Before I get started this is not an anti-child issue, it’s respecting the wish of a host and allowing other guests to enjoy themselves as advertised on an invitation. As you will see, it’s a parental rudeness problem.
A few years ago we had a party. The invitations were clear – the party would be from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., there would be adult beverages served, and cigars would be available for those who liked to smoke. The invitation also stated this was an adult party and not appropriate for children. I don’t think that late nights, alcohol, tobacco and strangers is a great venue for kids and I exclude them for that reason. On top of this we don’t have a child-proof house, from the art glass to the ungated pool. Kids require direct supervision here even when it’s appropriate to be here. The guests were great, they respected this and got babysitters for their kids. There was one notable exception, and I will get to that in a second.
The party was in full swing, everyone was having a great time having cocktails, smoking cigars and conversing both outside and inside the house. Around nine p.m. a friend of my husband’s and his wife show up.. .with their three year old…and all his toys. They had received the same invitation as everyone else had, which again was very clear about children. The sat the child down in our living room, dumped his toys on the floor and proceeded to join the party, leaving the other guests to entertain him (unfortunately he was not a child who could entertain himself.) No explanation as to why they brought him, no “couldn’t find a babysitter” excuse, nothing. The parents disappeared into the party, stayed as far away from dealing with their child as possible and “got their drink on.” Other guests were upset because several had booked babysitters, some felt uncomfortable having a child there that late with people drinking, and quite frankly no one came there to group babysit a three year old – which is exactly what happened. The parents enjoyed the party greatly. They didn’t seem to notice that people were disappearing from the party and going home. We were in such shock we had no idea what to do at the time. Guests did complain to me, both at the time and later. They felt the parents had disregarded our wishes , completely changed the tone of the party, and imposed on us – and they had.
We didn’t invite them to several parties after that. Later I had a conversation with the mother and it didn’t happen again. 0803-10
I’ve known parents who had a firm conviction that it was “Love me, love my child” and “Where I go, he/she goes”. I had an equally firm conviction that I would not allow my party guest lists to be commandeered by people intent on inviting their own guests. So, many of these folks missed out on adult -oriented parties until their kids were considerably older.