Advanced search think that a 5 year old (or her parents) should be able to be a bit flexible with mealtimes?

(106 Posts)
pigswithfludontfly Wed 08-Jul-09 10:06:22

A close friend's dd HAS to have lunch at 12. I invited them over and suggested 1pm and that was apparently too late for her to eat. This has happened a few times and it makes meeting up tricky although it isn't the biggest issue in the world (but hey that's what AIBU is for!)

I used to be a bit like this when ds was a baby but the little girl is five.
If ds is having lunch a bit later than normal I just give him a snack to tide him over.

The little girl concerned does get up very early and the mum's reasoning is this is why she needs lunch early.

But surely by this age, it's normal to have a bit of flexibility? AIBU or a bit mean???

Hulababy Wed 08-Jul-09 10:07:59


Even as a baby DD's meal times were flexible. If the child needs something before 1pm could mum not give her a little snack beforehand, such as some fruit?

giantkatestacks Wed 08-Jul-09 10:09:31

Its normal to have a bit of flexibility but you dont know what the rest of the days like if she eats at a different time. Its just a different way of parenting.

Fwiw mine cant wait til 1 either - they have breakfast at 7 and even with a snack at tennish they are starving by 1, as am I ahem.

At school my 5 year old has lunch at 11.30 so they sort of get used to having a routine dont they...

MamaLazarou Wed 08-Jul-09 10:10:48


She can have a snack on the way there.

Some people are so pig-headed!

giantkatestacks Wed 08-Jul-09 10:13:15

Theres pigheadedness and then theres wanting dcs to be able to eat when they are hungry and not just when the adults want them to eat for their convenience...

MamaLazarou Wed 08-Jul-09 10:14:52

But she CAN eat when she is hungry.

pigswithfludontfly Wed 08-Jul-09 10:17:12

I don't think the mum is being pigheaded to be honest just a bit weirdly inflexible given she is 5.

The school lunch thing does come into it to be fair as she has lunch before 12 there. But I just don't get why she can't hold off until 1 with a snack!

Kazzi79 Wed 08-Jul-09 10:20:48

ooooo gosh sounds like my grandad, you could set your alarm clock by him as he sticks to his routine no matter what!

Thats just the way some people are I'm afraid, tbh not having a bit of flexibility would do my head in but I suppose you just have to accept other peoples ways as being different to your own.

shouldbeironing Wed 08-Jul-09 10:24:42

I am not disagreeing with you entirely as obviously she ought to be able to provide a snack or whatever if there are no other factors we dont know about but I guess it depends on how you look at it.

Did it have to be 1pm for you for some reason? IME, for some people an invite for 1pm means they eat at 2pm (we have people we visit a couple of times a year and I always eat beforehand as I know that when we turn up at say 1pm, she will then think about putting the oven on and we will end up eating at about 2:30) Also if you have something on later in the day it might be a problem to have the whole routine messed up I suppose.

I do agree that by this age and if there is only the one DC to worry about most people can be a bit more flexible if needed.

throckenholt Wed 08-Jul-09 10:25:45

why do you need to make it 1 ? Can't you compromise and make it say 12.30 ?

<I have never heard of schools having lunch before 12 ! Ours is about 12.20ish>

pigswithfludontfly Wed 08-Jul-09 10:38:40

Kazzi you're spot on - they are so punctual they put me to shame and it's all related to that I guess. Christmas shopping done in/ always turn up literally to the minute when invited round etc.

Have offered to meet half way on times in the past and sometimes it has worked and sometimes it hasn't. Can't on this occasion as I'm working in the morning.

itsbeingsocheerful Wed 08-Jul-09 10:40:19

I am sorry but I just don't get this, 'she needs to eat then or she'll be starving' attitude. With such protective parents it's really very unlikely she'll be starving, hungry maybe, slightly grumpy because of low blood sugar maybe, but nothing an apple or banana won't fix.

Unless there is an underlying medical condition, then YANBU.

troutpout Wed 08-Jul-09 10:40:31

I agree that it would be much easier for you (the adult) to be flexible and make it earlier so that it suits the child or decide on a time inbetween your own childs lunch and this little girls.

My children's school have lunch from 11.30 also. Even at weekends we generally have lunch at 12.If we go anywhere where they will eat late (meals with family) then they have a big snack at about 10.30am.

cory Wed 08-Jul-09 10:47:45

I have always made a point of doing things out of schedule from time to time so that dcs got used to the idea that they won't drop dead if they don't get exactly what they are used to exactly when they are used to. I wanted to be able to take them travelling, to do excursions and come back late, to have adventures. And tbh I want them to know what it feels like being hungry, just like I want them to know what it is like to be wet and cold and tired. Not every day, but I want them to have experience of the feeling, so they can enjoy food and warmth and comfort all the more. You can always slip them a sandwich or a banana if they start getting grumpy. Hate the thought of all the adventures we'd have missed out on if we had had to stick to a rigid timetable.

Merrylegs Wed 08-Jul-09 10:49:21

Eh? Why doesn't the mum just feed her at home at 12 then?

Then they can come to you for 1 and the little girl can sit at the table with you and have a little snack or a drink and a chat.

Unless there is some underlying medical reason as to why the girl needs to eat at specific times, your friend sounds like a bit of a loon, tbh.

(Sorry, but as you say this is AIBU!)

OrmIrian Wed 08-Jul-09 10:50:33

My god, that is a bit daft! The world can't stop because of a child's routines. She can't be 'starving' - if she's out and about doing interesting things she probably won't even notice.

Firawla Wed 08-Jul-09 10:57:38

I would give the child a snack, and let her wait til the meal time. Even my 1 yr old can be flexible like that!

pigswithfludontfly Wed 08-Jul-09 10:58:29

Merrylegs - that is what she is going to do - have lunch at home first so not the end of the world really.

Definitely no underlying medical conditions by the way.

pigswithfludontfly Wed 08-Jul-09 10:59:58

What annoyed me a bit was her response to the 1pm invite was that "it's just the same as the way you (i.e. me) find it a bit too early to eat at 12pm". But I don't think that is quite the same - I don't like having lunch at 12 as it's just way too early for an adult.

Wigglesworth Wed 08-Jul-09 11:10:03

YANBU, I don't get why people are so precious over this TBH but each to there own. If it really is the end of the world for her then maybe she should give the child lunch before you meet her. The girl can have some off mums plate when you get there or she can have a little snack whilst you eat lunch.

Wigglesworth Wed 08-Jul-09 11:11:12

OOPs sorry x-post with merrylegs, I am slow aren't I!

cory Wed 08-Jul-09 11:11:49

tbh I don't think adults should be precious about not wanting to eat an hour too early either- unless there is an underlying medical condition wink

but I do think the hostess gets to decide when she serves the meal

Spidermama Wed 08-Jul-09 11:15:02

I can't bear these ridiculously rigid routines. They're so anti social and leave no room for the world to happen to you.
I think routines are for the insecure who feel the need to control every aspect of life.

I have friends who text me to say, 'Is your DD available to come for tea on August 18th?" FGS How ludicrous to plan so far ahead.

I'm too much the other way though. I live in the moment and have no idea what I'll be doing from one day to the next (apart my involvement in the plans of others). Naturally this presents its own problems, but I can't do it any other way.

Spidermama Wed 08-Jul-09 11:16:35

There's obviously tension around the issue though so perhaps you could suggest a 1230 compromise. If she still declines then sod her.

OrmIrian Wed 08-Jul-09 11:17:11

Same here spider. When there is no school or work to force some structure into my day, it just sort of drifts. As it happens I like it that way.

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