Monday, 29 November 2010

Some grown-up time.


I have decided I need more Americans in my life. I miss my American friends I had in Baku so badly. Nowadays, I only keep in touch with them via Facebook. I love their accents, their non-English ways, their expressions and mannerisms. But most importantly, I need some more Americans in the UK who would invite me for a Thanksgiving dinner.

This year, first time in my British life, we got invited to someone’s house for Thanksgiving, and it was just perfect. Well, almost perfect. 

When we got told it was a dinner party, I got excited. I don’t get to go to many dinner parties these days.

I knew that the friends who invited us had a little girl who would probably stay up; however she has an amazing ability to happily entertain herself so that did not bother me. I also knew it was OK to bring my child, should I decide to do so. But why would I? It was an evening event, and too late for her anyway. But, most importantly, I needed my break, too. So I was looking forward to a nice dinner party in an adult company. We booked a babysitter and set off into London.

However, when we arrived, I noticed that another family brought their two little children. 

Hmm, I thought. 

You see, just because I have a child does not mean I love hanging out with other people’s kids. Especially in the evenings. Especially when I counted on a proper adult company. 

Of course, it is not a big deal when it is not your kid. But when you are a parent yourself, you can’t help but automatically keep an eye on what the little troublemakers are up to. So, as I stood there with a glass of champagne involved in a very grown-up conversation, I still flinched when a 2-year old boy tried to grab an expensive looking glass with water from the breakfast bar. I told myself not to worry as it was not my responsibility. However, I just could not help it. 

All in all, the kids were behaving pretty well, to be honest. They were also incredibly cute. And yet, I was not pleased when due to some shuffling and moving around, I was the one who ended up right next to them at the dinner table. Great, I thought to myself. Came out for a peaceful grown-up time, and ended up sitting with kids. Again. As if I am not surrounded by children during the day.

However, the turkey smelled and looked good, and the potato mash was calling my name in a steamy voice. That is fine, I told myself. Just ignore them and enjoy yourself.

The food just got served when the 2-year old boy suddenly made a loud noise and puked his butternut squash mash right out. All over  the table in front of me and on what looked like an expensive suede chair. 

The mother screamed in shock and everyone turned to stare. I had my fork up in the air about to take the first bite. Of course, you must remember that I am in a certain condition, which makes me overly sensitive to disgusting smells.  I simply froze. All I could do was turn my face away and hold my breath so I did not suddenly throw up myself. The parents, of course, were terribly embarrassed. And I did feel sorry for them. But I was so distracted trying to not be sick that I was not controlling the words that came out of my mouth. So, when the father asked me to look after his daughter while he took the stinky chair out in the garden, I might have said ‘I paid 30 quid for a babysitter so that I did not have to look after any children tonight.

I hope he did not take it badly. They did leave pretty soon after the incident. Not only the little boy puked all over the place, but the older girl was looking tired and unwell. ‘She is coming down with something’ the mother explained to me. ‘She is quite hot’

Great, I thought grumpily. You did not just bring two little kids to an evening dinner party, you brought two sick kids. 

Now, can anyone remind me how on earth someone like me could be having another baby? I should not have ever been allowed to breed.

16 comments:

  1. hahaha!! Sounds like a typical American Thanksgiving dinner.

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  2. You made me laugh, although I'm pretty well aware that you weren't in the mood for laughing that evening. Maybe those parents learned a lesson that day: you don't bring children to and adult event.

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  3. haha:) You said what everyone else was thinking I’m sure. Nobody likes to be around someone else’s noisy little kids at a dinner party, no matter how cute they are. There are some exceptions to this rule of course, but very few and far in between.
    I wish I could have a proper American Thanksgiving myself. Our Russian friends insist on having pashtet, shuba, vodka & such for every holiday, so by the time turkey & stuffing come, no one eats them. And for dessert they insist on bringing out 3 different tortes, so no one eats the pies. Bummer.

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  4. have you ever been in situation like this with your own child?sometimes parents desperatly need to go out.Anyway,very funny story,well done.:-)

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  5. I was just wondering is it ok to drink champaign when you are in this certain condition?

    And also my husband always tells me that when I am all grumpy and negative bad things happen to me - I got an impresion you really did not want those kids around you and there you ended up smelling the puke!

    Also, I think you are terribly arrogant and impatient. I hope that having a second baby will mellow you down.

