My friends think I'm BU in asking them to change our restaurant plans for my DD

(510 Posts)
EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Sat 28-Sep-13 10:31:10

Last week my 4 friends and I arranged to go out for dinner tonight. Not for anything special, just because we haven't see each other in ages and fancied a catch up.

I told them that i wouldn't be able to get a babysitter and they said that they expected and wanted me to bring 5yo dd along as they were missing her too.

Anyway, we emailed each other links to various local restaurants so we could check out prices and menus. We all agreed on an Italian place.

So i printed off the menu a few days ago and have been going over it with dd. I've let her pick her meal in advance and we've 'practiced' how to behave in the restaurant and I've shown her pictures of it online. We've also discussed things she can do while waiting for the food being served such as taking a colouring book or reading book. She's been to restaurants before and loves doing her little script of saying hello and ordering from the waiter/waitress. But because this is a new place, i wanted her to be prepared to prevent her getting too anxious.

Anyway, all was going well until this morning when i awoke to another group email. One of my friends have said that she was at an Italian restaurant last night with her parents and can't really face another Italian meal. Another friend chipped in with 'Yeah, i feel the same. TBH i'm not really into pizza and pasta anyway. How about a Chinese place?'

So then a dozen other emails followed containing various links for local Chinese places. By the time i'd managed to compose a polite email, everyone was pretty much set on a certain Chinese place.

I'd had a look on the website, and tbh there's nothing there that dd would eat. She doesn't like things with batter, not much of a meat eater, doesn't like spicy things, doesn't like chips, doesn't like rice, noodles or curries etc. And I'm not really keen on anything there either, but would have put up with it if dd wasn't involved too.

Anyway, i sent them a message explaining that i felt it was a bit short notice to be changing plans. DD was already prepared for the Italian place, had selected her meal, had been going on about it for days, had already seen all the pictures of the restaurant's interior. And that she wouldn't eat anything from there anyway.

They came back with the following responses:

"Feed her before she comes then just get her an ice cream or something while we're all eating."

My response to this: "But she was really looking forward to eating out with us, and tbh i don't think i can make ice cream last 2 hours."

"If she gets a bit antsy, we don't mind."

"It's not just a case of her getting 'antsy', it's the fact I'm going to be changing her plans with only a half day's notice, and all that preparation I'd done last week was for nothing. She will be incredibly anxious and upset for the whole meal."

"Bring her a toy to stop her getting bored."

"She can't play with toys alone. And she's already picked a colouring book to bring, but I don't think that will keep her calm and amused for 2 hours."

"Fine. We'll just go the Italian place."

This is then followed by a few 'pffffts' and eye roll smilies.

I feel horrid and guilty. Tbh i want to send them an email just saying that I'd rather they all went to their Chinese place and we could rearrange a group meal for another time. but if i do, it'll just be met with passive aggressive. "Don't be silly, we wouldn't dream of it' etc etc.

I actually don't want to go at all now. Or I'd rather just me and dd head out for a meal. if i do go, the whole atmosphere will be off and it will be like i dragged them all along. And when it comes to ordering, they will probably huff and puff about it because they've openly said they don't want to eat anything from there.

I genuinely don't know who's being unreasonable here. the fact I'm feeling so guilty about it makes me think that I'm the one in the wrong, but then again i feel guilty about everything. blush

HarderToKidnap Sat 28-Sep-13 10:34:04

Does she have anxiety problems?

I think you are the unreasonable one here. Sorry.

cleanandclothed Sat 28-Sep-13 10:35:24

Oh dear. Does your dd normally need to be prepared to go to new places, and do your friends know this? I think it was all fine until you started countering their suggestions. Once you get one push back, I would have either chosen to go with their plans or not to go.

spongebob13 Sat 28-Sep-13 10:35:55

christ on a bike!!! so much organising! ye are all bu.

ArabellaBeaumaris Sat 28-Sep-13 10:36:42

Does she have issues with anxiety or new situations or something? I think YABU otherwise.

Flicktheswitch Sat 28-Sep-13 10:37:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tee2072 Sat 28-Sep-13 10:37:22

I think you have over prepared her and you're being unreasonable.

I have never been to a Chinese restaurant any where in the UK that didn't have some form of UK food on the menu.

I don't think it's your daughter who is anxious. I think it's you.

Whatdoido5 Sat 28-Sep-13 10:37:24


Why did you have to go into it all so much beforehand with your dd? That wouldn't have occurred to me

exexpat Sat 28-Sep-13 10:37:30

Is your DD unusually anxious about new places? That sounds like an awful lot of preparation for one restaurant meal. We've never done anything other than just turn up and order...

They may be a bit unreasonable about changing plans at the last minute too - but rather than spending time on composing a big email why didn't you just chip in as soon as it was mentioned?

littlewhitebag Sat 28-Sep-13 10:37:49

I feel your pain. My DD at that age loved Italian food but would not touch Chinese. At age 15 she only just tolerates some chow mien.

Your friends are adults and should be able to show some understanding regarding your situation. It won't kill your friend to eat Italian two nights in a row. Most Italians do more than pizza and pasta anyway.

If i was you i would e mail and say that whatever they decide you are taking your DD to the Italian as promised. If they want to join you that will be fantastic but if they want to go to the Chinese you will understand.

ClaimedByMe Sat 28-Sep-13 10:37:53

Jeez so much stress on a 5 yo for going out for tea, you seem very controlling of both your dd and your friends for something that should just be relaxed fun.

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Sat 28-Sep-13 10:38:36

Dd has autism and gets incredibly anxious. So unfortunately i do have to be very organised in preparing her when it comes to visiting new places. My friends know this because i've told them, but as we don't see them that often, they've not really seen her in an 'anxious state' before, as they normally come to my house to visit.

I just feel horrible like they think i'm having a tantrum just to get my own way.

ZZZenagain Sat 28-Sep-13 10:38:41

I think the problem was that you went to all this trouble preparing her, choosing her meal and showing her photos of the restaurant interior etc. Like your friends, I find that a bit OTT. I understand why you did it but it is what has made you so inflexible.

Can't change it now though, just leave it as it is.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 28-Sep-13 10:38:55

I don't think either you or your friends are being unreasonable. DS is quite a fussy eater and I'd not like to take him somewhere where there isn't much he can eat. however if your friends don't have children then they won't understand it.

I'd go along to the Italian now it has been agreed, but going forward stick to your initial gut instinct and get a babysitter, that way you are all free to eat where you want and have adult conversation.

SirChenjin Sat 28-Sep-13 10:39:08

If she's five then I think she will be able to cope with a change just fine - or at least, she should be able to. Just make sure you big up the Chinese restaurant, tell her how exciting it will be to use chopsticks, etc etc.

onyerbike Sat 28-Sep-13 10:39:27

YABU in my opinion.

Your friends are being much more accommodating than most.

The world does not revolve around your child and quite frankly unless there is a particular reason why your dd needs all the extra support and effort you have been providing her with, then I think your behavior is extreme.

BurberryQ Sat 28-Sep-13 10:39:55

YABU your dd might love Chinese - if i was one of your friends i would think you were being precious.

ZZZenagain Sat 28-Sep-13 10:40:02

ok I see well if she needs the preparation, there is really nothing you can do about it

SirChenjin Sat 28-Sep-13 10:40:10

Oh sorry - just saw your post about your DD having autism. I think your initial plan for a babysitter might be the way forward.

JustBecauseICan Sat 28-Sep-13 10:40:23

Good heavens.

Whilst it's annoying to have your plans changed at short notice, what's with the preparation and briefing that your poor child has to be put through?

YABU on more than one level. If you hadn't worked your dd up beforehand, then the restaurant change wouldn't have mattered. The fact that you feel you need to do this says you are not comfortable with taking your daughter out, and should maybe be looking at your own anxiety, which screams out of your post. Your friends are now all saying fuxache, a 5 yr old's needs eh? Your reasonings sound almost unhinged.

I'm sorry to be blunt. You clearly have anxiety issues, and I don't mean to be nasty, but I think you perhaps need to talk to someone.

None of this "guilt" you feel need ever have happened. She'd have eaten something, when she got hungry. And if she didn't, well, no child ever died dead for skipping a meal.

HarderToKidnap Sat 28-Sep-13 10:40:25

It all sounds very tense and high pressured and anxiety inducing tbh. That's completely understandable if your DD has some sort of anxiety issue, but if not why would she need so much preparation to go to a restaurant? I'm bemused by that part of tr post and your assertion to your friends that all the "work" you'd put in would be to waste. Eh?

I think you should have gone to the Chinese, the majority wanted to after all. She could have tried some plain rice, picked little bits off your plate. Des being bright and breezy with her about plan changes not work? Perhaps if you don't invest so much in each plan it wouldn't be such a big deal should it change?

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 28-Sep-13 10:40:26

Although it was initially agreed that you'd do Italian, the fact that the majority now want to do something else does change the picture. What was dd going to eat at the Italian? Surely noodles are just pasta?

I can see your POV but you're still being a bit U.

However, does your dd have SN? Just wondered in reference to the preparation.

Whatdoido5 Sat 28-Sep-13 10:40:29

Why didn't you mention the incredibly relevant bit of info that she has autism in your op?

jacks365 Sat 28-Sep-13 10:40:29

Does your dd have any sn which makes the preparation essential if so then I do understand and sympathise but if not then yabu.

ASmidgeofMidge Sat 28-Sep-13 10:40:41

Tbh there seems to have been a lot of preparation for this meal (iro you and your dd), and I say this as someone who has a dd aged 5 who is quite a fussy eater and can be a worrier/quite anxious. Trying new foods/new places can be fun-why not focus on that with your dd?

My god unless there's something else going on here YAB massively U.

It's a meal not a military operation!

Writerwannabe83 Sat 28-Sep-13 10:41:04

I think it is unfair of your friends to expect a young child to want to eat anything from a Chinese Restaurant so I understand your displeasure about that.

However, I think you are being a bit 'precious' about preparing your daughter - it's just a restaurant, hardly anything to be scared about?? Does your daughter always need this amount of time to mentally prepare herself to go and somewhere she has never eaten before, to the point she has to see pictures of the establishment first??

Hover, if she does have severe anxiety issues or any special needs of any kind that means she has to have this level of preparation then I can understand by you'd feel apprehensive about having to change plans last minute x

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Sat 28-Sep-13 10:41:08

Is there a special reason why she needs to be prepared for a meal a week in advance? (If not, I'd say this is a bad idea. I'm thirty, and deliberately avoid doing things like looking up Tue restaurant in advance because I'll then get disappointed if plans change). Could she not have a bowl of soup and try a little bit of everyone else's? Is she a really picky eater or just one who hasn't yet branched out of her comfort zone? If its the latter, she might well actually like the things once shed tried them...

ClaimedByMe Sat 28-Sep-13 10:41:11

YABU for not mentioning your dds autism in the OP!

jacks365 Sat 28-Sep-13 10:41:13

X posted due to getting distracted by my dd. YADNBU

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

exexpat Sat 28-Sep-13 10:41:38

You should have mentioned the autism in your OP. For a NT 5yo that amount of preparation would be over-the-top and changing plans not a problem. In your case, it sounds necessary. Presumably your friends know about the autism?

JumpingJackSprat Sat 28-Sep-13 10:41:51

unless she has anxiety problems, why so much preparation? if dp and i are goimg out to a restaurant and take 5yo dss, tbh he comes and we expect him to behave himself and its not outside the capability of most 5yo to behave themselves. sounds like youre the anxious one and if you went to the chienese place she might have surprised you.

lljkk Sat 28-Sep-13 10:41:53

Depends on the 5yo, but if you mean how to keep a 5yo occupied over a 2 hour meal when they don't have anything to eat, some would be great, happy to chat & listen, & others would be under the tablecloth being mucky loud pests the whole time. It is a lot to ask of many.

Is she prone to anxiety problems, OP?

JustBecauseICan Sat 28-Sep-13 10:41:55

Sorry, I was x-posting with your second one.

I second what others have said though, and stand by what I said about your anxiety.


CrazyOldCatLady Sat 28-Sep-13 10:42:06

In light of your second post, YANBU. Stick to your guns and don't feel bad, you're doing what you have to do. If your friends don't understand, it's their problem, not yours.

SkinnybitchWannabe Sat 28-Sep-13 10:42:10

I think you should have mentioned her autism in your OP. YANBU, your friends ABU

SavoyCabbage Sat 28-Sep-13 10:42:14

Yabu. You went into it too much the first time. If you couldn't find anything on the menu she could eat then like your friend said, feed her first then get her something she either eats or doesn't eat. It's not about your dd.

I just went out with my own friends and one of them had to bring her four year old. We all know him but it wasn't about him. I have no idea what he ate. He sat at the table. He was there. He had some toys. And we all talked.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Sat 28-Sep-13 10:42:45

Writer, why unfair to expect a five year old to eat anything from a Chinese? Kids aren't built with an inbuilt aversion to the far east and most Chinese restaurants have fairly diverse menus!

Oh ok, x-posted and didn't see the post re: autism.

Shouldn't have mentioned that first?

ASmidgeofMidge Sat 28-Sep-13 10:43:05

Have also just seen your second post.

Chocotrekkie Sat 28-Sep-13 10:43:30

Can't you big up the chopsticks element of Chinese to your daughter ?

Mine can live on prawn crackers and eating them with chopsticks can take them hours.

