Monday, November 15, 2010

mom and dad are the reason we have no friends

So. The play date issue?


Here's the latest scoop.

I wrote an e-mail to the mother and told her that I genuinely appreciated the offer of a play date for Carolyn, but the hesitation for me is that: 1) I've never let one of my children go off on a play date by themselves before, especially not to someone's home where I've never met the family; and 2) Carolyn is a triplet and her sister is sad that she was not also invited. This, however, would not necessarily preclude me from allowing Carolyn to go on a play date, it was just something that I needed to sensitively manage to protect young feelings from being hurt.

I stressed that I think it is important for Carolyn to develop her own friendships and I want to foster my children's individuality however best I can. I just need to figure out some way that we don't have a broken-hearted six-year-old at home, while her sister is off having a grand old time. I need to remain extremely cognizant and sensitive to fragile emotions.

The mother wrote me back to tell me that she knew Carolyn was a triplet and she certainly didn't want to hurt Elizabeth's feelings and if it would work better, perhaps Elizabeth could come to the play date, too? As much as I appreciate her gesture, that's not necessarily the solution.

I think a more appropriate solution would be for Elizabeth to host a play date the same time Carolyn is at her play date (which either Charlie or I would attend). And sure, that sounds like a fine idea although it also feels like I'm breaking up the herd and as it turns out, I'm really not ready for this for a number of reasons the chief being this whole socialization thing is A LOT OF WORK and will require much running around and coordination on our part and really, who has time for that kind of thing?

And to think, I thought life was challenging when I had three babies sitting in high chairs that all needed to eat at the same exact time. Boy, those were the EASY days.


Meanwhile, this past Friday, William came home with an invitation to a birthday party for this coming Monday (aka: TODAY.) The party, to which only he from our family was invited, was scheduled for noon at a local pizza parlor. And while this might be a great thing, it poses a number of obstacles when: 1) Only one child is invited; 2) there are four children in the family all of whom LOVE this local pizza parlor; 3) there is only one parent home to shuffle children to and from a play date; 4) birthday party on a Monday at noon?! 5) there is no way we're leaving our child at a party where we've never met the family.

Charlie called the mother to talk with her on Friday and she said that it would be no trouble for her to drive William from school to the party. Perhaps on the surface, this sounds like a fine idea, but again ... we've never met this family. And maybe I'm just a little too uptight but I'm not too keen on some one driving my little boy from school to a weekday party where I, nor my husband, will be in attendance and .... um ... no.

My husband said he didn't think we'd be able to do it, but he'd call the mother back to confirm, one way or the other, in the next day or two. We should have called back right away because we knew that even if we had felt comfortable with William going alone, there was no way Charlie could pick the kids up from school, drop only William off at a party, return home - prepare lunch - feed children - and an hour later - drive back to pick up William, in the midst of Henry's nap time.

But we got side tracked with a million other things, many of which involved me laying on the couch asking for more pain medication. Charlie called the mother first thing this morning, and left her a message that we're very sorry, William cannot attend the party. Maybe next time, or five years from now, when the birthday falls on a Saturday.

An hour later, the school called.

They were calling to confirm that we approved William's classmate's mother picking him up from school and taking him to the birthday party.

Seeing as today was Day 5 for me, I was still laying on the couch with my foot elevated when I heard Charlie exclaim, "NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! IT IS NOT OKAY FOR ANYONE TO PICK MY SON UP FROM SCHOOL! WE DIDN'T CONFIRM! WE NEVER CONFIRMED!"

Apparently, the mother had sent in a list of all the children that had been invited to the party and whom she would be taking to the pizza parlor, after school. William's name was on that list and although we hadn't confirmed, I suspect she just submitted the list as-is. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I'll bet it was just an oversight on her part and certainly not an attempt to be pushy? Unfortunately, whatever the case, this didn't sit well with my husband. Charlie, the man who never gets upset, was flipping out.

He had visions of going to pick the children up from the school bus and William not being there. And then, he was strapped with the worry of where was his son?! and how would he go and retrieve him with three other children in tow?! and what if there had been a car accident?! and who was this person?! and as he was working himself in to a tizzy, I had to tell him, "TAKE A BREATH!"

He was going nuts.

I had to heave myself off the couch and stop him before he called up the mother and said things like, "HOW DARE and WHO THE HECK and YOU HAVE SOME NERVE and DON'T YOU EVER!"


