First, let me be perfectly clear: I like kids. I don't have 'em, I don't want 'em, I don't want to be around 'em. I adore the ones who are related to me. But I can live without the ones who are not.
So when we decided to have a Super Bowl get-together at our house, it was no surprise that adults only was the plan. A friend mentioned that a couple w/kids (CWK) we know had inquired about our group's SB plans. We didn't have room for eight adults and two kids, so had not invited them. Then, one couple backed out due to illness. What to do? We like the CWK, so we called before the game and invited them over. Did so with good intentions, even though we didn't think they'd accept. It would be fine if they came, we thought. We like the parents so much, we thought. The kids won't be too bad, we thought. And besides, they won't show up, we thought.
So, with plenty of our delightful local micro brew's sinfully hoppy IPA in the fridge, a bunch o'munchies on the table, and some incredibly delicious home-baked-by-me cupcakes (thanks, Amy Sedaris--love you!) for dessert, we adults settled in to watch the game. Not that I cared about the game. Not that many of us in the room did. But what the hell. The commercials were funny, the game was exciting at the start, and we were drinking and eating. All was well.
Then the CWK pulled up. Oooh--change of plans! Time for me to morph into hostess mode: forget about the game, greet the guests, take the coats, organize the food and beer they brought (which we appreciated), and get everyone settled in. That's when we noticed the three-year-old had a nasty cough. She coughed. And coughed. Eewww. The parents noticed it too. "But it just started in the car on the way over," they said. I believed them. I did. They're not the types to bring their kids out when they're sick. I tried to ignore it and enjoy the company. I settled in to do just that, next to dad who's holding The Sickly One on his lap. We're all happy on the couch, just starting a conversation, between her phlemmy, croupy coughs. I look over to continue our conversation and can't help but notice he's covered in puke. I didn't hear it, didn't see it. It's just there. Oh my! I jump up into hostess mode again. Get some towels, get some cleaner, find some cough medicine, find dad something to wear.
Game? What game?
And on it went. We thought they would exit stage left. Nope. We did laundry, changed clothes, cleaned up. Everyone went on as though the kid wasn't sick. What?? I don't remember the rest of the game. The kids were jumping on my furniture, pitching plastic footballs at the adults' heads, throwing pillows on the floor, going upstairs to my bedroom without my permission, asking if they could "play" on my elderly dog's bed. (and my elderly dog was IN IT!). At least they asked, so my husband could say NO. The parents sort of tried to keep them in check. But mostly they played wherever they wanted to.
Eventually, we all ate, we all got to continue drinking, (adults anyway), and they left. We sighed. What happened here? It was so pleasant before they arrived. It was so quiet after they were gone. In between, it was loud, frantic, loud, stressful, loud, gross, pukey, loud, and well, loud.
I cannot imagine my parents allowing this behavior. There were reasons we didn't visit other households much. Nobody enjoys kids like their parents do. It's just a fact. And while missing three-quarters of the Super Bowl didn't ruin my life, I would have enjoyed it--and my other guests--much more without the children.
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