Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Neverland Ranch? No, never.

I think it's safe to say that as parents, we do many things on a regular basis that we'd probably rather not do.  We wipe noses and bottoms.  We clean up spills.  We sit through Christmas...oops...HOLIDAY concerts at school.  We freeze our tails off at soccer games.  We watch Sponge Bob and Hannah Montana and Pee Wee Herman.  Ok, Pee Wee is really more for me, but that's beside the point.  (Don't judge me.  Have you ever seen all the hilarious things he does with his famous giant underpants?  He's a genius, I tell you).

So is it wrong for me to admit that I just plain don't like it when other people's kids come to my house to play?  I do it because it's just another one of those obligations on my LONG "Stuff-I-do-cuz-it's-good-for-my-kids-but-I-secretly-hate-it" list.  I want my kids to have friends.  I want them to acquire better social skills than their mommy has by interacting with others regularly.  I even want my home to be a place where the neighborhood kids feel welcomed and warm and fuzzy and all that.   I will never tell my kids I don't want them to have their friends over to play.  BUT...

I don't have to love it, do I?  I don't get the moms who always tell me, "Oh, I LOVE having your kids over.  It keeps mine occupied and out of my hair."

Why am I not so fortunate?  I mean, far be it from me to question my own natural magnetism, but why can't they leave me alone when they come over to play?  Must the curse of my popularity carry over even into my dealings with the younger generation?  It's a terrible burden.

What typically happens when my kids have friends over is that they raid my fridge and my cupboards, demand drinks and snacks, pull every toy out of every toy box just 'cause they wanna, drag out the craft box and head straight for the glitter, and let me know about every five minutes that we are not nearly entertaining enough for their tastes.  This leads me to believe that their own homes are some sort of Michael Jackson Neverland Ranch equivalent (minus the inappropriate sleeping arrangements, of course), with roller coasters rocketing through their bedrooms; llamas and shetland ponies meandering around the stadium sized arcade-slash-playroom;  an accordion-playing Italian guy with a monkey in tow; and hot dog and cotton candy vendors strategically placed all over their miniature golf course front lawn.   Let's not forget the Speedo-clad Justin Bieber wildly jumping off of the trampoline into the olympic-sized swimming pool in the back yard.    Man, no WONDER these kids like it better at their own houses!

What's so boring about us anyway?  I'll have you know I once did Just Dance on the Wii in front of my daughter's friends mistakenly believing they'd peg me as an awesomely fun mom.  Instead I got the eye rolls and the gasps of horror as one tweener announced that she would surely KILL her mom if she EVER did such a thing in front of her friends.  My own daughter was unfazed.  Go figure.  

Maybe, because of who her mother is,  she's learned to take her entertainment however she can get it, even if it involves said mother making a complete jackass out of herself in front of prepubescent witnesses.  Hey, it's no pony ride, but it's cheap...and much easier to clean up after.

Now that I've outed myself, I don't want my local girlfriends to be afraid to send their kids over to play.  Having friends over is like folding the laundry or changing the dirty diapers.  We do it for the kids, and we do it with a smile.  Please be assured that your precious little ones are in no danger if they enter my dungeon...uh...home.  I'll care for them like they're my very own.  Promise.  (Insert evil laugh here)

I probably won't ever be "that" mom, the one who puts on an apron and busts out the craft paint and bead boxes in order to keep the neighborhood kids gloriously entertained.   But they're welcome to watch as much of my cable TV as they can stand...free of charge.

Sorry I'm not sorry.