Once they’re past the infant stage, the terrible twos and the “threenager” stage (the God awful stage where your three year old behaves like a miniature teenager), it’s time for your child to start school where you’ll undoubtedly be dealing with the worst thing in the parenting (and single parenting) archive; Other people’s kids.
Take the playdate for instance. Though I’m generally somewhat laid back by nature (really, I am…), I’m not a particularly patient person when it comes to other people’s badly behaved kids. Especially when they’re in MY house.
One day, our younger daughter had a friend over to play. We’ll call this little brat “Stephanie”. Now…I know that adults aren’t supposed to talk about other people’s children this way, but a brat is a brat. I don’t make it true, and this kid was the brat from hell.
She came home with us one day after Kindergarten to play for a couple of hours, so her mom could catch a break I guess (how you need a break from one kid I have no idea, but whatev). I gave the girls snacks and sat them down to watch a movie in the family room. No biggie, right? All’s good? You’d think so, wouldn’t you?
I walk into the family room, thinking that I’m going to take the girls’ plates and let them continue with their movie, and the first thing I see, is this rotten little devil child, jumping on my couch like she thinks she’s in the bouncy castle at Chuck-E-Fucking-Cheese!
I asked her as politely as I could manage to sit down and finish watching the movie while I grabbed them some coloring books and crayons, and she looked at me and said, “No! I like jumping!”
I’m not 100% certain, but I think I might have blacked out at about that moment, though I do remember calling her mother, and telling her to come get her fucking kid before I had to grab her by the leg and throw her bouncy ass out the front door.
That was the only time that child came to my house.
On another joyous occasion, a friend left her young son at my house to play because her daughter (who was about 3 years older than her son) and mine were best friends, and her daughter was at my house for a playdate. This child decided that because he wasn’t getting his way/enough attention/a slap to the ass once in a while (take your pick), he was going to lay on the floor in my family room and kick the holy shit out of the wall! I had to call his mother and tell her to come get her brat because if he put his foot through the wall, she and I would no longer be friends. Ten minutes later, she was at my door.
Now…had the other half of this parenting equation been present, both of these episodes might not have been as stressful as they were, but because he was away at his ‘cushy job’, it was (as usual) all left on me.
In short; be prepared to deal with other people’s kids, single or not. I wouldn’t know from personal experience, but I figure patience is a huge part of the answer to this equation.