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November 24, 2005

Children optional

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I'm thankful we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving at my parents' house for about the millionth time, except for the one year I had a false alarm heart problem, which turned out to be caused by excessive caffeine. I'm also thankful for children, both mine and others', and we had all of mine, and all of my older sister's children with us today (the youngest of all of these being my 14-year-old son).

But I did get a kick out of this article in the New York Times, giving 10 rules for younger children at parties. Since our kids are teens and post-teens, they don't really count as kids any more, at least at parties, and we usually think, on those rare occasions when we entertain, that perhaps we're really like to focus on adults. The code words we use in our invitations are "children optional." We find that this alerts our friends to the idea that they should feel free not to bring their kids, but it allows them to bring them if they have a good reason. It also doesn't insult my two siblings who live nearby, whose kids we of course are delighted to have on any occasion.

The Times article naturally tends toward the horror story, which is why we like to read these things, isn't it? Here's my favorite "rule":

8) Urinating on the floor is never in style.

"There was a kid, probably 2, who really liked to be naked," says a Manhattan woman who requests anonymity, recalling an elegant party. "He took off his clothes and ran around. Then he urinated on the floor. His parents thought it was really funny. It's sort of sad this behavior is tolerated."
The writer's next rule is commentary on this rule:
9) Sort of? Sort of?

Excuse us, we became unhinged for a moment.
Actually, excuse us while we change the language of our invitations to "children optional, children's clothing mandatory."