Wise answers to perplexing question
Dear Answer Lady
Our neighbors invited my husband and me to a holiday party next weekend – but no kids allowed! We have two kids under the age of ten. What kind of Scrooge doesn’t want children at a Christmas party? Can I ask if my kids can come? – Mama Bear
Good grief, dear lady, in the name of all that is civilized, do NOT pick up the phone and ask a hostess if you can bring children if the invitation says “no children.” The Answer Lady is assuming that the invitation does NOT say “children welcome, except Mama Bear’s.” Once upon a time, children were ‘seen and not heard.’ While the Answer Lady is not suggesting we take our cue from that somewhat barbaric sentiment, she believes that ours has developed into a rather “kid-centric” culture. Our job is to love, nurture, educate, and discipline our children, to teach them right from wrong, and ultimately, to make their way in the world without us. It does not dictate that we spend every waking moment entertaining them. You are a person in your own right, outside your role as a parent, and you had a social life before your children came along. You should also spend alone time with your spouse now and then. It will make you a better person, which will make you a better parent. Accept occasional invitations to grown-up events, and remember: other peoples’ lives don’t revolve around your children, and yours shouldn’t either.
Dear Answer Lady
My husband and I are childless by choice. His brother, wife, and their four children will spend Christmas week with us in Cape May. I love them dearly, but the thought of all those little feet pitter-pattering has me freaking out. Help! – Clueless
Do not panic, gentle reader – children can smell fear. The Answer Lady suggests that you pack up anything you don’t want broken, defaced with crayon, or vomited upon and store it in a locked closet. Next, buy as many chicken nuggets as your freezer can comfortably hold. Then appoint someone to take charge of getting the children out of the house often – to Uncle Bill’s for pancakes, for instance, or on a field trip to the Wetlands Institute, followed by several laps around the beach to tucker the little buggers out. Keep your sense of humor, your wits about you, and enjoy.