I feel ya, Mrs. Wormwood. The first time I saw a snot-nosed toddler shove his dirty, diseased little paw into a bowl of freshly made guacamole I vowed never to allow children at parties. I have since broken that vow an embarrassing number of times. What can I say? Past a certain age, most people have children and they can’t just leave them chained in the backyard with a bowl of water. Nonetheless, bringing kids to an adult party when the guests have expressly requested otherwise is a fairly egregious social faux pas – somewhere between talking on your Bluetooth at a dinner party and masturbating in church. Even if your kids are ridiculously cute (which at best is a statistical anomaly) chances are they can’t hold their liquor or mix a decent martini. In fact, most kids have a hard enough time holding their Juicy Juice without dripping it all over the floor. If an adult sloshes his drink on the carpet or misses the toilet bowl and pees all over the wall, you can at least be fairly certain that he’s knee-buckling, cross-eyed drunk. The same cannot be said of children. They do that shit stone cold sober.
Here’s the real kicker: Even if the parents are on top of their game and trying to ride herd, it still screws up the party vibe. Nobody wants to be jarred out of a genial game of beer pong by a mother hissing “put that down!” even if she is trying to keep her kid from swallowing a pingpong ball. So here’s the deal with your friends: It’s sad that they couldn’t get a sitter, but the right thing to do in that situation is to not go to the party. Pretty simple. Can’t afford a sitter? You’re too poor to go to parties. Can’t find a sitter? Obviously, you don’t want to go to the party bad enough to find a sitter. Think your kids are so cute no one will mind? OK, now we’re getting into the kind of deluded, hubristic conceit that makes me want to punch people in the throat. Scratch those assholes off your invite list.