No offense but here’s a bunch of stuff I like to ask before my kid plays at your house
Awwww shit, my kiddo just got invited to Cinderella’s house for a play date but I have no F’ing idea who Cinderella’s parents are or what goes on in their house. I mean yeah, they live around the corner so it seems safe enough but so does the totally creepy lady who vacuums her lawn in disgusting old shorts that show off her vajayjay every time she bends over. So who’s to say neighbors are always safe?
Anyways, don’t get me wrong, I totally appreciate Cinderella’s parents taking my little douchenugget for the afternoon so I can get all sorts of shit done (like pretending I’m going to vacuum but running out of time because I’ve wasted too much time eating snacks and surfing Facebook). However, my precious kid cannot be replaced so whenever I send her to a new house where I don’t really know what goes on there, I get the nervous poops.
Like the other day this other mom offered to take our girls to a bouncy house place and I said yes, but for some reason I started wondering whether she was going to stay with the girls while they were bouncing. So after agonizing about what to do, I finally just came right out and asked her.
ME: Uhh, yeahhh, I feel like a jackass asking, but are you staying with the girls at the bouncy house place?
OTHER MOM: Duhhh, of course I’m staying. I don’t really want our girls kidnapped and turned into sex slaves.
ME: Oh yeah, I totally knew that, but just wanted to double check.
But here’s the deal. We are all parents and we all love our little love muffins, so I don’t know why I get all freaked out about asking other parents some super important questions when they’re taking care of my child. It’s like I’m scared to ask because I’m scared the other mom is going to think I’m criticizing her parenting skills and think she’s like a totally shitty mother. I don’t know if you’re a shitty mom. Hell, you’re probably better than I am. But I just don’t know so here are some questions I might ask you just to be safe:
Can you please make sure my kiddo puts her seatbelt on because sometimes she needs a little help? This is basically my nice way of saying my kiddo better be wearing an F’ing seatbelt before you pull out of the parking lot or I will come pummel you to death. Because your kiddo might be a seatbelt ninja who can buckle that shit in a split second as she sees an accident happening but my kid is competing to win the world record for the slowest person to ever put their seatbelt on. And in my family seatbelts are MANDATORY.
Do you have any guns in your house and are they locked up? ‘Cause here’s the thing, people own guns in this country. I’m not saying I’m anti guns or anything. I’m just saying that shit better be locked up crazy tight when my kiddo comes over to play because I grew up in Texas where kids basically cuddle up to a gun every night like an F’ing Cabbage Patch Doll. Not really but I did see guns at people’s houses. Did they have bullets in them? No F’ing idea and I’m glad I never found out.
Will you ALWAYS be watching my kid while she’s swimming in your pool like every single millisecond? Because even though YOUR kid might be the next Ian Thorpe, my kid swims like a mobster whose feet have been inserted in cement blocks. And if you think you might have to pee while you’re out there watching them, I’d suggest you wear an adult diaper because no, you CANNOT run inside quickly to take a leak. It only takes thirty seconds for a kid to drown, and well, my kid’s one-of-a-kind so I kinda sorta don’t want to lose her.
Are there any weird guys at your house who might like little girls? Uncles, cousins, older boys from next door, escaped convicts you’re helping out, nannies who just started last week, handymen who you don’t really know too well, etc etc etc. And no, it doesn’t have to be a registered sex offender because sex offenders gotta start somewhere, and my daughter is NOT going to be their guinea pig. Capisce?
So the other day Zoey and I were reading this book on mambas (in case you’re a total idiot like me, a mamba is not some sexy Latin dance, it’s a super poisonous snake). Anyways, Zoey casually mentions to me that one of the boys in her class has a black mamba and I’m like ennnh, bullshit, that’s like the most dangerous snake on earth so I’m pretty sure he doesn’t. But yeah, some kids do have some kinda scary pets at home. I mean no, you might not be scared of your OWN pet, but please don’t hate me for wanting to make sure my kid isn’t poisoned or mauled or gets her face bitten off. I mean shit, I just about had a heart attack when I got the bill for the dentist last week, so I can’t imagine what a face transplant costs.
