There are many things to write about on my mind and we have had adventures that still have not made their way to this blog yet. There is one thing that’s just weighing heavy on my mind now though – Friends & their Mothers.
The boys (all 3 of them) go to friend’s homes and their friends come here to ours to spend the night or hang out. I love to meet new people and I have a strict policy about meeting people first before my children go off to someone’s house. Maybe it’s how I was raised that has rubbed off on me, but I like to make sure that no one is making meth in their bathtub before I send the kids off packing to stay an evening with them.
I don’t judge, condemn or compare myself to the other parents I meet, but I have met some parents over the past school year that do. Everyone is different. Some of these meetings leave me scratching my head as I left totally speechless.
If you have any children maybe you can relate. If your children are very young, just wait…you’re in for it too. (No child or parent’s names will be listed and these are in no certain order.) All conversations begin the same way: “Can X spend the night mom?” I reply, “yes, but I need to speak with their mom or dad or whoever they live with first”. Then I usually hear, “Okay, I’ll send you their #. ” I usually start, “Hi, I’m X’s Mom. He asked me if your son could spend the night and I said that was fine, but wanted to speak with you to make sure you knew and it’s alright.”
Random Kid #1 Experience: “Uhm, okay. Yeah, thank you for calling. I already told him he could. The boys have already decided everything and made plans between themselves”, is the answer I received.
“So, you’re fine with it?” I ask.
“Yeah”, she replies.
“Do you want to know where we live?” I ask.
As the phone clicks to signify the hang-up, I hear, “No, the boys will work it out.”
**End result: The child was relatively well-behaved. I had to make several phone calls to find the mom to take him back home.
Random Kid #2 Experience: “I am so glad you called. I wanted to meet you before sending X over to your house and make plans to pick him up tomorrow.I feel more comfortable talking to you first, seeing if we know any mutual people and such.” (This parent spoke to me for over an hour.)
This child was a handful, but is welcome any time to come back!
So, sometimes the roles are reversed and I am the one calling because my son is asking me to be able to spend the night at another kid’s house. These conversations always start with, “Hi, my name is Chrissy. I am X’s mom. He has asked me if he could spend the night with your son and I wanted to speak to you, make sure you are aware and okay with it, and will be home with the boys.”
Random Kid #3 Experience: “Oh yeah, X asked me and I said it was okay.” Long pause…”Do you know where we live?”
I get the address and then ask what time she would like for me to pick up my son the next day.
“Just …whenever…is …fine …I …guess”, she answers. “They’ll be shooting each other in the yard most of the day, so just any time should be fine.”
“What!? Did you say they’ll be shooting each other?” I clarify.
“Oh yeah”, she says as she huffs into the phone. “X’s big brother will be there with them overseeing everything to make sure no one gets hurt. They do it all the time. We have extra guns if your son needs to borrow one. Do you need my son’s phone number so you can text him and get all the details?”
“What?! I think I must be hearing you wrong. Did you say they are going to be shooting each other?” I ask again.
“Yes,” she said through a giggle. “They do it all the time. We live on a farm and have several acres. The boys make obstacle courses, wear extra clothing and shoot each other.”
🙁 Geez…she wasn’t kidding either!! 🙁
Random Kid #4 Experience: “Oh hi! It’s fine for X to come over! I’ve met him and love him! He can stay as long as he likes and I’ll be here with the kids the entire time. They may shoot some basketball, play video games, and watch movies. Does that sound good?”
🙂 I reply, “Yes!!! That sounds great!! I can pick him up any time you’d like tomorrow. I can’t wait to meet you when I drop him off!”
So come on moms, chime in! Am I alone in this crazy world we live in? Would you let your child go to some of these homes? Some were great, some where not. Do you call and speak to the parents of the children before your kids go to another’s house? Would you allow your teenager to go to another kid’s house to be shot with or without supervision? Am I paranoid?
Wow, that is horrifying! I cannot beleive the complacency your contacts have over the safety of their own children, or, in the case of the gun slinging family, for other’s. Well done you for not being forcefully influenced by it all and following suit.
This was not boring and made me smile at the memories of sleepovers with my children’s friends. The comment about not knowing where the parents were, before dropping them off, that happened a lot! Thanks for checking out my blog and now you have another follower!