If you want peace have you (or one of your friends) got a smart phone ? Few free educational kids apps (jigsaws, drawing etc) are a great standby if the meal goes on to long and she s getting bored with her colouring etc.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Sat 28-Sep-13 10:43:33

Sorry, just seen aboutvthe autism. Take back what I said.

petswinprizes Sat 28-Sep-13 10:44:14

You do seem a little intense - does your dd usually need such a level of 'preparation' to do everyday things? And to be honest, (which I'm assuming that you want) YABU. Your friends suggestions about toys/icecream etc seem perfectly reasonable and meant to help put you at your ease. Stop thinking about it, do something fun today and meet your friends for dinner.

lljkk Sat 28-Sep-13 10:44:31

oops, massive Xpost.
Okay, ignorance about autism is widespread. Why should they have a clue about autism if they've never had a reason to learn about it before? So no yanbu, but I don't know that I would blame them hugely for their ignorance, either.
Sorry, tis part of the pain having a child with SN. Having to educate others, I mean.

FannyMcNally Sat 28-Sep-13 10:45:11

So you kept countering their ideas until they gave in and now you've 'won' you don't want to go! You seem to have a lovely bunch of friends who have bent over backwards since the idea was first mooted, my group would just have arranged a different date, no one would have wanted a 5 year old there - heaven forbid! Apologise for your behaviour and go to the Chinese with good grace! Oh and have a good time!

CloudyBayDrainageSystem Sat 28-Sep-13 10:45:43

I assume they don't have autistic kids themselves? You just have to accept that unless they've been through it themselves they wont realise and you just have to cut some slack for them. Neither you nor they are in the wrong here.

TBH sometimes its easier to just make an excuse. I have a high functioning child and we'd have had to do the same preparation (perhaos not quite as detailed). In these circs I'd have simply said to my friends that DD was having a bit of a meltdown day and we'd catch up with them another time, then I'd have told DD that one of my friends was poorly so we'd be going to the Italian by ourselves.

petswinprizes Sat 28-Sep-13 10:45:47

Autistic? Surely you would've mentioned this in the op. Hmm.

SavoyCabbage Sat 28-Sep-13 10:46:09

Unfair to expect a young child to eat anything at a Chinese restaurant!!! That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read!

Mumsyblouse Sat 28-Sep-13 10:47:22

It was a bit silly not to post about the autism in the first post, now you have lots of irrelevant replies.

Having said that, I still think you are on a hiding to nothing. It sounds like your dd is going to find this outing pretty difficult anyway, if it requires that much preparation, I would be more worried I wouldn't be able to relax and that she might indeed find it all a bit difficult.

I would probably skip this meal, they want to go for a Chinese and just don't get the level of preparation you need to put in to make this ok for your dd- it's not a relaxing night out in my opinion for any of you.

But I do feel sorry for you, you did want to make this alright for everyone, but a lot of pressure is being put on your dd and your friends to make it do-able.

Chocovore Sat 28-Sep-13 10:48:10

Drip feed or what!

You need to remind your friends that you daughter has SN and explain a but about the autism causing her to be inflexible.

BurberryQ Sat 28-Sep-13 10:49:36

barbecued meat and rice and Chinese tea, chopsticks ofc - all good fun and no strange or new flavours.....?

unless the Chinese in mind is one of those dreadful places with orange jam poured over unidentifiable meat and scraps?

In which case do not inflict it on your daughter.

CrohnicallyLurking Sat 28-Sep-13 10:49:47

You should have mentioned that your DD has autism in your OP (though I had kind of guessed from your description of the preparations).

I think you need to be frank with your friends about why the preparation is needed. And that it's not just a case of her getting antsy, but give them the worst case scenario, ie what would happen if it was too much for her and she had a meltdown. Not just saying she will be anxious, but a vivid description of her behaviour, whether that's being clingy and demanding so you won't enjoy yourself (and neither will your friends) or throwing food or a tantrum. Your friends probably don't realise how important the prep is, especially as you have coping strategies in place and they've only ever seen your DD when she's calm.

Mumsyblouse Sat 28-Sep-13 10:49:53

Can you not meet up with one sympathetic friend at the Italian another time? I just think taking any child out when they are not used to it, need a lot of preparation and may flip out (NT/autistic/all small children) is really making this a stressful experience all around.

RapunzelsHairBrush Sat 28-Sep-13 10:50:38

I was just about to ask if your dd had a ASD warranting the minute levels of preparation, because it just doesn't seem normal to carry that out for a 5yo, but you have answered that.

That fact, alone, is INCREDIBLY relevant to the situation and determining whether YABU - you should have said that, both to us AND to your friends.

How about "Sorry to be a pain, but unfortunately DD won't cope with any last minute changes. That is the nature of autism - she will get incredibly anxious. So, if you really can't tolerate another Italian tonight, I understand, and we'll re-arrange for another night" to your friends and then take your DD to the restaurant by yourself tonight?

RamonatheMisunderstood Sat 28-Sep-13 10:51:54

I don't think you are being UR but I do think you should have mentioned that your dd has autism in your OP.

I completely understand your need to plan and organise and prep your dd, and fully appreciate the stress that a last minute change could cause you and dd. It's hard for people who don't have experience of autism to maybe grasp, but for what it's worth I think you did the right thing with regards to planning for the meal out.

I guess maybe your friends don't fully realise the impact of the change. If you had all agreed you would be going to a Chinese restaurant in the first place you would have planned for that accordingly. Only you know if your dd would be able to cope with the change at such short notice. I don't understand why your friend went to an Italian place last night knowing tonight was already planned tbh.

I'd go along tonight, smile and be cheery, and next time maybe try and get a babysitter? Also - and this may be quite hard for you to do - I'd open up and explain to your friends just how difficult it can be coping with autism. I've found you have to really spell things out for people to understand fully.

Good luck with it all!

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 10:52:54

I think the thread title and the fact the op mentions nothing to do with her daughter having autism is in fact deliberately provocative.

Viviennemary Sat 28-Sep-13 10:53:05

It was nice of them to invite your five year old along too. Your friends sound really nice and considerate. I'm afraid YABU in this case. It's a bit of a fsus about nothing.

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Sat 28-Sep-13 10:53:08

I thought i had mentioned it somewhere in my above ramble, apologies. Even then, i still made it very clear she has serious anxiety issues.

I think because my friends only see her on her 'good days', they don't realise how much something like this will unsettle her. I'm not one for tippy-toeing around my child, but perhaps if they had suggested the Chinese restaurant earlier in the week (even early yesterday), i would have been able to get dd used to the new plans. We could have had a wee 'chinese buffet' night at home, to get her used to the various tastes/textures without causing a scene on the restaurant night. I've tried mentioning it to dd this morning and she's gotten really upset by it so I don't want to push the idea on her.

Sorry just trying to read the replies here.

I want to send them a polite email, but one which won't make them think i'm in a huff that they changed their plans, or me acting passive aggressive by wishing them a nice night.

I completely understand that people are entitled to change their plans spontaneously. But with dd, i don't have that luxury.

MammaTJ Sat 28-Sep-13 10:53:55

I certainly guessed from the op that her DD has autism.

YANBU, but they probably need a reminder of why the preparations took place and why it is so hard to change at the last minute.

DamnBamboo Sat 28-Sep-13 10:54:27


BillyBanter Sat 28-Sep-13 10:54:42

I don't have a child at all but I'd still be fucked off with millions of emails to decide on somewhere followed by another million to change everything last minute because someone had Italian the night before. That sounds a lot more precious than your reasons for wanting to stick to the original plan.

Italians quite often eat Italian food twice in a row and seem to cope.

BurberryQ Sat 28-Sep-13 10:54:51

what Rapunzelshairbrush said sounds quite good...

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 10:55:04

Sorry to be blunt but it's not about YOU or even your DD. It's unreasonable to make it so.

Inertia Sat 28-Sep-13 10:55:45

The fact that you DD has autism is extremely relevant, and explains the degree to which you need to prepare her. For a NT child it would not be a big deal, but tbh I think your friends are being unreasonable as they'll know that DD cannot cope with last minute changes, and anyway it's a bit unfair to change just on the whim of one person.

I would say that you won't be able to make the Chinese but hope everyone has a lovely time and you'll catch up soon when you can get a babysitter , and just you and DD got to the Italian.

ihearsounds Sat 28-Sep-13 10:56:33


A lot of people don't fully understand the problems around autism and the anxiety and 'melt downs' that can come with changes. They don't realise that changes have to talked about in repetitive detail. They don't understand that someone with autism constantly wants to know about what they are doing now, next and later.

The one that went out last night should have mentioned something then to their parents about having Italian, knowing about tonights plans.

Only you know your daughter and how she reacts to different textures. Different pastas have different textures, and of course shapes. Which again, some won't realise the relevence of this. Not all Chinese resturants have 'English food', at least the ones local to me don't.

Email them back and say, sorry going to have to do a rain check. THe new plans won't work for your dd.

Inertia Sat 28-Sep-13 10:56:36

BillyBanter- good point!

ArabellaBeaumaris Sat 28-Sep-13 10:57:07

FFS why leave out such a crucial detail?

Mumsyblouse Sat 28-Sep-13 10:58:50

Clearly they don't know that a child with autism can't cope with a last-minute change, the things they are suggesting all suggest they are thinking about nt or even no children at all (just eat ice-cream). It's just a mismatch of the Op and child's needs and having a girly night out. I just don't think this is an ideal situation for the OP and her child anyway tbh, I think a one to one, which you have chatted over the phone with the friend to let her know what your dd needs, would be much better- anything group like, with group emails isn't going to be sensitive enough.

And- they won't get it, they probably don't even have children, so how are they supposed to get it unless it is spelled out!

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 10:58:56

There are four other adults involved in this night out though. Autistic or not I'd be a bit miffed if what we ate or where we went was dictated purely because one of the group couldn't/wouldn't get a babysitter.

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 10:58:57

I guessed from your 'prep' that DD has autism.

Your friends are being unreasonable.

It's hard as lots of people just don't get how much this sort of thing would be a problem [My son is autistic too-he also wouldn't eat chinese food!]

I can see why you don't fancy going now.

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Sat 28-Sep-13 10:59:06

No, none of them have children themselves. Or any real experience of children actually. No younger siblings/nephews/nieces/cousins and all work in childless environments, but they do love dd to pieces, which is another reason i feel massive guilt. But they just don't understand how something as simple as changing restaurant plans on the same day as the intended restaurant visit will unsettle her.

And unfortunately i can't get a babysitter. My mum's really the only babysitter i have, but she goes away most weekends nowadays with my dad.

And tbh, i've hardly seen dd all week due to work and uni, so i don't want to spend an evening away from her even if i could miraculously find a willing and cheap babysitter.

Charlottehere Sat 28-Sep-13 10:59:41

You are a helicopter. Yalu of course.

Charlottehere Sat 28-Sep-13 11:00:01


SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 11:00:28

I'd do a raincheck too.
One of the lovely things about Aspie DS being a teenager, with his mates is that he can do all his weird stuff and they don't care, it doesn't register as an issue or a problem with them. They like him as he is.
He has many similar issues with food, when they last went out they decided on Chinese and he didn't like most of the stuff on the menu. So he ate 7 bowls of egg fried rice because that's what he liked, and none of them said a word or thought it was a problem. grin
I hope the future holds similar friendships for your DD.

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:00:42

Autistic or not I'd be a bit miffed if what we ate or where we went was dictated purely because one of the group couldn't/wouldn't get a babysitter

That is not what happened though. Read the OP.

JumpingJackSprat Sat 28-Sep-13 11:00:46

sorry x posted with the drip feed. if youre friends are aware of dds autism then yanbu just explain to them why she needs so much preparation.

ihearsounds Sat 28-Sep-13 11:01:03

Maybe some of the posters should read the op. Some of you are saying her dd can have x, y and z with some rice... The op stated her dd doesn't like rice.

Charlottehere Sat 28-Sep-13 11:01:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 11:01:45

I have read it thanks amber leaf

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 11:01:59

OP, this is why the SN boards are opt in. Cos out here
you get people who haven't a clue about the spectrum or children on it calling you a helicopter. smile

Moxiegirl Sat 28-Sep-13 11:02:11

It does sound like the person who decided that they didn't want 2 Italian meals in a row is top dog and a bit precious!
Having said that, my dd is also autistic but unfortunately suffering change is part of life and can't always be helped. Have you asked her about the Chinese restaurant? She might just surprise you, the chopsticks might be a winner.

BillyBanter Sat 28-Sep-13 11:02:48

However it would have been better to say in your first email that as dd is autistic you have had to prepare her for the Italian experience and you don't have time to prep her for this last minute change so you won't be able to attend if they do go for Chinese.

Even before you said she had ASD I thought you were being completely reasonable.

I wouldn't want to take my DC to a restaurant where they wouldn't eat anything on the menu and expect them to sit there for two hours while the adults ate and chatted. It would be a crap evening out for you and for her.

Its threads like these though that make me hold my head in my hands about what a load of ARSE BISCUITS inhabit AIBU. I don't think there is genuinely a parent out there who would take their kids somewhere they'd have to entertain them for two hours on an adult night out.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 28-Sep-13 11:03:22

Dear friends
I was really looking forward to seeing you tonight but due to DD's autism she will not cope with a last minute change although I understand why you have decided to change and would to if I didn't have to be so mindful of how dd will cope.

DD and I are going to go to the Italian restaurant as I did all the groundwork to prepare her for a night out and to cope with a new experience which she finds difficult even with lots of preparation. DD and I will enjoy this special time together and it will be good for her socialisation/people skills to stick to the plan of going and this will help her in the future.

Talk soon - have a great weekend - dd and I are around during the day if anyone fancies popping round for a coffee.

Much love Ewehavegoattobekiddin

Sorry you are going through this OP and that your friends aren't able to empathise - yet.

