People I Want to Punch in the Throat: My Rules for Playdates

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My Rules for Playdates

My kids have reached the age now where they have playdates with their friends and classmates without anyone's mother looking over their shoulder watching.  It's awful.  Now I have to not only discipline my own kid, I have to discipline someone else's kid too.

That's assuming I'm hosting the playdate.  I feel just as bad for the mother hosting MY kid at her house.


Believe me, it's not like I think that when my kids go to their friend's house they are angels.  Far from it.  I know they're not.  As much as I try and drill my rules into their heads, I know that as soon as they're out of my sight they're swinging from a chandelier like a monkey.  (BTW - If my kid EVER swings from your light fixture, you have my permission to spank him/her.  That shit is unacceptable.)

Actually, sometimes my kids don't even wait until I've left the building to be complete and total nightmares.  For instance, last week we were invited to a friend's house for a water gun battle.  Unbeknownst to me, Gomer arrived locked and loaded.  We were waiting for everyone else to arrive, so I told him to put his gun down and have a seat.  Within 5 minutes he'd soaked a friend.  Are you fucking kidding me, Gomer?  You shot someone with a water gun in my friend's living room?!

His response?  "I only shot him in the face, mom.  I barely got any water anywhere else."  Oh yeah, that makes it so much better.

"You know better," I hissed at him.  He does.  Or at least I think he does...yes, yes, he does.  He knows all of my playdate rules and now I'll share them with you.

Here's what I came up with and I'm sure you can add to the list.  These are my rules for my kids:

1.  No firing loaded water guns anywhere but outside.  This was never on the list before last week.  I always assumed it was implied and understood, but apparently I need to make it its own item on the list.  WTF?

Not in the house, brainiac.
2.  Never talk back to an adult.  This is a big one with me.  My kids have a few sassy friends that drive me crazy and I'm terrified my kids pull that kind of shit at their friend's houses.  My favorite visitor was the kid who said:  "Dude, your mom is so bossy!" after I told them to go build Legos because they were literally beating the shit out of each other with sticks.  I go over this one again and again with my kids.  If I ever hear that my child talked back or questioned an adult at a playdate there will be hell to pay.
"You can't tell me what to do.  You're not my mom."
3.  Take turns choosing what to play.  Adolpha's age group does better at this than Gomer's.  I swear elementary school aged kids forget everything they learned in preschool about sharing and taking turns.  I am constantly refereeing.

4.  Video games are OK, but within reason.  You know what we allow you play at home and "Mortal Kombat" is not on the list.  Any game that shows a person getting their spine ripped out or his head chopped off in graphic detail is not allowed.  Politely tell your friend's mother that you are not allowed to play "Mortal Kombat" and ask her if she has something else.

5.  Do not trash someone's house.  You do not need to get out every single toy, Lego, costume, stuffed animal, block, sword, Barbie, book, gun, sticker, marker, etc. to have a good time.  Pick a few toys and play.  Better yet, go outside to play and let the mom have a quiet (and clean) house to herself for a while.

"Thanks for having us!  Gotta go!"
6.  Don't pick on the host's sibling(s).  Most of my kids' friends have a little brother or a little sister that gets in the way.  This makes him/her an easy target.  If you don't want to play with the sibling, that is fine, but don't push their buttons.

7.  Don't ask for food.  You are a well-fed child.  You had lunch today before you went to play.  You will have dinner when you get home.  You will not starve to death while you're at your friend's house for the next 2 hours.  Nine times out of 10, food will be offered to you, so just wait until it is offered.  However, you may always ask for a glass of water if you are thirsty.


8.  If you are offered food and it is something you don't care for, politely decline.  Acceptable answers are:  "No thank you, I'm not very hungry." or "No thank you, I'd rather just play."  NEVER say, "I don't like _____ what else do you have?"
"You call this a Bento box snack?  Have you even Google'd Bento box?  Your aesthetic sucks.  Oh and so does the food.  What else do you have?"

9.  Turn off the TV and play.  You can watch "Phineas & Ferb" at home.  You're there to play with your friend.  Go play.


"Now this is a Bento box snack, lady!"
10.   Don't jump on beds.  I don't care if Egbert's mother said it was OK.  This is not allowed at your house, so don't do it at your friend's house, because when the bed breaks (and it will) I will feel obligated to buy Egbert a new bed.

11.  Do not put on makeup without an adult's permission and supervision.  This one is obviously for Adolpha.  She and her friends are a bit obsessed with lipgloss and such and they love to "beauty shop" it up when no one is watching.


12.  Be gentle with your friend's toys.  Toys are expensive and dear to your friend.  Do not handle them roughly or lose parts.  If you do break something, admit it.  Tell your friend's mother and tell me when I pick you up so I can replace the toy you broke.

13.  Never torment the family pet.  I don't care if Anastasia "always" puts her cats in casts and plays vet.  I am not Anastasia's mother, I am yours and I'm telling you that's cruel.  Leave the pets alone.

What are you looking at?
14.  Don't whine and/or cry when I come to pick you up.  I'm glad you had fun with your friend, but we will not do this again if you're going to be an ass every time your playdates are over.

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142 comments:

  1. Anonymous09:13

    Perfect, Absolutely Perfect!!! I think I'll post these at the door if and when we have playdates!

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  2. Anonymous09:17

    Frankly, and mom who is dumb enough to host a water gun play date for kids under 10 deserves to get her living room soaked. That for sure goes against the play date 10 commandments,like letting them paint or bake crap.

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    1. uh.....you would rather have PAINT in your living room than water? Where do you live? I"ll host your kid for water gun battles and you can have mine over to paint....

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    2. I think they meant that paint and baking are also on the list to NOT do with kids under 10. Letting groups of little kids have any paint that isn't watercolor is absolutely nuts. Unless you like finding random paint splatters everywhere for years...

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    3. Anonymous21:34

      Anyone who doesn't let there kids bake and play with paints has got issues.

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    4. Anonymous06:36

      I have had toddlers bake and paint in my tiny home and had no problems. Water seems pretty reasonable too.

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  3. Anonymous09:17

    My other irritation, kids bringing their own toys to playdates and then not sharing them. And No, I will not tell my kid to stop asking to play with it.

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    1. Agreed! Parents should not let their kids bring toys that they aren't willing to share!

