Thursday, September 15, 2011

Help This Woman: My Friend's Kids

We've all been there.  Someone else's kids behaving really badly and you have to deal with it diplomatically when you really want to lose your schmidt.  But this case is a little more complicated. Please help this woman.

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Dear Kate & Lydia,


I've had this dilemma and I've been trying to get some perspective on it. Let me preface my questions by saying that I just had my first baby last year, so while I'm a mommy, I'm aware that I'm a new mommy and still have much to learn. I'm not trying to be a Sanctimommy here (though if I'm being one, please tell me).

At any rate, we had a special family party recently. We invited our friends and their kids. One pair of kids are somewhat of a problem. They're young (both under 5) and have been to our house on several occassions.  Every time they come over, I count the minutes until they leave. They act like complete monsters and their parents? Do. Nothing. It's like they're on a parenting vacation.

Now, after the last time they were at our house (which was an adult-only event that their parents brought them to anyway) I spent a week cleaning up the food the kids smeared all over my house (curtains, under the sofas, on the sofas, etc.). I got to thinking that perhaps since their parents don't bring anything for them to do, I should pony up and buy some toys and stuff for them to do the next time they came over.
At any rate, the kids absolutely destroyed the toys and furniture I bought. Play-doh smeared over everything, fish crackers ground into the floor, bubbles coating every surface of the table and all over the floor, crayon drawings all over the table and chairs I JUST bought... I could go on. Plus, they ran around screaming at the top of their lungs, shoved an adult attendee of the party, backtalked any adult that attempted to intervene and - the worst - put their hands ALL OVER the food. Like, bare-handed dipping into the hummus, which they then wiped all over the walls.
Ladies, when I tell you the parents did nothing, I mean they did nothing. Dad was outside enjoying a beer, mom was in the kitchen talking with other ladies enjoying her vino. My own mother was about to jump out of her skin and we had a very... tense... conversation about how it would be unwise for her to mention any of this to the parents. It was extremely stressful to say the least.

My trouble is that the dad in this family is my husband's BFF. Hence, it's likely they'll be invited again. How the heck do I deal with this?!? How can I manage to tactfully get the parents to oversee their kids even a little while they're at my house? It's really bothering me. I don't expect perfect behavior, but I honestly getting to the point where I don't want to spend time with the kids or the parents, because of their behavior and the inattentiveness that goes along with it. Plus, I'm terrified that they'll get hurt, or that I'll absolutely lose it and say something I'll regret. Then there's the whole thing where my own kid gets older and sees them acting this way.

Help.

xo, Confused & Upset

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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