Littleen Sat 28-Sep-13 11:04:47

Whilst I do understand your daughter has autism, I think it could be reinforcing the fact that she is anxious about such outings more with the anxiety you appear to have about taking her. Perhaps building her confidence to be able to do more spontaneous things would work with some practice.

ihearsounds Sat 28-Sep-13 11:04:51

So the op is bu, but the other adult, who decided to eat at an Italian yesterday, knowing about tonights plans is completely blaimless is all of this?

That is the person in the wrong here. THey all decided days ago to eat at a specific place.

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 11:05:10

It sounds like the majority of the group were happy with the chane of plan, probably because they wanted a night out with friends not to be bound to anything because of your child. Sorry but that's how it works when you are in the minority and if you have children and no sitters you do unfortunately have to miss out on some events.

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 11:05:38

"I think it is unfair of your friends to expect a young child to want to eat anything from a Chinese Restaurant so I understand your displeasure about that."

Irrelevant to the topic, but i just wanted to say I think this is one of the oddest posts I have ever seen on Mumsnet.............

DontmindifIdo Sat 28-Sep-13 11:06:33

YANBU - although you should have mentioned her SN at the start! (guess you've got that now...)

I'd just send around another message that you aren't going to make it this time, you hope they all have fun. Then individually when you see each of these friends face to face explain that her Autism means you can't just change plans at the last minute as you have to prepare her for new situations, that it's annoying but you are finding this approach successful and you feel it's a small price to pay for a non-melting down DD. Each one make it clear that if plans at the last minute change that include DD you'll have to miss it. You aren't dictating to the group, it's just a limitation you have on your life.

I'd also start trying to find other babysitters you could use in the future, it might be easier to do dinner at 8ish (so you'll still get your day with her) without her for friend catch ups.

randomAXEofkindness Sat 28-Sep-13 11:07:46

I think they're all being arses grin. I definitely do not think YABU op. I agree with littlewhitetea that you should tell them that you are going to the place you have planned in any case, if they want to join you fine, if not, also fine (you'd probably have a better time with your dd without the bad atmosphere anyway on this occasion). Your friends know that your DD is 5 & autistic. They said that they 'missed her too', hardly likely since they're not interested in her enough to spend a couple of minutes to google search 'wiki autism'. They've made it really difficult for you to enjoy the evening now because of their passive aggressive eye rolls etc. They could have enjoyed it at either - there's hardly much of a difference, it's all food! So yeah, I think they're selfish, spoiled, and passive aggressive. You were only thinking about your dd.

randomAXEofkindness Sat 28-Sep-13 11:09:13

Sorry you've got to put up with them op biscuit brew

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Sat 28-Sep-13 11:09:41

I'm not sure why so many people are angry about 'drip' feeding. And i'm not sure why I'm being called a helicopter...

I thought i had mentioned autistic 5yo dd instead of just saying 5yo dd. Once again, apologies. But even without this detail, it seems obvious from my OP my dd is not NT (but perhaps that's because i have experience of ASD) and that she suffers from anxiety.

I like the above response just honestly telling my friends that my dd can't cope with the change, but they will then roll their eyes and once again say 'Fine. Why are you still going on about it? We're going to the Italian place.'

So no matter what i write to them, it won't fix this atmosphere I've created.

i have a horrible knot in my stomach now. This is why i hardly go out. it's too much stress. Too much planning is required. And more often than not, the whole thing needs to get cancelled.

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 11:10:25

Would it be possible to arrange catch up nights at your place in future? Would suit you and your DD then. I totally get where your coming from but I'm not a fan if children attending adult nights out regardless of whether they are NT or not so think maybe the evenings out with your DD coming might not be the best idea.

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:11:27

I have read it thanks amber leaf

Did you miss the bit where the OP said her DD was specifically invited?

Ruebarb Sat 28-Sep-13 11:11:31

I do not have young children now- both adults - but have 2 comments:
1 I would be really fed up with having to change arrangements at last minute - why do people feel the need to keep changing arrangements - is it a power thing and for the 2nd friend to then say she did not really like pizza and pasta either then why did she agree to the Italian restaurant in the first place? Makes going out such hard work and arrangements flakey to say the least.
2 I would never take a young child out with friends unless everybody had children with them (or at least the majority). It just changes the evening and means that I would never relax and I would feel that everyone would have to accommodate my child. I would also feel uneasy about anybody else taking her child well.
I probably come from a slightly older generation than other people there pre text/mobile phone/email so arrangements could not easily be changed spontaneously and I still find it rather rude.

Hi friends

I've been feeling really guilty about forcing everyone to go to the Italian when none of you fancy it.

There's just no way I'll be able to change it with dad's autism. I put the feelers out about Chinese and I know we'd have a meltdown on our hands!

I was thinking why don't you guys go ahead to the Chinese, dd and I will go to the Italian and you can come back to mine for a chat afterward/meet for coffee at the weekend.

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 11:13:07

Having a child with a disability is one of the clearest and most uncompromising ways of telling your fair-weather casuals from your true friends.
It sifts the wheat from the chaff ruthlessly.

FutTheShuckUp Sat 28-Sep-13 11:13:24

No, I saw the bit where the OP said she'd HAVE to bring DD....

Mumsyblouse Sat 28-Sep-13 11:13:41

spoiled, selfish I'm sorry I disagree, before I had children I just had no idea what was and wasn't possible with children- I didn't know that it's hard to get a baby to sleep or that routine makes children cry or anything. I never saw a child or baby really, none in my family or among friends- it was a sharp learning curve. I would have probably made stupid suggestions too.

One sure way for the OP to lose friends and feel lonely and isolated is to assume they mean something malicious by this. They don't- one person didn't fancy Italian, others joined in .They are unthinking. If the Op had emailed back immediately with a very clear response that due to dd's autism she wouldn't be able to change venue at the last minute, could they bear this in mind, they probably would have done, but she didn't.

I really think arranging group events by group email among a group of girls used to going out like this is asking for problems. Why not pick up the phone to one of these girls and actually explain the problem, you know, like friends? They can then email the rest of the group with real understanding, whereas what is happening now is that the oP is feeling frustrated and excluded.

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:13:53

Whilst I do understand your daughter has autism, I think it could be reinforcing the fact that she is anxious about such outings more with the anxiety you appear to have about taking her. Perhaps building her confidence to be able to do more spontaneous things would work with some practice

What the OP did as prep as absolutely the right way to help her DD.


susiedaisy Sat 28-Sep-13 11:14:17

Personally op I would be pissed right off with the person that had Italian the night before the meal you had all agreed on and then tried to change the entire evening to suit herself because she couldn't face another meal of pizza or pasta!! She is the one that has actually caused all this fuss not you!

nkf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:15:12

You and your daughter have to go with the crowd on this one I think. If you really think she can't handle it, you will have to bow out. I get the impression you are using the opportunity to help your daughter get used to restaurant eating and that sounds great. But, maybe not mix it up with a gang of girlfriends who want to please themselves and change. They all want to change I take it. Can't you go with your daughter somewhere?

susiedaisy Sat 28-Sep-13 11:15:48

And silverapples your 11.15 post is spot on!

AmIthatHot Sat 28-Sep-13 11:15:51

I think YABslightlyU.

I would have spent today talking about Chinese food, looking up on Internet , making it sound like a fun change, a change for the better if you like.

Change is inevitable, particularly as they grow older, the challenge is to handle the change in a positive way. My DD is now 14, and when we plan scenarios, I always include a plan b, for everything. If its outwith my control, then I have hopefully prepared her for things not being entirely as she expected.

I hope you both enjoy whatever you decide to do

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:16:07

FutTheShuckUp the relevant part is that her friends expressly requested her DD attend too.

Mumsyblouse Sat 28-Sep-13 11:17:12

So- OP, if this makes you so anxious as well, why not ask one of the girls you are the better friends with to come with you to the Italian another time? One on one is so much better if there is anxiety- and why not pick up the phone and tell them how it really is. All this group pack mentality is not helping you at all because they are thinking fun girly night out and your needs really don't fit within this tbh.

CrabbyBigBottom Sat 28-Sep-13 11:17:22

You've got some very skewed replies on here because you didn't put the fact that your DD has autism in your first post. Of course that changes everything and that level of preparation is sensible and necessary and you should have made that clear from the start.

If they don't have kids (especially a kid on the spectrum) you can't really expect them to understand how much this would unsettle your DD. So they're being a bit unreasonable at this point by mucking things about at the last minute. You need to explicitly spell it out to them that this won't work for DD because of her autism and need for preparation. If they then get arsey about it, they are definitely BU. I think that you should say that you are going to take DD to the Italian restaurant, stating clearly why, and leave the ball in their court.

Also, the back and forthing of messages... she can't do this or that... is not helpful, I think you should have just said immediately 'look guys, this isn't going to work for DD - due to her autism and anxiety she needs loads of preparation for new experiences (which I've been doing all week) and she's going to freak out if we change the plans now. If you want us to come then it's going to have to be the Italian.'

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:17:44

Bang on SilverApples.

Some friends [the good ones] will make the effort to understand, others can't be arsed.

I think Marriedinwhiteagains suggestion letter/email is a good one.

JumpingJackSprat Sat 28-Sep-13 11:18:36

im sorry if my posts were harsh op. it aint your fault one of your friends tried to rearrange... maybe you could have handled it bettee but whats done is done. maybe when youre out just explain about the prep you have to do and it was too short notice to change plans. if theyre real friends then they shouldnt make you feel bad about it. hope you and dd have fun smile

NanooCov Sat 28-Sep-13 11:20:45

I think you're being a little unfair to your friends in suggesting there will be a continuing "atmosphere". They have agreed to stick with the Italian. All you need to do at the start of the evening is thank them for their understanding and maybe give them a little explanation of why last minute change of plans don't work with DD. You say yourself they've only seen her on good says in your home so they're probably just not aware. And that's not their fault. I think your own anxiety is the thing that will now potentially make the evening out difficult. Give your friends a chance to show their support.

Bunbaker Sat 28-Sep-13 11:21:02

"I think it could be reinforcing the fact that she is anxious about such outings more with the anxiety you appear to have about taking her. Perhaps building her confidence to be able to do more spontaneous things would work with some practice."

You clearly know nothing about children with autism. Your idea simply doesn't work.

nkf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:21:15

But do the friends know what you have to do to make this happen? If they don't, then you have to take that into consideration. I honestly think you should have told a fuller story in the first post. I guessed it because such a lot of prep was involved, but do your friends know?

Bonsoir Sat 28-Sep-13 11:23:45

You have made a mountain out of a molehill.

pinkdelight Sat 28-Sep-13 11:27:25

Doesn't sound like you'll get much out of the catch-up with your friends if you actually want to spend the eve with your DD. Not sure why you're going, given all the anxiety it's causing. Let them enjoy their Chinese meal and you take DD for an Italian. Maybe your friends are very different to mine but I'd find it hard to talk freely on a girlie dinner out with a 5yo, esp one who needed your attention.

Jinsei Sat 28-Sep-13 11:28:48

I thought i had mentioned autistic 5yo dd instead of just saying 5yo dd. Once again, apologies. But even without this detail, it seems obvious from my OP my dd is not NT (but perhaps that's because i have experience of ASD) and that she suffers from anxiety.

It was perfectly obvious to me from your OP that your dd had some SN. I can't imagine why it wasn't obvious to others.

YANBU, and I found it obvious from your OP that your dd had SN.

I have 3 dc with autism, so I get where you're coming from. I do think however that you should try and prepare your dd for more spontaneity in life, you won't always be able to prepare her for every eventuality and she will need skills to be able to deal with any anxiety new situations bring about.

In this situation though, and with your dd being only young, YADNBU.

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 11:29:39

Mountain out of a molehill?
I do agree that perhaps fewer words and more clarity when communicating with the group would have simplified things, and worrying less about how they feel.
But to do that, you need to be confident and sure in yourself, which I am but many are not.
DS was an explosive Aspie, which made my choices clearer and limited. If he'd been pushed into a meltdown at 5, he wouldn't have been sitting weeping under the table or flapping. He'd have been a hazard to people and furnishings. It helped me cut through the waffle and bullshit and the euphemisms and prioritise. smile

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:32:20

If he'd been pushed into a meltdown at 5, he wouldn't have been sitting weeping under the table or flapping. He'd have been a hazard to people and furnishings

Sounds familiar grin I know what you mean.

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 11:36:45


He's a lovely young man now, with a sense of humour and numerous strategies he self-implements to handle stressers. Took years of helicoptering though.
Fewer words, more clarity in your explanations to your friends. They don't understand and most of them probably aren't that bothered, so after a paragraph their brains shut down.

DC4 (also 5) would be whacking and biting people is he were having a meltdown, even when he is happy he doesn't know the meaning of personal space and would be kissing, stroking and hugging people to the point of suffocation (even random strangers!). I used to think it was stressful going out with dc2 (9) who screams when having a meltdown, but at least he stays well away from other people!

We're slowly getting there but everyday things that other peolple take for granted (like your friends OP) can be so hard and stressful.

PigStack Sat 28-Sep-13 11:40:40

How about "Sorry to be a pain, but unfortunately DD won't cope with any last minute changes. That is the nature of autism - she will get incredibly anxious. So, if you really can't tolerate another Italian tonight, I understand, and we'll re-arrange for another night" to your friends and then take your DD to the restaurant by yourself tonight?

What she said

Yeah I agree with fewer words, I've found that sometimes you just have to be pretty blunt with people and not worry too much about offending them. You have to do what works for you. Grow a rhino hide smile

Whatdoido5 Sat 28-Sep-13 11:41:42

I d don't read it as the dd being SN especially. As someone who has suffered with anxiety I read it as the op being anxious.

