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Family meal out issue. WIBU?

(282 Posts)
LettuceBe Sat 20-Apr-19 18:48:43

A family member organised an extended family lunch today. We have gatherings two or three times a year. Today there were 12 adults and four children.(I don't have children so none were mine) An aunt received some unexpected money and wanted to pay for it all. It was a chain pub type place so reasonably priced but still incredibly generous of her and offers of payment from some were repeatedly refused before and during the meal.

It went well but all four children aged 2, 3, 4 and 8) barely touched their kids meals(The build your own type when you choose a main and two sides, Dessert is free) There was a huge kids play area so they were more interested in that and left the vast majority of the food. Said Aunt was not pleased and made some remarks about it having to pay for nothing. One parent didn't look pleased but offered to pay for the kids meals.(About£4.95) but Aunt declined. It created a bit of an atmosphere but we finished and left. Aunt left a Whatsapp about enjoying the day and hoping everyone else did too, but that she felt a little taken advantage of because the children didn't eat their meals and none of the other three sets of parents offered to pay for the uneaten meals. Understandably it didn't go down well.

So who was being unreasonable here?

Yoozanaim Sat 20-Apr-19 18:51:02

Her. Can't force kids to eat. She needs to chill.

LettuceBe Sat 20-Apr-19 18:52:23

So as not to drip feed. They all ate the 'free' ice cream but not their mains.

hidinginthenightgarden Sat 20-Apr-19 18:52:38

I can see why she would be annoyed they didn't eat it but taken advantage of?
She offered to pay and declined when someone offered to pay the kids meal. She is being petty.

HollowTalk Sat 20-Apr-19 18:52:42

She was unreasonable to complain like that. She refused one offer of payment yet wanted more so that she could refuse them all.

ElfridaEtAl Sat 20-Apr-19 18:53:34

What did she want people to do who she'd repeatedly declined? Throw the cash at her?
1 parent had offered and again, she refused to the other 3 sets of parents probably didn't see the point if she was so insistent on paying for it all. I understand why your Aunt is annoyed but I don't think she stands need complaining about it when people did try to pay for themselves and she wouldn't let them.

sackrifice Sat 20-Apr-19 18:53:44

Well they wouldn't offer if she had already turned down the one that did offer.

Does she have kids herself? It used to drive me batty paying for DSD's meal that was virtually untouched when we went out to eat. But I'd never have said anything about it. It's part of taking kids out surely?

Ellisandra Sat 20-Apr-19 18:54:11

I’m tempted to say the Aunt as the gesture to pay shouldn’t be contingent on force feeding the children!

And I have an 11yo so I’ve been through those ages where appetite and distraction are utterly unpredictable.

However, it’s wasteful of someone else’s money, and children of all those ages can be kept at the table despite a play area. So I actually have a lot of sympathy for her.

On balance, I think the parents should certainly have apologised for the waste and followed suit in offering to pay with the one parent that did.

But if the Aunt labours the point now, she’s stepping into unreasonable!

PotteringAlong Sat 20-Apr-19 18:54:35

She was. You can’t go to a pub with a massive kids play area and then get arsey when they play in it.

Admittedly it’s not a problem I have because mine love food more than life itself, but on a hot day with a big family meal and they’re not creating a fuss or stopping others enjoying their meal? I wouldn’t have got worked up about it.

ArtyFartyQueen Sat 20-Apr-19 18:55:48

Did the parents make any effort to encourage the children to eat their meals?

sunshineandshowers21 Sat 20-Apr-19 18:55:56

i can see why she’d be annoyed tbh. i wouldn’t have let the kids play in the play area though until they’d eaten their food. my kids know now not to even bother asking to play until after they’ve eaten.

