Monday 23 July 2012

Got Boundaries?

One of the best things about Frick being eleven is that I can allow him more freedom which, in turn, allows me more freedom.  For example, lately I've been letting Frick stay home by himself while I take Frack to his speech therapy.  He loves the independence and I love not having to drag him unnecessarily to the hospital when he already has so many appointments of his own.

But we have rules.  1) No answering the phone or the door while I'm not home, and 2) no friends in the house.

So it came as kind of a surprise last week when Frack and I were coming home from speech therapy to find a strange man standing in the open doorway of my house looking as if he were about to enter.  As I got closer I recognized him as his friend Maverick's Dad.

"Oh, hi."  He says to me.  "I'm just dropping off Maverick for their play date."

"What now?"

No one said anything to me about a play date.  I would have remembered because last time I checked 11-year olds do not have "play dates".   So I was caught by surprise, and whenever I am caught by surprise I have to prevent myself from having an over-the-top, knee-jerk reaction of being the insane angry bitch that I am.  Because that is a reaction I regret 99% of the time once I calm down and find out that I'm over-reacting because I don't have all the facts.  It can be very embarrassing.

I put on my best cool-Mom expression.  Sure Maverick can hang out here and play with Frick.  We've got a couple of free hours.  We don't even mind walking him home later because his house is on our way to Frick's swimming lesson (I have since found out that this gentleman personally escorts Maverick to his friend's homes whenever he plays there and expects the boy to be escorted home.  He lives five minutes from my house.)

When I went inside though I needed to have a little talk with Frick to remind him of the rules about not answering the door and not having friends over.  Because it really felt like he was trying to sneak his friend into the house while I was gone and if that were true this was going to be the last "play date" he would be having for a while.  Hopefully ever because, really?  Play date?  These kids are going to be shaving soon.

Apparently the only thing Frick did wrong was to make plans with his friend without asking me first, and then  just waited to tell me when he knew I was distracted.  Because obviously I wouldn't have agreed to have anyone over right when I would be at Frack's speech therapy.  But that was all he did wrong.  It's not like he keeps track of Frack's appointments.

Frick never heard anyone knocking at the door because he was playing a video game.  He wasn't paying attention because he's not allowed to answer it.  So when Maverick's Dad knocked and there was no answer he just up and let himself into my house, sending his kid in first to look for Frick.

What the what?  Is this a thing now?

I thought it was pretty fucked up when Dtmhnyddh's Mom just waltzed into our home without being let in, but she at least had the defensible reason of knowing that her child was here and she needed to pick him up. When I was a kid I was schooled in social etiquette.  Mummy Dearest may be a crazy hippie but she raised us right in the ways of being polite.  No elbows on the table.  Always call first before showing up at someone's house.  Don't peek in people's windows and never, ever walk into someone's home without knocking and being let in.  Unless the house is on fire.  And even then only to rescue the occupants, apologizing the whole while for entering their home uninvited.

It seems I probably should have done my over-the-top angry bitch reaction.  It's too late now, I was already nice to him.  I may be pissed but my anxiety won't quite let me have confrontations after the fact, especially with people I expect to have future interactions with.  I need to strike while my ire is hot.  Instead all I have is my cheaper than therapy and anger management blog.  So here goes:

Dear Maverick's Dad,

Here are some very good reasons why opening our door and sending your kid in looking for his friend was an asshole thing to do:

1)  It's hot and we don't have the AC on.  Because this is my house I like to hang out in my underwear when it's hot.  We all do.

2)  If you're knocking and there's no answer I could be in the shower, or just coming out of the shower.  That means I am not only unaware of your knocking because I didn't hear it, but I am also naked.

3)  If you're knocking and no one answers but the door is open there could be a robbery in progress.  If that's true then congratulations; you just sent your kid in to apprehend potentially armed criminals.  Nice job.

4)  There's a possibility that our kids are out with a relative and my husband came home for some Afternoon Delight.  And with no kids in the house we could be doing it anywhere.

5)  Most importantly because this is private property that you do not own.  I don't care that you think our kids have a "play date".  When you walk in to someone's house without being let in then you are trespassing my friend.  Last time I checked that shit is illegal.

I can't believe I even have to say this.  Next time, I think I'll be locking the door.


  1. That would have been my first thing was to lock the door. However, regardless of a locked door or not, who has the mind set to just let themselves in without the okay from you? Not right. I'm all for being neighborly, but dude, really? Like you said, I don't want anyone seeing me in my underwear. Didn't he have you phone number? To at least say "hey, we have a play date, are you home?" Good post and a good piece of advice for other parents out there, when leaving their children home.

    (Hope you follow me back!

  2. Who the hell just WALKS into someone's home!?!?! I'd be terrified of seeing some Bad Nekkid because they were in the middle of "Christening" a room they haven't gotten to yet. Talk about awkward moments at school functions!! *shudder*