree with PP, they are doing nothing to prepare him for eating at school or even nursery.

formicadinosaur Sat 20-Jul-13 15:29:01

You sound so much healthier then your SIL

Viviennemary Sat 20-Jul-13 15:29:41

My DS was a fussy eater when he was little. But I wouldn't expect other people to pander to him. I think your sil is taking advantage of free childcare. Sometimes the more you do for people the more they expect as their right. Just offer what you have in the house and if he doesn't eat it then too bad.

JADS Sat 20-Jul-13 15:38:53

Holy crap. His diet is awful. I cannot believe your Sil slated your diet. She sounds like a bitch.

I have a ds with an embarassing limited diet at home who eats a very wide diet when at the cm/nursery. I would keep giving him what you are having or get your sil to send him enough nuggets/waffles and fruit shoots.

A compromise could be 1 nugget meal and 1 normal meal a day then he's not starving. Can you not freeze the nuggets?

Actually reading this back I would be tempted to tell her to sling her hook, but then the grgrandparents suffer. Is that right?

fuzzpig Sat 20-Jul-13 15:40:23

From your updates, SIL sounds scarily and unhealthily controlling. How is it normal to control what other homes have on their telly confused (and what would she do if she visited us without the Disney channel?!)

fuzzpig Sat 20-Jul-13 15:44:14

It is ridiculously hypocritical that SIL is slating your lower quality nuggets when her DS eats such an appalling diet.

Inertia Sat 20-Jul-13 15:52:01

SIL is taking the piss. I would tell her that you can't afford these specific items so DN can either share family food or SIL needs to provide the food she wants .

usualsuspect Sat 20-Jul-13 15:57:47

Tell her to provide his food.

Ignore the rest of the smug bollocks about his diet on here.

Tanith Sat 20-Jul-13 16:02:12

I can tell you that I don't know any childminder who would allow a restricted diet like that once past the settling in period.

I have weaned kids off Pesto pasta (and only pesto pasta!), Waitrose fish fingers (chilled section), and Ella's Kitchen purees (for a 2 year old).

Definitely she should provide food if she doesn't like what's on offer.

Unless she pays you, she should complain about the food you feed her dd. infact i would expect her to be a bit more greatful and maybe drop by some food now and then!
Fgs there is no real difference between brands and shop brands, most of it is the same stuff, made in the same factory but packaged differently!

*shouldn't complain

exoticfruits Sat 20-Jul-13 16:13:07

Even if I was paid as a childminder it would be on the understanding I did it my way- otherwise they could go elsewhere!

ouryve Sat 20-Jul-13 16:14:08

Extremely limited diets in small children aren't entirely unusual, particularly if they have obsessive or sensory issues for any reason.

What is unusual is your SIL's reaction to it. Tell her that if she finds your normal diet so shocking, then she either needs to provide the very specific and expensive foods he needs or find someone else to provide her childcare.

I have 2 kids with ASD, one of whom does have a limited palate, the other having a tendency to go off foods in phases until he's bored by his own diet. We constantly and gently push their boundaries. At 3, we found it very difficult to get anything but brown carbs into DS2. At 7, we have to eat our meat first, or else he finishes his and begs for (or helps himself to, if we're too slow!) ours! At 3, he'd reject a whole plate of food if there was any trace of veg on it. At 7, he'll just move the offending piece of food out of the way (or onto my plate where he considers it belongs!)

SnailsInMyPaddlingPool Sat 20-Jul-13 16:51:20

PIL are both in poor health but will not do anything to upset SIL. I can understand why- SIL had two m/c before DN and was of course devastated. I get the impression that the whole family have always been in the habit of treading carefully round her even before that, though. DH says that if PIL are adults and can stand up to her if they like. I think it's not as easy as that and meanwhile, hate to see them exhausted with looking after DN so much.

DN is here at the moment- I made pasta with a really plain tomato sauce, sweetcorn and chicken, which is something my DC will always eat. DN hasn't touched it and is currently on the sofa howling because I did not give him nuggets. Has also cried for an ice lolly because he always has one after his dinner.

I am going to politely ask SIL to send the food with him in future. He was at the dentist last week and his teeth are too soft and he needs fillings, so I can't imagine she doesn't know his diet is a problem.

SIL will be here in about an hour, so am busy preparing polite request for chicken nuggets....she may take it badly or she may not, it's hard to know with her

MortifiedAdams Sat 20-Jul-13 16:54:35

Sorry but the options for dinner should be the cook or hungry. He will soon come around. Kids know where and with whom they can be demanding and eventually he will adjust.