Okay, so my kids are F’ed up in all kinds of ways thanks to me, but I’m happy to say they don’t have allergies. But there are lots of rugrats who do, so it’s totally okay to say, “Do you know that if you serve my kid a nut she will not be able to breathe and it will suck a lot and she might even die?” Seriously, do not hesitate to tell me if your kid has allergies. Like even if it’s a silly allergy to a cat because we have a cat that I will happily lock in my bedroom for a couple of hours before our kids decide to do this and your kid gets cat particles all over her fingers and she wants to scratch her itchy eyes out.
Anyways, I’m sure there are like a shitload more important questions to ask, especially as our kiddos turn into teenagers with raging hormones and rebellious tendencies. But my point is this. It’s hard to ask another parent how they parent, especially when you don’t know them too well. But we shouldn’t be afraid to ask the tough questions and we shouldn’t be offended when someone asks us. It doesn’t mean they’re judging you. It just means they love their kiddo. And that’s a good thing.
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Would it be wrong to ask if the kids are vaccinated?
I wonder the same thing but at the end of the day you have to protect your kids right? I would definitely ask!
Nope, not wrong. Ask if they’re vaccinated on schedule too, not some crunchy schedule they picked up at Whole Foods.
hahaha, this is my favorite(and absolutely the most warranted) comment here!!!
Wouldn’t make much of a difference. You should instead ask if anyone is/has been sick in the house recently. Vaccinated kids can still get sick with the stuff they were vaccinated for. Also vaccinated kids can give off certain viruses for a limited period after receiving the vaccine.
In addition, what would that tell you? “Is your kid vaccinated against Hep B?” Would that really change your mind to let them over there?
Medicines and alcohol are always a fun subject!
Yep, I have to start asking about vaccination. : (
OMG, one time, I threw out this quick “Are there any guns, dogs, or drugs at your house?” because I was super nervous to even ask, and the mom looked at me funny and said, “Uh, cold medicine.” Yeah, I felt super stupid. And she is still a friend.
ETA: I will still ask, though.
I always ask about guns ever since my daughter came home from a playdate and told me her friend showed her the stepfather’s guns on the night table. I also ripped one mom a new one after the time my daughter was at a different friend’s house and while they were showering after swimming, they discovered the brother watching them. It’s horrifying. Honestly I’d much rather just have her bring friends over here.
These questions are so hard to ask but so important! I just put the answers out there the first time we invite someone over. I figure that way they can follow up with any other questions they have. I also now ask about pot and associated marijuana “edibles” (which are not only bad for kids but VERY bad for your furry kids!).
What a bad mom! She doesn’t ask about accident insurance, ability to transport her kid to the ER, gluten-free lunch/snack selections, will meat be served and, if so, will it only be free-range chicken, bank account balance, whether her kid being invited over just so the hostess can boink the cable repair guy, does the place have electricity, radiator or forced air heat, are the water pipes PVC or nasty old rusty metal, will her kid be supplied with a helmet during “play”? Someone should take this woman’s kids away from her.
Hey if you don’t have something constructive to say, b**t out. We don’t live in the same world we grew up in. We are, in that sense, new at this. How else do people learn if they don’t ask. I’m a Grandmother. I think there is merit in this type of discussion.
Someone needs to up their granmothering skills
It is not the same world. It is actually safer here in the US. How about if we try to parent our children without paralyzing them with fear of, um… EVERYTHING.
This page has NOTHING constructive on it. It’s full of paranoid moms who’s kids are going to be so dependent on their parent (mom) they will be worthless to society. Tom was making the same point. You people need to pull your crazy back by about 3 notches each. If ask normal sane people the questions in this ridiculous artical, they would look at you like you were crazy (because you are). Wow. Just wow. I hope you people have husbands around who real you back in from the deep end.