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    2. Absolutely! If you bring it over then it becomes sharing territory. If said kid can't handle sharing then put it up or leave it home until play time is over. I know I can't stand it when my kids are playing with something and some kid (or worse another mom) acts like my kid should give up what they are playing with because their child wants it. Nope, sorry. Doesn't work that way. Now, if they put it down and walk away without any intention to continue playing with it for something else then in my book it's free game but, kids should not be expected to "hand it over" just because someone wants it when it's in use.

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  4. My biggest one is "You know the rules at our house, I expect you to follow them elsewhere!" (I am the mean bossy mommy).

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  5. Anonymous09:33

    The food thing is one of my biggest pet peeves. We have these kids in our neighborhood that will be outside playing with my kids and will come up to me and say "I'm hungry. Can I come in and have a snack?" My response is "No. Your mom is just a few doors down...maybe she will give you a snack." Or the kids that come over and thinks apparently forget this isnt their home and go open our fridge and help themselves to whatever is in there. I have just enough for my 2 rugrats...not the entire neighborhood. And I would like to add a rule for the PARENTS of these playdates... Unless your child is old enough to defend his/herself from a predator (and even then is a little iffy), DO NOT let your child play outside unsupervised. We live in an apt. complex where kids between the ages of 5-10 are riding bikes, running from building to building or even playing on the playground WITHOUT A SINGLE PARENT OUT WATCHING THEM. If your child gets ran over by my car because they are not paying attention while riding their bikes into my car, it is not my fault...WATCH YOUR CHILDREN..and while your at it maybe watch the news too so you can be up to date on the psycho's that live in this world who ride around in cars and try to lure kids in with puppy's and God knows what else.

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    1. KDKAT10:01

      AMEN SISTER!!! Opening my refrigerator without asking is similar to going through my purse to look for gum! You don't touch my purse, or the handle of my refrigerator! Go ask your mother for a Capri Sun, and leave mine alone!

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    2. BW111710:15

      We live in a Cul-de-sac and all of the kids play in the circle/street, most of the parents are out with the kids, occasionally one will be in the house with the baby while her son is outside, but keeps close tabs on him from the window, she usually makes sure that she communicates with the rest of us when that's happening too. There is one family though that NEVER has a parent outside; and of course their son is the tyrant of the neighborhood. When he comes out I try to keep my son - who is 2 years younger than bratzilla at arms length for fear that he will be mowed down (which happened once before my kid could even walk). Yesterday, when a different neighbor and I were talking he mentioned that this kids mom was taking a nap... really? WTF!

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    3. Anonymous10:35

      I, also, live at the end of a cul-de-sac. Every summer, all summer, I have every single kid in the neighborhood hanging out in my driveway begging for my food and breaking our toys. The worst part is that I wouldn't even know most of their parents if I ran into them on the street. I'm thinking about sending them all bills for running the neighborhood "summer camp"! This shit gets expensive!

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    4. I also live in a cul-de-sac where all the kids congregate. I let them in the back yard, but not in my house. I put the fear of ME into them looong ago, and they stay out. Now if I could keep them off my kids bikes....

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    5. Anonymous22:17

      Umm... were you on a leash in the neighborhood as a child? well sorry but i wasn't. and nothing ever happened but fun. heck, i watch the window like a hawk and get bored. I dont care what you think, and you're the one with a HUGE problem if your 10 year old isn't allowed outside with out you. I bet you breast fed him until he was six also right?

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    6. Unfortunately the world we live in today doesn't allow for us to just let our children run free outside without supervision. I ran the neighborhood when I was younger, but there's no way in hell I'd let my kids do that now. I know there were crazy people out there when I was a kid, but I think we're just much more aware of them now.
      My children are my responsibility, not my neighbors, and not everyone is a kind neighbor who is willing to "look out" for your kids.
      I would rather be too cautious and know my kids are safe, if that makes me have a problem, I don't care what you think. BTW....I didn't breastfeed at all, I'm just that Mom who likes to know where her kids are and who they are with.

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    7. Anonymous07:56

      Amen on the food thing! I swear to god I'm the only parent in the neighborhood that cooks supper because none of the other kids ever get called home for supper. Hubs works 2nd shift so I take out enough for me and my two kids... period. And no, five minutes before supper is ready is NOT the time to come in and ask if your friend can stay for supper. And one of the kids has food allergies... to everything! "Mom can Esmeralda have a snack?" My reply is usually "Well, can she actually eat it? Maybe she should go home for a snack and a drink." Sorry, but I'm not going to start stocking organic allergen free food on the off chance that I will actually say yes one of these days.

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    8. Anonymous12:12

      I ran the neighborhood when I was a child and my parents didn't supervise me or know where I was, but I would never let my kids do that. The world is a different place now. We live in an apartment complex and I always see little kids running around with no parents anywhere in site. People speed through our complex among other things. I guess some people don't see the big deal or are too busy to care...

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    9. Anonymous09:12

      Actually, the world's NOT that different. (Internet crime against kids obviously being the exception). Crime stats are about the same as they've been. What's different is that everything is known on a national level, and everything gets shared via social media, to the point that it appears there's a pervert on every corner. There's not.

      I'm all for supervising your kids, especially when they're too young to know to stay out of the street, etc. But kids learn valuable life skills playing independently away from constant vigilance. How are any of these kids every going to learn the concept of doing what's right even when no one's looking? Or how to fend for themselves against meaner kids? Grown up versions of that one exist, too, and if you haven't learned how to deal with it as a kid, you're going to be in a world of hurt.

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    10. So, I know I'm stupid late on this one but I wanted to add to the feeding the neighborhood comments.
      Growing up, my family was heavily involved in the local soccer program plus my brother and I regularly had a number of other kids come over.
      My brother's friends were notorious for coming over, grabbing a frozen pizza, and working out using our equipment, when no one was home.
      My mom was okay with this as long as the kid left a note so she knew why someone was in the house. I loved it. All of my friend's knew my house as a safe place where they could hang out if need be. All the parents knew it too (We would get phone calls of "Hey, I haven't seen my son in a while is he there?").
      My mom still recalls fondly how many kids would think of our house as a second home because it wasn't about the food bill. It was about a safe place to spend time and have fun.
      I will caveat this with all of us being 11-18 in age. No one dropped off toddlers or young children. You needed to be old enough to know the rules of the house and to respect that.
      In all the years we lived there, only 1 kid got a permanent boot out the door. And everyone knew and respected that decision (no trying to sneak the kid in or wrecking the house in retribution).
      Sorry for being long winded.

