My two-year-old talks a lot, and is quite vocal at the table about what he likes, and doesn’t like. “No, I don’t like peas,” for example. He’s a good eater, otherwise. We are going to be visiting friends for a few days and I’m worried they will disapprove of our letting him choose or think he is rude. Should I warn them or try to force him to eat things he doesn’t like?

Aren’t you fortunate that he can communicate so clearly! Instead of warning them, take things you know he will eat, in the rare event that they are serving only foods he doesn’t like. He’s not throwing food on the floor or having a meltdown, he’s simply letting you know that some foods aren’t his thing right now. Even two-year-olds deserve to have their opinions respected. This is not embarrassing, and certainly is not rude! He is, after all, two years old!

 

Some new friends invited us to their home for dinner. I didn’t know they had cats, which they do, and I had to leave before dinner because I am so allergic that my eyes swell shut and I can’t breathe. I feel terrible that this happened and they understandably were angry. What should I have done?

Always, always ask before going somewhere new. Simply say, “Just checking – do you have cats? I have a violent cat allergy and wouldn’t want to spoil the evening by having to leave.” Yours is an extreme allergy so you have to know. If new friends have cats, suggest you meet at a restaurant, or invite them to your house, explaining the severity of the situation.

 

I am maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding. So far, she has found really expensive dresses and shoes for her bridal party to wear, which we all bought, and a few of us, me included, have airline tickets we have paid for to be with her, not to mention the cost of the hotel. Today, she asked me to call all the bridesmaids and tell them that she would like each of us to give her $1,000 as our wedding presents, because the band she wants is suddenly available but her budget can’t cover the cost. I just cannot do this! It’s not like we’re all made of money. I was, of course, going to give them a wedding gift, but trust me, it wasn’t going to cost $1,000. What do I do?

Are you kidding me? What you do is tell her that you are sorry, but you can’t be the bearer of that request, because no one has that kind of money, and it will make everyone either angry or guilty because they can’t do it. Period. A bride and groom have to stick with their budget and cannot expect their friends to foot the bill for extras they have decided they want. (And, by the way, she is actually supposed to find or pay for lodging for her out-of-town attendants.)

Questions for Catherine? Send them to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

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