Parents, listen up. A non-parent has a few things to tell you

Call from a friend. She wants to drop by for coffee and a gossip session. Yayyy! “Come come,” is my cheerful reply.

Friend to be accompanied by her bratty kid. Naaaaayy! Rewind rewind. I should have checked the small print in the conversation before issuing the invitation. The last time her little bundle of joy was over, he wiped his wet hands on my recently-cleaned sofas, leaving marks on them, broke a porcelain angel on display and screamed the house down, making it impossible for anyone to have a conversation without yelling at a decibel level banned after 10 pm. All this, my friend sat calmly sipping her sangria and telling me “Kids! You will know when you have them.”

Okay, so I don’t have kids. Yet. I do understand that kids will be naughty and don’t always listen to parental instructions. Nonetheless, is it rude on my part if I expect a guest to refrain from wiping wet hands on my sofa or not cause my neighbours to complain? Is it not rude on the part of the parent to not discipline her own child who is playing with my expensive crystal glasses in the crockery cabinet, yet she reserves the right to get offended if I ask her child to refrain? Apparently, a certain school of thought followed by some parents believes that disciplining their child is a sign of them being unloving parents. So, apparently it is their love on display when their brat jumps on my sofas with his shoes on, fiddles with my phone or uses my expensive perfume as a room freshener? If so, I am going to spread all my love around their home the next time I am there. I’m going to wear my sharpest pointiest heels, jump on their sofas, gouge my heels into their gorgeous, hand-carved teakwood coffee table and leave wet glasses on it to form rings. While I do all this, I’m going to encourage the child to accompany me in spreading the love. Okay, I am not actually going to do all this. Only because I don’t want to be marched out of the house by my very irate husband.

My husband and I are a double income no kids couple. We are very fond of most of our friends’ kids and enjoy having them over. They’ll park themselves on the carpet, demand to play with my husband’s Lego collection, play with it, chase after that one piece which disappeared under a sofa and put it all away before they leave. They may occasionally request for the rare privilege of playing a game on the X-box, which is not usually allowed by their parents. If they’re playing with something they’re not supposed to be playing with, a polite but firm “No, that’s not for you,” by one of the parents or either of us suffices. It’s a pleasure to host such kids (and their parents).

However, kids like the afore-mentioned brat are a terror. Is it not the responsibility of parents to teach their kids things like flushing the loo after using it, using a tissue to wipe wet hands or not break/destroy (not deliberately at  least) other people’s things? While I do enjoy my friend’s company, I dread her little terrorist entering my house. How do I tell her that while she is welcome in my house, her child is not unless he behaves himself? The child knows no better because said friend, despite being the parent, turns a blind eye to it all so should I lay the entire blame on her and gradually show my disinclination in having her over? Or should I meet her at a coffee shop somewhere so that I can actually talk to her instead of spending all my time averting Hurricane Brat from destroying my house?

There’s a huge debate going on between my loyalty to my friend whom I do want to meet, and my sanity at the ruckus her child will cause while he is here. While I’m currently waiting for them to come over, for now I am consoling myself with the thought that party season is on us so she’s bound to be dressed to the nines in designer outfits soon and I hope her kid will wipe his dirty hands right down the front of her pricey designer outfit. Spread the love around baby! All over mommy’s new designer outfit.

Featured Image Source

 

loader