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  6. These are awesome awesome rules!! My 5 year old daughter and 10 year old niece cannot seem to play well together. I think some of these rules will be good to implement.

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  7. Anonymous09:40

    Will your next article be playdate rules for MOMS?! That is important too.

    And please parents when you come to pick up your kids and they decide to run, hide, and scream cause they don't want to leave; don't make me the one to pick them up and bring them to you and be the one to tell them how sad it will be if they can't come over again because they don't know how to leave when it's time. I don't want to parent another kid, especially when their own parent is standing right there!

    Thankfully haven't had to do that one in awhile.

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    1. Amen, Sister!

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    2. My kid is the obnoxious one hiding when she hears my car pull up. Thankfully, due to some early brainwashing, all I have to do is count to three. Me: "Kiddo, come out now. Don't make me count. One...two...thank you. Put on your coat." I have no idea what happens at three, and neither does she. I think it must be really bad, though. I just hope we never have to find out. Did I mention she's 11?

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    3. Anonymous19:44

      If you are making a list of Playdate rules for moms, please don't forget to call out the mothers who let their children bug you to death with questions and offer you no help.

      For example: (child)"Can I come play over at your house today?" or "Can I spend the night at your house tonight?" OR "Why can't Billy come with us to a PG13 movie?" And the parent just stands by and watches you squirm! SO RUDE!!!!!

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    4. I have had to pry the kid who didn't want to leave out of my house and my method (which has worked the thankfully few times I've had to use it) is, "If you behave like this when you get picked up, you don't get to come back for another playdate." As for the parents who won't step in and say no to things like sleepovers, etc, I just say, "Not today. Another time." and leave it at that. And if they keep asking I just keep giving them the same answer.

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  8. Anonymous09:40

    It makes me nuts that my kids are 9 and 13 and I'm still having to add to this kind of list. Stay off the exercise equipment; if they are taking you for lunch, do not order the most expensive item on the menu, etc. The worst thing I had to add? If a playdate is not going well, please ask to call Mom to pick you up. This came after the host child decided he didn't want to play with my son, and spent the day playing on his DS while my son sat there miserably. The mom apologized, but seriously, why not just call me? Sometimes kids have bad days, I get that. I'm more annoyed that she didn't call, and neither kid had any fun anyway.
    -Deirdre

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  9. Theresa09:40

    Thank you! I'm putting this list on my front door, too!

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  10. Lydia09:45

    Yes! This! I would also include "Don't play in the sibling's room if you're not anywhere near their age nor are you there to play with them." My kids are 4 years apart. When my youngest was still in a crib (which was 6 months ago), a friend came over to play with my oldest. I found the friend in my youngest's room jumping in the crib with his shoes on! I was livid. Then he complained about the fact that all the toys in that room were baby toys. Duh! He's a baby! Other playdates with the same child have resulted in multiple toys being broken, once in front of his parents, who never offered to replace it. We limit our contact with them now to public places where minimal damages can occur.

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  11. The last one is by far the best.

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  12. My dad broke rule number one once when I was in junior high - it started with a little water flicking at each other in the kitchen and ended with him chasing me through the house with a water hose. My mom was a little upset when she got home. Fortunately, she couldn't really get mad at me since my dad was the big mess-maker.

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  13. Oh these are the perfect common sense rules that the little buggers NEVER REMEMBER! Can you add "stay out of off limits areas" and "don't touch shit that does not belong to you"? Those are some that my kids 'forget' all the time...

    And the food thing pisses me off too but for us its a bigger problem with the neighborhood kids than playdates; seriously you live 30 feet away, just go home if your hungry!

    If the hosting parent tells me that my kid has been good and used manners, I am always relieved and HOPE they are not lying to make me feel better! I live in fear of my children acting like savages in other people's homes.

    Loving your sassy, irreverent musings! Keep punching!

    PS I am shocked no one has called you out on the spanking comment yet ;)

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    Replies
    1. You and me both. ;)

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    2. Not going to lie...It's been exhausting day with my 2 year old (what day isn't) and I'm reading through all the comments rather than going to bed just to see if Marie Antoinette Party Girl's mom is on here blasting you for the spanking comment!

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  14. Anonymous09:50

    My daughter had a friend where the mom played with them the entire time and they went shopping too and bought my daughter toys. I felt terrible because when I have a kid over, it's to get my child out of my hair! This child literally sat there until I told her go play in the toy room with your friend! I am not here to entertain you. The mom called like 4 times. I never call to check on my child, that may sound terrible, but i make sure the other parent knows how to reach me if needed, you don't need to call me 4 times and let me know everything is ok. I have things I want to do while your child entertains mine. Needless to say this child was an only child of an older couple and she is not coming over anymore.

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  15. Add to that no single player games. I always find it funny when kids get together and want to play single player games. I had a couple play dates where the 6 year old boy repeatedly asked to play with my son's "DS" (it wasn't a DS, it was a Mobigo, a far cry from a DS) and even though his mom was there I had to repeatedly say "Not this time, you guys don't get to play together very much, why don't you play TOGETHER". Oh and of course there is the asking to "borrow" a toy. "Sorry, no, but you can play with it next time you come!"

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    1. Anonymous10:22

      I agree. My kids have an ipad, and our rule is always "Either the ipad or a friend, but never both." Sometimes parents send their kid with an electronic device. That says to me "We think you guys are so boring that my kid will need something to entertain himself."

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  16. Anonymous09:52

    My favorite playdate moments:
    Spending 45 minutes talking to a parent while I am trying to make dinner because his kid didn't want to leave and he wouldn't make him!!!
    Waiting two hours for a parent to pick up his absolutely hideous child because the parent was watching a baseball game and having a few beers after work!!!! And the parent never called and would not pick up his phone.
    Needless to say, neither of those kids were invited back....

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    1. Anonymous10:56

      This is huge. If you are expected at a certain time, show up! I had 2 kids spend the night because the dad (who had custody because mom was an alcoholic), had gone out drinking and was too drunk to pick them up. Seriously?? I felt so sorry for those kids, but really? Dad and I had words the next morning.

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  17. #14 is a biggie for me. Also, "Do not tell me in front of the host how I am lacking in some mothering feat." e.g. "Mommy, why don't YOU ever peel my apple before you give it to me like David's mother does?" UGHHH

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    1. Anonymous12:08

      Ha ha!!!! True!!

