Partying With Kids

S Ralph


By: Shannon Ralph


Being a forty-something woman smack dab in the prime of my child-rearing years, most of my friends have children around the same age as mine. Occasionally, I will make the naively optimistic decision to invite all of my friends—and their children—to my house for dinner. Or a barbecue. Or a game night. Or a thinly-veiled cry for help.

On these occasions, the adults might have a couple of beers or a few glasses of wine. We may play a round or two of Cards Against Humanity. We’ll chat. We’ll laugh. Our “party” may even go past 8pm if we are feeling particularly wild and crazy.

At the end of the night, however, it becomes painfully apparent to everyone that the children were the ones doing the real partying all along. Our house looks like a scene from the movie Animal House.

  1. One kid is crying.
  2. A dozen half-empty juice pouches are scattered about the house.
  3. One juice pouch is upside down between the cushions of the couch.
  4. Someone is naked.
  5. There is at least one puddle of unknown origin.
  6. One kid is asleep under a bed.
  7. Three kids are having a dance party and refuse to stop.
  8. The dog is vigorously licking someone’s hand.
  9. One of the toilets is broken.
  10. Someone leaves with a black eye.
  11. Someone has wet hair and can’t (or won’t) explain why
  12. There is popcorn on the floor of every room in the house.
  13. One kid is dressed like Ironman.
  14. Ironman is having a sword fight with a kid dressed like the Incredible Hulk.
  15. 7 Nerf™ guns have been put in “time out” on top of the fridge.
  16. There is a half-eaten piece of pizza stuck to the television.
  17. Someone leaves with a black eye.
  18. At least one kid falls down (or up) the basement steps.
  19. There’s a sock in the microwave.
  20. Two kids leave in bare feet.
  21. Five jackets are left behind.
  22. All remote controls in the house are missing (and shall remain so for a week).
  23. The shower is on.
  24. One kid won’t come out of the closet (ironically, it will be one of the children with gay parents).
  25. Two kids have to be physically carried off the premises.
  26. My resolve that my family is COMPLETE with three children remains staunchly intact.

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