Planning to eat out, or at a friend’s place when you have younger children can be a little tricky. As parents we have to consider what time they’ll need to get home to bed, what time they last ate, what refreshments we may need to pack to tied them over until the meal is served, and then just hope and pray to whoever is listening that they use their manners and behave. You do not expect it to be your partner, a grown-ass adult, that does something rude just as the meal is served to embarrass you. Wore yet, in when said adult can’t see that they’ve done anything wrong! Parenting your child is one thing, but having to parent your partner and teach them basic manners, is a whole different story!
This particular predicament is explained by the offender himself in a recent Reddit thread, who is oblivious to the fact that he may have done anything wrong.
A friend of my wife’s invited my family – my wife (29F), our son (5M), and I (26M) – over for dinner with him (30M) and his daughter (5F). As long as we’ve known him, this friend has kept to a very strict diet, which has almost always led to us eating over at his place, but he is an excellent cook so I’ve never minded. We have not, however, seen him since both of our children were infants.
For dinner, we were served salmon with quinoa and arugula. My son is very mild for a 5-year-old – he throws tantrums very rarely and is the opposite of a picky eater, but I could tell from how he was acting that he was not vibing with this meal. He was picking at his plate, shuffling food, and while he did try the salmon, he didn’t seem to like it. I asked him if he was happy with his dinner and he said no, he wasn’t.
I basically said, “Haha, kids, right?” and asked if there was anything else for my son to eat. My wife’s friend said that his daughter just eats whatever he makes, so he doesn’t keep “kid food” around the house.
My wife said it was fine, our son would be fine. While he is a mild kid, he definitely gets hangry and this was the beginning of our night, so we anticipated being there for an additional hour or two. I said that our son needed to eat so he’d have energy to play and apologized, saying I’d be gone for just a few minutes, picking something up for our kid. My wife’s friend seemed irked, but said he’d try and keep my plate warm.
I was gone for about 30 minutes, came back with a Happy Meal – ordered extra fries in case his daughter wanted any, which she was not allowed to have. By the time I was back, dinner was winding down. My son ate his meal, we had dessert, and he went off to play with his friend.
It was definitely a hiccup in the night, but things went fine. We had a good time, but my wife was definitely cold with me. When we got home (3 hours after dinner), she told me that I was an ass at dinner for no reason. I pointed out that if I hadn’t gotten our son dinner, he would’ve been a monster the entire way home, to which she replied that we would’ve left earlier. I said I was just looking to solve the problem as it happened and that if her friend had been more accomodating, we wouldn’t have been in the situation in the first place.
She got offended on his behalf and we decided to just go to bed because we clearly were not getting anywhere. It’s been two days since, things are still stilted between us, and I’m not sure where I went wrong.
AITA for leaving dinner to get my son food, even though dinner was served?
That’s right. We’ll just give you a moment to digest that. HE GOT UP as the meal was commencing, to go and get a Happy Meal for a kid that wasn’t even complaining, and then also brought back some of the food that the host didn’t approve of to offer to the hosts child. Eeeek! Does anyone else sense some animosity on both sides from these two guys? Awkward doesn’t even begin to cover it!
Whilst some commenters joked that the Dad clearly left because he didn’t like the meal and probably wolfed down a Big Mac before returning, other’s were disgusted in his behaviour.
YTA. That was really rude, especially because they had a kid and you brought an obvious ‘treat’ food into the house. If your kid is picky bring granola bars along with you or something, and if you fail to do so just handle it as it comes the way your wife suggested. If your kid was going to be a ‘monster’ you could have left early and stopped at McDonald’s on the way home.
And your kid wasn’t even complaining, and there was desert coming! You way overreacted. (Outrageously_Penhguin)
The little boy was definitely using manners. He tried the meal, he didn’t complain. His father was rude. (Ok-Simple5493)
Yeah I’m not seeing any bad behavior from the 5 yr old. He did the best that could be asked of a child his age. He tried it. What I’m not understanding is all the judging. The two families clearly judge one another: one for being too healthy, one for not being healthy enough. If I was the host and my guest’s little kid was about to go hungry, I would have tried to dig something up. Sure, I might put my foot down with my own kid to teach them I won’t make them something else at their every whim, but a guest is a guest not my kid to discipline. (Practical_Chart798)
Others also pointed out that the host may not have been entirely blame-free though, and we definitely get the sense that both men are judging the parenting of the other through little micro aggressions.
The host said they don’t have kid food (what does that mean, junk food?), not that they didn’t have anything. He may also have seen the kid is trying the meal provided and eating enough of it, knows dessert is coming anyway, and generally doesn’t believe in encouraging kids to fuss over food? It seems like dad already disagreed with the ‘strict’ diet and was looking to fuss more than his son, if anything. (Amphy64)
I think the host using the term “kid food” was pure virtue signalling. I am sure the host could have found some fruit or made a sandwich if he wanted to. I dont think OP was TA. Being TA is an intentional act – OP could have probably handled the situation better, but who is perfect? (turbocool_inc)
However, it seems everyone agreed with and sympathised with the wife.
I’m trying to imagine how uncomfortable it was for the adults left behind to try and carry on their visit and conversation after OP got up in the middle of their meal and just left to get fast food. 😳 (Admirable_Amazon)
YTA in the middle of eating, you left? He had some bites and could’ve waited 30mins for you and wife to finish the meal. (joeswastedtime)
You could’ve stepped out of the party early and stopped at a Rotten Ronnie’s on the way home. It’s extremely disrespectful to your host to rush out to bring outside food regardless of the situation. Your wife is right. YTA! (Fafflunkie)
Unsurprisingly, Dad was absolutely deemed the asshole in the situation.
What do you think? Was it simply an overreaction to his son not liking the food, pure and simple rudeness, or was there another dynamic at play here between these two men?