The Luv Doc: Adult-Type Things
It's fine to socialize your kids, but not at the expense of other adults who had no part in their conception
Dear Luv Doc,
What is the best way to gently tell our friends not to bring their kids to our parties? My wife and I don't have children, but I also don't think we're too judgmental about people who do. We throw parties regularly – adult parties where people are drinking and smoking and generally doing adult-type things, but there are certain couples who always bring their kids and it makes everyone uncomfortable. I'm sorry: I don't want to drink and smoke pot and curse around someone else's kids, no matter how "cool" they are. These couples don't seem to mind. I like them, and people would really miss them if we didn't invite them, but their kids, although decently behaved, are ruining the vibe. How do we get them to leave their kids at home?
– Don't Toddler My Party
I feel you. I hate doing drugs around kids. It just feels really awkward. It's like when you're eating chocolate in front of a puppy and the puppy is looking at you with those adorable puppy eyes, and you know that puppy wants some chocolate, but you read somewhere that chocolate could kill a dog, so you have to eat all the chocolate yourself while the puppy just sits there and stares at you like a starving child in an Oxfam commercial.
Also, I am pretty sure that it's illegal to do drugs around kids – like ... extra illegal. More illegal than binge drinking. More illegal than downing a Starbucks nitro cold brew and trying to help a seventh-grader with her geometry homework. Doing drugs around kids is not only illegal; it's pretty much universally condemned as gauche behavior. Kids aren't all that bright and tend to imitate their elders, so if you don't keep a tight rein on your substance abuse around the young'uns, they might grow up to be Starbucks Rewards members. Ew. Everyone knows Starbucks is just a gateway drug for easy listening music. Why not just buy the kid a Ray LaMontagne CD? It's got to be a cheaper, healthier fix.
Now, I can totally sympathize with your friends thinking it's cool to bring their kids to adult parties. That's because, like most parents, their kids have made them delusional. Yes, your kids may be adorable and chill, like well-trained Yorkies, but that doesn't mean that everybody else isn't worried about stepping on them. It's fine to socialize your kids, but not at the expense of other adults who had no part in their conception.
Unfortunately, if the judgmental stares of their fellow partygoers haven't already done the trick, you're going to have to suck it up and have a straightforward, no-nonsense talk with your breeder friends and tell them if they keep bringing their kids to your parties, you're going to have stop inviting them – and make sure they know "them" means their kids as well. It might also be helpful to deliver that ultimatum in-person and buck naked, but if you do that, please understand that could result in certain legal ramifications if their children are present.