No offense Tom, but you’re a bit of an a-hole. If you have kids I really hope nothing happens to them because you were too lazy of a father to make sure they are in a safe environment.
Oh, you do not.
Love it. Why noy just keep your kids at home. Forever. That will save ya some worry…
*not (not noy)
You must not be a parent or even have children that are close to you…as a parent you would appreciate knowing what’s going on in the place you send your kids…it only takes a second for something to happen. A coworker of mine lost his son because of a loaded gun in the house. Sorry you think being a concerned parent is being not a good thing.
Being concerned means finding out if your kids are going to a house with the financial ability to a.) provide immediate emergency medical care and b.) have the financial ability to cover torts you bring against them for any damages
A minor is responsible for his or her own torts; however, more lenient standards of intent or negligence may be applied. In determining tort liability for children, there are special rules, usually based on the age of the minor. Historically, there was a bright-line test based on the child’s age. Specifically:
Under age 7: A child could not be negligent.
Between age 7 and 14: There was a rebuttable presumption that the child could not be negligent.
Between age 14 and 21: There was a rebuttable presumption that the child was capable of negligence.
Example:Ted was 6 ½ years old when he was injured after running in front of a car. The driver argued that Ted was contributorily negligent as a matter of law. The lower court held that the child could not be negligent because of his age. However, on appeal, the court ruled that the jury should be able to decide whether, based on the facts and circumstances of this case and the characteristics of this child, Ted could be held to have been negligent. See, e.g., Tyler v. Weed, 280 N.W. 827 (Mich. 1938). See also, Baker v. Alt, 132 N.W. 2d 614 (Mich. 1965).
Use of a subjective test, which deals with the capacity of a particular child to recognize and avoid risk and harm, has replaced use of the chronological age test. Factors considered in this analysis include:
Given the difference in rates of child development, this test may more accurately evaluate a child’s culpability.
SORRY YOU AREN’T A RESPONDIBLE PARENT. WOULD NEVER LET MY KIDS INTO YOUR HOUSE UNSUPERVISED BY MYSELF.
You are why people hate lawyers.
connie, I wasn’t calling you an asshat ntw…just that idiot, money grubbing, piece of crap lawyer.
That was a whole lot of time you just spent proving you’re an asshole who has nothing better to do than bug a bunch of moms. Why do you waste our time and yours reading and commenting on mom blogs? Troll = asshat
Shut up you asshat
Lol I still ask these questions and my two are 15&11, it has also been known that I just so happen to be in the shops near where my 11 year old is playing, always just coincidence, every single time. I know I have to cut the cord so to say and I trust my girls, it’s just everyone else I don’t trust, and if you think I’m bad, the hubster is even worse…the girls don’t date yes, but we know they will do (when they’re 30 or so) well hubster is a chef so we have lots of very sharp knives that just need sharpening anytime a boy comes round, which explains why the girls don’t date yet lol 🙂
I love this article! Mostly because it’s obvious and sometimes obvious isn’t always so. And I think it’s important to find out where you little angels are going to be spending their time, without judgement. It’s not about being anti-gun or against swimming, but kids who have guns in the home or a swimming pool in the backyard react very differently to those things that kids who have never seen a real gun before or don’t have a pool in their backyard.
well if you are vaccinated and you believe they are effective what does it matter if the other kid is or not – you are protected! Kind of makes sense doesn’t it? Or you are just wrong and they don[‘t work. But then you have to worry about everything. Use your brains people!
Easy answer…a vaccinated person can touch and carry the virus to unvaccinated people. For example, their newborn sibling or cousin with leukemia. This silly argument doesn’t hold water, but anti-vaccination folks still throw it out there.
Huh??!!! So, the vaccinated people gets vaccinated and ask from the goodness of their heart the non-vaccinated to vaccinate, so the non-vaccinated don’t catch the virus the vaccinated got injected to protect themselves against the very same virus, and protect the non-vaccinated themselves from the vaccinated?!Lol lol lol
No. A non vaccinated person can pass the virus to an unvaccinated infant or an immuno comprimised person, or a person with a VALID allergy or who is at risk for an ACTUAL detrimental reaction. The whole concept of vaccinating relies on community immunity to protect those who cannot be vaccinated. All of these people choosing to not vaccinate healthy children are causing gaps in the community immunity allowing the viruses to spread.
