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no more table setting

Cover1W's picture

I rarely, rarely set the table when YSD16 is at our home because DH thinks it's silly and makes things more complicated to have her do it (even when she's here for the weekend doing ZERO....she has no chores because that's an awful idea).

Anyway she's picky about Everything and that extends to tablewear. I set the table last night as I was ok doing so. She comes up, of course only after DH yells to her that dinner is ready, and promptly changes out her utensils. I say, what are you doing that? We'll, she likes the small forks (note that I gave away all the literal toddler forks she sometimes brings from BMs because she'll use those instead). I say, why don't you try using a dinner fork....the DH gets all over me and why am I asking anyway? Because it's WEIRD, it's Weird that a 16.5 year old prefers to use child size utensils.

DH can agree with me and complain to me about her lack of maturity when she's not around but once I try to actually help, which he proclaims to want to do, the backlash against me happens. oooops I stepped in too far!

So from now on I'm never never setting the table when she's here. Done with another thing.

caninelover's picture

In our house (unless we're having guests for a dinner party) we never set the table.  Just pull out the dishes and silverware and leave them in a pile for grabbing.  If SD wants to use the kiddie fork, ok, she can go get it herself.  We also just get up and serve ourselves straight from the pot/baking dishes.  Yes, I am too lazy to properly put food in serving bowls LOL. 

ndc's picture

I'm not sure what you mean by small forks.  Are you talking about actual children's utensils, or just salad/dessert forks?  I personally prefer eating with a salad fork.  I find dinner forks to be too big.  BUT, I do know the difference and if I'm at someone else's home or at a restaurant where they set the table with multiple forks, I will eat with the proper one, even though I'd prefer to use a salad/dessert fork for everything.   My parents taught me about utensils (how to set a table, which utensil to use for which course), but allowed me to use what I wanted at home.  

In your situation, I would be PISSED with my husband for getting all over me about questioning the fork, especially if he did it in front of her.  That's especially so since HE complains to you about her lack of maturity.   I hate these bio parents who feel free to complain about their kids, but go nuts the second someone else does, even if it's someone who has to live with their kids and put up with the skids just as much as they do.  Disengage.  Don't worry about her forks, and don't set the table for her.  BTW (and I'm sure you're already well aware), your husband does the kid a disservice - and doesn't help her to mature at all - by not having her do chores.

Cover1W's picture

Child size. She brings them from BMs. I think the toddler sizes are gone now.

I use salad forks sometimes too, but if someone else sets the table??? Sometimes she'll change out the plate too. Drives me nuts. So she'll get to do it herself here on out. Problem solved.

caninelover's picture

YOU don't set my plate, utensils.  I'LL DO IT.  LOL. Minor teenage oppositional bs.  Let her do it, and ignore it.  Once it's ignored she'll probably fall in line over time.

Though it is annoying. All teenagers are annoying.

caninelover's picture

Wouldn't do this.  But...probably should.  It would yield more well- adjusted young adults.

In the upside down step world, good luck with any basic parenting.  The Bio-parents just don't do it.

caninelover's picture

This is what my parents did to me.  And I was notoriously picky eater as a kid.  But ny parents had bigger issues in their plates, eg make money to pay for the food on our plates.  So if we whined about the food, our the the place setting (ha!) we would not eat and go hungry until breakfast.

I get what your saying but many parents now don't do this :(   

reedle2021's picture

My parents did the same.  We ate what was being served and we certainly didn't demand different plates/spoons.  Nope.  If we didn't like the food/dinnerware, we would go hungry.  End of conversation.  If we complained?  A slight whop upside the back of the head would put a stop to that. 

Harry's picture

Go to a restaurant,  she is going to bring her fork.   When she eats at other peoples home or at BBQ. She brings her FORK.  Just a control game she is playing.  Disengage, let her control her fork. She can wash it polish it  if I get my hands on it it will find a new place like garbage pail

Cover1W's picture

I donated all of the toddler sized forks as they came into the house during last year. At least those are gone! I give up on the others. I'll get rid of them eventually. Only a limited amount to time now I have to be around all of it anyway.

Stepdrama2020's picture

Get the 16 yr old a sippy cup too.


