Dear (insert Mom’s name),
It is an absolute pleasure having (insert child’s name) frequently come to our house to play; and although I thoroughly enjoy feeding (him/her) afternoon snacks, doing (his/her) homework with them, and feeding (him/her) dinner because it’s 6:45 and you haven’t yet retrieved (him/her), I feel that there are a few guidelines we need to establish.
1. Please teach your child bathroom skills. I’m long passed the “wiping” stage, so inform (insert child’s name here) that they’re on their own for this simple human task. If baboons in the wild can master it, I’m confident (he/she) can also. I hereby refuse to cleanse the loins of anyone who is not biologically of my loins; even then I have my limits.
2. Understand that my dog is fond of eating all things Chinese—spareribs, egg rolls, lo mein, Bakugan toys, Pokemon figures, Barbie and all her friends…my dog does not discriminate. So if (insert child’s name here) is upset because (his/her) 12 retractable Bakugans are resting uncomfortably in my dog’s lower intestines, or because Polly Pocket’s microscopic shoes are cleaved onto the dog’s molars, do not complain or expect that I will pay ridiculous amounts of money to replace these worthless pieces of Chinese plastic. Those are your investment choices for your child; not mine. Also, if Bernie Madoff has taught you nothing, you should know that all investments are risky. Especially in my house.
3. Please, I beg of you, teach (insert child’s name here) the difference between a penny glass of Welch’s grape juice and a $10 glass of Merlot. (He/she) guzzled my whole glass, and now I have to send (him/her) home to you sauced. At least (insert child’s name here) will sleep well tonight; so, you’re welcome.
4. Tell (insert child’s name here) to refrain from commenting on the dust bunnies that (he/she) notices beneath my couch, refrigerator, bed, etcetera. If (insert child’s name here) insists on engaging in such undesirable activities then please tell (him/her) to refrain from announcing authoritatively while I am on the phone with my own mother, “My mommy would never let the maid get away with this in our house,” because that will force me to respond, “I am the maid in this house,” to which (he/she) will predictably counter, “Then mommy would fire you.” Such observations will only result in me wanting to twist and shove (insert child’s name here) beneath the refrigerator to go permanently live in the land of the dust bunnies.
5. When you come to collect (insert child’s name here) do not feel the need to pitch a tent and stay to chat with me. I am not interested in how busy you were at work—you were with adults, I was stuck with children. I’m also not interested in hearing the frequency or infrequency of you and your partner’s sexual activities. Frankly, that ruins my appetite and sears an indelible impression of your unclothed partner onto my brain. As my son would say, “That’s not a necessary.”
6. Also, if (insert child’s name here) should throw a tantrum when you come to collect (him/her) keep in mind that you are the adult. When little (insert child’s name here) starts banging (his/her) head against my antique (read: Goodwill) armoire because (he/she) wants to stay, grab (him/her) and use physical force if necessary to eject (him/her) from the premises. Mantra: There is no reasoning with a head-banging seven-year-old. Ever.
7. Upon collecting (insert child’s name here) do not respond to (his/her) repeated requests for the date of the next playdate. Common courtesy suggests that the host needs a minimum one week recovery period to forget the trauma. If you say “Maybe you can come over tomorrow,” as a way to get (insert child’s name here) peaceably out the door, I will bang your head against antique armoire.
Again, it is an absolute pleasure having (insert child’s name here) come over to play. Or at least it will be if you can comply with these simple guidelines.
(Insert your name here)