Arnebya is a writer, speaker, wife, and mother. She was selected as a BlogHer Voice of the Year in 2012 and is a fellow 2013 Washington, DC Listen To Your Mother cast member! Her blog is What Now and Why and her writing is equal parts cheeky and smart, not too mention funny and poignant.
Arnebya shares a letter with us today directed to the parents of her child’s friend, who want her to sleepover (Arnebya’s daughter, not Arnebya… keep reading). This is more than a play date or meeting at the movies, this is all. night. long and there are a few rules…
Dear Parent I’ve Never Met Who Wants My Child to Stay At Your House,
Last week, my daughter was invited to a birthday party for your child. My daughter said the plan was for you to take them to the movies, to dinner, then back to your house for a sleepover. She said the movie started “around 4.”
I don’t know you, and that’s as much my fault as it is yours. I guess. But, my child was invited to your house. Here are a few things I think would be beneficial for you to know/do before inviting other people’s kids to your home:
1. Call parents and introduce yourself.
2. Provide a detailed invitation with a phone number and address because word of mouth between seventh graders is kinda insufficient.
3. Offer information about yourself and your home. Do you have an escape plan in case of fire? When was the last time you changed the batteries in your smoke detectors? Do you HAVE smoke detectors? This isn’t the time to forget to mention that you grow and sell weed from your backyard.
4. If you’re driving someplace (movies or bowling, for example), I may want to drop off, pick up, and bring my child to your house. Don’t be offended. If you plan on having 7 attend but your car only seats 5 people, I’d rather my child not sit on someone’s lap.
5. Do you allow open access to the Internet at home? Because even the most benign search request can turn up porn. Trust me.
I am a nice person, I promise. I’m not even particularly over-protective or nosy. But when it comes to my child being your responsibility, especially overnight, I really need to know that you are, well, responsible. If our children are to spend time together, even irregularly, shouldn’t you be able to answer a few questions about me, if asked (instead of being that person who blindly offers “She didn’t seem like the type” when you find out I duct tape my kids to chairs in order to watch certain TV in peace?)
Let’s bring back community. Let’s bring back knowing the parents and families of the children our children are friends with, or at least knowing one person who knows the mom of that little boy who always tries to cross the street against the light.
The Parent Who Usually Says No (and can tell the difference between weed and mint growing in your backyard)