I'm sure having an autistic child isn't easy. And I'm sure the op needs to do the prep she did, now that has been clarified.

But my initial response was based on the original op.

If I was as anxious as the op now seems to be, I wouldn't go. Because I wouldn't enjoy it at all.

And I know what I'd say to a "friend" who told me I was making a mountain out of a molehill about something relating to my child's special needs.

Lazyjaney Sat 28-Sep-13 11:46:26

A group of child-free friends changing something at the last minute is quite common in my experience. i found when my kids started arriving it got harder and harder to socialize with people who didn't have kids, for all the reasons upthread.

But I wouldn't take a 5yo to a girls' night out anyway, even if they had kids, certainly not if none of them have kids.

IMO its good for the soul to keep up with adult friends when you have small kids, and you probably need to find a babysitter you like.

NoComet Sat 28-Sep-13 11:46:50

A Chinese that doesn't do chips or something similar would have been impossible with DD2 until she was way older than 5, it is not a good choice.

nkf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:50:33

I imagine it's harder to find a babysitter when your child has special needs. What are you going to do?

MidniteScribbler Sat 28-Sep-13 11:50:55

I think the difficulty here is that this was supposed to be "girls night out", then one person said they couldn't get a babysitter, and the rest, very kindly, said just bring her along. The rest of the attendees will be thinking about their "girls night out" still, and not thinking about the needs of a 5 year old with autism. In their minds, they were doing the OP a favour by "letting" her bring her child and not miss out on the night. Now, to some of them, it seems that their night is catering to a 5 year old girl. The needs of young children with autism will rarely mesh with the wants of young adults with no children and no experience of special needs. I think a polite email saying that you'll give the night a miss (and do explain why) is fair, and then see what their response is.

SuperiorCat Sat 28-Sep-13 11:51:33


"Having a child with a disability is one of the clearest and most uncompromising ways of telling your fair-weather casuals from your true friends.
It sifts the wheat from the chaff ruthlessly."

This is one of the saddest, yet truest things I have experienced as a parent of a child with SNs.

Bearbehind Sat 28-Sep-13 11:53:55

I can understand the need for preparation in the OP's situation, but is it really ever a good idea to go to the extent of looking at photos of the restaurant and chosing the meal in advance.

Would it not be wiser to be more general with things?

What if the photos on the website were out if date and it had been redecorated?

Before now, I have looked at a menu on a restaurant website, only to find it had been updated when i visited.

What if it was something as simple as they had run out of whatever your daughter wanted so it was off the menu in the night.

That level of preparation seems to be increasing the potential for a meltdown not reducing it. wouldn't a more generic level of detail allow more flexibility?

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:53:55

IMO its good for the soul to keep up with adult friends when you have small kids, and you probably need to find a babysitter you like

It is, thats true. It is however very hard to find a babysitter when you have a child with autism.

nkf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:55:10

Most people wouldn't bring a five year to a girl's night out though. I don't think anyone is being unreasonable. It's just a clash of wishes and needs. A last minute change around is easy peasy for most adults. And it's probably true that they would prefer it without a child in tow. Hard to know what to do for the best. The thing is you've made your point, got the arrangement back to the original one. But, you want them to be happy about it too so you don't feel guilty. I can see why it's become uncomfortable.

MidniteScribbler Sat 28-Sep-13 11:56:07

I think it is unfair of your friends to expect a young child to want to eat anything from a Chinese Restaurant so I understand your displeasure about that.

WTF? What do you think children in China eat?

20 month old DS will eat Chinese, Korean (the spicy tofu hot pot is his favourite), Japanese, Moroccan, Indian, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, and wherever else I've taken him. He's already wanting to eat using chopsticks. This is a child born and raised in Australia, no asian ties in the family. He eats whatever I eat.

Why on earth wouldn't a child want to eat Chinese (special needs aside of course)?

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 11:57:10

That level of preparation seems to be increasing the potential for a meltdown not reducing it. wouldn't a more generic level of detail allow more flexibility?

Not if the child needs rigidity. which is common in autism.

I think people need to take 'our' word for it that 'we' know what works best. If there were an easier way, you can bet that that is what 'we' would be doing.

Bearbehind Sat 28-Sep-13 12:03:30

I take your point amber I don't doubt that anyone would want to avoid making make their lives harder than necessary, but, if that level if detail was required and if any deviation would cause a meltdown, would you still be taking your child on a girls night out?

HeySoulSister Sat 28-Sep-13 12:05:46

Have your friends actually said that they think you are being unreasonable op??

HeySoulSister Sat 28-Sep-13 12:06:04

Or are you imagining it?

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 12:10:27

Me personally? no I wouldn't, think I'm a bit further along my autism 'journey' than the OP though, but I do remember the days when I tried to live a normal life and still attempted to socialise in a regular way.

But at the stage the OP is at, she is not wrong to try and see what her DD can cope with, trial and error is the only way she will find out. with support she may find a suitable medium.

I really feel for the OP, because this is one of the most depressing aspects of this situation. The realisation that things you once took for granted can require military precision, or just can't be done anymore.

HotCrossPun Sat 28-Sep-13 12:11:11

OP I remember your 'yellow band, red band' party thread.

This is similar in that you need to try to worry less about what others are thinking about you.

That is a lot easier said than done. Your friends have agreed to stick to the original plan. Don't worry about their being an atmosphere, or if they are pissed off etc. You have done all the prep with your DD and it sounds as if she is looking forward to it.

Don't stress beforehand and don't overthink it. Just go along and enjoy a big pizza and a few wine grin

TheBigJessie Sat 28-Sep-13 12:15:00

I thought autism was obvious from the OP, and I was shocked that other people weren't realising on page 1.

YANBU, and I think that "I had Italian last night, so let's cancel our plans for tonight" woman is pretty selfish. Does she think the world revolves around her?

BillyBanter put it best.

I don't have a child at all but I'd still be fucked off with millions of emails to decide on somewhere followed by another million to change everything last minute because someone had Italian the night before. That sounds a lot more precious than your reasons for wanting to stick to the original plan.

Italians quite often eat Italian food twice in a row and seem to cope.

damned if you do and damned if you don't i think.

the reality is your friends don't get the situation with your dd.

i don't know what i'd do in your shoes. i also wouldn't feel like going.

i'd probably send an email saying that i felt i'd ruined the evening. that due to dd's autism she really can't handle change and that you now feel that it's better if they go to the chinese rather than go to the italian on sufferance. you just won't be able to enjoy yourself.

and in future, get a babysitter for these evenings or they come to you. then this situation won't arise again.

hind sight eh?

Bearbehind Sat 28-Sep-13 12:21:47

I do totally see what you are saying amber but I just got the impression the OP hasn't tried eating in a restaurant with her daughter before (from the bits about how to behave and what she could do while they ate) and that actually she might cope better than expected, but now that she has such a clear vision of what should be happening, no deviation from that plan is possible.

Completely accept I might be talking out if my arse as i have no experience with autism but I'd be unhappy if I had picked my meal from a menu then the venue changed, let alone a 5 year old girl with autism.

CupOCoffee Sat 28-Sep-13 12:22:37

I agree with thebigjessie. There's been some ridiculous and ignorant posts on this thread.

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 12:25:19

I can see why you see it that way bear, really I do. But I would take the OPs lead that she knows what sort of 'prep' her DD would need in a new situation from her experience on such things so far.

she said in her OP;

She's been to restaurants before and loves doing her little script of saying hello and ordering from the waiter/waitress. But because this is a new place, i wanted her to be prepared to prevent her getting too anxious

So it isn't that she hasn't been to a restaurant before, but that from experience a level of prep is necessary.

MrRected Sat 28-Sep-13 12:27:46

Take a packed tea with you. If she won't have anything off the menu the. At least she has something to eat. She could then order desert from the menu.

You have totally over thought this - it was supposed to be a bit of fun not a rigid meal catering first and foremost for your DD. Relax a bit.

MrRected Sat 28-Sep-13 12:30:31

Oh I see SN was drip fed into the equation. In that case OP you aren't being unreasonable about the meal.

In future you should be clearer when AIBUing, to ensure you get appropriate responses.

Bearbehind Sat 28-Sep-13 12:32:20

Sorry, I meant to say 'never eaten out in a group like this in a restaurant' but I do see what you mean.

It's just a situation where the people involved have differing needs and no one is really BU.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 12:37:50

It's been mentioned again and again. The OP didn't mean to drip feed, arrgh!

Dawndonnaagain Sat 28-Sep-13 12:40:16

You have totally over thought this - it was supposed to be a bit of fun not a rigid meal catering first and foremost for your DD. Relax a bit.

Did you miss the bit about OP's dd being autistic?

NotYoMomma Sat 28-Sep-13 12:41:59

I picked up on it but tbf you have to admit it was the biggest drip feed ever so others might not have.

YouTheCat Sat 28-Sep-13 12:42:18

I don't see how a mention further down the first fucking page counts as a drip feed confused . And how people can miss the second post and not realise.

It was pretty obvious from the OP that her dd has SN anyway.

Yes, going to a new place can take some serious planning and preparation. And expecting any child to sit for 2 hours, whilst others eat is just not practical.

YouTheCat Sat 28-Sep-13 12:43:41

I really don't think 12 posts into a thread is a massive dripfeed. How odd.

ChasedByBees Sat 28-Sep-13 12:43:43

I'm not really sure why you're getting so much aggression. And comments like, "it's not all about you and your DD" paraphrased but hmm

You and your daughter were both invited. If your DD was in a wheelchair and someone changed the location on the day to somewhere with no wheelchair access with 'oh, just carry her up the stairs' you'd hae very different answers.

I actually think its massively selfish to change a meal planned at such late notice because you don't fancy it. The person who did that caused the situation. I'd bow out and go for an Italian with your DD.

YouHaveAGoodPoint Sat 28-Sep-13 12:45:24

OP, I wouldn't worry about it too much. When you see your friends just apologise for wanting to stick to the original plan and explain the reasons why again. All with a cheery smile. I bet they won't mind and you will all have a great time.

No need to overthink this one.

HotCrossPun Sat 28-Sep-13 12:46:41

You and your daughter were both invited. If your DD was in a wheelchair and someone changed the location on the day to somewhere with no wheelchair access with 'oh, just carry her up the stairs' you'd hae very different answers.

Tis a very good point.

fuckwittery Sat 28-Sep-13 12:50:59

I didnt pick up on autism or special needs in your OP, the main clues were "because this is a new place, i wanted her to be prepared to prevent her getting too anxious." And the sheer level of prep, but this could have been you being anxious not your DD.

Make sure you've spelt it out to your friends as you obv forgot to spell it out to us i itially!

Because of DDs autism, I have to spend a long time preparing her for a new situation,w e have discussed the menu, the place we are going to etc and it would be really difficult for her to change plans now, bcause of her autism it will make it really hard to bring her because (explain what happens when plans change anxiety etc). However, would be nice to go to the chinese you've booked one evening when I 've got a babysitter, or had time to prepare DD, hope you dont mind if we stick to original plan this time etc.

CupOCoffee Sat 28-Sep-13 12:56:34

Jesus! Such nastiness and aggression about a perceived drip feed. Some people need to get over themselves!

edam Sat 28-Sep-13 13:03:03

Your friends really don't get it, do they? I think you need to explain to them. They may 'know' dd is autistic without having the faintest idea what that actually means, especially on a practical and emotional level.

OK, so you are all going to the Italian tonight, that's great. But I would tell them in advance that autism means x, y, and z and that dd needs careful preparation before going anywhere new, or she will get very distressed. Explain as much as you can - think about what someone who really doesn't know the first thing about autism needs to know.

I hope it all goes OK tonight...

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 28-Sep-13 13:04:08

This thread is bizarre.

I get that sometimes you don't want to read ALL the responses but why can't you at least read ALL THE OP's messages before making your hasty judgments. And when called out on it, at least have the good grace to back down.

OP YANBU - your friend is BU. There is plenty of variety on Italian menus. I don't even like traditional Italian restaurant food (ie pizza, pasta etc) and I could find two different things to eat on any menu.

Everyone is entitled to a night out, even those who don't have baby sitters and have a child with SN - especially if the friends have specifically invited her.

*I think it is unfair of your friends to expect a young child to want to eat anything from a Chinese Restaurant so I understand your displeasure about that.

WTF? What do you think children in China eat?*

LOL, that's why the Chinese population is dwindling. DS (4) would much prefer a Chinese. Rice, noodles fortune cookies, prawn crackers, peking duck to play about with, lots of little dishes & chopsticks, SALT - really perfect (NT) kids food.

Thiscoukdbeme Sat 28-Sep-13 13:06:10

I've been in an almost identical situation. DS has a severe nut allergy and there are some places that he just can't eat. It's so frustrating that people don't get it but I just had to say that it wouldn't be safe for him so we couldn't come. They did come round in the end but I still got the impression they thought I was just being awkward.
If it's not going to work for your dd you just have to tell them. They may not understand but they should take your word for it, if they're good friends.

FauxFox Sat 28-Sep-13 13:07:49

I understand where you are coming from OP. DS has ASD and I have done similar 'preparing' him for bowling parties etc so a change can be a big problem. In that sense YANBU.

I am however struggling to see how you thought you would be able to 'catch up' with friends over an evening meal (stretching past DDs bedtime?) with a 5 y.o present ASD or not?! Aside from the DC getting bored/disruptive the topics and language I expect on such an evening with my friends are far from suitable for little ears! I would have invited them over for a takeaway and put DD to bed at her usual bedtime.

