Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Our Friends Love Our Kids...From A Far

David, Lucy and Edie with our friends Jaffer and Hidaya.
Who else would hang out on the playground with us all day on Saturday
and eat tacos for lunch under the monkey bars?
Our friends with kids, that's who.

We have friends who really want us to come to their house for dinner. They ask us a lot.

These friends don’t have kids but they tell us all the time how much they love our kids. In fact, they say they love our kids constantly, which makes us think they are trying really hard to love our kids. But really, I think they do love our kids, just from afar. Like, say, when we are in Europe with the kids. I think they love the kids a lot when we are in France.

And Australia. They definitely love the kids when they are in another hemisphere.

So these friends have been making dinner overtures lately. “You sho
uld come for dinner”, they suggest. Then, like non-parents everywhere who are convinced we hate being with our kids and are dying to get away from them, they say, “Let us pamper you. Get a sitter. Come over and I'll throw some steaks on."

And when they feel they are not convincing us, they go for giving us some parenting advice which as you know, is always best when it comes from people who have never been parents, and they say,”You can’t be healthy parents unless you get some time to yourselves. I read it in the cover story of New York Magazine,” which is pretty much the parenting bible in these parts.

And then, when David and I are kind of glazed over and looking for the exit, they criticize us, but in a way that sounds like they care, but in a judging way, “Kim, you can’t be with those kids 24/7. I mean it’s not good for you or them."

As if pissing me off is going to make me want to come to dinner.

Lately, they’ve stopped using these subtle tactics and have come right out and dis-invited the children, “We’d love to have you here, but we want it to be an adults-only evening.”

Of course, what they don’t realize is that the only thing worse than having our kids in their house from their perspective, is having our kids in their house from our perspective. These friends have rows and rows of heirloom Hummels (Okay, they aren't Hummels, but they are "Hummel-y" and they seem a lot like Hummels to me) on these low shelves which are right at Lucy and Edie’s eye level and they don’t want to move the Hummels (because they’re Uncle Henry’s Great Grandmother's Hummel collection that she saved in her bra and carried out of the country like during the Franco-Prussian War or something. I don't know I was glazed over.) So, David and I spend the whole night trying to cajole, reinforce, threaten, bribe and hover over the children and try to make fetching conversation while prying heirloom Hummels out of their little fingers, until one of us has to take our plate of food and sit next to the Hummels and guard them with our life and the other parent has to make more fetching conversation, only this time alone, while coming up with ways to entertain our children who are going mad with boredom in the house where nothing can be touched.

Seriously, it’s the dinner from hell. I would rather be locked in a cage with ferrets. So, we concur that being in their house with the kids is equally horrifying for everyone, which is why they usually come here.

Anyway, I have a few things I want my friends to know, for the record:

1. Hummels (or whatever) are stupid.

2. David and I go out without the kids once a week to see a show and have dinner at a real restaurant. We are not smothering the children or stifling their development.

3. I can do steaks at my house and save $100 on the babysitter.

4. A great night without the kids ideally involves sex with my husband…Can you arrange for some of that at your house?

5. Raising your pet anacondas is nothing at all like raising kids and whenever you talk about how challenging it is to raise "your kids" it makes me realize how plum crazy you really are.

6. I still love you guys, but that plum crazy thing has taken effect.

xxxooo YM

PS To all my non-parent readers who don't own Hummels and who love to have my kids in your house for dinner, even occasionally...I wasn't talking to you. So, don't get all paranoid.



Molly said...

Kim--we would love to have you, and your punks, over for dinner. We have nothing breakable and no choking hazards within arm's reach, and we carefully secure all of the sex toys out of reach and view of any 3-year-old eyes. Better yet, we don't insist that you get a babysitter (WTF is that? You invite me over for dinner and then demand that I pay a babysitter in return for the pleasure of staring at your Hummels?) and imply that you're an over-involved parent.

You know, there's something to be said for having mostly friends with kids.

P.S. Your husband is totally hot.


Anonymous said...

holy shit. who says stuff like that. i guess snobby people without kids do. if you aren't supposed to be with your kids all the time, who is?? some spacey college kid (no offense to the nanny)? We have kids over all the time...invited or not. Sometimes my cousin just drops hers off for the day. That's when they get to eat dates stuffed with foie gras. Yep, I'm starting them young. I look forward to them being socially unconscious eaters who only care about prosperity and indulgence. Plus, foie and dates really work together. Great way to use up the last bit of the lobe that didn't get eaten the night before!!

The Yummy Mummy said...

Seriously, you guys live the life of Riley!...Molly is kind enough to put away the sex toys for us and Cheesemonger's Wife is serving foie during play dates.

Clearly, you guys are having waaaaaaaaaaaaay more fun than me. I love you guys!


Julie said...

Wow. Hummels are the most vile, hideous things I've ever seen anyway, vintage or not. If I had any, I'd probably pay your kids to come over and break them for me.

Now it's true, we don't have any kids. My husband is a sort of WC Fields "go away, kid, ya bother me" type. I'm quite sure he doesn't want to have to compete for my attention, and he thinks kids would put a crimp in his conjugal rights. Can't argue there. Strangely enough, the oppositional attraction thing happens, and kids always adore him and want to climb all over him. So I love having friends with kids over just so I can watch this delightful interaction.

We have niece and nephew twins who are being raised by their nice Indonesian nanny until such time as they can be shipped off to boarding school. We're hoping that when they get a little older, we can steal them long enough to feed them bacon cheeseburgers and totally piss off their obnoxiously proselytizing vegetarian mother.

I just looked at a condo in your neighborhood the other day, and I'm wishing hard that a down payment drops out of the sky. Maybe then we can actually meet can come over for dinner and bring the kids, of course...or come now, to East Harlem...