MrsHoarder Sat 20-Jul-13 17:03:37

Well presumably you have only just eaten dinner and your SiL will be there in an hour, she can get him some food if he really hasn't eaten anything. And make it clear that either she provides the food, he eats your food or she feeds him when they get home (presumably she's going to eat anyway).

Just tell her straight that you can't afford the "good" chicken nuggets etc that her ds needs, but you are happy to have a box of his food that she has supplied to feed him with.

And give her a decent children's recipe book for christmas

JohnnyUtah Sat 20-Jul-13 17:09:51

My younger boy is really fussy, but the rule always was - if you don't like what there is, you can fill up on bread and fruit. But you sit at the table while everyone else eats. (Plus, when he was older, you have to try a bit.)

What does this lad have for breakfast - is there no bread he will eat?

hermioneweasley Sat 20-Jul-13 17:10:04

BTW, OP, I think you're lovely to care about your PIL's health and well being.

I don't suppose there's any chance of your DH speaking to his sister and saying that caring for DN is too much and she needs to find an alternative?

pigletmania Sat 20-Jul-13 17:25:55

Your SIL is taking the piss and being totally ungrateful. Imwould buy the cheaper ones tough shit. Mabey serve him what your having, I he does not eat it, than cereal toast

pigletmania Sat 20-Jul-13 17:27:56

Tough your SIL should be bloody grateful, you tell her to provide the chicken nuggets, tats the least she could do

fuzzpig Sat 20-Jul-13 17:29:00

I think she may see providing the nuggets as preferable to 'forcing' her DS to eat different food. It's a shame in a way as of course it would be much better for him to eat a more varied diet. But even so, it's better than you having to spend money you really can't afford.

Ifcatshadthumbs Sat 20-Jul-13 17:30:11

My DS is a fussy eater, also has a gluten intolerance I always send him with meals where ever he goes. Would never expect anyone else to be out of pocket because of his food issues.

atrcts Sat 20-Jul-13 17:31:19

When in Rome do as the Romans. That applies to visitors like young nephews!

There is no way you should be expected to pander to someone else's good preferences. You're already giving enough by having him!

It would be a different matter if it was a food allergy but it's not, it's food snobbery/fussiness and should not be adhered to, especially if it's at your own cost. But even if they were prepared to being their own food for you to cook separately, that's unreasonable of them too, so either way they have no leg to stand on I'm afraid.

Good for you for not falling for such a mugs game!

IvanaCake Sat 20-Jul-13 17:33:48

You are absolutely not being unreasonable. Your sister either needs to provide his food or accept that he will have to eat the same as your dc. Only drinking fruit shoots is bloody ridiculous...its squash ffs!!

Is your sister doing anything to try and widen his range if accepted foods?

WilsonFrickett Sat 20-Jul-13 17:34:58

Well you could look at this two ways. Should she provide the food? Of course she should. But you do actually have the opportunity to improve his diet if she doesn't send in food with him, iyswim.

I would can the nuggets and get some waffles, then for every meal I would serve a small portion of the waffles and a small portion of what you are serving your other DCs. Make no fuss and don't get drawn in to a drama. But put the food down, tell him that's what's for lunch, and crack on with normal table conversation.

When everyone else is finished, lift the plates. Repeat as necessary.

This means a) you are not beggaring yourself on expensive nuggets b) he is getting something he likes at every meal (waffles are cheap and freeze) c) you are exposing him to new foods. If as you say he is hungry, he'll try them. If he doesn't, it's fine, no harm done. Maybe he will tomorrow.

And can the fruit shoots. Just don't even be drawn on them, he can drink water or milk or nothing.

I think if there's a drama with SIL that will lead to more conflict and controlling behaviour round his food.

I have a food refuser/restricted eater and it's really hard. But you could potentially be the person that makes a difference to him.

Nanny0gg Sat 20-Jul-13 17:38:26

I love the statements people make about 'pandering to someone's food preferences' and how you must make them eat what is offered or go hungry.

Some children would go hungry. They wouldn't eat food they disliked for any reason. People who make those statements do not differentiate between 'fussy' and food avoidance. It is in no way snobbery!

However, I think it would be more than reasonable for the OP to ask her SiL to provide his food.
Otherwise SiL can cook his tea when she takes him home.