bamb00 Sat 20-Apr-19 18:57:24

She shouldn't have offered to pay for the meal in that case. You can't force feed a child who doesn't want to eat, and equally at the ages they are, the parents needed to order them meals, they can't be given no food because they might not eat it. Yes it's annoying when kids don't finish their food, and maybe the parents should have made more effort to drag their children away from the softplay and eat their lunch. But at the end of the day, if they don't want to eat no one can make them. Maybe if they knew they weren't hungry the parents should have suggested them sharing a couple of meals, but it was probably more the distraction of soft play thst made them "not hungry". Or maybe they really didn't like the food.

edwinbear Sat 20-Apr-19 18:57:27

SIBU. Of course a 2 yr old is more interested in soft play than food. The 8 yr old should know better, but big family meals out are dull for kids. She was very kind to offer to pay, but that doesn’t mean she has the right to force feed the kids like foie gras geese.

Aquamarine1029 Sat 20-Apr-19 18:57:29

Your Aunt is being ridiculous and she alone is responsible for ruining the lunch. If you insist on paying that doesn't give you the right to police everyone's meal. Just pay and keep your mouth shut. What did she hope to achieve by making such a fuss about a couple of children's meals? It's absurd.

BrilliantYou Sat 20-Apr-19 18:58:17

Aunt is BU. Offered to pay but wanted to control what everyone ate really. She can't decline the offer to cover cost of kids meals then feel taken advantage of hmm

Ellisandra Sat 20-Apr-19 18:58:19

Even though I get why declining one parent could be taken as a reason not to bother offering, I do think it would have been polite to offer. She was obviously bothered about it, and the parents ignored that.

Sirzy Sat 20-Apr-19 18:58:27

Whether the kids where eating or not I would have expected them to sit st the table while everyone else was eating as a minimum.

Soubriquet Sat 20-Apr-19 18:59:11

Oh jeez she is

People offered to pay, one set of parents offered to pay, she refused.

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

That being said, when we go out for food, my dc have to sit down and eat their food. As long as they have eaten a good amount, they can leave the rest to go and play.

archivearmadillo Sat 20-Apr-19 18:59:55

There are some people who use "generous" gestures to make everyone beholden to them. Nobody wanted her to pay for £4.95 kids' meals at the price of having to force feed their children probably unhealthy processed crap rather than let them run around an appropriate play area.

With children's meals in that sort of venue you're paying for use of the facilities (play area and seating area) as much or more than the actual plate of crappy chicken nuggets. The £4.95 was not wasted as the children used the facilities.

Never accept anything from this woman again, as her email clearly tells you there will always be strings attached.

AmIRightOrAMeringue Sat 20-Apr-19 19:00:06

The only way she could be taken advantage of is if the parents knew they weren't going to eat - if they'd already eaten for example or if they'd said they weren't hungry but the parents had insisted on giving them a meal and so knew they were wasting the aunts money. Otherwise it's not really the parents fault that the kids didn't eat. If your kid won't eat it's really hard to make them so I can see they were embarrassed. In my opinion I think the aunt is probably unreasonable for calling them out on it

CarolDanvers Sat 20-Apr-19 19:01:00

She is. What a Moaning Minnie.

keepingbees Sat 20-Apr-19 19:02:18

I can see both sides. On one hand I can see why she'd be narked that she paid for meals that weren't touched. On the other hand it was no ones fault, and sounds pretty typical of taking kids to a sit down meal to be honest, especially if there's the distraction of a play area!

Floralnomad Sat 20-Apr-19 19:03:09

The aunt is very unreasonable , she wanted to pay despite others offering and declined the offer from one parent . If I were one of the parents I think I’d be skipping the gathering next time .

edwinbear Sat 20-Apr-19 19:04:02

Would she have been happier if they’d taken it home?

archivearmadillo Sat 20-Apr-19 19:04:21

She'd have been just as offended if the children had remained at the table with sad faces failing to enjoy and be grateful for £4.95 worth of chain pub food they didn't want, or if they'd interrupted adult conversation, or their parents had entered into ill advised battles to make them eat and failed to make conversation with the aunt, and removed tantruming or crying children... In that case the facilities included in the price of the meal also wouldn't have been used and the money actually wasted...

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