Thiscoukdbeme Sat 28-Sep-13 13:10:20

Anyway, if you all agreed on Italian, it's surely them that are wanting to change the plans.

angeltulips Sat 28-Sep-13 13:12:24

I don't really understand why you didn't just TELL your friends why it wasn't appropriate rather than getting into a bizarre back and forth about how she doesn't like ice cream etc etc. clearly they haven't grasped what being autistic means, so TELL THEM. They're your friends. If you don't explain how are they meant to know?

ChoudeBruxelles Sat 28-Sep-13 13:14:52

Haven't read the whole thread but never heard of practising before you go to a restaurant before. Don't most just turn up, read the menu and pick what they want?

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 13:15:48

This is one of those times when you need to read the whole thread grin

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 13:15:56


No, you haven't read the thread have you?
Have you heard of autism?
That's why we practise.

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 13:20:00

That's always one of the things that makes me snort with laughter on MN.
Don't bother to read anyfink, just swagger in wiv an opinion and your JPs hoiked.

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Sat 28-Sep-13 13:20:31

Thanks all for your replies.

We had arranged the dinner for 5pm, and i said i would leave at 7pm to ensure dd was in bed for 8pm (her usual bedtime).

they are all working tomorrow or have early morning plans so said they'd probably be leaving around 7ish too. So it wasn't ever meant to be a girl's night out, just a casual catch up. And they wanted to see dd too which is why she was invited.

They know that i can hardly go anywhere without dd (unless she's at school, but i work or go to uni during these times) so said that they expected and wanted me to bring her to the dinner.

I've sent them a message. Just short and to the point, saying:

"Hi, I really feel bad making you all go to this italian when you don't want to. But unfortunately dd's asd means she just can't adjust to the idea of another new restaurant at such short notice. Me and dd are going to the Italian place tonight, but please enjoy your Chinese and hopefully we can catch up another time? I can cook and we can have a night in mine if you're free at some point?

Have a nice night. smile "

Matzo Sat 28-Sep-13 13:22:11

The question I want to ask your friend is...if a dinner was planned at an Italian restaurant a week ago - why go to an Italian place THE NIGHT BEFORE??

If it's dinner out and to 'catch up' then really, what is the problem with going to the restaurant as planned. You are +1 (with a 5yo). They aren't. IMO they are BU, not you.

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 13:22:41

I think that is a fair and gracious message.

Enjoy your italian!

lionheart Sat 28-Sep-13 13:22:43

YANBU OP and perhaps the zinging emails will make your friends realise something about autism and what kind of prep. your daughter needs.

It's not fair to describe this a drip feed. The Op has already explained that she thought she'd mentioned the autism.

Thumbwitch Sat 28-Sep-13 13:23:20

I think BillyBanter had it spot on - the person who had Italian last night is the one at fault here, not you!

And while you didn't specifically mention autism in your first post, it was clear to me that your DD had some level of SN (but then I have friends and relations with children with autism/ASD/other anxiety issues).

I do think that people should consider setting up their preferences to have the OP's posts highlighted throughout the thread so they can see updates really quickly, it would save a lot of the argybargy that goes on if the OP forgets to mention every single sodding thing in her first post.

Matzo Sat 28-Sep-13 13:24:51


That's a decent, honest reply OP.

2blessed Sat 28-Sep-13 13:28:41

Very good message OP, hope you and your DD have a lovely evening.

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Sat 28-Sep-13 13:30:53

Sorry, i know the practicing thing may sound a little strange, but it's actually really effective. Role-playing is another term for it. Whenever a new situation/event is coming up, we 'rehearse' it at home.

E.g. the week before she started after school club, we spent 15 mins each day pretending and walking through what would happen, so i could see which parts she'd struggle with and i could talk through with her. I'd pretend to be the ASC staff member who comes to collect her from school and walk her to the club round the corner. then i'd pretend to be a child there at ASC and interact with her, giving her ideas for conversation starters. Then we'd rehearse snack time. And the ASC gave me photographs of all the staff members and allowed dd to visit with me the week before as well.

As a result, she has settled into the club amazingly well. She loves it in fact. but if i had just thrown her in at the deep end, she would have spent her first few weeks there sitting in a corner, flapping, staring and not speaking to anyone. I have already made this mistake when i registered her for Rainbows 8 months ago.

And i am slowly building up to preparing her for spontaneity. But i am starting with small things, things that don't really matter to her. E.g. telling her i've ran out of strawberries when she asks for them, and getting her to compromise on apples instead. The restaurant thing is too big an event right now to compromise on. But if i keep on building up to it, hopefully in the near future, she will be able to adjust to a new plan quite quickly.

lionheart Sat 28-Sep-13 13:33:55

You sound like a thoughtful friend and mum, OP. smile

Hope you have a lovely evening and more to follow.

AmberLeaf Sat 28-Sep-13 13:35:29

You sound like you are doing a good job OP.

BillyBanter Sat 28-Sep-13 13:38:17

Nobodies really done anything wrong here, it just went a bit awry and could have been handled a bit better by everyone with slightly better communications and a bit of understanding from all sides.

No one can really understand what it's like to be in someone else's shoes so being explicit about the autism situation is important and allowing that sometimes plans won't match up.

Human relations seem to be fraught with good intentions and not so good execution. Then everyone feels a bit hard done by.

KippyVonKipperson Sat 28-Sep-13 13:40:23

I think that email sounds good, but I think you should follow it up in the next few days with some dates when you're free so people can put it in their diaries. That way it'll be obvious you actually meant that email and it wasn't that you were trying to make a point or be passive aggressive if you see what I mean. Maybe even do a home cooked Chinese to get DD used to it in a comfortable environment, as this would show your friends how hard you have to try and get her prepared. You could obviously make DD something she likes and then she can taste bits of your food if she feels like it.

Obviously you shouldn't need to do that but if they can see you doing all that it might make them think a bit about how you have to prepare her.

This thread is a classic example of people not reading before wading in with their opinions. "I haven't read the whole thread yet but"...... Ok, so read the whole thread and then come back with your opinion. At the very least read the ops posts. Jeeze. For anyone who doesn't know you can get all the ops posts highlighted in a different colour so they show up, just go to your settings.

BillyBanter Sat 28-Sep-13 13:40:29

Also there is often too much willingness (encouraged by the nature of anonymous forums) to see malicious intent in others where it isn't really. They're just muddling through trying to make sense of it like we all are.

group hug?

Jaynebxl Sat 28-Sep-13 13:46:05

I think you've been great, OP. I hope your friends all understand.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 28-Sep-13 13:46:47

"Likes" BillyBanter's post.

LeGavrOrf Sat 28-Sep-13 13:48:20

Oh don't bloody shout at the poor woman for drip feeding.

She said that she thought she mentioned it in the original post.

Her second post mentioning the autism was posted 7 minutes after the first. So it is hardly the worst case of drip feeding the world has ever seen.

Be a bit more supportive rather than pouncing on her for that minor transgression.

OP yanbu. I have no experience with autism and don't know anyone with it, but I would be more than happy to accommodate your wishes. It would be a miserable experience for everyone if your daughter fretted all evening. She is looking forward to the Italian, it's hardly a hardship to have that opposed to Chinese.

I would though say thanks very much to your friends for agreeing (albeit in an eye rolling way) and just say again that autism means last minute changes cause havoc.

LeGavrOrf Sat 28-Sep-13 13:49:12

X posts with your email to your mates, that's a great response.

You sound like you're doing a great job and I think your friends may realise that it's not so easy based on your email!

Nerfmother Sat 28-Sep-13 14:43:27

I get the amount of prep but it's probably counterproductive. She doesn't need to choose her food see the interior go over every minute detail; what if something's not on the menu? Or they've moved the tables round?
And tbh if she needs hat much prep how much fun is it for you to go out with your friends and why haven't they noticed this before?

Thants Sat 28-Sep-13 14:43:32

Yanbu. They change their plans on a whim not for any real reason and you have a real reason to want the plans to stay the same. As your friends they should care about your opinion just as much. They seem quite rude to you just for stating your opinion. It's not like your asking them to go to a kids restaurant or work entirely around dd just to stick to the plan they arranged!

JumpingJackSprat Sat 28-Sep-13 14:51:10

nerfmother the op knows her autistic daughter better than you do. sounds like shes doing a good job to me.

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 14:52:08

Wow Nerf, I'm surprised to have that sort of comment from you, especially as I've often thought of you as someone that knows their way around the SN minefield. confused

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 14:53:42

And how often does your bog standard Italian restaurant change its menu?

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 28-Sep-13 14:56:01

OMG people need to rtft.

OP - I think you've handled it very well - both your inconsiderate friends and some of the posters on this thread wink

0utnumbered Sat 28-Sep-13 14:56:53

I was going to say does your little girl have special needs? Not in a nasty way but my five year old niece doesn't need this sort of preparation for things, neither does my two year old son? I'm quite fussy to the extent I need to check the menus first for both me and my son but there is usually at least one thing we will both eat!

Is there really no one at all that can have her for a couple of hours so that you can go alone? I wouldn't think a five year old would have very much fun at an adult catch up meal, would be different if she was a teenager/pre teen who could actually join in the conversation

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 28-Sep-13 14:58:07

Outnumbered if you read the OP's posts you'd see she does.

LeGavrOrf Sat 28-Sep-13 14:58:21

I think you have been very gracious OP. I probably would have snarled 'piss off' to some people on this thread ages ago. <bad mood>

0utnumbered Sat 28-Sep-13 14:58:26

Sorry I've just seen that she is autistic, comments wouldn't load on my kindle earlier! If so then you aren't being unreasonable! I only know autistic adults not children but they need to be prepared for new situations like this.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 28-Sep-13 14:58:57

Joins LeGav in the bad mood corner.

LeGavrOrf Sat 28-Sep-13 14:59:19

I did laugh at the waspish comment 'Italian people manage to have Italian food two days in a row'

You just say that at such short notice the Chinese isn't accessible to your dd and you won't be able to come on this occasion. However you hope there will be another, and should they chose the Chinese again, as long as there is enough notice you will do the preparation necessary to ensure she can cope.

Nerfmother Sat 28-Sep-13 15:10:52

Really? I genuinely think that you need to leave some room for change, and that restaurants do change menus/run out of stuff etc - I don't mean don't prep but I personally wouldn't take ds with him expecting to eat a particular 'thing'.
And no I am not unsupportive. I do think op could have avoided criticism by mentioning asd in the first place/

Weener Sat 28-Sep-13 15:14:27

Following your email to your friends OP, are they still going to the Chinese? Slightly off-topic but it seems a tad shitty for one friend to be able to dictate the plans to the extent that you and your DD now have to miss out on seeing the others.

I hope you and your DD have a great evening, with or without the others. smile

Have a lovely meal tonight with your daughter, OP.

MrRected Sat 28-Sep-13 15:21:00

RTFT is all fine and well - it took me bloody ages to read the OP, let alone the thread in its entirety.

Who actually has the time to read every post on every thread anyway?? I am not sure what is more irritating; drip feeding or saying rtft after the fact.

<not enough hours in the day>

CleverWittyUsername Sat 28-Sep-13 15:21:46

I really hope the one who decided to eat Italian last night replies saying they realise that it would difficult for your daughter, want to stick to the original plan and sorry for all the fuss.

edam Sat 28-Sep-13 15:26:06

MrR, how about reading the OP's posts if you are pushed for time? You can go into settings and choose for OP posts to be highlighted on threads.

wibbleweed Sat 28-Sep-13 15:28:14

OP - I too have kids with ASD and completely understand where you're coming from. Hope you have a lovely evening enjoying some delicious italian food with your daughter. Their loss, not yours...


you've handled it very well ewe.

No, there isn't always time to read every post MrRected but if I'm going to wade in with an opinion on something, the vey least I would do is read all the OP's posts.

Fuzzysnout Sat 28-Sep-13 15:31:48

OP you sound like a lovely friend. YANBU at all. It's such a shame your friends don't 'get it' and haven't been more understanding. I hope you and DD have a lovely night. She's a very lucky girl to have you.

WandaDoff Sat 28-Sep-13 15:34:23


I hope the evening works out for you OP. smile

WandaDoff Sat 28-Sep-13 15:34:40


As you were.

To the point Wanda wink

Mojavewonderer Sat 28-Sep-13 15:39:42

My daughter is 6 and has autism and we have to do the same thing or she will have a melt down and won't stop for hours so I completely understand why you did what you did op. I have to show my daughter visual aids to get her to school in the morning and that's a well established routine. It's a nightmare if we change plans suddenly or we go somewhere new without preparing her.
Frankly if your friends won't stick to theirs plans knowing your daughter is autistic then go alone with your daughter instead because it's not fair on her.

TheBigJessie Sat 28-Sep-13 15:51:35

I am gracious enough to realise that not everyone has my high reading speed <smug> so entire threads between 10 and 20 pages threads may be too difficult to peruse fully, grin but it was on the first page.

If there's something startlingly odd to you about the OP, the very first page often contains an explanation from the OP, because every other user spotted the odd thing too.

YouTheCat Sat 28-Sep-13 15:55:59

Nerf, the OP has said that she is doing all this prep in a way to guide her dd to being able to cope with small changes first and then on to bigger things.

I think she's doing an excellent job.

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 15:57:26

I don't understand why anyone would comment if they didn't read the thread?
What's the point? Is what you have to say so noteworthy that you just have to get it down in print?

YouTheCat Sat 28-Sep-13 15:59:45

I don't get it either, especially when the OP's second post was on the first page.

If you can't be bothered to read at least the OP's post why post at all? And why moan and blame the OP when your glaring error is pointed out.