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    2. Anonymous02:36

      Sweety, I leave the skin on the apples, because I want you to get fiber. Apparently, I love you more. :)

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    3. "Sweety, I leave the skin on the apples, because I want you to get fiber. Apparently, I love you more. :)"

      hahahaha! I would love to see a parent really say that...

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  18. I love it. I'm totally comfortable making other kids follow the rules at my house because my kids know they have to follow the rules of other people at their houses, along with mine. You don't like it? Don't come over. You gotta have some semblance of order, otherwise it devolves into into a Lord of the Flies situation.

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  19. This list is awesome! I love when parents step up and actually make rules. I wish I could find some friends for my 5 year-old that actually have rules at home and and abide by them when away from home! Last play date the mother stayed (thanks a lot, I had nothing else to do but entertain you for the morning!) and when my son whacked hers with a sword and I immediately took it away and declared that it now belonged to me for the rest of time, she asked me how I could bear to hurt his feelings by taking away his toys! I honestly said, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HE JUST WHACKED YOUR KID WITH THIS THING AND YOU ARE ASKING ME HOW I COULD HURT HIS FEELINGS???" I didn't add "DUMBSHIT" to the comment but I think it was clear that I was thinking it!

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    Replies
    1. i wish blogger had a like button...

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    2. I second that "like" comment!

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  20. KDKAT10:07

    I'm going to print, laminate and post on the back of my seats in my car. That way they can read, initial each item and sign on the way to playdates! I may have some of their (rotten) sweet little friends read it over and sign it before I let them in! Especially the one about asking for food/drinks (this is NOT Denny's, so quit asking), and sassing someone else's parents. And eye-rolling and "the look" -- that counts as sassing. I WILL call your Mom and have her come get you, which to us mothers is like wearing a sign on the corner that you have no control over your children -- she WILL be pissed, so don't try me :) Oh, and go have fun.

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  21. Anonymous10:14

    I have one disclaimer for the parents of any child playing at my house. It is "If your kid is going to play at my house, I will treat him/her the same way I treat my own. This means that I'll hug them if they need a hug but I'll also rip their f'ing head off if they choose to act like a little asshole. Feel free to treat mine the same way at your house". Most parents love it!

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    1. Anonymous14:49

      I absolutely LOVE that & completely agree! When someone'schild is at my house, treat them like they are by own. I don't care if their mom lets them ride their bikes into town alone, if you're MY responsibility, I don't want to have to tell their parents they were hit by a car (the 35mph speed limit signs are apparently invisible to most drivers here!) or abducted by the child molester who resides a few towns over! Sorry! Their parents may not give a shit, but that's not how I care MY kids!

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  22. J.D.10:15

    I would add...No hiding at pick-up time! I've had kids disappear behind water heaters while their mother waits for them...and waits for them. Times up! Go home. Playdate is over! No hiding!

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  23. Anonymous10:25

    Do not run in and out of the house. Inside? or Outside? Slamming doors, or not even closing them. This is at the top of my list. Once I responded to this by locking them out. My son and his friend "cried wolf" with a few lame "emergencies." In the end, they knocked on the door saying my son was bleeding. I felt really bad when I asked them to walk around to the window and prove it. Sure enough there was blood running down his finger. I guess they learned not to cry wolf.

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    1. Oh my gosh! I just had a flashback to my childhood and my mother yelling the same exact thing to me. I thought she was crazy then (like "what's the big deal?") but I totally get it now!

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    2. Anonymous14:21

      Were you born in a barn? They have no idea what this means. Every time a door is slammed I make my kids drop down and give me 10 pushups. It helps.

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    3. I love the push up idea, my son is the worst for slamming doors it drives me up the wall. I am implementing this post haste.

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  24. This is friggin awesome!

    I remember my mom was damn hardcore on #7, #8 and #14.

    Violate THOSE and that warranted death.

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  25. Ha, I remember some of those rules from when I was little...we had those too! :)

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  26. Anonymous10:48

    One to add is if I'm hosting a playdate then my children have to share ALL of their toys. If there is something that is special to them and don't want played with, I suggest they put it away until their friends leave that way there are no hurt feelings.

    My kids went over to another kid's house and was told what they could and could not play with by the bossy kid. That's no fun to be told that.

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  27. Ya, if my kid is at your house, it does not mean your kid runs the show and can choose everything/every game they play. And no trading of toys. Ever. Someone always gets the shaft, and it's usually my shy 'yes man' son. Boys and Girls...leave each other alone, no teasing and instigating shit.
    No helping yourself to the freezies in my freezer just because it's in the open garage. If it ain't a toy belonging to my kid, don't touch. That means no wearing my jewellery, no using my gardening tools. If you are 7 and over and cannot play on your own or be trusted for more than 15 minutes you cannot come over.

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  28. Anonymous11:49

    One of the rules I remember as a kid was always thank the host of having you over. That's one that has been lost to past times. I remember standing on the door step of friends houses with my mother saying "thank you for having me over" and it's something I still do when I go to friends houses now! Is it so hard for kids to be taught manners?

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    1. Obviously it is. I am not THAT old and manners in children appall me. I am of the school of writing handwritten thank yous, which are seemingly unheard of these days. I still make my son do it anyways.

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    2. I agree completely! I still say "Thanks for having us over" or "Thanks for letting us bother you" and hand written thank yous are in the mail within a week!

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  29. That's a good set of rules! Just wait until your kids are old enough for SLEEPOVERS!! OMG what a fucking nightmare.

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  30. I cannot stand kids, of any age, who think it is appropriate to backtalk/give attitude. It is certainly worse when it is to random or non-parent adults. Someone (aka parents of these hooligans) please get these kids in check!

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  31. Anonymous12:02

    I like to add to the list of no-nos you never thought you'd need: No animal noises in the car (trust me on that one); no hitting your sister with a shovel; no wet socks/shoes on the rug; no inviting people in and then telling them they have to do what you say; and no stealing my clothes without my express permission (my 10 year old is ridiculously tall, and I unfortunately am the opposite.)

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  32. Breanna12:03

    Say please and thank you!! I remind my son of this every time he goes to a friends house. Also, do not gorge yourself on pop/snacks just because I am not there to tell you to stop! We are not health freaks by any means, but he knows pop and candy are treats. That should also be a rule for MOMS if you make one. Don't give other peoples kids unlimited sugary crap just because you don't have to deal with them later.