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  6. @Nata: Well, I think so. I doubt anyone else at that table was pleased. However, not everyone agrees, clearly. :)

    @Anonymous: Yes, the recent research established a little alchohol does not do any harm. You think I made that child puke by being a grumpy old witch? Besides arrogance and impatience I obviously have some truly magical powers. :)

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  7. I know exactly what you mean. I'm in my early 20s and my boyfriend is in his early 30s. We don't have any children yet, but about half of his friends (who are in their early to mid 30s) do. When we get together with them, there is an understanding that this will be "quiet" time, or "adult" time, and the ones who have children will get a babysitter. If there are going to be children, we know about it so we can decide whether to spend the evening there or not.

    Recently, we attended a dinner party at the home of one of his friends, who had recently gotten married. There were 7 couples there, and 1 couple decided to bring their 1) screaming NEWBORN (3 months old) and 2) bratty 7 year-old. No one else brought children. Let's just say that the couple whose house we visited is a lovely home, and that some glasses were broken by the 7 year-old, and that the baby cried all night, and that the 7 year-old was forcing everybody to play with him, etc. Everyone was unhappy and had a terrible opinion of the 1 couple who brought their children.

    If you can't get a babysitter, don't ruin the evening for everyone else. I didn't come to their house to babysit. I don't run a daycare. If I want to deal with screaming children, I'll take a trip to the local preschool. I made sure to tell the mother that she should've gotten a babysitter and that it was extremely rude of them to bring their still-breastfeeding newborn and undisciplined 7 year-old to a "grown-up" dinner party. They left, but next time we are invited to a gathering with them, I will make sure to inquire about whether it's a playdate, or an adult event.

    Some people have zero respect for others.

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  8. It seems to me that this was partly (!) the hosts' fault.

    Recently, I was invited to a dinner party: the hosts have children and all other guests have children too, but the hosts stated that this was a child-free event. Conversely, I have been to other evening events where children are more than welcome.

    It is better for everybody if the hosts make a decision about the type of event they want, and let it be known to all - just like with children, better to be clear about the rules than ambiguous ;-) Maybe the hosts reassured those guests that, yes, it was absolutely fine to bring the children?! I am sure they felt pretty bad, too, when they got there and saw that they were the only ones with kids in tow.

    Also, why did you end up sitting next to the children? Again, I think that the hosts should have ensured that the kids were sitting next to their parents, so that the other guests could enjoy their evening.

    Anyway, I hope you are doing well, and that the next time you hire a baby-sitter you get your money's worth of adult time.

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  9. @Ana: Yeah...you are right,of course, but I dont think the hosts had a big problem with it. I did. A little. :) It did not bother me too much until the whole puking/sitting near me time. But it was all just my bad luck. Fortunately, the rest of the evening was so lovely, it was still totally worth the money. :)

    @Karina: If some of the readers think I am intolerant towards kids these days, then I am glad they never met me BEFORE I had any. I used to be a monster. I hated noisy little kids being anywhere near me on the plane, in shops and in restaurants in the evenings...So this is me mellow. :) I am sure when you get your own, you will also be a bit more tolerant. However, I also think we all need a break from kids. especially when we spend so much time surrounded by them in the daytime.

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  10. Brilliant, Scary. And your remark about the baby-sitter was exactly right. The assumption that everyone will find one's kids as cute, charming, talented, musical, artistic, intellectually sophisticated, etc., etc. as one does oneself is widespread and very annoying.

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  11. Looks like a lot of people here are missing the point of Thanksgiving dinner. It is a quintessential family affair, so much so that relatives travel thousands of miles to get together on that evening. Children are always invited and are actually expected to be present. It still doesn't justify bringing sick kids along, but you definitely shouldn't have been expecting an adult-only dinner party.

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  12. Luckily,The forbid Low about breeding doesn't exist :-)

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  13. @Riyad: I agree and disagree with you at the same time. Yes, Thanksgiving is a family holiday and everyone is invited. But it’s up to the parents to judge if their offspring is ready to be inflicted on others safely. Both common courtesy and common sense are rare commodities, unfortunately.

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  14. I was just about to say I almost went in a shock when that happened! I remembered I looked at you knowing you are pregnant and thought you will be sick or something. You are completely right, they should left the kids with somebody at home!
    Well I’m happy I met you that night! Great storyteller u are..I'm enjoying reading, :)

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  15. @Sinziana: Thanks for stopping by, and wow, your photo on your blog is something! :) Very hot!

    It was good to meet you, too. Have a lovely xmas.

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