SunshineMMum Sat 28-Sep-13 16:05:35

YANBU I can totally see your point of view, it is a big deal to eat somewhere you are expecting to when you a five and I have only just been able to get my eleven year old to try Chinese,

SunshineMMum Sat 28-Sep-13 16:07:43

.. and just spotted your 2nd post OP, my DS has aitsim and that is exactly how we would prepare him too!

SunshineMMum Sat 28-Sep-13 16:08:12

autism blush

Locketjuice Sat 28-Sep-13 16:09:17


Why locket? hmm

shewhowines Sat 28-Sep-13 16:14:32

Hope tonight goes well whatever you end up doing.

In future I suggest everyone comes round to yours and have a takeout. They can see dd first then you can put her to bed and you can relax and all have an adult evening.

I don't think any child would be happy to sit quietly for an adult meal in a restaurant for hours. That is a recipe for disaster from the start, and that's not even taking into account the autism

overthemill Sat 28-Sep-13 16:16:11

Completely understand need to prepare autistic spectrum child for eating out in restaurant and last minute changes can wreak havoc with their coping with a situation. Also completely understand why parent of autistic spectrum child would feel anxious about an evening outing with childless friends with said child.

I think your real mates will understand and the others don't matter!

TheBigJessie Sat 28-Sep-13 16:18:19

Sad thing is, this is actually the most understanding mainstream site I know of- and people still can't be bothered to think before they put the boot in.

L33t soziel skilz there.

OliviaPope Sat 28-Sep-13 16:20:46

YANBU; one of my Godchildren has Aspergers and finds change to plans very difficult. We always make sure that we go to one of a very small number of restaurants where we know the menu and they feel safe. This is the least we can do and i'm happy to do so.

I completely understand the challenges you face - you've done the right thing for DD.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Sat 28-Sep-13 16:33:42

Silver grin

FormaLurka Sat 28-Sep-13 16:47:28

I know it's not the topic but how can anyone not find something to like at a Chinese particularly since most have an 'English'section ie omelette and chips, chicken, gravy and chips.

muminthecity Sat 28-Sep-13 16:48:49

I've read the whole thread (do I get a special badge? grin) and I don't think YABU at all. Your friends sound like inconsiderate bastards tbh. What is worse, having to, God forbid, eat Italian food twice in a row, or upsetting an autistic 5 year old? You need new friends.

P.s. You sound like you are doing a fantastic job with your DD smile.

nkf Sat 28-Sep-13 16:52:55

Agree it wasn't the worst drip feeding ever. I've seen far far worse. But this is AIBU and the post subject line and first post did read like, Wah, my pfb is being sidelined." I picked up on the detaileed preparation and thought it sounded like something else was going on. But, like I said, this is AIBU and usually on AIBU, people are being really unreasonable. If you really want tips on how to manage a tricky situation, AIBU isn't the place. I imagine most people read, post and settle down to enjoy a bunfight.

Thumbwitch Sat 28-Sep-13 17:08:09

From the OP:
" She doesn't like things with batter, not much of a meat eater, doesn't like spicy things, doesn't like chips, doesn't like rice, noodles or curries etc. "

We're not expected to read all of a OP before we pitch in with our judgy pants on are we? confused

I thought you could just read the thread title, a couple of lines and then allow everyone to be enlightened by our uninformed opinion. hmm

OwlinaTree Sat 28-Sep-13 17:13:59

Ahh, i symapthise OP. Us childless don't always understand i'm afraid, we are just used to pleasing ourselves. Last weekend we met for lunch with a couple with kids and they were like 'we can't go here, we can't go there, can we book here?'. i was like, it's lunch, just chill, but i guess its not so easy with children. I'm sure your friends are just oblivious to the extra demands of children in general, and when you add ASD to that too, it becomes even more difficult. People can understand in principle, but not what that actually involves in reality, such as the menu checks, familiarity etc.

Is it too late to suggest they come to yours and have a chinese takeaway?

SunshineMMum Sat 28-Sep-13 17:16:24

Formalurker let me introduce you to autism. Different sensory issues to the rest of us. Sight, taste, smell, sound can all be out of whack, even for those on the higher functioning end of the spectrum. My Dad insisted that DS attend his 70th, in a Chinese restaurant on a busy main road. We complied. Cue DS, suffering sensory overload and me running half a mile out of the restaurant to try and retrieve him grin

Theodorakiss Sat 28-Sep-13 17:20:19

To be honest, even if it were just a group of adults I would still find all that email shit irritating. Nobody bloody sticks to anything any more, I hate email and text. In the old days you had to just turn up where you had agreed unless you went down the road to the phone box well in advance to rearrange.
(old gimmer)

TheBigJessie Sat 28-Sep-13 17:22:20

Sauvignon What, you mean that you can't just assume autistic children eat chips like everyone else?

<Doesn't know whether to laugh or cry>

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 17:26:09

DS hates chips.
I used to weep in frustration at having two children who couldn't cope with fast food of any variety. It's a travel survival skill and would have come in very handy at times.
No chips
No burgers
No pizzas
get the picture? grin

TheBigJessie Sat 28-Sep-13 17:26:12

muminthecity P.S. You get an air YANBU badge- if you have an air guitar in the house, you will find they match perfectly. All the rage this season!

Jaynebxl Sat 28-Sep-13 17:39:45

Did yon friends reply, OP?

Spinkle Sat 28-Sep-13 17:41:24

With a kid on the spectrum you DO have to do this prep. It's all very well saying they don't mind if she gets ansty but it's not very pleasant for yo or her. Negative experiences means she will be less inclined/more anxious at the next restaurant attempt. It has to be like a military manoeuvre.

People say they understand but unless they are living it, they don't really know.

YANBU but also you have to realise most folk don't really 'get' autism like you do.

Frankly I'd be tempted to find a sitter and go out without her. It's a hard flog with SN kids. You probably deserve a night out.

Spinkle Sat 28-Sep-13 17:42:42


I do hope they're all in the Italian.
It's hard for people with no understanding of ASD to understand how those of us with children with ASD have to do things differently.

loopybear Sat 28-Sep-13 17:51:44

My goddaughter is autistic and eating out is always a challenge eating out with others even trickier.

My friend does a trial run at the restaurant. She rings the restaurant in advance and explains about her DD and possible stress reactions. So staff don't panic or get annoyed. She found her local family run Italian the best place and the staff are great with her DD they always get the same table and if the menu changes they will still cook her favourite. It means she never arrives and the "safe" isn't available. They also warn her if they have a party table in.

With friends she's blunt if her DD is invited then we go to the Italian. Most people don't understand the need to not change plans unless absolutely unavoidable. Just be honest

FormaLurka Sat 28-Sep-13 18:19:21

I'm curious to know what the OP was going to order for her DC at the Italian if she eats none of the above.

MrsCampbellBlack Sat 28-Sep-13 18:23:57

I think if you're going to weigh in with a very forthright opinion on a long thread - the least you can do is to read the OP's posts which is easy enough to do as they're highlighted.

Panzee Sat 28-Sep-13 18:26:03

A perfect response OP.

FWIW, my NT 4 year old is a fussy bugger when it comes to food and wouldn't eat anything on a Chinese menu, including chips. But he's pretty good with pasta. I'd have been peed off about the change too!

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 18:30:10

'I'm curious to know what the OP was going to order for her DC at the Italian if she eats none of the above.'

In an Italian restaurant DS would order a Hawaiian (ham and pineapple) pizza with a glass of cold milk. Every single time.

My DS has Spaghetti Bolognese and diet coke. Every single time. grin

Spinkle Sat 28-Sep-13 18:54:00

Only 'restaurant' we can do with DS is McDonalds. He only likes beige food (though we recently celebrated when he tried red: pizza)

He is on the spectrum. Anxiety is a huge issue.

CupOCoffee Sat 28-Sep-13 18:55:23

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

CupOCoffee Sat 28-Sep-13 18:58:15

FormaLurkaSat 28-Sep-13 16:47:28 I know it's not the topic but how can anyone not find something to like at a Chinese particularly since most have an 'English'section ie omelette and chips, chicken, gravy and chips.

Erm, an autistic person?

MotheringShites Sat 28-Sep-13 19:00:57

OP YANBU of course. Please don't think though, that your friends are just being gits. They just have NO IDEA about life with kids, especially a child with ASD.

I have a small, close group of friends, none of whom had kids when my DTs were born. There were many situations like the one you've described. However, five years on a few of them have DCs of their own and we are back on the same page, friendships stronger than ever.

You don't sound like you have tons of support and lots to deal with. Do some eye-rolling of your own at their lack of understanding but hang on to them anyway. Perhaps a few years from now they'll realise what it's really like!

Enjoy your night out with your DD.

TheBigJessie Sat 28-Sep-13 19:03:20

FormaLurker You sound as if you're trying to catch the OP out. The OP explicitly mentioned she had found some things her daughter would either eat or felt willing to try.

"She doesn't like things with batter, not much of a meat eater, doesn't like spicy things, doesn't like chips, doesn't like rice, noodles or curries etc" doesn't automatically preclude everything at Italian restaurants, does it? Although I can quite see that it does at a Chinese restaurant.

SpottyDottie Sat 28-Sep-13 19:41:45

You have prepared your DD to go to an Italian restaurant. I think that all you can do is take your DD there and meet your friends another time.
otherwise she might become unsettled? My DS has Aspergers. I have had to pre-prepare him for many things. Otherwise we had meltdowns which are very hard to deal with. I was going to suggest you may have over prepared your DD but I don't know her and what you need to do to help her, only you know that.

I do get the impression though that your friends do not know your DD very well at all. You need to explain more to them. I don't think they will understand otherwise especially as you say they aren't mums yet either.

Nerfmother Sat 28-Sep-13 20:11:45

Do you know what? I can't be bothered to defend myself against this kind of attack cup I have tried to put my views as the parent of an autistic child (just see my threads in sen to see how bloody 'ignorant' I am) but of course that doesn't matter. In my world, ds couldn't cope with choosing a meal and then finding it was unavailable: he couldn't cope with looking at the decor in too much detail and then find the tables moved round. We can only post what we know and what we experience.
I won't finish - post would be deleted.

FrussoHathor Sat 28-Sep-13 21:41:06

Nerfmother Sat 28-Sep-13 15:10:52 Really? I genuinely think that you need to leave some room for change, and that restaurants do change menus/run out of stuff etc - I don't mean don't prep but I personally wouldn't take ds with him expecting to eat a particular 'thing'. And no I am not unsupportive. I do think op could have avoided criticism by mentioning asd in the first place/

For goes sake! You do realise that it isn't choice don't you? And that you can't force children with sen to be nt just because the other isn't convenient.

"not much fun" "leave room for change" ?!

How unbelievable intolerant and ignorant.

Actually I agree with nerfmother the posibility that something might change needs to be introduced. As a parent of a DC with ASD you cant control everything. As much as you'd like to. I've found that the more I prep dd the more can go wrong, and the more likely the chance of a meltdown occurring. and with my dd they are loud and violent there needs to be room for change, to enable DC to know that change can happen, and it is okay, and allow/teach DC the ability to manage/accept the change.

SummerRain Sat 28-Sep-13 22:01:09

I have two SN children and completely agree with Nerfmother. Too much preparing and expectation would be a disaster for us. I have to go the complete opposite with my boys and prepare them for the unexpected, as to be perfectly honest no matter how well you plan there will always be something that happens which you did/could not anticipate.

An item could be off menu, the restaurant might have a party of 30 booked at the next table who are getting off menu items like cake and singing happy birthday unexpectedly, an expected guest could be late or arrive upset due to events at home, the food might not taste the way the child is expecting or have unsettling garnishes that staff forget to remove despite instruction, music could be playing that the child objects to (or in ds1's case he wants to jump around the restaurant to!), a drink could be spilled..... the list is endless and if you tell the child they can expect the evening to go in a particular way then in reality you are setting yourself up for failure.

In order to cope as they grow up and experience new situations it is essential that rigid children be taught how to cope with unexpected situations.

Of course that's not going to happen due to one restaurant meal but needs to start gradually at home and school. Routine and planning are fantastic for SN kids, as long as they are supplemented by developing coping strategies when things aren't going to plan and teaching the child to accept that some events simply cannot be planned to the minutest detail.

MidniteScribbler Sat 28-Sep-13 22:06:45

Getting back to the OP's topic, the one thing I think she did wrong is not spell out exactly why the change in restaurant would not be a good thing. Faffing around with not liking ice cream and not playing with toys by herself do sound like the child (or parent) is just being difficult. After the first email suggesting a change came through the response should have clearly spelled out why the change would be a bad thing for a child with autism and what preparation has been done to ensure that everyone enjoyed their night out.

Not everyone knows the finer details of asd (or even what the initials asd stand for!), and it is a "spectrum" so just because your neighbour has a cousin who had a child with autism who ate chips doesn't mean that every child is the same, but people need to be told in very blunt terms what it means and what the impacts are on that child. My friend has a child with a peanut allergy and said that she has found that it's only when she started pointing out that he could die if he ingested peanuts that people seemed to take it seriously.

StarfishTrooper Sat 28-Sep-13 22:15:16

Take your DD for her Italian meal OP. Invite your friends to join you. You needn't be the educator here. If your friends want to understand autism they can read about it all over the internet. What you need is easy, friendly company. If they can provide that, great, but you don't need to justify yourself to anyone. You have enough to contend with xx

SilverApples Sat 28-Sep-13 22:15:54

The OP is doing her best to help her daughter eat out in an unfamiliar place, she sounds like a worrier and a bit lacking in confidence, and the child is only 5.
We all have different ideas on what works with our children, and we know that when it comes to the spectrum, generalising is not necessarily a useful approach.