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  33. Anonymous12:19

    My biggest rule - the kids play with eachother NOT me. This is suppose to be a bit of a break for me, go entertain yourselves! Both my kids have friends that come in and ask me to play a board game or color with them etc. NO!! I'm not one of those Moms, I only invited you over so I could finally fold last weeks laundry!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG! I said the same thing below! I know! I know! I don't want to watch your "talent show" or see your "Barbie Fashion Show". Go play with each other and leave me alone!

      Delete
  34. Anonymous12:37

    My playdate pet peeve would be the parents that stay but don't discipline their kids.

    We had a playdate last week. The mom stayed because it was the first playdate. The 4 yr old wandered the house (mom never went to investigate where they were) and went through my kids bedrooms - I know this because the kid left a mess. Then proceded to literally walk all over my furniture (with shoes on, grrrr) and body slam my dog among other things.

    After several attempts to tell the kid that we sit on the couch and walk on the floor, I politely asked the mom what time she had to pick the other kid up from school.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous12:53

    Rule # whatever:
    If something doesn't feel "right", or is making you feel uncomfortable or "icky", whether it's something your friend wants to do or your friend's family member or whomever, tell the adult in charge that you need to go home. If they question why, it's okay to say you feel sick (even if it's not quite the truth) and call for a ride home.
    Slafleur

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:56

      100% YES! It sucks that we have to worry about stuff like that, but it definitely has to be something we teach them! Thanks for pointing that out!

      Delete
  36. How about: If you want to play at a friends house because they have "cool" toys, don't go to their house, leave and bring your other friends back with you and ignore the child that lives there! My neighbor's kid does this all the time to my kid and it is just enough to throw me over the edge. We moved away from our friends and family and are new in the area so my 4yr old doesn't have any friends her age in the neighborhood and it just breaks her heart that the kids come over but don't play with her. We do have some pretty cool outside toys (to incourage active play), and I don't mind if we attract a few neighborhood kids, but for the love of GxD you better include my kids dang it! Those are THEIR toys not yours to come over and take over!!! Also, if the bounce house is up, go get your parent to watch you. I will not be responsible for you being a jackass and falling off and breaking something, otherwise you're not going in! I grew up in a prison town, so you weren't outside alone EVER, you did everything on the buddy system, but where the hell are all these kids' parents?!?!?! Even the 4yr olds are running unsupervised. I don't care that there is a group of them, there still needs to be a parent. (Unless they are in a securely fenced in back yard...then I'd let up a little)

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  37. Awesome! Saving this list for when my 3 and 4 year old are big enough to go on play dates without me. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  38. My big one is "Do not put me on the spot and beg for a playdate IN FRONT OF the kid you're wanting to invite over." You come inside and ask me alone, and then go tell my answer. There are times when I don't want to do the playdate thing, or I have something else going on, and I don't want to be made to feel like an ass because I don't want this kid playing right now. I also don't like having two sets of puppy eyes guilting me into shit.

    And also, don't invite yourself over. Ugh, that's one I have to slam into my daughter's head. You wait to be invited. Do not ask if you can come over...that's as bad as asking if they can come over in front of them.

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    Replies
    1. WORD! Struggling w/ that now w/ mine.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous07:11

      Or....don't let your FRIEND beg me. My kids just look at their friends and say "You're just making her mad and when she says NO she means NO."

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:07

      I have friends who have taught their children that asking for someone to come over in front of that friend means an automatic no. They don't budge on the rule either.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous15:13

      Exactly! But I have absolutely no problem saying "I'm sorry Sweetie, but not today! We have a lot to do. Maybe some other time!" I cannot stand when other kids beg me to let them in or ask for snacks! During the summer, I always keep a huge box of those inexpensive ice pops in the plastic sleeves & happily pass them out to the kids outside playing nicely with mine. (After asking them to go check with their moms to make sure im not stepping on any parents' toes). It seems to keep them outside & happy enough to not come bother me! (I've only had 1 kid who came to me afterwards to ask for more- my reply was "I'm sorry, that was the last of them!) I hate pushy, impolite kids! The worse was a kid who always tried to just walk in our house without knocking! My own Mom knocks when she comes over, so I surely expect this kid I don't know to do the same! (I had to start keeping my door locked, cuz this kid continuously just let himself in when coming over to ask my son to play! It drove me absolutely insane!)

      Delete
  39. These rules are great. And also? They apply to the school setting. I love my students but not all of their actions. Sometimes I work through lunch or have a snack. I never eat in front of the students unless they have their snacks or lunch, too. Yet I constantly get asked if they can have my food. No, you can't have my week old veggie casserole, sorry.

    Manners are a huge issue, too. I don't mind working with students to reinforce or teach them manners, but when I give out prizes or treats and I hear students complain or act ungrateful it drives me crazy. Then they don't get anything at all. Or when they ask for more. I give them one, they want two.

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  40. Anonymous14:23

    I remember my mother's biggest rule about play dates as a kid was to not even THINK about asking if so and so could come over in front of them or their parent. Now, as a parent, I can see why it put you in a terribly awkward position if you don't actually want your child to have a play date.

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  41. The no asking for food was a HUGE one for us growing up. My mom would threaten us within an inch of our lives if we did. She hated when our friends came over for like an hour and ate the entire time they were there.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Jen, Jen, Jen...sometimes your post make me throw up a little in the back of my mouth. My kids are older now and I am happy to say I survived most of the things you are going through...still, the memory causes the reflux.

    I read your blog because, well, it's my daily dose of "why didn't I say that?" and I admire your balls all the way from Guam.

    Impressive list of rules - and good luck on the enforcement part. Now that my boys are older, the water gun thing has gone from water to paintball - it cost a SMALL FOTUNE to take a group of boys (seriously, about $50 per person) and my boys only get to go when it's a REALLY special event or they are going to pay for it from their "lawn care services".
    I am always fearful that someone will fire off a random shot when another someone has moved their helmet to wipe sweat from their eyes or something and we will be in the ER wondering if the eye can be saved.... Heaven help me, boys are hard!

    ReplyDelete
  43. one more comment - because I am never speechless.

    I was volunteering as the team mom in the dugout of a little league baseball game for one of my boys (reference Rule #2 and kids with a smart mouth)

    The boys came in the dugout to switch innings and one of the 6 year old boys says to me, "Hey woman! Find my glove!"

    WTH????
    The restraint that I showed on that day should have been award winning - I have never in my life wanted to smack a child as bad as I did that day. And also lost a lot of respect for his mother....'cause I'm thinking she must allow her husband to talk to her that way.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous22:34

      Oh he'll no. Get out of my dugout. Immediately.

