Author Topic: Don't want to eat your yucky food  (Read 11013 times)

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Knitterly

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Don't want to eat your yucky food
« on: April 26, 2013, 09:09:10 AM »
It has been fairly well established (I think) that I have had some serious boundary issues with my mother.  Around Easter, I had a major lightbulb moment where I realized that by slowly and gently insisting on my boundaries, it has become much less of an issue.

My mother is still touchy, but it has become easier for me to be around her, as the guilt trips and manipulations are no longer much of an issue.

That said, I am about to face a situation and I need help figuring out how to be polite about it.

I am going to have lunch with her today.  She wants to just make sandwiches at her house.
Here's the problem:  Her house is gross.  Her food is gross.  There is usually mold on the cheese, the butter is contaminated with peanut butter (Mr K has an allergy), the milk is almost always expired, etc.
I grew up like this.  We would simply cut the mold off the cheese and milk is good for a week or three past the expiry, right? (wrong, but I can't really tell her that now without it being a big "thing").

This is one of many, many, many reasons why I am not comfortable with her watching LK.  But it extends beyond that.  I am uncomfortable with LK eating food from my mother's house.  Maybe I can handle the moldy cheese, but I don't want LK to eat it (mold spores go much deeper than the visible surface mold).  And although we've established through controlled experiments that it's unlikely that LK is allergic to nuts, we're still limiting her exposure.  And I have no idea how old those cold cuts are.  And toddlers don't handle food poisoning well.  And... you get the picture.

So what's the best way to deal with this?

I have found that one of the best ways to deal with my mom is to control the get togethers (ie, I call her up and say "I've got the car today, let's have lunch) - she's happy that she gets time with us and I am able to make my excuses and duck out quickly when it becomes too much.
But I know if I say "I don't want your food" or give her reasons why, it will still cause offense and she will get upset and it will become an argument. 

NyaChan

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2013, 09:11:58 AM »
I'd call her and say "Hey, I thought I'd pick up sandwiches for lunch today - I'm really craving [insert food].  What should I get for you? They have...."

citadelle

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2013, 09:29:03 AM »
I'd call her and say "Hey, I thought I'd pick up sandwiches for lunch today - I'm really craving [insert food].  What should I get for you? They have...."
Yes! I would offer to bring lunch as a treat, framing it as a kindness so that she doesn't have to fuss. If she insists on preparing food, bring ingredients (cold cuts, bread, cheese). The message won't be "I don't want your food" but "Let me help!" instead.

Good luck.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2013, 09:31:08 AM »
I'd just bring food with me, too.  Or, since it is a nice day, reasonably warm, after a couple days of rain, suggest a picnic in a local park.

'Mom, it's such a nice day.  I'll grab some subs and we can have a picnic in the park.'
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delabela

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 10:12:26 AM »
I'd just bring food with me, too.  Or, since it is a nice day, reasonably warm, after a couple days of rain, suggest a picnic in a local park.

'Mom, it's such a nice day.  I'll grab some subs and we can have a picnic in the park.'

This is a good idea - you can suggest LK needs some fresh air.

WillyNilly

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2013, 10:19:47 AM »
I don't remember where you live, but in the most o the US its finally spring, what a great excuse to not sit inside for lunch. And/or oh look do plenty of stores have great local seasonal produce on sale that you just had to pick up on your way to see your mom, what a nice treat, instead of her going to the trouble of sandwiches...

cicero

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2013, 10:32:43 AM »
Wow, you certainly don't have to explain to us why it would be a terrible idea to eat at you mom's house and expose children to that. This is an absolutely'safety before etiquette' situation, whether it's your mom or anyone else. You obviously wouldn't go out of your way to hurt her, but if she does get her feelings hurt because you choose not to eat 'gross' food in a 'gross' house, then that is her issue.

You got some good ideas here - you pick something up on the way, meet her at a park or fast food place etc

And hugs.

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*inviteseller

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2013, 10:37:06 AM »
I POD everyone else who suggests a picnic or picking something up to bring with you.  Food poisoning is nothing to play around with.  Her system may be used to eating rotten food, but to a child it can be fatal.  I know you pick your battles, but this would be my hill.