@George / Tina – I think you guys are on the same page but coming from different angles – If you have a vaccinated (recently) child, you should ask the other household if they have any unvaccinated peeps (immunocompromised, infants, etc) to make sure your own kid doesn’t get them sick. On the other side, if your kid is not vaccinated (personal preference, immonocompromised, infant, etc) you could ask if anyone was recently vaccinated in order to not get your own kid sick.
Vaccinations are not 100% effective, and no one has ever said they were. Granted, children who receive vaccinations, and are subsequently infected by that disease, typically have lower-grade versions of the disease (read: they’re not as likely to die as a non-vaccinated child). But, if they become infected they can infect younger children who might not have received them, immuno-compromised individuals, etc, etc.
please don’t stereotype s*x offenders as male… unfortunately men aren’t the only pervs
You serious? Men make up 96-99% of all pedophiles. They’ve stereotyped themselves. Let’s not pretend that women are more or even equally as dangerous for the sake of “equality”. Be open to the idea that a woman could harm your child if your kid says something, sure. But let’s not act like a woman is just as likely to hurt your child, they’re not.
Are you kidding me right now bro. Why don’t you go look up those statistics and get back to me.
They don’t have to, I’ll do it for them: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/SOO.PDF
Why do you care what these people think of you? I’m the Mom. She’s my child. I’m here to stand between her and the world until she has demonstrated that she knows HOW to do it for herself. If something happens to your child, at their house, you won’t be happy with them even if they are your sister! If you think something would be fun for your child, ask the questions. If the coast looks good after that go with and watch. It is a good way to get to know the other adults. Don’t be insecure about the fact that you are your child’s advocate. If someone gets their panties in a twist over responsible parenting they need to get over themselves. If you need some alone time, you might have to develop a network you trust. It may take some time, but it is worth it. Being a Mom is the toughest job you will ever love. It is not easy
Where is number 5?
Nothing wrong with those questions! I made sure to volunteer that kind of info to other moms when mine were shorties, so there would be no shocking surprises-
Yes we have guns (Unloaded, locked up separately from the ammo, and with trigger locks, always.) Yes, we had snakes. The kids were allowed to hold them, supervised. Nothing poisonous, and we have hand-washing rules. Dogs are friendly (likely to lick someone to death), cats not so much but the one who might claw someone was secluded when friends were over.
We were lucky, there were never any issues with Moms gasping in horror when they discovered what their little sparkle cupcakes had been up to while visiting. LOL Sometimes you’ve got to just roll with the things that are different at a friend’s, but some things are non-negotiable. I think you’ve made a pretty good list.
such a good idea! i just assume that they’ll treat my kid like they treat theirs, and i assume that they treat theirs well, but you’re totally right i should ask the questions. thank goodness i live in a town with no swimming pools!
LoL! I am totally the mom who would ask all of these questions, but I’m also the mom who left her 2 yr old unsupervised watching Mickey Mouse Club House and went to take a shower. For the record he was in the EXACT same place as when I left him, and he’s a pretty mature and responsible 2yr old (he locks the baby-proof cabinets behind me when I forget).
Bottom line, I wouldn’t ever feel totally comfortable sending my kid to someone else’s house until I was absolutely sure my kid could take care of them self if need be. So if that means my kid doesn’t go anywhere till he’s 18, I’m 100% perfectly okay with that. Because really, no one knows how to take care of your child to your standards except YOU!
I just have to say, I abso-friggen-lootly love you. Your blog posts are wonderful, and make my day. Keep it up!
Well said girl!!! No apology needed!
So my daughter is four and thus I haven’t had to deal with any of this yet… But now really not looking forward to it. Ahhhh!!!! All kids will come over to play at our house. This is my conclusion.