Theas18 Sat 20-Jul-13 17:45:43

He's 3. You are providing free child care ( and dare I say it a normal loving, none pfb environment for your nephew, which can only be good).

he needed his diet improving, but till sil can see that she provides his food and drink. don't take the money for it-that could be seen as payment for childcare if someone wants to get arsey about it, and you wool have to faff around getting it!

it's be tempted to keep offering a bit of everyone else's meal too though

thefuturesnotourstosee Sat 20-Jul-13 17:59:11

Well either SIL backs you up and tells her DS to at least TRY the food that's put in front of him OR she provides all the food he'll need when he's visiting. She can't have it both ways. It sounds to me as if his problem stems from his parents giving in to him and possibly only eating a restricted diet themselves (no idea if this is hte case)

If they're hungry enough they'll eat and if they won't you have to assume they're probably not really hungry

MinimalistMommi Sat 20-Jul-13 18:17:04

SIL should provide food ? YANBU

trikken Sat 20-Jul-13 18:26:22

Agree with refilling the fruitshoot bottles. yes sil should buy the food if she isnt happy with the food on offer.

SnailsInMyPaddlingPool Sat 20-Jul-13 18:43:18

SIL has been and gone. I asked her if she was working next weekend and she said yes. So I very politely said 'well, I tried DN with other food today and he wasn't having any of it, so if you don't mind would you send round some nuggets etc for his dinner next week". SIL looked at me blankly and asked why. I told her that as he wasn't eating the same as everyone else I thought it was better if he just ate his own food from home, as it was getting expensive to keep buying seperate food from my own DC. SIL goes 'it's only a few chicken nuggets!".

I reminded her that they were specific, fairly pricey chicken nuggets considering we were short of cash at the minute. SIL at this point sort of snorts at me and said that was 'funny, coming from the woman who had enough money to hire a bouncy castle for DC birthday'. I had money off vouchers for the hire of bouncy castle in question, and my aunt offered to pay for the remainder as a birthday present for DC. SIL knows this as I was telling them all about how chuffed I was at aunt's generosity when I booked it last week.

So I asked SIL if she was suggesting that I cancel my child's bouncy castle in order to pay for her son's chicken nuggets (by now it's just getting surreal). SIL says that's not what she meant and that she thought most aunts and uncles would be delighted to see so much of their DNs. I reiterated that minding DN wasn't the issue, it was the constant buying of specific foods. SIL tells me that my hissy fit over a child's meal says more about me than it does about her. I try and end the 'discussion' by saying that either way I'm not prepared to keep buying the food and that DN is more than welcome to share the homecooked meals which I will provide.

SIL says that her son will never eat the 'healthy' (said in sneering voice) crap I feed my family and then goes 'oh just LEAVE it' and storms off with poor DN in tow.

No idea what to do next, think I will do as other posters suggest and just feed him what we're eating. The chicken nugget buying is at an end :D DH is out at the minute but will update him when he comes home and he can sort out any further issues with SIL

amiwickedwitch Sat 20-Jul-13 19:03:21

OMG can not believe your sil.

YANBU to expect her to provide food if dn doesn't eat what your having.

LookMaw Sat 20-Jul-13 19:08:21


Your SIL is nuts.

CSIJanner Sat 20-Jul-13 19:08:57

Rude, entitled, ungrateful caaahhh

Is it your DH's sister that's the relation of a brother? I think it's time to break out the hubby guns and get him to have a word

ComtessedeFrouFrou Sat 20-Jul-13 19:11:39

OP your SIL is a loon, and an ungrateful one at that. It's such a shame that your DN is the one suffering because of her attitude (I am not suggesting for a moment that you are in any way to blame for any upset he feels). If she wants a childminder and to dictate what he eats and drinks, he should bloody well pay for it. I'd be willing to bet that he wouldn't rush to return the favour for your DCs.

If you're happy to keep minding him, feed him what you and your DCs eat and stick to your own house rules. You'll be doing your DN a massive favour not to mention your ungrateful witch of a SIL

ComtessedeFrouFrou Sat 20-Jul-13 19:12:28

Sorry, she should pay for it, obviously.

coronalover Sat 20-Jul-13 19:13:28

What a fucking cheek!!!
How dare she question you getting a bouncy castle for your DCs birthday! She seems to think you should be grateful to her for looking after DN not the other way round, how much more pfb can you get!
I'm outraged for you and definitely a good idea to get your DH to sort it out.

pigletmania Sat 20-Jul-13 19:15:18

Oh my god what an utter cow. It's not your dn fault that his mother is a bitch. I would not buy the nuggets and just feed him what you feed your family, if he won't it it tough, he can ave fruit, sandwich or cereal. What a nasty piece of work

pigletmania Sat 20-Jul-13 19:16:29

I wouldn't look after him as often or just see him when he is at your parents, she should pay for a CM

cheerfulweather Sat 20-Jul-13 19:18:08

How very entitled she sounds. She gets free childcare and expects you to provide special food and drink at your own cost, as an occasional expense I'm sure you wouldn't mind, but regularly! She is taking advantage.