      Delete
  44. I had a household rule that ALWAYS communicated to parents. Am I allowed to spank you child if they need it? If the answer was no, they were not allowed in my house.

    It ticked some people off, but solved a lot of problems.

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  45. Anonymous16:17

    And PLEASE add for the Moms:
    If your kid is invited over but his sibling is not, DO NOT slip the uninvited bratzilla into the house and leave. Seriously happened. She brought her son to play with mine and left her bratty daughter too. I don't have girls and all she did was whine that I don't have any good toys for girls. And *completely* ignored anything we tried to get her to do. violated #2,3,5,6,7,8 and 12. Yup great kid.

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    Replies
    1. HA LOL really, I don't invite some friends b/c fear of the sibling!!!! SO true!

      Delete
  46. Our family had one rule when I was little:

    "Do not come back into this house unless blood is coming out of your ears."

    I was the youngest of 12. My parents did not do polite.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I would like to add: Use respectful names with parents. I'm breaking my kids in so that its a reflex to say "Yes Ma'am/Sir" and "No Ma'am/Sir". And absolutely NO calling the parent by their first name. They are either Mr/Mrs Smith or if you know them well enough Ms. Jane and Mr. John. Kids are too mouthy and disrespectful. And if grown ups are talking you wait until they are finished and if its really important you say "excuse me" and wait for a reply.

    And a rule for grown ups: RSVP...they are on the invitation for a damn reason. How hard is it to say you will or will not be attending? Makes me INSANE. Can you tell I have a birthday party tomorrow and half the kids have not RSVP-ed? (I will not be having goodie bags and that's just fine)

    I also make my kids write thank you notes for everything. My daughter is only 2 but she can scribble on a note card that I write for her. As soon as you are able, you pen them yourselves. Manners and chivalry are dead. If your kid acts like a heathen you are not invited back. If you are polite you can come back often.

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    1. Anonymous19:35

      Amen!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous04:17

      I'm so with you on the RSVP thing! Drives me nuts when people don't turn up and haven't told you. a friend of mine invited her kids classmates - all 24 of them and only 8 turned up! It was at a gym place and she because she had booked for 25 she had to pay for 25....

      Delete
    3. RUDE!!!! I hate it when people can't RSVP! Haven't these people ever thrown a party? I RSVP as soon as I get the invite, if I am unsure I tell the date I will let them know! Come or don't - just let me know!UGH!

      Delete
  48. Anonymous16:26

    I gave my kids' dance teacher permission to "smack them upside the head" if they ever misbehaved. Of course, she never did, nor would she have, but they knew I meant it, and she knew that she needn't fear repercussions should she need to be stern with them.
    (That was way back in the olden days, because they're all grown now)

    Reminiscing about my own childhood, there was never such a thing as a "playdate". We either played outside in our own neighborhood or went to someone's house after school and played outside there. It was never a big deal, as long as we were home for dinner. There was the occasional invitation to stay for dinner or a sleepover, but it was never a big occasion. We just played. Things were so much simpler then...
    slafleur

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  49. Jen, your posts are always right on time! I hosted a playdate for my girls today. They each had a little friend come over and I went over the rules of the roost in the car on the way home!

    I'm with you on numbers 2, 6,7,8,9 and 13. I have had to add "Our house is not a museum and you are not a tour guide" to the list because a number of my kids friends come into the house and announce that they'd like a tour to which my girls promptly agree. WTH? You're here to play, not take inventory of what's in my house. Part of me feels like their mom puts them up to it, but it happens so frequently, I feel like they think they're doing me a favor by asking rather than just running roughshod through the joint. The other one about the food? Ugh, one kid just opened up the pantry and said stated, "I"m hungry. What do you have." No way, chamanga!

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  50. We had most of those rules growing up. I'm trying SOOOO hard to instill that in my children. My oldest is 5 and hasn't played over much without me around. I've had to be the mean mommy at other people's homes. You know "I know that they are allowed to jump on the bed, but you are not, WE do not jump on beds" Ugh. Another rule we had growing up is that we weren't allowed to use bigger more expensive items at other people's homes and they weren't allowed to use ours. That doesn't include the tv and multiplayer gaming consoles (it is assumed that will be supervised and permission has been given), but things like bikes, scooters and the like. After our family friend's very overweight son broke my brother's bike doing a "wheelie" (please!) and then said he didn't do it my Mom couldn't afford to replace it. And since the kid denied it we couldn't ask his Mom to replace it either. We couldn't afford to replace someone else's either so it was a strictly enforced rule. I will be enforcing that rule as well. If you don't have a bike with you either go get it or find something else to do!

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    1. I do the "WE don't do that" thing alot at playgrounds. "...WE dont go UP slides, they are only for down..." "...WE dont pile sand at the end of the slide, that is rude for others who want to slide..." Some kids/parents get the hint and make their kid stop too, others give me the crazy look...I dont mind being the mean mom. :)

      Delete
    2. I always shouted at my kids, loudly, at the playground - if you choose to go UP the slide, and get hit by someone coming down... I will laugh!! And I will also loudly encourage my child to "go ahead and slide" if someone else is climbing up... I've had only a few moms look badly at me, most repeat what I say, even if their kid is going up instead of down!

      Delete
  51. Anonymous19:33

    I'll add another. Don't run your greasy/dirty/food covered/fill in the blank hands along the walls. I literally had to repaint our hallway after we had a couple of "friends" over. Scrubbing it didn't work. Scary.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I can drop down on my own kids like the frigging princess of darkness if they were to pull this shite at someone else's house. However, I just can't do it to other people's kids. The "not trash other peoples houses" is a big one. Why must they play with EVERY toy in the box?? Another great read Jen! excellent!
    Marvelous Mo's Mom (M3)

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  53. I've got one to add to your list and it's kinda two fold: The playdate that expects the Host Mommy to entertain them or they follow YOU around instead of playing with their playdate! THAT MAKES ME CRAZY!

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  54. Anonymous21:40

    "Friends" who are mean to younger siblings are never asked to play at our house again.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Oh yeah, Jen . . . I thought of another one: Under NO circumstances at the end of the playdate do you ask in front of me, the other mom and your playdate if the playdate can spend the nite (this only applies if it was a day date of course).