Man you’ve got some real crazy’s on here since that vaccination post! I still love you! Keep posting and never read the comments!
When did our society leave the rails of insanity behind? I know it has happened in the last 20 or so years. I have 3 children and never EVER have I thought to ask most of the ridiculous overprotective crazy a*s questions that are being proposed here, what kind of children are you raising? You must be the same group who doesn’t want to keep score at sports, or imagines a world without bullies. I love my children with all of my heart but protecting them from these insane petty things only convinces them that Mommy is crazy, and embarrassing. The real world is out there whether you put your kids in a bubble suit or lock them in your gluten free, seatbelted, vaccinated, supervised, and sanitized mini van. Let your kids live a little, freedom is wonderful, and they deserve to not have to carry around all of your fears.
Wow. I really pity your children. No, you can’t eliminate all threats, but to purposefully avoid doing anything about them is not only irresponsible, it’s just insane. So, to appease your sense of self-worth, I’m supposed to let my kids ride in the front seat sans seat belts? Let me guess, that’s how your parents did it and you made it through alive, right? Great for you. Now, let’s get some comments from all of the kids who were killed in car accidents because they weren’t secured properly…
Oh, right, they’re dead, they can’t really defend the position that they would be alive today had we mitigated that one thing. It’s called survivor’s bias, look it up.
Yes, my kids could be hit by a bus…that’s why I tell them to look both ways before crossing the street. Know why? IT MINIMIZES THEIR CHANCE OF BEING HIT BY A BUS! Let me know where your kids cross the street so I can watch out for them because you obviously avoided telling them that, right? Only pussies would tell their kids to look both way before crossing the street. The bus is going to hit them no matter what, so why try and avoid it?
“Here, kids, drink some poison. If it doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger! Only pussies don’t drink poison! I drank it when I was a kid, I turned out ok.”
Seriously, you’re pretty much a prime example of everything that’s wrong in the world today. Poor thinking skills and the belief that you’re better than everyone else. If my children turned out to be anything like you, I would consider myself a tremendous failure as a parent.
Well said!!!! I would let my kid come over to your house anytime hahah
As someone deathly allergic to cats, it would do no good to put one in a closed off room for a couple of hours beforehand. The stuff they shed does not disappear when the cat does, it would be in the house and on your clothes for years.
I ask if there are working smoke detectors as well. I had a friend die in a house fire when she was staying the night with a friend.
BS, this is one of my new favs. I am NEVER afraid to ask these (or any other highly protective) questions. My kiddos may drive me freaking INSANE, but I want to keep them around like forever.
Here’s the thing to remember you can do everything right and your kid can still die we lost our 7 week old to SIDS three months ago… But bubble wrapping them and constantly worrying isn’t going to change that… Is it smart to let another parent know that your kid is a slow buckler, allergic to peanuts, a terrible swimmer, and has never seen a gun in his life? Of course but you can’t protect them from everything and trying will make you and your kid go nuts.
Trust me my mother became that protective parent after both my brother and I had non related brain surgeries sand I’ve always resented her for it even though I understand.
So even now after our tragedy I let our kids take reasonable risks and I see how it’s grown both their confidence and competence we are raising future adults not protecting children from life
I have big round nipples!!!
Before you judge me on the relevance of this statement, consider this…
If they are your kids, you can ask whatever the hell you like. If the other person takes offense, TOO F-ING BAD. They have two options, either answer the questions or reconsider the invitation. It’s just that easy. Each and every parent should look after the rugrat(s) they care for.
How does this pertain to my nipples? I have no idea, but they are mine so I can say that anytime I like.
I agree on the gun one. I’ll just leave that there.
If, however, you feel compelled to ask that many questions, I’d suggest just keeping your kids at home. There’s a bit too much fear here.
Uh, all paedophiles are male?
I feel sorry for all the men you’ll ever meet and assume are going to molest your children until you’ve known them for a prerequisite period of time.
I’d suggest five years before you trust them, because that should be enough time for someone to have molested/mistreated your child if they were going to do it.