I agree that teaching children on the spectrum coping strategies, that things can change and there is nothing you can do to make it right, and understanding that you can't control the universe however much they want and need you to are all necessary in the long term.
I also have confidence that of the OP found, despite the preparations and care before hand, that something had altered to the point of her DD not coping, that she'd just leave, quietly and efficiently.
That's what I'd have done when my DS was 5, because he wasn't up for adaptation and compromise at that age in an unfamiliar setting. I'd have prepped him fully, and if and when the shit hit the fan, I'd leave before it was a problem.
Now he's an adult, and only those really good at Spot-The-Aspie can tell.
He even surprises me on occasion by being creative and managing very challenging and unexpected stuff on the hoof and independently.

LeGavrOrf Sat 28-Sep-13 22:30:58

That's a great post silver.

SunshineMMum Sat 28-Sep-13 22:42:41

I agree with Silver, what is rigid and unmovable at age 5, has had to be subtly and gradually moved forward over time. This thread does highlight for me how much importance is placed on pleasing the majority and how little people will bend to accommodate invisible disability.

manicinsomniac Sun 29-Sep-13 02:34:57

YANBU and that is without even considering the ASD aspect, which I don't think is relevant to the 'are you being unreasonable' question at all.

Your friends not only accepted but expressed enthusiasm that your 5 year old would be coming with you. They agreed a child friendly time and spent a long time deliberating over and selecting a restaurant which they then knew a 5 year old with a limited palate was looking forward to going to. The day of the meal one fully grown adult decided that she didn't fancy Italian food because of a conscious decision that fully grown adult made to eat the same cuisine the night before. The whole group of adults then made the decision to change at the last minute to a restaurant which they should have known (assuming that they know your daughter reasonably well) the 5 year old would not like. That to me is selfish behaviour on the part of the adults, regardless of autism.

WandaDoff Sun 29-Sep-13 03:17:58

Silver gets it smile

FanjoForTheMammaries Sun 29-Sep-13 06:22:00

To the people who didn't get that the OP's DD had autism and flamed her..

If you thought OP just had anxiety, why did that give you the green light to be a bastard to her?


OP I thought you worded the email very well.

You need to find some mums of kids with ASD to hang out with, it is good when people really get it smile

MokuMoku Sun 29-Sep-13 07:56:37

How did it go OP?

Hope you had a nice night!

WetGrass Sun 29-Sep-13 09:03:36

Late to the thread - but this is the clearest case on here in a while of STEP AWAY FROM THE EMAILS. It's not a timesaver when it goes around in circles of hurt feelings and bemusement. Only way to handle it is to phone each person individually and use 'smiling voice' to defuse the tension.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 29-Sep-13 09:34:14

Good morning all
Our talk guidelines for those who may need a read
A link to our This is my child campaign for those who may not have seen it.
And a reminder that if there's one thing we can all do with, whether we are BU or not, it's some moral support.

Peace and love

Onebuddhaisnotenough Sun 29-Sep-13 09:49:13

Hope you and DD had a nice evening OP smile

I hope you and your DD are OK?

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 11:49:29

I would cancel. Why is it ok for your friend to change plans last minute on a whim but your dd, who is a little kid, has to just suck it up?
I honestly cba to go if it were me.

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 11:51:06

Ops. Also just seen you explain about the asd. Well, is this news to your friends?
Let them go for their crummy Chinese. Just cry off sick or something.

MokuMoku Sun 29-Sep-13 13:15:21

Amanda the dinner was last night.

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 14:49:42

So I see.
But my view is still the same. That is what I would have done.
I didn't see what happened though.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 29-Sep-13 15:32:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

A really good way to find out what happened on a thread is to read it, failing that, highlight the OP's posts which you can do through 'Customise' at the top of the page.

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 17:05:09

I did read the thread.
But I couldn't see how it ended.
Obviously I missed something.

catinboots Sun 29-Sep-13 17:06:51

YABVU and rather precious.

Oh FFS! <<bangs head>>

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 17:10:56

YANBU and the friend who wouldn't eat Italian food two nights in a row, like the Italians do, was unbelievably unreasonable considering you have an autistic child who wouldn't cope with last-minute changes to arrangements you have carefully prepared her for.

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 17:12:57

Yes. I agree with anais
sauvignon why the head banging?

Bunbaker Sun 29-Sep-13 17:15:32

"YABVU and rather precious."

The OP has stated that her child has autism. You obviously know nothing about autism or haven't read the OP's subsequent posts.

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 17:16:02

Right. Well, I have highlighted op's posts but I still can't see the outcome.

SunshineMMum Sun 29-Sep-13 17:17:44

Catin how about reading the This is my child campaign a little further down the thread.

FrussoHathor Sun 29-Sep-13 17:18:03

Right. Well, I have highlighted op's posts but I still can't see the outcome. me neither

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 17:18:10

I don't think the head-banging was directed at you Threalamanaclarke.

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 17:19:35


GatoradeMeBitch Sun 29-Sep-13 17:20:42

Well, I understood your dilemma completely, OP, I have a son with ASD, and rehearsing things in advance is a great strategy that works for us too. He would also refuse to go to a Chinese restaurant. Chinese food in the UK often features MSG so s bad for kids with autism anyway.

Your response to your friends was excellent, and I hope you and dd enjoyed your night out together smile

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 17:21:10

Personally I thought op was NBU even before I bothered to red realised that dd had asd.

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 17:26:35

So, sauvignon what did I miss? What was the outcome?

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 17:30:21

H. Silly me. Got it.
Good. Just spot on OP. well done.

I was banging my head in response to yet another poster who obviously hadn't RTFT.

I no more know the outcome than anyone else, but what you missed amanda, was that the OP's DD had ASD before you posted, a fact that was disclosed by the OP on page 1.

I loved the idea on this thread about highlighting OP's posts automatically.

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 17:43:05

I see sauv
I confess I didn't read the thread before my initial post.
The asd info simply underlined the point IMHO.
I'd like to know what happened next op. but is that just nosey?

If you're anything like me, there will be an element of nosiness, but I do also genuinely care (as a fellow mother of a child with ASD) and really hope the OP had an enjoyable evening after all. Knowing that this had occurred would be nice but if it didn't then i understand that OP may not feel up to talking about it.

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Sun 29-Sep-13 17:57:01

Hope you had a nice meal OP. smile_

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 18:00:34

Expecting people to read a long thread in case there is some key information on page whatever is silly. And if you are really asking how to help your friends appreciate how difficult it is to prepare a five year old child with autism for a meal out, then say that. In the thread title. Or if you are feeling in need of sympathy then say so. Up front. I think people use AIBU because it gets the most traffic but with that comes a certain roughness in the response. Of course, people shouldn't be unkind or ruthless, but a little common sense wouldn't go amiss.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 29-Sep-13 18:05:43

NKF - have you never made a mistake/typo? The OP meant to say in her first post her DD had autism - she mistakenly forgot to - so she corrected that 7 mintues later - hardly a massive dripfeed is it?

And you know if I'm going to post in an aggressive manner to the OP on a very long thread - I may just read her posts to avoid looking like a dick.. To me that is common sense.

Panzee Sun 29-Sep-13 18:05:59

The OP apologised for missing out the autism mention but claimed she thought she had done so.

If a thread's too big to read properly it's too big to reply on.

YouTheCat Sun 29-Sep-13 18:06:48

It was on the first page ffs. Could you not even be bothered to read the OP's posts on the first page?

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 29-Sep-13 18:12:29

Cross-post with panzee and youthecat smile

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 18:13:13

It's a pretty key piece of info but okay, forgetting to mention it is believable. To me, it's about tone as much as omissions. And the choice of AIBU. The thread got a bit mean, I think but I think this is AIBIU which is a mean environment.

For me - and I doubt that I am alone in this - AIBU is where I look when I want to see a verbal punch up. It's the MN equivalent of mud wrestling. I would never ever dream of posting something sensitive on there. I assume people do so for the traffic, but that has always seem ill advised to me.

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 18:15:16

Youthecat, I read the first post and worked out that the child was autistic. I haven't posted anything slating of the OP. I asked a few questions along the lines of do the friends understand how difficult the situation is.

Panzee Sun 29-Sep-13 18:16:19

I agree it was not the best choice of topic to place it in.

YouTheCat Sun 29-Sep-13 18:18:03

That's a good point actually. People rarely, truly understand the complexities of autism if they have no experience of it.

SunshineMMum Sun 29-Sep-13 18:18:18

For me - and I doubt that I am alone in this - AIBU is where I look when I want to see a verbal punch up. It's the MN equivalent of mud wrestling.

Blimey what some people will do for kicks wink

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 18:19:47

When it's that or housework...

MaryNesbitt Sun 29-Sep-13 18:38:49

That's horrible, what gives people the right just because it's AIBU?
When I was new, under a different name, I asked if AIWBU about being pissed off with a barmaid who had taken my DD away from me when she had fallen over a a party and was crying for me.
I noted that I'd had a couple of drinks but didn't say what the event was (my mother's wake) as I didn't think it was relevant.
I was absolutely flamed and called everything under the sun for having 2 glasses of wine it was horrible. sad

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 18:40:57

Well, AIBU isn't very nice. I don't think it ever has been and sometimes it's awful.

Dubjackeen Sun 29-Sep-13 18:43:07

OP YANBU and I hope that you and your little girl enjoyed your evening.

everlong Sun 29-Sep-13 18:48:42

Good lord.

What a fiasco.

Cancel and go when you can get a babysitter.

MaryNesbitt Sun 29-Sep-13 18:50:40

There's no need to be deliberately unpleasant when the subject matter is sensitive.
Wading in on page 12 and telling the OP that their parenting is wrong without even giving their other posts a cursory glance is just arrogant!

everlong Sun 29-Sep-13 18:57:08


You know this is another prime example why aibu needs binning.

Why would you drip feed and start a sensitive thread in aibu?


EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Sun 29-Sep-13 18:57:27

Hello everyone. Not had chance to sit down and reply today.

We went to the Italian restaurant last night (dd had pizza, water and potato salad for the person interested up thread).

I didn't receive a reply to my email until about 4.45pm. At that time, 3 of them emailed me at once making me think they'd discussed what they would say together before contacting me.

As predicted, i got a "what are you talking about? I thought you had decided we were all going to the Italian?" response from one. The other two just posted similar replies with an added "So you're cancelling on us, yes?". The fourth friend didn't email at all.

I didn't have chance to send a big email back as our taxi was on its way, so i just sent a line saying something like, "Me and dd are heading there just now. Maybe see you there?"

Well, dd and i stayed until about 6.15pm. She was as good as gold, and had a brilliant time. She had a 'wee' moment because my friends weren't there, but nothing major or long lasting.

When i got home, i saw that two of my friends had emailed me again. One was saying, "Look, i genuinely don't understand tonight's plans now. It's all gone a bit tits up. I don't want to head all the way to the restaurant if I'm going to be the only one ."

The other claimed to have not be feeling well and that she was sorry and would see us all soon.

Yes, it all sounds very childish. i'm actually embarrassed writing this because it seems like a teenager's issue.

Regarding my OP again, i've already said I meant to say 'autistic 5yo dd' instead of just '5yo dd'. And again, I'm sorry, it wasn't my intention to 'drip feed'. Despite not including her ASD in my post, i did go into detail about her severe anxiety, and that was the main issue in regards to the plans. IMO anxiety problems shouldn't just be dismissed because i forgot to add ASD into the mix.

And i posted in this section because i wanted honest answers as to whether or not i was being unreasonable. I didn't want sympathy or anything, just opinions from a third party neutral to the whole situation.

skylerwhite Sun 29-Sep-13 18:59:29

Your friends sound really childish and mean, OP. Hope you and your DD had a lovely time together flowers

YouTheCat Sun 29-Sep-13 19:00:23

At least you and your dd had a nice meal out.

Tbh, your friends seem a bit immature and sheeplike.

everlong Sun 29-Sep-13 19:01:12

So they didn't show?

They obviously didn't agree with you wanting to change the plan.

Very odd.

YouTheCat Sun 29-Sep-13 19:02:49

They changed the plan though. The original plan had been to go to the Italian restaurant.

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 19:05:48

Glad you enjoyed your evening.

everlong Sun 29-Sep-13 19:06:57

But one friend said ' that she thought they were going to the Italian ' I presumed that meant it was still on.

YouTheCat Sun 29-Sep-13 19:08:15

I don't think the friends are able to make individual decisions, Everlong. wink

they behaved terribly. it was all agreed, one flake changed their minds. the others were sheep.

but still, if you have a good time with these girls give it a few days and then invite them round.

pigletmania Sun 29-Sep-13 19:11:58

Oh your dd has Autism, I thought so sounds a lot like my dd also ASD. I would p.ump with the babysitter if I were you and GP for a chineese

I'm glad you and your DD had a good time but I'm sorry that your friends let you down. flowers

And i posted in this section because i wanted honest answers as to whether or not i was being unreasonable. I didn't want sympathy or anything, just opinions from a third party neutral to the whole situation

The above should be what AIBU is all about.

pigletmania Sun 29-Sep-13 19:23:22

Do your friends know tat your dd has autism and what it means. Abey tey just did not understand and you should have contacted them to explain and they might have been more understanding. Glad you had a lovely time though

MaryNesbitt Sun 29-Sep-13 19:23:23

And i posted in this section because i wanted honest answers as to whether or not i was being unreasonable. I didn't want sympathy or anything, just opinions from a third party neutral to the whole situation

That's what I thought AIBU was all about when I first joined, how naive I was to post about my mother's funeral.
I know better now, but not everyone knows how horrible AIBU can be, and why would they? It's so unnecessary.