Dindrane

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2013, 10:38:16 AM »
I agree with all of the above suggestions, and have one more.

If, for some reason, you don't think that bringing your own food will work (or if you think your mother may still expect you to eat her moldy cheese and old deli meat), it might be wise for all of you to eat a bit before you go over, and then eat a bit more after you leave. For you and DH, you can talk about the late breakfast you had and how you really couldn't eat more than just this small bit of a sandwich (or whatever).

For LK, if I remember correctly she's not really old enough to be especially verbal yet. If you feed her a full meal before going over, you can blame it on the fact that she was so hungry she was about to have a meltdown, and she must be in some sort of growth spurt. But you went ahead and fed her lunch at home so the visit would be more pleasant. You can tell your mother (if she tries to offer her food anyway) that she really isn't hungry anymore, and you don't want to waste the cheese/sliced meat/whatever.

You might want to go ahead and feed LK in advance even if you bring food, unless you're able to convince your mother to go eat it at a park or something. As long as you're in her house, she may try to serve food you don't want LK eating. It'll be much easier to avoid giving her that food without making it a "thing" if she's not really hungry anyway (because you'll be avoiding giving her any food).


ladyknight1

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 11:20:28 AM »
What an awful situation. I wouldn't eat anything at the house, even if I brought it. Could you arrange to go somewhere else? I would say it is so LK can toddle around in the fresh air for a lunch date.

Giggity

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 11:22:59 AM »
I have found that one of the best ways to deal with my mom is to control the get togethers (ie, I call her up and say "I've got the car today, let's have lunch) - she's happy that she gets time with us and I am able to make my excuses and duck out quickly when it becomes too much.

Then do that.
Words mean things.

lowspark

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2013, 11:59:17 AM »
I'd call her and say "Hey, I thought I'd pick up sandwiches for lunch today - I'm really craving [insert food].  What should I get for you? They have...."

Regarding the bolded, that's exactly what I would do. Only she's already planning sandwiches so it might be too easy for her to say "my sandwiches are just as good as xyz sanswiches. So I'd say be in the mood for something completely different -- something she is guaranteed not to be able to make at home. Chinese food or Mexican or whatever specialty she can't make. Or, suggest a particular restaurant you've been craving.

Moray

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2013, 12:16:20 PM »
I have found that one of the best ways to deal with my mom is to control the get togethers (ie, I call her up and say "I've got the car today, let's have lunch) - she's happy that she gets time with us and I am able to make my excuses and duck out quickly when it becomes too much.

Then do that.

This is actually a really good solution that you're already using. Control the situation!

One other thing about your OP stuck out to me. You're so afraid to say "No, LK can't have expired milk/moldy cheese/coldcuts of indeterminate age." because you'll offend your mom, but it seems (based on your posting history) that offending your mom is pretty much a foregone conclusion, not because you're being rude or whatever, but because she actively seeks out offense. You know this about her. So I guess what I'm trying to say is: So what if she gets a little torqued because you told her not to hand your daughter moldy bread? She'd probably get huffy over something else anyway. And you know what? She'll get over it or die mad.

So don't stress. Control the situation as you already are, and if she tries to hand over expired food anyway? Just say something. Her getting a little huffy isn't unusual, and you know she'll get over it eventually (and hopefully not serve expired food, even if she becomes PA about it :)!)

Utah

Emmy

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2013, 01:17:52 PM »
I agree with Moray.  Offering to eat out or have a picnic is a temporary solution, but I don't think that resolves the issue and some point she will want to serve a meal or snack in her own home.  I think you need to be prepared for that there will eventually be a confrontation over food.  It is nearly impossible to tip toe around a person bent on finding offense forever.

Honeypickle

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Re: Don't want to eat your yucky food
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2013, 02:35:47 PM »
I can't understand why you would worry about upsetting your mother over letting your CHILD eat your mother's mouldy food, that could potentially make her ill.

I must be missing something.