Stick to your guns on this one. And it's none of her business where you choose to spend your money.

ihearsounds Sat 20-Jul-13 19:25:50

She is nuts.
She needs to find proper, paid for childcare.
She is very ungrateful, entitled and selfish. She has no care about the effects that her demands have on anyone else.
Pandering to her pfb in your home should not be a permanent thing. You then run the risk of your own dc's also wanting different meals and special treatment.

SisterMonicaJoan Sat 20-Jul-13 19:32:54

She's a piece of work!

It's obvious she resents you for some reason - can you think what? Is it the birthday bouncy castle for your DCs? Or something much deeper?

Can't believe that you are supposed to be grateful for minding her DS!! It's lovely that you do and why but she doesn't get it, does she - she's getting free childcare (long term arrangement and at the weekend!) and less spend on the weekly shop due to you / your PIL feeding him.

Definitely go with getting your DH to sort this out with her, she doesn't respect what you're saying.

Good luck!

cloutiedumpling Sat 20-Jul-13 19:41:03

I'd just feed DN the same food as the other kids and explain to the SIL that you don't have time to go to the butcher as well as the supermarket. You are generously offering to provide free childcare. She should provide the food if DN isn't going to eat the same as everyone else. Does she ever look after your own DC?

Nanny0gg Sat 20-Jul-13 19:52:17

I feel really sorry for your DN, but I would suggest that your PiL and you refuse to have him next week.

See what she says about that.

Inertia Sat 20-Jul-13 19:55:03

She is just incredible !

On which planet is it acceptable to sneer at the relative providing free childcare, just because they cannot afford the very specific expensive food the child will eat ?

SnailsInMyPaddlingPool Sat 20-Jul-13 19:58:35

Thanks for your advice everyone

She's DH's sister. Day to day, she is reasonably normal and an OK person, but she has always had these moments where she is quite the opposite- upon reflection, usually when she doesn't get her own way. The bonkers behavior has become more pronounced post-DN though.

I don't know if she has a problem with me, I can't think of what it could be. I know she dislikes SIL2, DH's brother's wife, but always thought that was a bit of a character clash as they are both quite confident, chatty people who like to organise all the family events etc.

She has taken my DC once I think. Will definitely be letting DH sort it from here.

ouryve Sat 20-Jul-13 20:00:04

Bloody hell. What an entitled bitch she is.

When she arrives next week, if there's no nuggets provided, you hand her the details of local child minders that she would have to pay for and ask her which is cheapest.

Pancakeflipper Sat 20-Jul-13 20:00:18

Cor' she's a charmer isn't she?

phantomnamechanger Sat 20-Jul-13 20:00:44

I don't see why you would continue to offer free childcare never mind meals to this nasty woman who obviously has little respect or gratitude for you. Sneering at your "healthy food" is just pathetic.

Let her find a paid skivvy to pander to her DC and obey her every whim

she owes you BIG time for all you do for her, and is being a spoilt precious brat TBH

(8 years down the line the child will no doubt be sent home from a school trip to the isle of wight for having a secret stash of cold cooked nuggets in his suitcase! )

phantomnamechanger Sat 20-Jul-13 20:03:41

I'll tell her what her problem is with you OP, deep down she is jealous - she feels she has in some way failed as a mum by allowing this ridiculous fussiness over food. She KNOWS you are doing the right thing by feeding your kids a healthy diet, and for whatever reasons her son is difficult, she resents this. Her defence is to be a bitch to you.

phantomnamechanger Sat 20-Jul-13 20:04:20

sorry, should be I'll tell you, not her....

Xihha Sat 20-Jul-13 20:05:52

YANBU. When my kids go over to my mums they eat whatever my mum is cooking for everyone else and if they refuse then they go hungry because a) its not fair to expect mum to cook a different meal for them when she has young children of her own to feed and b) I don't want them to think its ok to be that fussy. (she does try to avoid foods she knows they really hate though). I also give mum a bit of money towards food.

TwoCrazyKids Sat 20-Jul-13 20:09:40

That is unbelievable! YANBU, please dont back down on this one!!

Shellywelly1973 Sat 20-Jul-13 20:24:17

The thing is if the op dosn't look after her dn, will it end up with her pil.being put under more strain caring for the child?