Our poor children. We are completely crushing their social lives and they're not even mid-way through Kindergarten.


  1. Amanda in MS11/15/10, 9:46 PM

    Maybe it's time for the triplets to blossom into independence and step out into the real world... lol, jk of course... especially since you've never met the mother before... but in any case, let the fun begin... this is their new life

  2. J & C -

    I get all these issues. You know I do. But just one thought to consider . . . it is MUCH HARDER to watch your child on the other end of this problem . . . on the end of "Why DIDN'T I get invited to the Birthday Party/Play Date" . . . than the problems you are dealing with right now. Just speaking from experience on this one.

    While it may seem like a scheduling nightmare now . . these friendships will sort out at school . .. . and invitations may stop coming. Right now that may seem a welcome relief . .. . . but you could end up with broken hearts the other way . .. also not easy to deal with.

    Yours - Jessica

    PS - Made the Apple Crisp tonight! Yum!

  3. Have I ever told you how much I love Charlie? You go, Papa Bear.

    My love for that man aside, I'm sure the other mom wasn't trying to be pushy. Innocent miscommunication and a million things filling that mom's head in preparation for the party, just as a million little things side-tracked you re confirming. Your school is awesome for doing that follow-up. The real problem---a botched party pick-up--was avoided because they were on it.

  4. After reading your entry, I felt compelled to comment.

    I understand your point of view to a degree but honestly felt saddened for your children. I understand that you just moved there a couple of months ago and don't really know the parents that well. But honestly, with your working full time and your husband home with a younger child, when are you going to get to know the other parents? At a point you need to loosen the reigns.

    I have 5.5 yr old twins who are also in Kindergarten this year who knew nobody going into the K at their school. I was determined to give them their own identity and friendships and whatever I had to do to do that I was committed to seeing thru. Yes, I am completely stretched thin all the time. My head is spinning with times and dates of parties, play dates, extra curricular committments, but that is my responsibility as a parent to make sure my children are socialized, can communicate with others and feel that they are individuals and not a "twin" but a person first. As a parent, you need to teach them that they are individuals and as individuals they are invited to things sometimes seperately and sometimes together. They have their own identities and therefore should have their own friendships. So be it if they are the same friends or not. That is mother nature not parent nature.
    It is not going to get easier as they get older. They are still going to be invited to seperate party's, play dates, etc. Especially the boy and the girls. You need to find a way to make it work for them not you. Otherwise, honestly, you are causing more harm then good for their futures.

  5. Just when I thought surviving letting them out of the stroller at a park was my biggest hurdle! I never thought of the days when One child would be invited and not the others! Heaven bless you with lots of wisdom for the rest of us to glean from, K?!!!

  6. HI Jen,

    Im not a mom but i understand where you are comting from with not wanting to send your kids off to strangers houses and excluding kids, however here's what Ive learned that if you keep your kids from going to play dates and your worried about all that then pretty soon people are going to stop inviting kids to playdates because they dont want to hear no and then your kids are going to be left out anyway....Unfortunately we live in a society nowadays where people torment others and exclude people. I totally get that you aren't ready for all the playdates and stuff...but just think about it 5 years or 10 years from now and how it will affect them then.

  7. Oh my. You all are freaking me out. I think you all lived in California for too long. We are a little more open and friendly in the rest of the world. Not everyone is trying to do harm to your children. These people are trying to include your children in social activities.

    I'm worried that these instances of you all freaking out are going to get around the other parents and your poor children are never going to be invited anywhere again. Then you are going to have to deal with 3 hurt feelings when they are the only kids not invited in the class to someones birthday party.

    My neighbor is like this. She likes to stick to herself and keep her children home (she is scared of everything plus a germaphobe)mingsoneand they only play with each other. She even mentioned that her sons teacher recommended having some playdates with some boys in her sons class because he seemed a little lost socially at school. I still haven't seen her invite anyone over and honestly her son is getting a little weird socially. I don't know that I'd trust him playing with my boys by himself. It's like he doesn't know how to act right with others around.

  8. You will have a house full of broken hearts when your kids go to school and hear about all the fun the other kids had at the birthday party that they weren't allowed to go to. Might want to prepare for that conversation also. (and I have had to have it so I'm not saying it's wrong, just saying it will happen. both my husband and I work during the day so daytime parties would be difficult. most times though, we would try to figure it out)

    It is difficult for one parent to cart around 4 kids, drop ONE off at a birthday party/playdate/etc but people do it ALL THE TIME. (I would be a lot of folks who read this do) You just figure it out. And yes, the other kids want so badly to go to that cool bounce house that the party is at or the pizza joint they so dearly love but hey, that's life. Sometimes kids will be disappointed, but that is how they learn to be happy for others. You can't avoid situations just because someone will be upset or feel left out.

