Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No Kids Allowed

When issued an invitation, I never assume that it extends to my children. My family and close friends find their antics infinitely delightful but I don't feel the need to foist their company on individuals who have requested my presence.

Years ago, single and childless, I was held captive to a toddler's Mary Poppins sketch. Her parents were friends of a friend, who later "complained" that I wasn't quite as animated and risque as my friends had described. I'm not in the habit of introducing myself and launching into ribald anecdotes, even less so with the romper room set in attendance.

That evening underscored what I already knew, kids can be charming but it helps if you already have some sort of vested interest in their parents.

Having children doesn't eclipse every other element of my identity. And while I don't agree with some of the blanket sentiments held by Katie Roiphe in her "Get your kid off your Facebook" essay, I understand some of the frustration. Relating and communicating with people outside of my maternal persona is a very vital part of my life. I believe the inclusion of children at events where adults are trying to get to know one another stunts that process.

Securing childcare isn't always easy. But there are a multitude of parent-child centric activities that will prevent you from becoming a shut in. I'd prefer a hermits life then to attend most of them but that's a discussion for another day...

In short, just because no one objects when you bring your kids doesn't always make it a good idea.

3 comments:

  1. My partner and I are hosting a housewarming party in a few weeks and we invited a bunch of coworkers. On the evite one of them said he'd be there as long as it was kid friendly. That sent terror through me because I know his kids are hellions, and they are NOT coming into my house! So I had to send out an addendum to the evite saying it's not a kid-friendly party. I figure, assume not kid friendly unless otherwise specified.

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  2. It's people like that who give us breeders a bad rep!

    And it's good to know that fathers are equally presumptuous in this regard, I thought this was primarily a female problem!

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  3. Very true...I would never presume to ask if a party was kid friendly...if the invite didn't specifically say "Baird Family" I know only my husband and I would come. Holy moly!

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