Or, Why You Should Keep Your Babies Away from My Parties -- Unless They Were Specifically Invited
Childless Bitch: As I sat around at a friend's barbecue this past weekend, drinking beer and passing around a naked toddler like a hot potato, hoping I wouldn't be the one who got stuck holding him when he decided to make a wee wee, the thought occurred to me -- where did you little people come from? When did you get here? I know you've been popping out at random intervals from various friends for the last few years, but when exactly did you start showing up at my social gatherings? And don't get me wrong, adorable naked toddler -- but were you even invited?
Midway through the afternoon, I looked around the backyard and noticed all my non-parent friends engaged in different acts of entertainment with children who didn't belong to them. One was spinning. Over and over again. Another was guarding a pet while trying to teach a small rug rat to "be gentle." One more had volunteered her perfectly made-up hair to a toddler with a box of barrettes and now looked like a hot mess. The same thought seemed to hit their exhausted-looking faces all at once -- this is not the barbecue I thought I would be attending when I replied "Yes" to your Evite (which made no mention of children being invited). A spontaneous underground relief railroad was set up, and ten minutes later the "ladies without babies brigade" escaped to the front yard where, like high school delinquents doing something we weren't supposed to be, we nervously looked around the corner for a little one to come running at us.
Just like 3-year-olds need their playdates to interact and be goofy and flex their newly acquired socialization skills, we adult types need that stuff too. I would so much rather give you my full attention than divide it between you and making Play Doh sandwiches with little Haley. Look, I love your kid. She's precious. She's smart. I can do repetitive things with her for hours on end because she says funny things and warms my cold black heart. But what I really want is some kid-free face time with you.
So ladies, for the love of Dora the Explorer, if the invite doesn't say "kids welcome," please call the babysitter. And in reverse, if I know ahead of time that little ones will be at the party, I'll wear a slicker and not my new, overpriced summer dress.
Kindest regards, CB.