NapaCab Sat 20-Jul-13 20:25:56

Some people are just so ungrateful. I live abroad away from any family support and I would nearly die on the spot of gratitude if someone took care of my DS for me a day or two per week. In fact I'd almost be embarrassed to get that kind of help and wouldn't know how to thank them enough!

She should be paying for you and your DH to have a meal out once a week to thank you for the free childcare, never mind her son's food. Heck, she should pay for your DD bouncy castle while she's at it!

Sounds like she has had too much of her own way up to now and needs to grow up a little. I feel sorry for her poor child though, god help him.

Iaintdunnuffink Sat 20-Jul-13 20:39:59

What should you do? Send one of yours over to her once a week, during meal times. Because she would be so pleased to spend that much time with one of her nephews, or nieces. Then leave an odd list of only things to eat. Ok that would be unfeasible but she does need to grow up.

I would start to request baby sitting duties back and not be available all the time. She has no idea how lucky she is.

thefuturesnotourstosee Sat 20-Jul-13 20:44:09

Blimey. Well its obvious where the poor child is getting is attitude from.

Stick to it OP. NO MORE NUGGETS. Serve him exactly what the others are having and if he won't eat it then tough. He's not likely to fade away to nothing as presumably sil will feed him nuggets in the evening

Trigglesx Sat 20-Jul-13 20:45:54

YANBU. Make what you normally make, offer it to him, and if he doesn't eat it, he'll have to eat at home later.

I'm not unsympathetic to the child, really. I have a 6yo with SNs who has major food issues and if there is a food offered (or touching something he might normally eat) that he cannot eat for whatever sensory reason, he will refuse to eat rather than touch it. I have worked hard to introduce basic food that most everyone eats just to get him by these types of situations (bread/butter, apples, cheerios, corn flakes). And if it's an issue, I will make sure he has food packed in a lunch box that he can and will eat. I certainly don't expect others to go out of the way to buy special food for him.

Your SIL sounds a bit nutty (and rude).

Redcliff Sat 20-Jul-13 21:09:20

Well done OP - I think handled yourself really well and she sounds like a nightmare. My son has a friend with similar eating issues and although I know money is tight for his family his mum always sends over the thing he likes in a pack lunch box and I think most people would. Good luck and stand your ground - you are doing the right thing.

RobotBananas Sat 20-Jul-13 21:15:12

Does you SIL have food issues herself? Sounds like she's got a very strange attitude if she objects to normal healthy food.

Notcontent Sat 20-Jul-13 21:27:23

Ha, ha - this is almost funny. Not for you OP, of course, but your SIL's style of parenting almost sounds like a send up of crap parenting!
Horrible processed food and constant TV! She would hate my house! grin

I think you should just tell her that it's against your principles to have that sort of food at home!!

SlimePrincess Sat 20-Jul-13 21:34:19


SIL needs a refund from her finishing school. That should pay for plenty of nuggets.

zipzap Sun 21-Jul-13 08:47:59

She knows she is in the wrong and is using attack as the best form of defence to try to make you feel that it is your problem, not hers.

But I'm not surprised that she basically said no and still expects you to fork out for dn's special food. After all if she is entitled enough to think that you and PIL should provide free childcare and that in doing so she is the one doing you a favour, it follows that she would expect you to feed him on the expensive food that she dictates.

Maybe she is getting you to fork out for them as she is finding it too expensive to buy them all the time - heaven forbid she should have to pay for childcare and pay for her child's food. Sounds like she just wants to dump and forget but still exert her control.

Soon she'll be asking you and PIL to pay for the privilege of looking after her son!

I would also talk to PIL about what you are doing and get them to make a stand too about being paid for food or it being brought with him. Or he eats what they are having. And between the two of you - and maybe even involve him and you dc (to say their favourite foods, so dn can say what out of your usual meals he would like to try when he comes over). So say he might want to start with cheese toasties for lunch and chicken salad for supper or whatever, then you are giving him a tiny bit of control back by choosing what you eat (albeit from your shortlist) on the day he is over with you. And if he doesn't make a good attempt to eat up then next time he doesn't get any choice. If he gets on well with your dc then really use them to encourage him to try their favourites. Maybe even the first time he tries a food bribe him with mini sweets - one mini smartie for each mouthful (and obviously your dc would get one per mouthful too, up to 10 or whatever so he can see them getting the reward and want it too). Or bribe with the promise

SnailsInMyPaddlingPool Sun 21-Jul-13 09:56:14

Slight update:

SIL posted a status on Facebook (I know, I know) along the lines of 'feeling so upset and let down, blah blah'. I'm taking a wild guess that it was about chicken nugget gate.
That was it for me, I really dislike FB being used for personal stuff and all that passive aggressive asked DH to phone PILs and explain the situation. Told PIls that we obviously still wanted to see DN but that the expectation that he could come every weekend would have to be stopped due to SILs behaviour. The issue of PILs then taking on too much came up.

