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kids as guests

I like it when my kids have friends over but here's the problem... you get asked for a lot of stuff.

put it this way. when anyone is at your house, you get asked for stuff. when adults come over there are questions. they tend to be simple and predictable though. where's your ice? do you recycle? you seem to be running low on toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom where do you keep it? does this have gluten in it? everyone is used to their own world, but with some slight bits of information they can get along fine in yours. and sometimes they don't even need you, they look in your fridge before asking if you have mustard because they're used to doing things by themselves and know how to navigate social norms - it's okay to open somebody's fridge and take the condiment you need, it is not okay to open their medicine cabinet and read their prescription drugs.

kids, on the other hand, bring a whole new random spectrum range of questions, and some kids are MUCH worse than others. josie has sleepover friends who go with the flow and barely ask me for anything, but she's got others who are just so full of adorable ideas I don't know whether to embrace their cuteness or throw them out in the back yard. do you have elastic string? I don't like grape jelly do you have strawberry? why isn't there a nightlight in this room? help me find my sock? throw this plate away for me?

it makes you look at your own kid a lot more critically and wonder if you should stop coddling her eccentricities. Olive doesn't like butter melted on toast. she likes the toast to cool off, then we put butter on it, so she can see it. Josie seems to be incapable of hanging up a wet towel but we're working on it, I swear. When we have kid friends over and they weird out on me all I can picture is my kid telling another strange parent that they really need cornstarch to show the party how non-newtonian fluids work, and I know how that parent feels... kid, you do not need anything! you're warm, clothed, fed, living it up in the wealthiest industrial country in the world, deal with your life and let me read my book! play with our toys, or anything else you see in front of you, entertain the other kids with what you have, that is why you are here!

but you get to feeling bad or lazy so you don't say things like that, you just do your best. it's exhausting, that's all I can say. a kid's brain is yearning for so much, especially its at-home comfort zone, but also whatever the new idea of the moment has in store. you do not get to read your book.

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
ctgstr8
Aug. 17th, 2019 04:59 pm (UTC)
Parenting
I enjoy your posts about your children and your family life. I think your girls are fortunate to have you and your husband as parents.
andrewducker
Aug. 18th, 2019 01:45 pm (UTC)
I get to read my book for about fifteen minutes in bed after everyone else is asleep.

And on the bus to/from work.

Which is pretty much what I expected. But yeah, it's non stop!
petrini1
Aug. 19th, 2019 11:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes. This is so familiar.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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