    Look, childhood only comes along once...there are no "do-overs." There is a lot of fun stuff that comes with starting school and getting to know other kids and experience life outside of your own family/household. It's not like you are letting them move out or they will never be home any more. We are talking about a playdate or birthday party every now and again. It's FUN.

    Just an idea: You and Charlie might want to get to know the other parents in the classes so you will feel more comfortable about these situations too. I bet you will find that the majority of them are very nice people, just like you guys. Parenting styles will be different but you will learn to deal with that. (I have used, "I am not so and so's parent" on more than one occasion)

    Like I said, childhood only comes along once. Don't you want your kids to experience it? (please don't misinterpret that YOU don't let them experience things because I know you do but with YOU guys. I'm asking that you allow them to experience childhood with OTHER KIDS. they might have fun.)

  9. I think your title says it all. In our house, when our kindergarten twin boys get invited to a birthday party or whatever separately, then the other child gets a say in what he does while his brother is at the party.

    For us, it has been wonderful for our boys to develop independent social skills and it is important for them to be treated as individuals, not just "the boys". Some parties they both get invited to and some only one gets invited to, but it will all work out in the end.

  10. I just have to say, I laughed out loud when I saw your post title come up on my feed. You are hilarious.

  11. Well, here is my take on the situation. I think the lady put William's name on her pick-up list just in case you called and said yes. Remember as far as she knew, he was a "maybe." Better to have him on the potential list than not, right? She was not trying to kidnap your child, as I am sure that you realize. She was not trying to be pushy. She was just trying to be prepared.

    I grew up in Texas, and I think I am more relaxed than you guys about some things. I love having my kids' classmates over to my house to play. I love sending my kids over to a classmate's house to play. I try to view people as kind and helpful rather than bad and out to get me. Keep in mind, I am the person who lives next to your neighborhood and offered to bring you guys some dinner when you moved in. I was not trying to check out your house so that I could rob you later. I was just trying to be nice and welcome you to Fairfax. You and I obviously view the world a bit differently... which is fine, of course. But I thought I would propose a different way to view the lady's actions and motivations. So that you guys don't call her up and yell at her!

  12. You are right right right! I did that once when Bill and George was little. Bill came back and told me that he wanted to STAY with thoes people because "you woulden't believe the freezer they had for ice cream." Keep them home and away from "THOES" influences.

  13. All I'm sending you is hugs from afar...from someone who has recently moved home, countries, cultures, who is finding friendships for my girls increasingly a stressful situation. On one side I agree with you and know the worry we Mums go through. And Oh...a separate posting on just that. It can be hideous. On the other, there is a part of me that says I just have to go with it and let my kids experience it all. And I have to let go. Playdates are, and always will be, a nightmare. One always gets upset - the one who is not invited. I have to let it be as this will be the case their whole lives and it will take some adjusting, but I ultimately know that it will be OK. They are best friends at home. They will alweays have each other. I have to let them find their own, and fight their own battles. They will always have each other to sort through the battles. To hug each other when things go wrong. To love each other regardless. I need to accept that they are now of the age where they need individual friends. But am safe in the knowledge that they will always have each other. Just like my sis and me.
    Jen, I feel like you need to let go, just an incy wincy bit. Yes, your trips will always have each other,but you don't want them being known as the 'weird trips' in school because they're not allowed out without each other. As much as it would be a wonderful world in that they are always with each other, they do need lives of their own, friends of their own, as they are their own little people. With their own little minds. And they will ALWAYS have each other. And home will always be their safe place with the people they feel the utmost closest too.
    But, as a Mother, I do know your pain. As a teacher I know the pain from the other side as well. As a sister I also know the other side.
    Hugs xxxx

  14. Yes it is a lot of work to manage our kids' social lives when they are little. I only had two but I did do most of it alone while they were little because my husband worked overseas for weeks at a time. It is worth it, in the end, to put in that effort.

    Socializaton and friendship are vital in making our children well rounded. Just as you would put in the effort to keep your children physically healthy, I know you want to make the effort to make them socially healthy.