It turns out that on MIL's last visit to the doctor she was told that she really needs to take it easier. Also, SIL is apparently TTC- PILs were informed of this recently, as SIL told them that she was hoping to time the pregnancy with DN starting school, so PIL could take the new baby during the day and 'only' have the two children after school hours. MIL put her foot down, reminded SIL that she rarely works school hours anyway, and told her that they were simply not physically capable of looking after two children. SIL apparently went crazy, saying she would have to quit her job or stop TTC. She also....I still can't believe this...demanded to see a doctor's note proving that her mother was too ill to look after her children.

PILs then informed her that they would continue looking after DN until he starts school in September (technically preschool, but attached to a school reception class) and then it would be up to SIL to find a childminder, and that under no circumstances would they be looking after a newborn.

So I suppose that explains SIL's attitude to the chicken nuggets grin now that she's going to have to do what everybody else does and pay for childcare.

The best of it is, SIL could easily pay for childcare or become a SAHM as BIL earns very good money. She could pay for the bloody chicken nuggets as well!

CSIJanner Sun 21-Jul-13 10:04:31

I am quite literately sitting here, mouth open.

SIL has some brass balls on her.

RobotBananas Sun 21-Jul-13 10:05:22

Oh ny god, the nerve of some people!
TTC can make the best of us a little crazy, but this is just unbelievable.

MidniteScribbler Sun 21-Jul-13 10:08:15

More arse than class.

ChippingInHopHopHop Sun 21-Jul-13 10:17:53

Thank god your PIL have finally found their backbones!!

She sounds like a terrible user & a stompy little mare.

If I was in her situation I'd be sending around nuggets (enough for everyone if you'd let your kids eat them), apologising for it causing you extra work, thanking you regularly and having your kids over when I could. That is 'normal' - she is not.

Well actually, I wouldn't - because I wouldn't put up with that 'only eats nuggets' shit unless he had special needs or a real diet/food/eating issue - & in either of those cases I would be doing my very best to sort out. But it just sounds like he's pandered to.

The fact they are so well off & yet are being so tight must be bloody difficult to deal with too - they are even better off getting free childcare and they aren't even appreciative.

Id I were you I'd probably have some choice 'status updates' of my own about now grin

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 21-Jul-13 10:25:07

I rarely say this, but OMfuckingG! She really thought she could just sprog another one and the GP would raise it? Unbelievable! shock Glad she's been put back in her box.

exoticfruits Sun 21-Jul-13 10:41:29

Well done PIL!

Trigglesx Sun 21-Jul-13 10:54:25

Well done to your PILs for putting their foot down. And by extension, it rather solves your problem as well, doesn't it? grin Very handy.

Oldraver Sun 21-Jul-13 11:05:27

Op I'm glad that your PIL's have stood up to her, hopefully they can have the life that they need.

And to SIL..... just pay for the fucking nuggets....way cheaper than any weekend childcare

AaDB Sun 21-Jul-13 11:12:08

I'd do as chipping; send enough for everybody with dessert AND a great big thank you. I would also reciprocate.

I refuse to get stressed at meal times. As a compromise to 'my house, my rules', I have asked my df to send her DC with packed lunch and tea. They eat masses of sweets in the car on the way here and home. (shrug)

antimatter Sun 21-Jul-13 11:14:43

she would need to pay extra for those chicken nuggets at her childminder as well

unlikely she can find someone to look after her son 11am-11pm on weekend anyway so her attitude may change soon smile

I would be ashamed to insist on anyone to provide certain kind of food for my kids.

LIZS Sun 21-Jul-13 11:43:27

yanbu Sounds as if she has got too used to being pandered to . Stick to your "if you don't send food he is offered whatever we're having" line and mean it. Poor kid is going to find school hard otherwise.

WilsonFrickett Sun 21-Jul-13 12:03:32

Of course a cm isnt going to cover 24 hours of childcare at the weekend. Just watch your step op - I foresee a big drama as she makes it up to you and throws herself on her mercy when she realises PILs mean it and she has no weekend childcare....

Chunderella Sun 21-Jul-13 12:19:34

Blimey, what a douche.