And your child should also take joint responsibility for their allergies, not stumble around like a moron having you tell other parents or guardians about it alone.
Lock your children away now in a padded cell – it’s the only way to ensure that you can monitor and control everything they are exposed to! Maybe in a fallout shelter so they don’t catch the deadly flu virus.
I wrote a similar article on my blog. Good call on the pool! http://strollersavvy.com/2015/01/if-you-love-them-ask-4/
Great post! I’m glad I found your blog, my funny sister-in-law suggested it! I loved this post. I did a crazy thing once. My son was in kindergarten and one of the kids in his class wanted him to come over and play. We had just moved to from out of state and I had no idea who the parents were. So I said yes, as long as I could stay during the play date. I think the mom was totally annoyed with me the whole time because she had stuff to do and felt she had to entertain me. I didn’t know this family they could have been a bunch of crazies for all I knew… turns out they weren’t and basically they think I’m the crazy. Now 5 years later when I see her at school events she runs the other way! haha!
While im a new mom and have not experienced this yet, im sure my anxiety will get the better of me! Ask what you need to ask to ease your mind and make sure your child is safe!
How about Has anyone at your house been sick lately? And if so, when, what were their symptoms and how did you disinfect? I hate it when my kids go to a friends house only to then hear reports of their sibling has strep throat or the kid was puking the night before. Come on people!
P.S. My husband is a police officer and in all the years we have had kiddo friends over (I have three and the oldest is 14) not one person has EVER asked me about where we keep guns. I think that’s strange.
Always make a point of asking about working smoke alarms and an escape plan!
Ask about guns wherever your kids are going. We don’t have kids. we own a self defense weapon. we keep it loaded, and hide it, but it is not locked because a locked self defense weapon is hard to unlock in the amount of time it would take to stop an intruder. A child could, conceivably, find the gun, pump the action, unlock the safety, and fire the weapon. I make every effort to assure that it is locked up before a kid comes over, but there is always that chance. Ask me about guns, remind me that I have one, I will NOT be offended, I will be grateful.
It’s great to know your gun is a self defence gun and presumably cannot be used as an attack gun or a “we were just playing and it went off and Joni fell down” gun etc. Unbelievable. And you don’t even ;lock it away? I live in a country where your choice to keep a loaded weapon lying around would be unfathomable and legally impossible. It’s also a country where pretty much noone (unless you live on a farm) would need to ever ask about guns when their children are visiting. Imagine that?It’s a society where your behaviour would be considered so repugnant I doubt your children would get any visiting friends at all.
Tony, I believe they were stating it is used only for self defense and not for hunting/food sustenance purposes. They also stated that is hidden, not just laying around. Yes, I’m sure you live in Sweden or wherever that is the happiest land on earth but 95% of the rest of the world does not. We live in scary places and I would rather be able to defend myself and family and my guests from those who would seek to harm us. Good for you for choosing to live in a country full of magical unicorns, but the rest of us were not always born so fortunate.
No you don’t. You live in the US where violent crime has been on a steady decline for the last 40 years, and each year is at an all-time low. Other countries have gangs of “soldiers” sweeping towns and abducting children. Other countries have neighbors who throw missiles at them regularly. Other countries have imperialists invading their countries, despite never having attacked the imperialist. You truly insult the rest of the world by suggesting you live in a place in which your chance of dying by violent use of a gun is infinitely smaller than your chance of dying by being hit by a meteor, lightning, or bus COMBINED. You don’t live in a scary place, you need therapy.
As for the rest, being hidden isn’t sufficient to qualify someone as a “responsible” gun owner. If the weapon isn’t physically on their person, it should be locked in a safe, unloaded, with a trigger guard on it. If the small child in your avatar is your only one, and they’re still that little…you have a LOT to learn very soon about how “hidden from children” is a much a real thing as “the US is a scary place to live and I need a gun to survive”.
Am I the only one who noticed there isn’t a #5? Or did I miss something?