Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dinner and a Show

As the saying goes, “You can pick your friends, and you can child-proof your house, but you can’t child-proof your friend’s house”. Or something like that…

If you ever want to find out just HOW unsafe your house is for children, give me a call. I will gladly send Em over to give it a test run, and within 15 minutes you will know all about your abode’s hidden danger zones.

Our family was invited over for dinner last night by a friendly and daring, eventually-planning-to-have-children couple. I was THRILLED to get out and socialize, and was ecstatic that my girlfriend told us we could bring Em along. Yes, the thought of “Holy crow. They don’t know WHAT they are getting into,” crossed my mind a few times, but I remained optimistic that Em would be on her best behavior, and that we wouldn’t get kicked out of our friends’ house before the dessert course was served.

Truthfully, we had a REALLY good time, and Em WAS on her best behavior. She didn’t throw any fits, sat on my lap through most of the actual meal (squirming, but at least she wasn’t screaming), and she even occasionally tried to join in on the conversation, saying an over-exaggerated “wowww” whenever I said “wow”. It was super cute.

But of course, Emmy IS a toddler. And being a toddler, she took it upon herself to open every drawer, attempt to climb up on every piece of furniture she could, and try out electrical devices wherever available.

I swear I was watching her. Maybe not like a hawk. Maybe more like a mommy who hasn’t socialized in seven months and was finally enjoying the company of other adults. But I was watching her.

And yet, during the course of the evening, Em was “caught” doing the following:
• Taking all of the artwork off of the couple’s refrigerator
• Throwing fragile-seeming coasters around the room like they were bean bags
• Rolling around on a doggy pillow like it was HER bed
• Discovering four electrical sockets
• Nearly tipping over the floor lamp
• Trying to remove the tablecloth (and all plates, glasses and silverware on top of said tablecloth) from dining room table
• Making origami sculptures out of a deck of cards (ok, my friend kind of encouraged this, so it wasn’t COMPLETELY Em’s fault)

And ah yes, the piece de resistance… Emmy somehow managed to turn on the couple’s electric fireplace. Because if an object has buttons or switches, and is at toddler eye-level, you can bet your sweet bippy our daughter will figure out how to turn it on and make it work. She will wait for that one moment where my head is turned in the other direction, and then BAM! Switches on, fire ablaze, and toddler in potential deep doo doo.

Our friends were amazingly accommodating and actually seemed to be somewhat enjoying Em’s antics. But as I said to my husband in the car on the way back home, “I wonder if they are just looking at each other like ‘Yeesh. Thank heavens that’s over! What in god’s name were we thinking? And maybe we should rethink this whole parenting thing, ok?’””

I love that Emmy is smart, curious, and daring. I really do. But I also think that the NEXT time we are all invited over to a friend’s house for dinner, I will come prepared with plugs for the electrical sockets. And maybe a cute, stylish straightjacket for Emmy.

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