However I think some of the stuff about DNs food preferences on this thread has been written by people who don't really get it. Some DC genuinely do have problems with food, this might be one of them. I realise that he wouldn't know he liked chicken nuggets and fruit shoots if he hadn't been given them in the first place, but we are where we are. So I think the idea upthread about giving him family food with a waffle is a good one.

MrsHoarder Sun 21-Jul-13 12:36:24

Chunderella the OP has said she is struggling financially and has asked the SiL to provide "acceptable" food for the DN or eat within the family's mealplan. That's hardly being cruel to a child with food issues or terribly demanding when the OP is providing regular free childcare.

SlimePrincess Sun 21-Jul-13 13:32:13

O my god. SIL is out of control!

gintastic Sun 21-Jul-13 13:45:22

Even if she did pay a childminder she would have to pay extra for the food - my CM provides meals, but wouldn't do special expensive food like that! She does sandwich meals included, or £1 for a hot meal so on days when they are there 7.30-5.30 (about 3 times a month - usually I collect at 3pm), they get breakfast at home, sandwich lunch and hot tea. No way would she provide specific food included! What a spoilt madam she is, and the doctors note thing flabbered my ghast! My MIL does childcare for us, but I would never ever presume that it was forever! I have contingency plans (paid childcare) for when she is ill or on holiday...

Inertia Sun 21-Jul-13 13:51:08

Chunderella - the OP was willing to accommodate the child's food preferences, even to the extent of cooking a separate meal for him- she just can't afford to pay for the expensive, specific-brand food while she is struggling to afford things for her own children and is providing free childcare during hours which are difficult to find paid childcare.

Glad to see that the PIL are also starting to stand up for themselves.

Ledkr Sun 21-Jul-13 13:59:02

Considering how lax she is with her ds diet she has an awful liberty insisting you buy this and that.
Just give him what you are having. If you don't watch it your dc will be picking up this crap from their cousin.

exoticfruits Sun 21-Jul-13 13:59:04

If I was a CM I would serve the meals that I wanted to serve, if they didn't like it they could go elsewhere! I would make changes for allergies but not for fussy children whose parents have pandered to them.

softlysoftly Sun 21-Jul-13 14:00:16

She is brilliantly bonkers

Still18atheart Sun 21-Jul-13 14:07:34

YANBU your SIL is right piece of work.

Still18atheart Sun 21-Jul-13 14:09:04

Sorry i don't know your SIL and that sounds little too harsh. That should be sounds like a right piece of work blush

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Sun 21-Jul-13 14:14:55

Wow, your SIL is a nightmare! YANBU at all and bloody well done for standing up to her. Your poor MIL though! Imagine demanding to see a doctor's note to prove someone can't do a MASSIVE favour for you! shock

cornyblend37 Sun 21-Jul-13 14:15:15

shock was she a bridezilla as well?

thebody Sun 21-Jul-13 14:16:35

I was a cm and obviously I provided healthy foods and what the mindees liked but I wasn't running a restaurant. it was eaten or in the bin.

your sil is a knob. charge her or ask for a packed lunch.

she's doing him no favours as this nonsense will have to stop at school.

the television thing is silly! perhaps she enjoys the Disney channels herself.

poor kid.

nenevomito Sun 21-Jul-13 14:19:33

If she was paying for childcare she'd have to provide food - or he'd be expected to eat what he was given. She's so unreasonable, its laughable.

thebody Sun 21-Jul-13 14:25:24

ooh can you warn any potential child minder.??

I can spot a late paying, entitled, late picking up, early dumping before official time, rude pain in the arse parent from 20 paces...

a child minder won't put up with her hysterics.

helenthemadex Sun 21-Jul-13 15:55:53

she is in for a shock when dn starts pre-school/school, her attitude is beyond belief

clam Sun 21-Jul-13 16:19:47

I'm sorry but she will continue to act in this appallingly entitled manner for as long as you all pander to her and enable her.

That conversation you had with her was great on your part to a point, but to be honest, you should have cut her off right at the start by saying something along the lines of "you know what? I won't be having him here at all."

Why are you still dithering over the bloody nuggets? They are so not the issue.

foreverondiet Sun 21-Jul-13 16:35:08

Yanbu - you are offering free childcare - I would tell sil you aren't buying any more of special foods - either he eats what your kids eat or she supplies it - and that fruit shoots just aren't allowed in your house.

pigletmania Sun 21-Jul-13 16:44:11

Oh my god my mouth is on the floor, she is just something else. I am so pleased for your PIL standing their ground, good on them! Demanding to see a doctors certificate shock, she is just a nasty toxic person, she does not care one jot about her parents. Tey are intact reading her Chid not her, and she wants another one shock

pigletmania Sun 21-Jul-13 16:44:38

Raising doh

Nicknamefail Sun 21-Jul-13 16:46:35

Wow op, you have a crazy sil. What is bil like?