    ReplyDelete
  56. Anonymous21:59

    I would also add the rule that "DOORS ARE CLOSED FOR A REASON." You DO NOT go opening doors and go into rooms where the doors are shut! It's not like we really have anything to hide, but there's no reason for my daughter's friends to be poking around in our master bedroom and jumping on our bed.

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  57. Kelly22:03

    When I was way younger, I babysat for two brothers, John and Hunter. They were absolute hellions. Hunter urinated into a water gun and chased his brother with it!! That's right! He urinated into this super soaker type water gun blaster thingie and chased his brother through the house. Luckily, I found out what he did before he had a chance to shoot and intervened, all the while staying clear of his line of fire, of course.

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  58. The neighbor kids do the same shit every day after school and weekends too: They come over, ask if my kids want to play and I say, "How about y'all go over to YOUR house for a change?? so they all go.. Literally FIVE minutes later, they all run back over to my house.. and stay until dinner time. *sigh* And the snack thing drives me INSANE! I mean, these kids act like they've never had popcorn before! As soon as they run in the door 'We want popcorn!" while they are wrecking the upstairs... fml

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  59. Anonymous22:15

    My kids are also required to help clean up the mess they helped make before they leave. And, do not stand/jump/walk on the furniture! My children are not to act like spider monkeys in our home and they best not do it at a friends house.

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  60. Miranda22:37

    When my girls go places, I always say, "be respectful" as I kiss them bye. My oldest is almost 17 and now when I say bye and get ready for the rest, I get a, "I love you too mom, don't worry, I'll be respectful because respect is important and it shapes who you are". Lol!

    Makes me glad to know she listens! <3

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  61. How about when your kids go to a playdate and the host mom won't stop feeding them? I have this issue with one mom who my daughter, 6, will milk for food constantly because she knows a sucker when she sees one. She is so well fed over there that she won't eat dinner when she comes home. I've told this mom that my daughter may have a snack, but only one because of dinner, but nope, she still just gives in to her. Nice. I love it when other parents take the kids' wishes over their parents'. Oh, and my daughter will now get sent to her room for the rest of the day if she goes against me when I tell her she can only have one snack over at the house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have trouble saying no to a kid that said they were hungry. It's so much easier to tell my own kids, "nope, wait for dinner" than it would be to turn down someone else's kid. Although if you told her the "one snack" thing in front of your kid, you'd think that would work for everyone..

      Delete
  62. Anonymous13:20

    One Friday evening around 5:30, a white van rolled up in front of my house. The woman asked if I knew ____(boy's name). I said no. Then there was yelling from the back. "Oh, I meant ___." I replied yes, that is my son. Next thing I know, three little monsters jump out of her van and run towards my house. I take a few steps towards the van, and she rolls up her window and drives away. WTF? My son comes outside to see the 2 boys on his scooter and bike. The girl was running around. I tell them all to stay out of my house, and I go in to hide. My son is 11. I get on FB and post my shock. It gets worse. My son comes in and tells me that they are scaring our dogs. I have to go out and pull one of our puppies from behind the woodpile. Our other puppy is cowering under a chair in the house. The kids are jumping on my trampoline. My son comes in and tells me that all 3 have knives...even the girl. OMG! I make them get off the trampoline and put the knives away. WTH? They want to come inside, but I tell them no. I go back inside with my dogs to hide and update my FB status. Then my son finds me and tells me that he doesn't even know their names. WHAT? They ride the bus. The older one is in his grade and the other two are a couple of years younger. I go outside and ask if any of the kids know their mother's phone number. I call her and tell her I'm ____'s mom. She is like ok. I say that I think I have her children. She's like oh, yea. I tell her that we have dinner plans, and it is going on 7. She says that's great. HELLO? I ask what should I do with her kids. She says that she will come get them. And she did. She pulled in and they jumped in the van before I could get out in the driveway to have a word. OMG! My son was outside putting the bike and scooter away and everything else that they pulled out. My husband wouldn't come home until they were gone. I still cannot believe how idiotic some people are!!!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:31

      I would have called Family Services... that mom sounds incompetent and negligent.

      Delete
  63. NO SCREAMING in the house, exceptions: someone has a BROKEN BONE, is bleeding PROFUSELY, or someone/something is ON FIRE! Yelling outside IS permitted, as long as it is NOT an OMG, close-to-death, blood-curdling screaming-your-head-off, that I have to get up and go outside to investigate, scream.

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  64. Dusk19:01

    We had a kid go in the pantry, get a snack, open it and then come ask if he could eat it. He was shocked that I said no and told him never to do it again. My kids got an earful when he left about never ever doing anything like that at someone else's house.

    And, about the sassing... I was at the grocery store with my daughter and one of her friends, the little girl started sassing me and telling me I didn't know what I was talking about. I looked at the woman in line behind us and said 'One of them isn't mine, care to guess which?' She was very sympatheic! I dropped that child off early and spent the rest of the ride home explaining to my daughter why what her friend had done was wrong and telling her to never ever act that way!

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  65. Anonymous10:39

    Took my kids and one of their friends to DQ one night for blizzards. Told them they could get the mini size. Friend wanted a medium. I said ' you can have a mini or none, that's the only option.'. So I got him the mini. When I gave it to him he said he wanted to go home. Dropped his ass off, and then I enjoyed his blizzard he opted not to eat. Same kid comes over and asks what we are having for dinner to see if he likes it better than what he has at home. Nice boy otherwise, but he has a big set of *****.

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  66. Anonymous20:35

    What I find quit disturbing is the person who shared this fantastic article on Facebook (and those who commented on the post) are parents of children whom we have banned from our homes for the exact reasons listed AND more! They shouldn't be too surprised if and when I punch them in the throat.

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  67. I'm SO bookmarking this for when our daughter is old enough for playdates!

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  68. Anonymous14:43

    My kids friends learn the hardway when they are at our house and they have no manners (most of them don't). When they ask if they can have a soda (or whatever), I usually ask, I don't know, can you? They look at me and then realize, they need to say May I, please and thank you somewhere. Elbows and arms on the table when we eat are off limits as is smacking and disgustingly eating with their mouths open. My boys pretty much warn their friends now and they are 16 and 13. If you want to hang at my house, manners rule. If you can't communicate, carry on a conversation etc..again, you will learn if you want to hang at our house.

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    Replies
    1. They need to say "May I?" instead of "Can I?" Hmm.... that's kind of ridiculous. Does it perhaps occur to you that maybe you should be polite too? As in, not pretending not to know what "Can I" means?