    Therein lies the trick. It is up to you to decide what is socially healthy for your own kids. Is there a time at which you will feel comfortable doing a playdate or taking one of your kids to a party? If now is not the time that is right for you, then that is right for your family.

    In this case though, there are kids on the other end who are disappointed that their special new friend can't come to play. My concern is that both the parents and the children will stop wanting to invite your kids because they are never allowed to come over. Then your kids will be the ones who are NOT invited.

    Right now, so soon after the start of school, I think it speaks very highly of your family that your kids are already receiving invitations. I think Elizabeth will be getting an invitation any day now. That is a positive in all of this.

    I really think most families will be open to siblings tagging along or to bringing their kids to your house. I never ran into a family who wasn't open to mom and little sister (or big brother) tagging along.

    And on a purely selfish front, the families we met as a result of kindergarten years ago have turned into an amazing network of support and friendship for us over the years. We all have each other's backs.

    Of course, the safety issue is top priority so I would NEVER suggest allowing a playdate in another person's home until you are absolutely comfortable with that family. Which means other parents are going to camp out in your home as well. Which, again, opens up new friendship opportunities for you and Charlie as well.

    One more thing (sorry) our house is the hang out house and we planned it that way. We finished our basement when our son was 14 so there would be a place for video games and pizza for all those boys. This year we've built a new patio and firepit so we and our daughter can have outdoor gatherings. Indulgent? Maybe. But we did it to keep our kids home and allow them to socialize while being closely monitored. The junior class loves it.

    Make your house the kool-aid house. You will love it.

  15. wait till they are teenagers....i get the eye roll all the time from my 17 year old for being overprotective of her still

  16. Okay, take a deep breath. As a mom of twins, it's sometimes hard to figure out a schedule where one kid is invited somewhere when the other isn't, but then it also gives me time with just one (or for you, 3 out of 4!) that I wouldn't normally have. As to meeting the other families, does your school do any sort of back-to-school night or a class get together outside of school? The room parents for my kids' classes had adult only cocktail parties earlier in the school year to get to know each other. It was a big help in knowing which kid goes with which parent! And lastly, maybe the birthday boy can come over to your house to play with William.

  17. when I was in grade school, the parents put on a play every year. The kids were not involved. Because I was loud and obnoxious and loved to be the center of attention, this was extremely frustrating to me. Then, when I was in first grade, they involved kids! Kind of! They drew names so that one child from each class could be in the play. I was over the moon.

    ...and I didn't get it. But? My best friend did. And? My brother, who was in fifth grade, and only wanted to be in the play to make me jealous, did. I was utterly heartbroken. I remember crying and crying, and just being so, so sad. And my mom patted my back and told me she was sorry...and she also told me I was expected to tell my friend and my brother that I was happy for them, and go see the play and clap for them, and tell them what a nice job they did afterwards, because that is how big kids behave. And my brother was under strict instructions to NOT taunt me over his role.

    It was a good, important lesson. Life isn't always fair. Sometimes our friends and our siblings get what we want, and big kids learn to accept disappointment and be happy for their friends. (And sometimes? Your fifth grade brother has to wear rouge in front of all his friends, so really? It SEEMS like something sad happened, but really, something AWESOME happened.)

    I'm just saying.

  18. I'm 100% with you on this one! Our boys are 9 and 13 and I can count the "alone" playdates on one hand... for both of them. You never, never know what goes on behind closed doors or what other families believe or how they live. We can make assumptions based on appearances and brief encounters at school, but that's just not enough for me. My house or no date!

  19. Hi Jen,

    What a whirlwind! Are you open to a just a small piece of advice........

    Make it an absolute priority to get to know at least three families in the class
    (one for each child) who you can become comfortable leaving them with and letting them drive with.

    Do it fast and do it now. Maybe a group picnic on a weekend with them all is a good start.

    I know the kids are little and that they are still happy being just with you guys at home, and that is a really good thing. But, it is going to change fast and don't make the mistake we made and be caught out. We had to scramble to retrieve the situation when our kid STOPPED being asked to things because all the parents just assumed that we wouldn't let him go. The other kids started to form their own groups without our little one and life started to get harder in the playground.

    Advice is over.

    You are such a great mum. I love reading your stories.

  20. you're being way to over protective of your children. Please just let them be kids and make friends. They're all individuals, and a parent driving your kid shouldn't have warranted that type of reaction, honestly it's a parent, and you would have known which parent, it's understandable to say that they cannot take your child but to have a heart attack? Calm down. When I was 6 I had friends.

