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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

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?

waltermittymissus Sat 28-Sep-13 10:40:46

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

QuintessentialShadows Sat 28-Sep-13 10:41:31

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!

waltermittymissus Sat 28-Sep-13 10:43:03

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!

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