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Your Baby Was Not Invited to This BBQ

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Or, Why You Should Keep Your Babies Away from My Parties -- Unless They Were Specifically Invited

woman carrying a baby

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.

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48 comments so far | Post a comment now
M.I.A. July 10, 2009, 7:10 PM


If your kid was not explicitly invited, don’t bring them.

It’s okay to have grown-up time, you know.

Nothing ruins a good party like having to babysit someone else’s kid or silence the sex talk to appease “little ears”.

cg July 16, 2009, 9:21 PM

i agree w/ most who say that there should be better communication involved. you should have specified and perhaps your friends w/ children should have asked “just to be on the safe side”. i have a very rambunctuous lil’ one and so am forced to ask in advance, but either way it’s just as important to be clear as to who’s invited or not so there are no misunderstandings later.

Lilly August 11, 2009, 1:16 PM

I wish I would have read this before sending my invites out for our BBQ/Bonfire. I chose not to be specific - as a mother, I just know when it’s appropriate and when it’s not. Now I am inundated with guest questions with whether my party is “kid-friendly”. Hmmm…let’s see…my invites advertised BOOZE all over the place….what do you think?!?! Anyway, I am letting them know the BBQ is okay (just more weiners I have to buy I suppose so no big deal) but I am making no gaurantee on the environment or language around the bonfire - they can figure it out!

Lisa August 11, 2009, 9:55 PM

Thank you for this article! I thought if an event was in the evening it’s automatically adults-only unless otherwise specified. Parents - if you are unsure if your child is invited, than ask the host. Trust me, the host appreciates you caring about the particulars. Do not assume your child is welcome everywhere! Please be considerate of those who do not have children and do not assume that we want to play babysitter with you.

mandysimo September 2, 2009, 3:31 PM

you mommies are like a cult. a few of you have said that weekends are for family time, well, where was that when i was a kid? sure, we were at home with mom and dad but people were busy. family time is when you can hang out with your family. weekends are not the only day you can hang out with your family, i am sure. i was left at home on a number of occasions while my parents went out to adult only functions and i grew up just fine. chances are your kid doesn’t want to be there any way.

Capami September 7, 2009, 9:38 AM

Since CB wonders where babies come from, I’ll enlighten her. I saw AL Green at the LA County Fair on Saturday and he gave us a remedial lesson on sex, love and happiness. Church folks tell him not to sing about love, passion and sex. The Right Rev. Al replied how do you think you got here? A couple of people were thinking about laying it down or you wouldn’t be here.

Jenna September 8, 2009, 8:48 AM

When I get an invite (and don’t know the person) I always make sure to ask. The people that know me know that if they invite me they are inviting my children…and to specify if it is an “adults only” sort of time. Most of the time I’d rather be with my kids than with someone that doesn’t want to be with them, but there are definitely times I need a break. I think it is something BOTH parties need to be taking responsibility for. If it doesn’t specify on the invitation, the invitee needs to ask, however, the inviter should take more time to actually specify instead of leaving us to guess.

CB-Cash Grenade Review November 6, 2010, 9:38 PM

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