  21. Understand all you said and agree! I didn't have triplets, but we have 2 boys a year and half apart. Although they often had different friends and attended parties without the other, it was stressful. And I totally agree that your children should not go off with someone you don't know. It's just the way the world is today! I could give many examples, but the one that comes to mind first is the time I was hesitant to let my child carpool with another family. I didn't know them very well and really didn't want to do it -- but gave in to some pressure from a mutual friend who thought it would work out great. Then they did get in a fender-bender. While they weren't hurt, the mom didn't call me, and I didn't know where my son was and was frantic! Then -- the dad of that family got upset with me because I was upset! Never "gave in" when I wasn't comfortable again.

  22. Momof3kiddies11/16/10, 6:19 PM

    I have always enjoyed your blog... but just as an opinion I wanted to say that I think you and your husband are being too uptight about your kids being individuals. People obviously realize the children are triplets BUT other peoples children are not and they want to be friends with your children on an individual basis. As they continue in school unless you host all the parties you may never know all the parents or have all your children invited to playdates, parties, etc. So at some point you have to cut the invisible umbilical cord.
    I dont have any multiples but I do have kids very close in age. My kindergartner has already attended 3 parties this year with people I don't know but instead of emailing and calling thinking that would be a "get to know you", I went to the house, got a look around, talked for a minute and left. Because experience has told me at some point my child has to enjoy life.
    With all that said though the pick up list thing would have irked me.
    But I would suggest that until you are going to accept that not all children are going to like all three/four of your children as a group you should just decline anything for the future for them.

  23. as I eagerly await michele s.'s response to this one, all I can say is it seems you're rapidly building quite a rep among the other kindergarten moms. will be a good thing, indeed, that your kids have eachother.

    overthink much?

  24. Can I just tell you how grateful I am that I live in a small town?!

    My poor daughter could not do ANYTHING in Hawaii without me by her side. No swimming, no walking, no shopping, no snorkeling, etc. I held her hand so much she said, "Mom I am TIRED of holding your hand." She even had to sit DIRECTLY behind me in the car! Horrible.

    Then I get back HOME and tell her, "go ahead and get your stuff on and go walk to school..." And all, and I mean ALL my fears subside.

    STRESSFUL! (And I only have ONE little one, and by little, I mean SEVEN!)

  25. I'm not sure if this has been mentioned as I haven't read all the comments yet, but what we did is when one of the twins would get invited to a party, the other one would get to pick somewhere to go. Even if it was just a trip to McDonald's for a 99 cent ice cream cone. I will be honest and say that the first couple of "solo" birthday parties were a litte hard on the one who didn't get invited (nothing too extreme, just sad, etc...), but they got over that pretty fast and they LOVE going to their "own" parties now.

    I have NEVER turned down a playdate/birthday party for the sole reason that the other had not been invited. I have turned down invitations for many different reasons, but never for that one. I think it is 100% unfair to the child being invited...eventually, if this trend continues, Carolyn could become resentful that she is never allowed to do anything because her siblings aren't invited too. That is just my opinion and what my fears were when I was dealing with this issue with my twins.

    as far as letting them go to "stranger's" houses for playdates, I am fairly cautious...I would prefer the child come to my house first (preferably a few times), and chat the mom up when she picks up/drops off the child. But when you really stop and think about it, what is that really getting me??? Her hubby/brother/father could be a pedophile and how would I ever know from a few conversations? I am lucky that I have lived in the same neighborhood since my twins were babies and know all my neighbors well and there are tons of kids for my kids to play with. Takes the pressure off of playdates for me.

    You will figure out exactly what you are comfortable with guys are great parents and I am sure whatever you decide will work great for your family!


    P.S...yay to your school for being so on top of things. It takes a big load off when you know they are so diligent about things.

  26. You are such mean, mean (read logical, responsible) parents, totally cramping the Trips style! LOL

  27. Who has a birthday party on a Monday at noon? Weird!

  28. Oh my goodness, you may not realize it, but if what you are writing is accurate (and not big drama for the sake of entertainment, which I also love about you!) are perilously close to getting a negative/weirdo reputation around the 'hood and school. You would be amazed at how quickly that will happen amongst families w/ young children, and how difficult it will be to reverse/unravel. Quick, do something fast. STAT.
    Does it bother you that another stay-at-home mom may get to interact with your children (either on a playdate or party) while you are away at work?

