Welcome to my weekly Bad Mom Advice column where I attempt to answer all of your parenting questions as only I know how — with zero degree in early childhood development, but with the experience of raising four kids and not having any of them in prison – yet! Plus, I back all my advice on numerous scientific research, which may or may not include me making fun of your dumb kid behind your back and drinking a bunch of wine! Welcome to Bad Mom Advice!
I need some advice! Recently my husband and I invited our co-worker with his wife and son, over to our house for an evening together. We have 2 little girls of our own; a 4 year old and a 1 year old who is still crawling. Well, I would NOT have invited them over had I known their 9 year old would be the spawn of the anti-Christ! He comes in, doesn’t even say hello, starts whispering to his mother (at first I thought he might be shy. he wasn’t.) then makes a be-line to my daughter’s play house, starts wearing IT! whinnying, demanding and grabbing everything. proceeds to start throwing toys up in the air (almost hit the baby) and the worst thing; kept picking up the baby from her play-pen/bouncer, AFTER I told him not to. The parents act like everything he does is magnificent and he can do no wrong. I felt like a chameleon the whole evening with one eye on a conversation with the parents and another on the little punk. After they left, both my husband and I agreed that it CANNOT happen again (I woke up at 1 am in cold sweats over the experience!). Problem is the only thing I can think of to do is go up to this co-worker and say, “I’m sorry but we will not be getting together with you ever again because we HATE your child!”. Do you have any other options? we do work with this guy, so the witness protection program is not an option either.
This is just proof that everyone needs to send my Bad Mom Advice columns to their friends, families and co-workers, post them on Facebook and share them on Twitter. Our Dear Reader could be talking about YOU and YOUR spawn of satan! If people would start sharing my amazing advice more than these things would just never happen! (End of commercial break)
First of all, the kid is nine. Nine is way too old for all of this. It’s cute and acceptable when a toddler acts like a monster, when older kids behave this way it is annoying and unacceptable. I loathe kids who whisper, I don’t care how old they are. It’s creepy, it’s rude and when a kid does that I always assume they are saying something to their parents like:
No kids came over to play with me today, not a single one, and I wanted someone to play with!
And the parent starts to look real panicky and whisper back:
Well, you, uh, you wished them away into the cornfield. Their mommy and daddy were real upset. But tomorrow will be a real good day!
Whispering is just proof the kid is up to evil, and in your case, this is true. I don’t know why I wasn’t invited to his little dinner party you had, because I would have been more than happy to drag the brat into the kitchen and set him to work washing dishes or making origami swans out of your cloth napkins. The kid is a creep. Since you can’t tell the parents their child is a creep, you will have to be all sorts of proactive the next time they come over to your house, because it’s obvious this kid has some bad parents who are totally oblivious to their little darling’s demonic behavior. Put the kid in front of the TV in another room. Set him up with an app or game on your computer. Buy a bunch of paper and some crayons and tell him you want him to teach the four-year-old how to draw robots. Make him organize your utensil drawer. The trick here is keep the monster busy so he has less time to be destructive. It’s YOUR house. If he starts playing rough with your kids or ruining their toys you can totally correct him, in a nice way so as not to offend his wimpy parents. Just say very loudly “Oh, I’m sorry creepy demon spawn, we can’t break the baby’s playhouse because it was a very special gift and very expensive and I know you are a big boy and a good kid and why don’t you be a big helper and alphabetize all of my CD’s over here?” Listen, his parents know he is a creep. They just don’t feel like disciplining him. On the rare occasions I have had a kid act like a fuckface over at my house I have totally said “Hey, we don’t do at my house.You can do whatever you want at your house but over here you need to chill out.” If you say it in a nice way (and yeah, don’t actually use the term “fuckface”) his parents will probably pay a bit more attention to how he is acting. Oh, and tell him he can’t pick up the baby because the baby has been puking all day and you don’t want the baby to get sick on him. And next time invite me over.
And we have this excellent question from Twitter:
When they are 21! Seriously! OK, I will admit it, I am one of those people who are terrified of unsupervised bathtime action. I have pretty much memorized the statistic that there are over 200,000 bathroom accidents per year, and that tons of kids die every year due to bathroom drowning incidents. It also depends on your bathroom. In our house the main bath that the kids use the faucet is wonky and it would be all too easy for one of them to let the tub overflow or run water that is too hot. Most experts (Unlike me, I only pretend at being an expert ON THE INTERNET) suggest that around age eight most kids are old enough to bathe or shower alone. Personally I am always in earshot, and if I have to run downstairs I ask my eldest to be within earshot. I will ask constantly “You OK in there?” and sometimes I make my youngest sing so I can be sure she isn’t downing. I never leave her fully alone at age eight because not only am I paranoid about drowning, but she also has super long, curly hair and if I’m not around to rinse it she will have globs of conditioner left in her tresses and it’s a disaster. Get an anti-slip shower mat, be within earshot, check on them frequently, but I think being alone at age eight is fine. Keep in mind, when you have a teenager you have the added bonus of checking on them to make sure they aren’t using your fancy Origins shower gel.
Need some Bad Mom Advice? Of course you do! I’m a mother of four and none of my children are in prison yet! Hit me up in the comments, on Twitter, or E-mail me!