Maybe set the table with chop sticks LOL

reedle2021's picture

It sounds like she maybe does it as a control thing?  Or just to be difficult?  Not sure, and I certainly don't mean to offend.  But, it's very bizarre behavior.  Maybe you should treat her like a toddler and just give her finger foods so no silverware is required.  Smile

Cover1W's picture

Its all related to her growing into a teen/adult. She doesn't want to and prefers to think of herself as a child. Yes, it's messed up and neither parent is helping her grow up with confidence.

Merrigan's picture

Your SD sounds just like my SD's 15 and 18. Both refer to themselves as "children" and eat off of plastic kids dishes from ikea. SD18 immediately goes to the toddler section of whatever store we're in, saying she's just being nostalgic and a kid. They both still have daddee tuck them in at night and pour their drinks. His entire family is aghast. I'm fully disengaged so I don't give a cr@p.

Edibles (legal here) also help.  *biggrin*

reedle2021's picture

"Its all related to her growing into a teen/adult. She doesn't want to and prefers to think of herself as a child. Yes, it's messed up and neither parent is helping her grow up with confidence."

Oh my... not good.  Not good at all.  Sad

Badger1986's picture

Oh the weirdness  of children but worse when they're step children. My ss will use like a bowl, plate, two spoons, two forks, and a jack rabbit to eat a Sandwhich. One time I confronted him and his mother said, "he just likes it that way." So, I shut up, let him do it his way and I don't setup his utensils  anymore. Doesn't matter the meal, he can do the madness and my wife can clean it! Man disengagement feels sooo good! 

Ispofacto's picture

Opt out of eating with them.  Avoid her as much as you can.


Aniki-Moderator's picture

This makes me think of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and The Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker Cure. 

Give her DOLL dishes and a 2" fork!

CLove's picture

She has small hands so I always just give her salad fork, or whatever.

Since her Pouty McPouterson showed up at shared meals together I stopped pressing for "ok time to set the table for our mealtime together" and I stopped calling SD for dinner. Any "gathering" will be done by DH.

Rags's picture

Just stop. All of it. Tell them what to do, and if they don't do it, apply misery.  THat is all. If they do what is expected and what htey are told.  Still do nothing but keep the misery in your pocket for application when they fail to do what they are told.

Keep it simple.

Elea's picture

These are the micro irritants that only we as step-parents see. When I talk to non-steps they don't understand what the big deal is but I think it's a build up over time of seeing the behind scenes weirdness and lack of common manners.

YSD liked to use toddler cups even as a teen. OSD eats with her mouth open like a grouper fish with elbows firmly planted on the table. DH and BM apparently are blind to how gross and rude it is. Both SD's were self-appointed environmental impact police. (although I know a lot more about nature than they do being raised by scientists) SD's would use cloth napkins and then stuff the DIRTY cloth napkins back into the drawer to be used again at the next meal. Disgusting. One day I set the table with paper napkins and OSD snidly snapped, "Doesn't she know we have a drawer full of cloth napkins?" To which I responded something along the lines of "You're a napkin **** You can imagine how that went over ... Lol!!! SD scrunched up her whole nose and face ... No one had ever talked to princess Diabla that way before. DH wasn't happy with me but I didn't care. Don't want a rude response? Don't be rude. We remodeled the entire kitchen shortly thereafter and needless to say the nasty napkin drawer "went away" ... forever.

Cover1W's picture

LOL. Yeah the cloth went away. YSD would look for them now and then but they are stashed away and I use them for DH and I in the weekend when I cook for the two of us. Or if we have company. She never ever asked about them of course!

Mine were never put in the drawer dirty (I wouldn't have stood nicely for that either!) But just got left on the table or kitchen counter forever, or until I took care of them.

I've explained to DH I don't get irritated with one or two things but the constant little things grind me down over time. So I need to take care of those irritants so I don't freak out.

Elea's picture

I donated their cloth napkins and of course same as your SK's, they never asked about them. I also bought a really pretty set for DH and I to use on the weekends and for company, company we actually enjoy having here that is. Fortunately, it has been a long time since we shared meals with SD's on a regular basis. I wonder if OSD still chews with her mouth open. She has a new BF but he is a long-distance BF. Lucky him. Lol  

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

This is sooooooo EXCELLENT @Elea. Brillant, I love and totally relate to your supreme articulation of our collective frustrations: YES to the micro irritants - it's like water continously dripping on an open wound. YES to the SKIDs having no true scientific or factual background but believing in themselves to be field experts and YES to princess diabla - lol.