Thank ya ma’am 🙂 I very much enjoyed “old Fashioned Memories”. It did take me down memory lane. I too remember the drive-in theaters, drive-in restaurants, and many other things that my kids don’t have a clue about 😉
I’ll start off my comment the way I normally do with those that ask “so moms (or mums as we say here in Australia)” thanks for inviting us dads into the conversation…. But I digress.
You are not paranoid and in these modern crazy times it would be best to find out exactly who the other parents are.
Being the gun toting lunatics you Americans seem to be (I would guess this might exclude you), it would be weird to find out that your child is playing with guns be it BB guns, real guns or any that are somewhat more dangerous than a plastic cap-gun or water pistol. I wouldn’t let my kid stay at that house, and would even have reservations about my child being friends with pro-NRA children. But then again, it IS best to stay on those people’s best side, isn’t it?
We are lucky at the moment with our eldest being 4.5 years old and his sleep overs are either with his cousins or when we look after friends’ kids or they look after ours so the starting point is the adult connection, not the child’s.
But this will change, and when it does, we will make sure that we know the parent/s of the child who our child is staying with, and I am sure, if we misjudge a character, then it is best to be safe than sorry.
And if I truly wasn’t sure about the parent or housing arrangement of a child then I am sure that my wife and I would love to have our children’s friends stay at our place, every time they want to do that sleepover.
PS. Not a boring blog…
Thank you for your thoughts. I tried to locate your blog but I bounced back and forth between the wordpress site and another page without ever reading a post. I’ll stop back back your site again in a few days and see it is more accessible. I’m glad to hear a dad weigh in on this subject! Often times Dads are remaining silent and it’s refreshing to hear from one or more! 🙂
That is why I am doing a big push to get dads;
1. doing things with their kids
2. writing things about their kids
3. telling the world how wonderful it is to be a dad
4. working on making the relationship work by helping out
5. preventing families from breaking up because too many dads are dead-beat dads
6. the list goes on
You can find my main site at http://www.thesquircle.com.au/home.cfm which has a link on the homepage to my WordPress site if you can’t find that by clicking on my gravatar (sp?)
Where there is a dad going unrepresented in a conversation online, I will be there.
Keep up the good work…
Thank you Darrell. After I “joined” your site I was able to view post through the wordpress blog. Your post I’ve read so far are written very well & I appreciate you speaking up for all the dads out there 🙂 If you have an opportunity to read back through some previous post I’ve written, you will see that other fathers have also weighed their thoughts in on some of my posts. Perhaps you could encourage them to also join your forum? I have enjoyed every post you’ve penned that have read so far 🙂
I will do that. I hope to have a moment to myself between work and looking after the kids, plus writing, Facebook (don’t get me started on how much time I could waste there though) and Words With Friends.
I will swap one of those things tomorrow to read some of your other blogs. Which one to swap out? Which one? Maybe neglect the kids? Maybe skip work? Hmmmmm, what to do, what to do….
HAhahahaha! Don’t neglect the kids 🙂 I’ll save you some time and place some links in comments on this post to some with Father comments – okay? There are over 160 posts in my blog, so surfing could take a bit for you and the kids, laundry, cooking, & such is much more important 🙂
[…]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]…
Shooting each other. Really. Now there’s one, thankfully, I’ve never heard. Amazing, isn’t it? You go, girl. Keep those kids safe!
Thank you Kay 🙂 I really didn’t care what anyone else thought, I kept him home from that house!
I have three children and they are very aware of sleepover rules:
Children do not make plans with other children.
Children do not make plans with other parents with out first consulting with my husband or myself.
It’s absolutely necessary for me to have the address and phone number where I can reach an adult.
If at all possible, I’d like to meet the parents before anything is confirmed.
I don’t think these are unreasonable. I do run into those parents who really don’t care what their child is doing or who their doing it with. Frustrating when the kids want to hang out at X’s house instead of ours.
I haven’t had anyone too much to handle at our place yet, thank goodness.
ah, it is nice to hear I am not alone in this crazy world 🙂 Thank you Shell!
Usually my girls were in school activities where I met the parents at band functions, etc..before they came over or went to their houses. I must say my childrens friends and parents have proved to be in many cases life long associations and friendships.
That is what I remember from my childhood too. Many of my friend’s parents are still friends with my parents. Do you think I’m terrible for not wanting one of the boys to go get “shot” on the farm with only supervision from an older sibling (no parental involvement using air rifles) though?