Well done you and pil for taking charge of the situation.

Nicknamefail Sun 21-Jul-13 17:10:34

Also love that she didn't like you buying cheaper alternatives but also said 'it's only chicken nuggets' when you asked her to provide them. Classic.

foreverondiet Sun 21-Jul-13 18:10:11

ALSO wanted to comment in respect of the eating - my DS2 is now 3.5, but at around 2 his diet was similar to your nephew - basically a certain brand of processed sausages, certain yoghurts, and dry stuff like plain crackers or bread sticks, and ella's red pouches, and milk.

We went to see a paediatrician who specialises in fussy eating (my older 2 kids eat fine) and she said that we had to be very firm - cut out the milk, and basically he wouldn't starve himself. It was v difficult as we had nights of him crying all night asking for milk (as he had refused all the food on offer) but we found that the next day he was so hungry he would agree to try new foods, like meat sauce with hidden veg, veg soup etc etc. I have told friends and a lot of people have been quite shock that we were prepared to let him go hungry, but I felt more confident following dr's advice.

Anyway, a year on, his diet is still limited in that he won't eat any fruit or veg, but its much much better as he will eat any sausages, any burgers (even homemade with whatever meat I have), meat balls, bolognaise sauce with hidden veg, veg soup with hidden veg, fish fingers (even homemade ones with salmon) any yoghurt, any chicken nuggets, pasta, rice, tomato sauce, bread etc etc.

From what you said about her I can't see her following through with a plan to improve his diet, but maybe at school it might improve (although she might send in packed lunches??).....

clam Sun 21-Jul-13 18:51:54

Anyone else think there's some veiled threat to the PILs, re trying to conceive? If she's already had two miscarriages?

Groovee Sun 21-Jul-13 19:03:13

shock if it wasn't for the fact it's only a nephew, I'd say we had the same SIL! Your SIL sounds as bonkers as dh's!

I'd pull her up about the post on FB.

SnailsInMyPaddlingPool Sun 21-Jul-13 19:45:13

BIL isn't around much- he works very long hours in a stressful job and plays golf when he is home. A while ago he was offered the chance to cut down his hours whilst remaining on almost the same pay and he turned it down, so I do wonder if he deliberately avoids his own home somewhat.

I was talking to SIL2 today. Word has got out (DH's family are the sort of bunch who are terrible for in-family gossip but close ranks to outsiders) that SIL1 and I have had a falling out. I didn't say much because I didn't want to be bitchy, but SIL2 informed me that the few times she has left her DC with PIL, SIL1 has got wind of it and brought DN over to PILs house and sat there for the duration of other nephew & neice's visit. SIL2 knows this because PIL told her- on one occasion PIL had planned a trip to local farm with other grandchildren which then had to be cancelled due to having no room for SIL and DN to come too.

Anyway, have made sure that the next few weekends are packed and busy for my family, so we won't be able to have DN either way- hopefully this will help reinforce the fact that we are not free childcare/nugget providers anymore!

And yes, SIL is a loon. Strange, because on a superficial level she is OK and quite easy to get on with- then she breaks out on one, like a bloody solar flare.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 21-Jul-13 19:50:32

Good for you! What a shame DN has such unreasonable parents.

clam Sun 21-Jul-13 20:48:49

"A falling out?" That implies that you are partly to blame! Whereas your only "crime" is providing free childcare and caring about what your DN eats.
I would NOT be having him again. I'm just surprised you haven't put your foot down before.

BabyILoveYou Sun 21-Jul-13 20:56:20

Cripes, what a nutter. You sound lovely though OP.

Chunderella Mon 22-Jul-13 11:44:38

MrsHoarder and Inertia to clarify, it's not the OPs attitude I take issue with, rather some of the responses here.

fuzzpig Mon 22-Jul-13 12:08:38

Wow this just gets crazier and crazier shock

MovingForward0719 Mon 22-Jul-13 12:48:36

My ds has SN and a weird and wonderful restricted diet. I take food for him wherever I go. I usually mention and explain to the host so they are not offended and thinking I am rejecting their food, which is generally superior to mine!

Groovee Mon 22-Jul-13 12:54:00

Maybe you should offer to have SIL2's children instead!

RenterNomad Mon 22-Jul-13 18:40:23

YABVU to call that "a slight update!"


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