Hope you and your DD are ok OP, sorry to hear about your 'friends'.

TheBigJessie Sun 29-Sep-13 19:28:24

I don't understand why it's automatically a child's parent being precious, whatever their diagnosed needs are or aren't, when the whole issue was caused by an apparently NT adult who can't cope with choosing food from a similar menu (no-one was saying she had to even have exactly the same meal!) two days running, and wanted an event reorganised around that.

I can cope with AS friends who have a thing about "varied meals" (have some and it was presumably brainwashed in by anxious parents, who foresaw a dreadful dietary future grin), but it's pretty irritating in anyone else.

The OP is right that the extent of the anxiety should be respected, label or not. It can take years for an actual diagnosis to be given...

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 19:31:24

Thanks for updating. I'm glad you had a good time out with your dd.
Fwiw, apart from your particular issues I don't know many v young DCs who enjoy uk/ Chinese restaurant food. Italian was always the way to go. Yummy.
What did you have?
grin <closure/ detail addict>

pigletmania Sun 29-Sep-13 19:32:11

It's really sad no one showed up, some friends they are

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 19:32:50

Totally agree TheBigJessie

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 19:33:51

Last time I went out for Chinese food I got food poisoning.

Tasmania Sun 29-Sep-13 19:35:24

Why do so many people say that a Chinese restaurant and a child do not go hand-in-hand? What do Chinese kids eat?

My favourite food as a kid was Chinese food...

YouTheCat Sun 29-Sep-13 19:38:07

My favourite food as a child was marmite sandwiches and smash with butter.

I had issues. grin

mamapants Sun 29-Sep-13 19:41:19

Not read whole thread but ignoring the autism aspect if I was going out for food with a group of friends and someone didn't like chinese food then we wouldn't go to a chinese. Don't see why your dd isn't afforded same consideration. Kids aren't less than.
With the autism aspect added to the mix they are definitely being unkind.

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 19:42:01

Well I can't speak for anyone else, tasmania but ime before I had my own DCs, my friends' little children tended not to enjoy the food. And I think their parents might have felt that it can often be a little exotic or laden with MSG (depending on venue) for very small DCs. So before I had my own (ds seems to like everything - luckily) when out with friends and their DCs we often went for Italian (also lovely and perhaps more close in flavours to what they were used to at home)
Anyway, the point about this situation was that italian had been agreed upon and op's dd wasn't going to enjoy anything from the Chinese menu.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 19:44:05

For a start, Chinese children probably don't eat the westernised version of their cuisine that is sold here.

My DS can eat at the local Chinese buffet. He has prawn toast, noodles, and melon. Carbs and fruit. Pretty much all he eats at home. I'd love him to try pizza smile

Glad you had a nice evening OP. Your friends are rubbish.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 19:45:47

That was meant to say, "sorry your friends are rubbish"

Threalamandaclarke Sun 29-Sep-13 19:45:49

Actually, strike that bit about my own ds. He still would prefer italian I think. If I have a Chinese these days it would more than likely be a takeaway and not as healthy as the food I would order in an italian.

Jaynebxl Sun 29-Sep-13 19:46:03

Tasmania, probably best to read the whole thread. Chinese food in itself isn't a problem. Switching to Chinese food at the last minute when you've prepared an autistic child for Italian food is a problem.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 29-Sep-13 19:50:17

I felt my heart tug when I read that your DD had a moment over your friends not turning up sad but I'm glad she coped with the change in plans. She sounds like a lovely little girl and you sound like a lovely mum as well as a lovely person. You deserve better than those friends. flowers That said, I'm glad you both had a good time and hope you will have more fun times to come with your precious DD.

fluffyraggies Sun 29-Sep-13 19:51:46

So the basics of the actual email exchanges went like this:

Friends email: 'Yeah, i feel the same. TBH i'm not really into pizza and pasta anyway. How about a Chinese place?'

OP thoughts: By the time i'd managed to compose a polite email, everyone was pretty much set on a certain Chinese place.

OP to Friends: "Hi, I really feel bad making you all go to this italian when you don't want to ... Me and dd are going to the Italian place tonight, but please enjoy your Chinese and hopefully we can catch up another time? ...

Friends: "what are you talking about? I thought you had decided we were all going to the Italian?" and "So you're cancelling on us, yes?".

OP to Friends: "Me and dd are heading there just now. Maybe see you there?"

After OP had left home Friends emailed: "Look, i genuinely don't understand tonight's plans now. It's all gone a bit tits up. I don't want to head all the way to the restaurant if I'm going to be the only one." The other claimed to have not be feeling well and that she was sorry and would see us all soon.

No reply from OP as she was out.

OP when you look at the messages i think the not turning up thing resulted from a communications mix up tbh. I would forgive them for not turning up as i really think i'd be confused by all the above as well. Don't take it as them snubbing you.


ZZZenagain Sun 29-Sep-13 19:52:58

I agree the whole thing got totally mixed up.

fluffyraggies Sun 29-Sep-13 19:54:16

P.S i have read the whole thread and here am just concentrating purely on the communications about who's going where, and perhaps why they didn't turn up at the Italian.

TheBigJessie Sun 29-Sep-13 19:55:13


I've been trying to imagine doing the same thing to a group of my friends and/or family.

I think I'd get:

so why did you go for pizza last night then?

but the table has been booked
Come to think of it, if the OP's friends had booked it, I think it's pretty poor to cancel at such short notice.

who can't eat pizza twice?

but I've organised our discount vouchers

Etc followed by hmm faces. No-one would think my behaviour was reasonable!

Panzee Sun 29-Sep-13 19:59:07

Sorry to slightly derail, but the can't-have-Italian-twice-in-two-days friend reminded me. My husband is one of those people who can't eat the same thing for lunch and tea. I just don't get it. If you like something, why not have it again?

BillyBanter Sun 29-Sep-13 20:13:07

I'm glad you and your daughter had a nice meal and she enjoyed her new experience.

If I was in this group my thoughts would go like this:

Yeah, night out sounds good.
Italian, yeah, whatever, fine.
Not Italian? Really?
Chinese then, ok, fine, whatever. I'll go with the crowd. (by this time I'd be fed up)
Oh. Back to the Italian, then, sigh.
Chinese? No Italian? Which? What? Am I meant to go to the Italian or have I just been disinvited from the Italian? Where is everyone else going?
Oh fuck it. Everyone's going to be sitting with clenched jaws in the huff all night whatever we do now. I'm staying in.

As I said before it all went a bit awry. the fault doesn't lie at any single person's feet.

Panzee Sun 29-Sep-13 20:17:38

It's another reason why these things shouldn't be done via email.

juneybean Sun 29-Sep-13 20:27:56

I don't understand why no one rang/text if they were unsure about plans?

AuntieMaggie Sun 29-Sep-13 20:30:37

I don't get why you didn't call them instead of emailing or why you didn't tell them upfront that dd wouldn't be ok with the restaurant change because of her autism.... Perhaps do these things in future?

BillyBanter Sun 29-Sep-13 20:30:43

you can't ring 6 people at the same time.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 20:35:37

Panzee it's baffling isn't it? I would happily eat the same thing for lunch and dinner or for dinner several days in a row, and frequently do.

Italian food is, well, it's food isn't it? Lots to choose from. Pizza, pasta, meat, fish, seafood... Nobody would object to pizza one night and pasta the next at home.

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 20:39:29

I too am in the nobody sounds particularly unreasonable camp which is why I think AIBU was the wrong spot for it.

On another note - and this is me genuinely trying to help - I do think it matters what your friends know and understand about your daughter. They might be ignorant about how hard it can be for you, particularly if you normally seem to be managing well. Or they might know and not be particularly concerned to help. I can't tell from your posts so I don't know if they are not much cop as friends or just a bit unknowing and unthinking.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 29-Sep-13 20:44:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BranchingOut Sun 29-Sep-13 20:45:21

I completely understand the whole thing about needing to keep the plans the same for your DD's sake.

But, I think that you completely muddied the waters by sending your message:

"Hi, I really feel bad making you all go to this italian when you don't want to. But unfortunately dd's asd means she just can't adjust to the idea of another new restaurant at such short notice. Me and dd are going to the Italian place tonight, but please enjoy your Chinese and hopefully we can catch up another time? I can cook and we can have a night in mine if you're free at some point?

Because as far as they were concerned, they were already going to the Italian and now complete confusion has been thrown into the mix.

So don't be surprised if they are now a bit cheesed off with you for messing up the arrangements.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 29-Sep-13 20:48:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nkf Sun 29-Sep-13 20:52:06

How close are you to them?

fuckwittery Sun 29-Sep-13 20:57:07

I thought your message was a bit confusing as well. As you'd said you'd got a "fine we're going to the italian then" message earlier albeit with eyerolls (how is that even possible on email)

A wee bit martyrish to then say, we're going to the italian, have fun at the chinese, when I thought they HAD agreed to go to the italian, just without good grace and little understanding of the difficulties the original change of plan had caused. Might have been better confirm the italian, and then use the face to face time to explain the prep you'd had to do with dd's difficulties.
Never mind, glad dd enjoyed it and hope you get a night out with your friends soon,and that they can understand a bit more next time.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sun 29-Sep-13 20:57:11

If one of them doesn't even like pizza and pasta then why did they agree to go to the Italian in the first place? I actually think the friends are being v annoying here and I have an NT child. I would want to stick to plans, not keep chopping and changing.

pigletmania Sun 29-Sep-13 20:58:11

Reading into it now, yes I think there was a lot of miscommunication. Op should have e aide saying. Hi can we stick to the original plans of going to th Italian restaurant, as dd is Autistic and cannot cope with this kind of change. Hope to see you tonight at Ginos r whatever it is. Op e mail was very subjective and not to the point

pigletmania Sun 29-Sep-13 20:58:37

E mailed doh

edam Sun 29-Sep-13 21:01:34

Your friends' behaviour is shitty. Glad you and dd had a nice time but no thanks to them, the miserable bunch.

AnaisHendricks Sun 29-Sep-13 21:05:25

I've just realised, you're the OP who had your DD treated so horribly at the birthday party with separate food, no party bag or cake.

Given the level of intervention you had to make for this outing how was DD in the aftermath of all that messing around? That would have been more than enough for an NT child to cope with!

pigletmania Sun 29-Sep-13 21:10:57

Oh no anaise I know the one, poor op dd. how are things with that mum op

Boobybeau Sun 29-Sep-13 21:17:52

Sorry ive not read the whole thread but anyone saying 'leave dd at home because she has autism' is being ridiculously unfair to both the op and her dd. just because she has autism doesn't mean she can't join in, especially as she sounds like she has a great mum who knows how to prepare her so she doesn't feel stressed. And why should the op miss out because of others ignorance?

YANBU at all, you sound like a great mum with friends who obviously haven't a clue!

kiriwawa Sun 29-Sep-13 21:24:37

How sad to see that the This Is My Child campaign has had zero impact on so many MNers sad

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sun 29-Sep-13 21:31:02

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think at least two of the friends sound like complete flakes, in a way that makes the OP's DD's condition irrelevant.

Friend A, or 'Everyone Will Dance To My Tune': says she went for Italian last night so now she doesn't want another. If you're the sort of person who doesn't like the same thing two meals out running, why would you go for an Italian knowing you have another one coming up later in the week? Wouldn't you say 'Actually, I've already booked to go for an Italian meal later this week so can we do something different tonight? Either that or I'll give it a miss so I don't spoil the meal I've arranged'. But no, instead it's assumed that everyone else will change their plans to fit in with this person.

Friend B, or 'I Don't Know My Own Mind': agrees to go to an Italian restaurant, but then says later 'I don't really like Italian food'. Why would you agree to this in the first place?

OP, your DD, on the other hand, sounds really sweet. I know who I'd rather go out to eat with.

I would be inclined to think it was more a mix up than anything else, OP.

As a previous poster said, until your email they'd all assumed they were going to the Italian.

They're not intolerant of your dd or her needs usually, are they??

If not I'd say let this one blow over and maybe have them around next weekend.

If they are then they're no friends of yours and you're better off without them.

Perhaps a phone call will clear the air!

YouHaveAGoodPoint Sun 29-Sep-13 21:35:43

I was about to type a reply but WalterMittyMissus said exactly what I would have said.

It was just poor communication all around. The OPs last email would have confused me too.

0utnumbered Sun 29-Sep-13 21:38:19

I wouldn't of said 'leave her at home because she has autism'! I meant leave her at home because she is 5 years old and it sounds like an adults catch up, I wouldn't want to take my children to something like this - they don't have autism (well not that I know of as they are very young) but the eldest would want to run around, touch everything and generally be a pain, he's two though not five so maybe that's a really irrelevant point, the youngest is a little baby who still needs feeding, changing etc and would mean I would be occupied with them and not with catching up with my friends so technically not much point in going! Could you not take your daughter for a meal with you to the italian place and go out without her to the chinese?

BillyBanter Sun 29-Sep-13 21:40:59

The OP's communication has been very unclear and contradictory. That doesn't make her friends shit.

We need to stick to the Italian.

I'm going to the Italian. You all enjoy the Chinese. Maybe see you at the Italian.

Moxiegirl Sun 29-Sep-13 21:47:54

It does sound like a big mix up and cross wires - mainly started by a selfish bollocks who suddenly didn't want to eat Italian two nights in a row and is used to her friends dancing to her tune!
Bet if she had a dd the plans would have still revolved around her.
Glad dd had a nice time anyway smile