  29. I just reread my comment and it seems to be a contradiction. We DID let our children go to other families' homes on playdates when they were little but as they got into the teen years we wanted a little more knowledge of their whereabouts and activites. As much as we totally trust all their friends' families now, we seem to be the parents who are most comfortable having a large group of teenagers over most weekends.

    I know it is all overwhelming right now, but when you blink your eyes and those kids are in high school, you will be so glad you were able to witness friendships that began in kindergarten and are still strong.

  30. Sarah, I'm honestly not ever remembering when you suggested bringing us DINNER.

    And I said NO?

    Are you sure about that?

    I need proof.

  31. Jen,
    I read through the responses and am quite surprised at the negativity. You are a mom who is just now learning how to let go of your babies. It takes time and trust. I agree that they should get to do things individually, I dint think you're really against that, but because they are the same age it's hard to explain to them why one gets invited and not the others. That's a great teaching opportunity about being individuals and how they'll each get that chance at dome point.
    I don't think that everytime one child gets invited somewhere the others should get something special too, like mcdonalds. That's just crazy to try that everytime.
    I think the bigger issue here is trust and safety. I think you are right to be cautious. I always scheduled a playdate with the parents present before ever leaving my children somewhere without me. I always asked about animals in the house, guns, older siblings. I asked about plans and at first kept it to about an hour. After we had established a good friendship I let my kids stay longer. If I felt uncomfortable leaving my child I was honest about why.
    I eased up once my kids were in middle school, but I still always dropped my kids off, spoke with the parent and asked my usual questions.
    The reality is until you know someone you can't evaluate their judgment.
    I once had to get on a mom for letting her 16 year old new driver drive his brother and my 8 year old son to the mall. She never even thought I might have a problem with it.
    You will eventually get to know and trust these families, until then just keep trusting your own instincts. These are your babies and Boone will protect them the way you do.

  32. One question: Is Aunt Grace kidding? Is that a jab at "those types" who love ice cream? Just wondering...

  33. Look back at your August posts/comments (specifically, 18 Aug and 1 Aug). Don't you remember? I was the one giving you restaurant recommendations in the area. And then I nearly gave you a heart attack by figuring out your new house. (Which, as Michele S pointed out... was not too hard :) ) I know that a post on a blog is nothing like a face-to-face invitation. But I'd been reading your blog since you started it, and I just thought it was cool that you were moving to my neck of the woods.

  34. When all is said and done, these kids in the kindergarten classes are passing relationships. The friendships that will last are the ones between Carolyn, William, and Elizabeth. Those are the precious ones to protect and nurture. They come first... and last their entire lives.

  35. I think you must be carefull nowadays and they are so cute that you must watch over them and pamper them cause time flies. Enjoy their company moment by moment.

  36. Well, honestly, I've been on both sides of this sort of birthday situation with my kids over the years (ages 17 mos. - 13 yrs.). I have the same sorts of fears you do, Jen, with the Very. Same. Intensity. I'll not accuse you of being overprotective--pot,kettle, etc.--nor can I offer any solid advice, since I just feel my way through these sorts of situations. Just, be careful as you sort through them to find the least offensive way of doing it (even if white lies are required) to spare your children having to deal with the "crazy parents" label. (That's not a slam, we're "crazy" parents too, and I won't apologize for it.)

    Basically, what I really wanted to point out here is, please do not assume ill intent on that other mother's part. If she hadn't heard back from you, she very well may have left William's name on that list to avoid hurt feelings if he was, in fact, allowed to attend. She would have seen it as erring on the safe side. I hope like heck, for the kids' sake, that she doesn't get any inkling of Charlie's completely over-the-top reaction to that oversight. I completely agree, no way, no how, does my child get into a stranger's car. But assuming the mother was being pushy? Trust me, she's got enough on her plate without trying to push any sort of agenda on you. She was very likely just trying to be kind and helpful.

  37. I just have to chime in... I wouldn't have let my child ride in someone else's car with parents that I didn't know. Doesn't safety come before socialization? If you knew the mother, that would be a different story. We just moved to WA but I feel like I know the mom next door well enough that my kids could ride with her. But if we'd never met? No way.

    Of course, take everything I say with a grain of salt because I'm the crazy mom that homeschools. Apparently I only do this because I don't want to let my children out of my sight. (Someone else's words, definitely not mine!)