      Delete
  69. Anonymous15:11

    I had to add the playdate rule "No peeing on my trees" after my son's friend "forgot" we had a bathroom.

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  70. Anonymous13:38

    Your last one is perfect!! That is what I hate most in the world of playdates! My NINE year old daughter sometimes will still run and try to HIDE when she sees me coming...WTF!
    Me: "You are a giant/tall child, I see you where you are hiding...get your ass out from there and in the car now and this will be the last playdate for the rest of the month!" It drives me CRAZY!! Truthfully..all sanity just leaves my brain...her poor friends parents (thankfuly know me well by now) but originally must have thought I was a nutjob! lol

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  71. Love it Jen!! I will use it!! I don't mind telling other kids what to do in my house, I am pretty sure they think I am mean....but not too bad, cause they always wanna come over. I give snacks and cool juice boxes, but only one each unless their parent says they can have more. Right now we are at 5 and 2 years old so we only have over kids that we know and love like family, I am sure once the random school friends start I will have to lay down the law! Cant wait for the parent list cause I aint scared to tell them either. :)
    Devan

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  72. Anonymous10:33

    This may pertain to older kids but I would also like to add one that I find quite annoying. Even though I don't have kids, most of my friends do and I see it happen to them all the time. My friends will take their kids along with their friends to the pool, skating, movies etc. and the parents don't send their kids with money knowing full well what their kids will be doing. I know times are tough but it's rude and if you don't have the money for your kid to do such said activities don't let them go and sure as f*ck don't take them over to their friend's house and expect those parents to pay! My mom always sent money with me if she knew that I would be going somewhere. That is all!
    Amanda

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    1. I think it's rude to take kids somewhere and expect them to pay for themselves unless you've talked about that expectation with their parents. I have smaller kids, but we would NEVER invite them to go somewhere with us if we hadn't planned to pay their admission. If the kids are older and you are just the carpool mom, it's different, but if you are inviting them to go somewhere with you most people likely think that you are paying. I don't want my kids' friends chosen by who can afford to do things with us.

      Delete
    2. Agreed, Crystal. I have older kids (7 and up) and if I invite my kids' friends to do something that costs money, I have every intention of paying for them. When I drop my kid and know the family is taking him bowling or something, I will make the offer--"I'd be happy to cover his share of blah activity" and they almost always say no. If the invitation is, "We'd love to have your child join us at Chuck E Cheese" you're offering to host. In my mind, host = pay, just as you wouldn't expect the kid to bring their own food if you were inviting them over to have dinner with your family.

      Delete
    3. There is probably no right or wrong on this one. But I have learned something. Both parents need to have a conversation about the expectations of payment before the event. The parent of the invited child needs to say something like, "Just so I understand correctly, where you offering to treat Beatrice or should I send her with money?" The inviting parent also has to be honest about their expectations. If they didn't intend to pay for their children's friends they would need to say,"Yes, please send her with $10, thank you for understanding that our family budget is tight right now". This would be awkward but it might prevent hurt feelings and misunderstandings later

      Delete
  73. Awe MAN!! my name made the "random annoying things kids are named" !!! my life is shattered!!...just kidding. lol. But I really was suprised.

    -Anastazia

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  74. Anonymous13:27

    I don't have kids yet, but my sister has a couple rules that I have always admired. Her number one rule for her girls at a friends house is if ever you feel uncomfortable or unsafe call. My 14 year old niece did that when she was at a sleepover and a friend of the brother of the house was giving her attention she was uncomfortable with. As a teen at a sleepover I found myself in situations I was uneasy with and it never occurred to me that I could just go home. My sister's other rule is what she calls face checks. When the girls are out in the neighborhood they have to report home every 30 mins to answer the are you okay? And when they are at a friends house they call in. I know that may seem extreme to some but as kids my mom worked two jobs and we ran wild and found ourselves in some very unsafe situations. The other rule I would add is that the rules of the house you are visiting as well as the house you live in are both in effect. Respect the rules.

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  75. I need to print this off. I'm a stepmom of 2 older children and while I *think* that I've done well to teach them how to behave at other's houses, having a beautiful list to refer to as I'm dropping them off (I like to do last minute coaching before sending them in) will be handy!! Thank you!

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  76. Those are great. Never thought to have specific rules - just a general behave yourself would work ok...guess that's why my kids don't go on many playdates!

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  77. Amen, sister! These are some good ones. My poor pugs get tormented by my boy's friend and it makes me so sad. I have to agree re: the food one, too...I had one girlfriend's son who would literally follow me out to the kitchen and stare into the fridge. Move along, dude!

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  78. Ugh. I don't always want to parent my own child let alone someone else's.
    I don't look forward to this.

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  79. My mom had another rule: don't put her on the spot. Don't ask if someone can sleep over in front of her. Don't ask for things I know she would say "no" to. Don't act a fool and embarrass her.

    First offense: "The Look."
    Second offense: Shit gets real once we're in the car/once my friend leaves

    It worked.

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  80. Good post! You're preaching to the choir over here! It never ends.
    badplaydate.com

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  81. Number 1 rule in my house is NO SCREAMING! I yell, a lot, and I don't mind loud, but somebody better be dying if there is screaming. I tell parents that I will discipline their children if they are misbehaving in my house. And then I go over the rules. And I can always find a corner.

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  82. Very well said! The moms that we playdate with are my friends, so I tag along and have a good time as well. These are the general unspoken rules that we use. All of our house rules apply when we are away from home.

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  83. I'd like to add "No throwing blunt objects at glass doors, windows, or any other breakable object" to this list.

    I once had a single child break 10/14 of your rules above, AND the one I just listed in a SINGLE PLAYDATE. Nightmare. And the mother keeps asking me to babysit....

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    1. for the love of all that's holy... here's hopin' that mom gets a clue. Figure she has but is hopin' against hope you'll say yes.

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  84. Oh Amen and hallelujah to that last one!!
    I have a friend who's child pitches the mother of all damn meltdowns every single time she leaves my house. the park. the library. church. Every.Time. it's been going on for 3 frickin straight years now. I have developed a tick and my head vein bugles in Pavlovian response when I hear her mother utter those dreadful words "it's time to go _____". I swear, I don't know which one of them to kick in shins

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  85. Awesome! Love the cat photo.

    Got one to add: Clothes stay on. No matter what the game. 6 year olds.

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