Need Advice Fast

caphillsmJune 14, 2010

So, almost 18 year old SS is coming for the summer to live/work with us until school begins in the late August. I never had children, and when DH and I married, I used to bring/serve both DH and SS whatever I was making to them directly. For example, if I was making cookies, I would bring a plate to each while they were watching a movie. Same for drinks, etc. Quite a while ago my DH told me that "its not a good idea to constantly serve a teen boy...let him help himself and clear his plate". I understood and stopped doing it.

Yesterday I awoke from an afternoon nap, went into the kitchen, and prepared myself a soft drink on ice. DH and SS were watching a move. I asked DH if he wanted one too, and he said yes. I brought him one. SS was there, and didnt say anything, but since I had stocked the fridge with his favorites,and remembered the previous guidance, I didnt think anything of it.

DH is furious with me. He is accusing me of purposefully ignoring SS and being "rude" by not asking him if he wanted a soda too. He said my oversight is indicative of my disdain for his son. His son and I had just spent the entire day doing outside activities, and the only reason he has a summer job is because of me.

I mean it, DH is FURIOUS to the point he isnt speaking to me.

Was I wrong?

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Cap, I wouldn't agree to offer food/drink to only one person in a room. It's rude, IMO. I see where your DH is going with the serving a teen boy, I see why you agreed. But this is just ridiculous.

Tell DH he can get his own stinkin' soda from now on and you won't be put in the middle of his parenting. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Go make yourself some cookies, put them on a plate, walk out to the living room and tell the boys the cookies are in the kitchen if they want some.

I'm sorry, but this is absolutely beyond comprehension.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 9:58AM
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In my opinion, in my home, yes, that was rude. It was the manner inwhich it was done though that makes the difference. I don't wait on my older children, the exception being when I am hosting and/or waiting on everyone present.

At the least after offering to make your DH a drink I think you would have been alright with then stating to SS 'the fridge is stacked with your favorites and there is tea (whatever)too if you'd like something at any time'.

I think the idea was to make SS feel free to help himself and to serve himself the amount he wanted (with like the cookies...he may feel he has to eat the number you served when he didn't want that many, or he may have wanted more but figured that is all he was allowed)

Yeah, it all sounds silly, but here, if I were taking in cookies, I would take in one plate and let them know there was plenty more in the kitchen if they wanted a refill.

Don't make a mountain out of a molehill about this. You didn't mean to slight the SS. Is the this shy one who prefers sitting and doing nothing all day ...going on my faulty memory, so maybe not...if so, spending the day doing outside activities with him should be considered a huge plus on your and SS's side from DH. Being furious over the drink slight could set back tensions again where you'd rather spend your day doing paperwork at the office. You're getting stuck in the 'do this, don't do that' rut and it's a tight spot to be as you never know just what the heck the DH wants you to actually do considering the SS.

To be 'safe' either offer to both or while fixing your own remind both that this and that is here if they would like something too. You don't have to wait on either of them.

I wish the SS all the best in his summer employment. Hope the summer goes well for all of you. It's a big adjustment to go from just you and DH except for the weekends to the three of you day in and day out. I'm sure you'll work it out.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 10:04AM
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I think maybe you were wrong for offering your DH a drink... (kidding.. a little bit)

I can see how it would be rude to offer one a drink but not the other. That's not the same as serving him.

What sticks out to me the most is: "He said my oversight is indicative of my disdain for his son." and that is a pretty strong statement. He believes you dislike his son & your actions 'proved' it. Why does he think you have disdain for his son? There seems to be more to the story or history than this one incident.

Personally, unless you intended to slight him.. I don't think you were WRONG. But, I do think you should apologize because your actions probably did make SS feel slighted & if your husband told you that "Quite a while ago", he may not think it applies all the time. From the statement "let him help himself and clear his plate", I would assume he is talking about serving his own plate at mealtime. That would not include times when you might be offering soft drinks, an ice cream bar, etc. randomly. I would find it rude if someone (in any situation) were to offer the person next to me something & ignore me. While I think your DH may have overreacted, I would take his side that it was rude. (though I give you the benefit of doubt that it was intentional)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 10:07AM
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I dont think SS even noticed me asking DH if he wanted something. I was getting myself a soda and asked DH if he wants one. When DH said "Can xx have one too?" I literally handed the kid my own drink. It wasnt until later that DH blew a gasket.

Why the hell I even bother serving EITHER of them is beyond me. From now on, they can attend to themselves.

And yes, I have made great strides with SS and why DH is focused on this small thing is beyond me. He actually told me that "I dont get it because I dont have kids of my own"

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 10:16AM
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Why the hell I even bother serving EITHER of them is beyond me. From now on, they can attend to themselves. Indeed. I can understand why your DH doesn't want a teenage boy to get used to being waited on hand and foot, and I can also understand why he felt that you shouldn't have offered him a drink without offering one to SS, but unless you are a psychic, how are you supposed to know which of his rules takes precedence when?

I dont get it because I dont have kids of my own Ah, yes, because one suddenly acquires special mental powers upon being a biological parent. That is why biological parents never disagree about how to raise their children. Sigh.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 11:07AM
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"Why the hell I even bother serving EITHER of them is beyond me. From now on, they can attend to themselves. "

THERE you go --

And sorry, but the furious silent treatment is only suitable for the under-6 set.
If Hubby wants to pout, put him in time out.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 12:27PM
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I think he realized his kids have "issues" and rather than deal with them, its just easier to get angry with me.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 12:41PM
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That's probably true Cap.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 12:45PM
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on one hand offering only to one person was rude but you only did because dad told you not to serve his son! so I would not serve anybody and let them serve themselves from now on. you are not a maid.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 4:03PM
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