The Situation.

Okay. We’ve recently had a situation. In our house. A situation, involving friends, their children, and hurt feelings. So, it’s my husband’s birthday, and he simply wants to watch a really bad monster movie – a movie he somehow had inexplicably never seen, a movie that had somehow flown under the monster movie radar – a must-see movie, called “The Giant Claw.” This may not be on anyone else’s “must-see” list, but now, we must see it.


The night was intended to be all about The Giant Claw. Not a party, just maybe a few friends coming over. To watch the fabulousness that is The Giant Claw. We (he)(okay, and I) did not want to deal with a lot of kids, specifically, young kids.

 

So we invite a few friends to share the magic of The Giant Claw, (in fact, a double feature with The Creature with the Atom Brain) and those friends who have “young kids” are told that it’s to be a “no kids” evening.
But, here’s the thing: One of the invited couples has two kids who are closer in age to our two children. The fact is, their kids and our kids are great friends and are very good at hanging out in the back room and making themselves scarce during grown-up festivities. In addition, they are capable of joining the grown-ups when summoned and enjoying bad monster movies such as The Giant Claw along with the grown-up population. Without whining. So these friends were allowed to bring their kids. Because I knew that these kids would not wheedle or fidget, or need to be the center of attention. Or complain loudly about the specific movie fare. They would not make noisy protestations about having to sit through The Giant Claw. They would, in fact, find The Giant Claw to be an amusing and hilarious piece of entertainment. And the whole evening, you understand, was to be about The Giant Claw.


Well, our very good friends – a couple whose children are younger and prone to needing more attention -- had a baby-sitter problem (dog bite, long story), so only one of them was able to come to the gathering. And when he arrived, he saw that other children had been invited, even though he had been told it was a “no kids” party. Although the two kids who were invited are older and more independent than his kids, and I did make a joke about “no kids under the age of ten,” he was a little put out. And when I didn’t tell him to go home and bring the wife and kids anyway, since his baby-sitter had fallen through, he got a little bee in his bonnet. We love him, and we love his wife. We love his kids, too. Just not at grown-up parties, and certainly not at a party that was intended to be a grown-up viewing of The Giant Claw.


Well, apparently he stewed, and he went home and complained to his wife, and she was put out, too. And I got an earful the following Monday. He called me, and felt that he should share his disgruntlement about the situation, and “clear the air” about his “feelings.”

monkeywoman
06.13.08

I agree with jessejames4! We have small children and one of the concessions of having small children is, if the sitter falls through -then someone has to stay home. I know I would have told him straight up that the kids there were older and played well with my kids, and we didn't want smaller children who would be disruptive for that evening. I'm SO SICK of people feeling like their small kids need to be everywhere all the time! I really enjoy escaping mine sometime, and I don't feel they should be foisted on everyone else -especially someone's birthday party. Children have a place! Letting them in on everything doesn't give them anything to look forward to when they grow up.

Clover
05.29.08

Hmm. Sticky. I can see both sides. It sucks to be left out of social situations because your kids aren't welcome - for whatever reason. I mean, don't parents of small kids feel isolated enough? However, that's not exactly your problem. Especially since you've paid your dues in that regard.

We have had 2 parties where I specifically said in the invitation that there would be adult activities (drinking which usually leads to cigar smoking and much lying and swearing by the fathers) and anyone bringing their children should know that past 9PM I can't be held responsible for what they may see or hear. Usually my friends are so excited by the prospect of drinking and smoking cigars and telling lies that they leave their kids at home. But anyone who does choose to bring children has as least been warned. Perhaps in your invitation you should have spelled out why the evening was inappropriate for younger kids.

So now that you've posted about this on the internet what's going to happen with the friend? Just curious.

katiemom
05.29.08

See, I'm in a different place with this. If it is "no kids" then it is "no kids". Giving some a free pass while expecting others to pay a sitter isn't really appropriate. At the same time, having a major therapy moment isn't a way to respond to it, but I'd probably have called you on the carpet as well, but I'd have done it a bit more diplomatically.

MamaKaren
05.27.08

I think they overreacted. Perhaps categorizing the party as "no kids" was not totally accurate, but with the explanation that the older kids had been invited as companions to your kids, the situation was justifiable. If people want to get bent out of shape, though, they will.

wksocmom
05.06.08

First I hate when people want to clear the air, vent their frustration - save it for therapy as what good does that do? I guess if someone said, next time just tell me the full plan so I don't feel left out, I'd be okay with that. As I think it might have helped to explain the situation - your kids were having their own friends over and were going to watch the movie. The movie was not suitable for young kids (rather than "no kids") implying he was responsible for his own kids, and they might be scared. It's your house, you can make the rules, but you risk that kind of reaction.

My kids (4 and 5) watch transformers and power rangers, but I know many families would never let their kids watch those movies.

Marilyn
04.23.08

I totaly agree w/ jessjames4. Amen.

jessjames4
04.22.08

Like you said, tell him to get over it. It's your party and your house. I bet if his children would of come and been scared by the movie, than you would be getting chewed out for giving his kids bad dreams. Your party, your rules!