My Mother Would’ve Killed Me If I’d Acted Like This Kid

, , , , | Friendly | May 7, 2021

After we move away from our old town, one of my children makes a new friend.

Son: “Can I invite [Child] from school over for lunch?”

Me: *Gladly* “Yes, but don’t ask him yet. I want to talk to his parents first.”

I manage to meet the child’s mom during a parent-teacher conference. After the standard greetings, I decide to go for it.

Me: “[Son] wants to invite [Child] home for lunch one of these days. Is there anything I should know? Allergies, likes and dislikes?”

Mother: “Oh, that’s great! [Child] has really struggled in finding other children to talk and play with; I’m glad to hear they’re becoming friends! He isn’t allergic to anything, but he really likes pasta with tuna and tinned meat, so you might want to keep that in mind for when I send him to lunch with you.”

Me: “Okay, thank you.”

When I get home, I pass this on to my son, who then actually invites him to our house. I make sure to pick up some good tuna and upper-label tinned meat, since it isn’t something we usually eat in my home, and while I am at it, I also set aside some time to make a chocolate cake.

The day comes and I pick up both [Son] and [Child] from school, ask the maid to add a seat to the usual setup, and then put everyone at their seats. I serve them both, I serve myself, and then I sit down to eat, too. As I start to eat, I notice that [Child] is staring at his pasta with a confused expression.

Me: “Is everything all right, [Child]? Don’t you like it?”

He looks up from his plate.

Child: “Hmm… Mrs. [My Name], this isn’t tuna pasta.”

Me: *Chuckling* “Don’t be silly. It’s tuna; just try it.”

Child: “But… it’s not tuna pâte; it doesn’t look like it at all. This is tuna from the can. I don’t eat canned tuna.”

Colour drains from my face. I’m feeling confused, ashamed, and annoyed all at the same time, but I mask it the best I can.

Me: “Ah, well, at least try it. If you really don’t like it, I’ll just give you the meat afterward.” 

He does try to eat a few tentative forkfuls, but his face scrunches up in weird ways and, in the end, he pushes his plate away and puts his fork down. My maid comes, picks up his still-full plate and my son’s empty one, and then comes back with two tins of meat each.

Child: “What’s this? This isn’t [Store Brand] canned meat; this is [High-End Brand]! How can I eat it?”

Son: “Wait, you like canned meat?”

Child: “Well, yes, but not this one.”

Me: *Sighing* “Have you ever tasted it?”

Child: “No, but I know I won’t like it because it’s not [Store Brand].”

Me: “Fine, do you like salad?”

Child: “Nope!” 

I’m torn between feeling bad that I couldn’t feed a guest properly and feeling angry that he is being so picky while his mother didn’t bother to tell me any details. Knowing it’s pointless to push it, I just let him stare at his unopened can while my son keeps on eating his meat and salad quietly. My maid brings out the freshly-squeezed orange juice, to which my son’s friend crosses his arms and pouts, so I don’t even bother asking. With a single gulp, my son finishes his juice and then looks at me pleadingly. Figuring I can’t go wrong with it…

Me: “All right, [Son], fine, I’ll bring out the cake. Do you want any, [Child]?”

Child: “Is it from [Supermarket Chain]?”

Me: “No, it’s not, but I swear—”

Child: “Then I don’t want it. Homemade cakes suck.” 

I would be very offended if I wasn’t just done, so I let it slide and let them both get up to go play. I relax a bit in the living room and then go to work. When I come back that evening, I do the obvious.

Me: “How did your time with [Child] go?”

Son: “It was super boring. He wanted to play ping-pong but didn’t want me to get too close to the edge, and all he could talk about was about how his dad was an exterminator or how much he liked ACE. I was almost happy that he got picked up by his mom.”

Couldn’t blame him. It wasn’t long before the two drifted apart due to major differences between them, and I’m still miffed that the mother didn’t think of warning me about her son’s narrow diet.

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