7 Questions I'm Asking Before My Kid Goes to Your House (Whether You Like It or Not)

My kiddo just got invited to Cinderella’s house for a play date, but I have no effing idea who Cinderella’s parents are or what goes on in their house. I mean yeah, they live around the corner so it seems safe enough but so does the totally creepy lady who vacuums her lawn in disgusting old shorts that show off her vajayjay every time she bends over. So who’s to say neighbors are always safe?


Anyways, don’t get me wrong, I totally appreciate Cinderella’s parents taking my little douchenugget for the afternoon so I can get all sorts of s--t done (like pretending I’m going to vacuum but running out of time because I’ve wasted too much time eating snacks and surfing Facebook). However, my precious kid cannot be replaced, so whenever I send her to a new house where I don’t really know what goes on there, I get the nervous poops.

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Like the other day, this other mom offered to take our girls to a bouncy house place, and I said yes, but for some reason I started wondering whether she was going to stay with the girls while they were bouncing. So after agonizing about what to do, I finally just came right out and asked her.

ME: Uhh, yeahhh, I feel like a jackass asking, but are you staying with the girls at the bouncy house place?

OTHER MOM: Duhhh, of course I’m staying. I don’t really want our girls kidnapped and turned into sex slaves.

ME: Oh yeah, I totally knew that, but just wanted to double check.


But here’s the deal. We are all parents, and we all love our little love muffins, so I don’t know why I get all freaked out about asking other parents some super important questions when they’re taking care of my child. It’s like I’m scared to ask because I’m scared the other mom is going to think I’m criticizing her parenting skills and think she’s like a totally sh---y mother. I don’t know if you’re a sh---y mom. Hell, you’re probably better than I am. But I just don’t know so here are some questions I might ask you just to be safe:

1.Seatbelts -- Can you please make sure my kiddo puts her seatbelt on because sometimes she needs a little help? This is basically my nice way of saying my kiddo better be wearing an F’ing seatbelt before you pull out of the parking lot or I will come pummel you to death. Because your kiddo might be a seatbelt ninja who can buckle that s--t in a split second as she sees an accident happening but my kid is competing to win the world record for the slowest person to ever put their seatbelt on. And in my family seatbelts are MANDATORY.

2. Guns --Do you have any guns in your house and are they locked up? ‘Cause here’s the thing, people own guns in this country. I’m not saying I’m anti guns or anything. I’m just saying that s--t better be locked up crazy tight when my kiddo comes over to play because I grew up in Texas where kids basically cuddle up to a gun every night like an F’ing Cabbage Patch Doll. Not really but I did see guns at people’s houses. Did they have bullets in them? No F’ing idea and I’m glad I never found out.

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3. Pools -- Will you ALWAYS be watching my kid while she’s swimming in your pool like every single millisecond? Because even though YOUR kid might be the next Ian Thorpe, my kid swims like a mobster whose feet have been inserted in cement blocks. And if you think you might have to pee while you’re out there watching them, I’d suggest you wear an adult diaper because no, you CANNOT run inside quickly to take a leak. It only takes thirty seconds for a kid to drown, and well, my kid’s one-of-a-kind so I kinda sorta don’t want to lose her.

4. Pedophiles -- Are there any weird guys at your house who might like little girls? Uncles, cousins, older boys from next door, escaped convicts you’re helping out, nannies who just started last week, handymen who you don’t really know too well, etc., etc., etc. And no, it doesn’t have to be a registered sex offender because sex offenders gotta start somewhere, and my daughter is NOT going to be their guinea pig. Capisce?

6. Pets -- So, the other day Zoey and I were reading this book on mambas (in case you’re a total idiot like me, a mamba is not some sexy Latin dance, it’s a super poisonous snake). Anyways, Zoey casually mentions to me that one of the boys in her class has a black mamba and I’m like ennnh, bullshit, that’s like the most dangerous snake on earth so I’m pretty sure he doesn’t. But yeah, some kids do have some kinda scary pets at home. I mean no, you might not be scared of your OWN pet, but please don’t hate me for wanting to make sure my kid isn’t poisoned or mauled or gets her face bitten off. I mean s--t, I just about had a heart attack when I got the bill for the dentist last week, so I can’t imagine what a face transplant costs.

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7. Allergies -- Okay, so my kids are F’ed up in all kinds of ways thanks to me, but I’m happy to say they don’t have allergies. But there are lots of rugrats who do, so it’s totally okay to say, “Do you know that if you serve my kid a nut she will not be able to breathe and it will suck a lot and she might even die?” Seriously, do not hesitate to tell me if your kid has allergies. Like even if it’s a silly allergy to a cat because we have a cat that I will happily lock in my bedroom for a couple of hours before our kids decide to do this and your kid gets cat particles all over her fingers and she wants to scratch her itchy eyes out.

Anyways, I’m sure there are like a shitload more important questions to ask, especially as our kiddos turn into teenagers with raging hormones and rebellious tendencies. But my point is this. It’s hard to ask another parent how they parent, especially when you don’t know them too well. But we shouldn’t be afraid to ask the tough questions and we shouldn’t be offended when someone asks us. It doesn’t mean they’re judging you. It just means they love their kiddo. And that’s a good thing.

Do you ever feel nervous about asking questions before a playdate? How do you handle it?


Image via Pressmaster/shutterstock

About the Author: Karen Alpert is the ridiculously hairy, self-deprecating writer of the blog Baby Sideburns and her Facebook page which currently has almost 250,000 followers. She also runs her popular Instagram page and her husband has one too called Daddy Sideburns. If you're tired of seeing moms who post pictures of their perfect, smiling, well- behaved kiddos on social media, Baby Sideburns shows the "other" side of parenting–the messy, scary, painful, difficult, unpredictable side. In other words, reality. In the Fall of 2013 Karen wrote and self-published her first book, I Heart My Little A-Holes, which made it to the New York Times best seller list and the Top 100 on Amazon the first week it was out. It was then bought by HarperCollins and made it to both lists again when it was rereleased in April of 2014. She lives with her two amazing kiddos and a very forgiving husband who lets her publicly share their crazy lives on the Internet every day. She shared this post with The Stir as part of our tribute to moms for Mother's Day.

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