Education & Family

How My Infant and Toddler Are Blithely Unconcerned When We Have Company Over

Please sit! But not there—that's where Lou peed yesterday.
Baby On Board Friend Visits
Blithely unaware when we have company over. - Megan Isennock

Hi! Hello! Come in, friend with whom I spent 57 percent of my 20s, but now just text Mary Kate and Ashley GIFs back and forth with while we wait for our schedules to align. It’s so good to see you and really nice of you to agree to come to our filthy home for a drink instead of a restaurant or bar so that I didn’t have to hire and pay for a sitter. I left work early and spent 45 minutes cleaning in preparation of your arrival but I will lie to your face and tell you I just got home because it’s still incredibly messy. Here, let me put your belongings on this coat rack so that our cats don’t make a nest out of your jacket.

Please sit! But not there—that’s where Lou peed yesterday and it’s been satisfactorily cleaned for the purposes of our immediate family’s safety, but not yours. Guests can sit over here on this uncomfortable Ikea bistro chair which is high off the ground and made of fake wood and easily wiped down. Would you like a cocktail? Have some cheddar bunnies and watch me impressively make a Negroni for you while my beautiful children quietly play underfoot. Send word to the outside that I Have It All Together.

Actually wait. Our refrigerator has been broken for six weeks and Best Buy hasn’t been able to fit our new one up the stairs despite my husband sawing a portion of the stairwell away and these cocktails need ice. Please sit with my darling babies while I run downstairs for frozen water. Home ownership!

Here’s the ice. And there’s Lou’s butt. He doesn’t like to wear underwear at home, just please finish making these drinks while I convince my 2-year-old to put clothes on. Also, and I hate to bother you while you’re already doing me a favor, but did you happen to see Edie while I was briefly out of the room? Eleven months, walks furiously, looks like a Cabbage Patch Doll? Oh she’s climbing the stairs? Okay well please return to your safe area and sip your drink while I figure out how she escaped the gate again.

So anyway, how are you? How is your relationship/career/family? Please tell me because I miss you and really care but okay hold on because I just realized it’s 6 p.m. and my kids haven’t had dinner yet. I’ll turn on The Magic School Bus and, while I’m waiting for the water to boil for the mac and cheese, you can catch me up on your life. I am nodding and laughing and agreeing that I, too, can’t believe your sister/husband/coworker did that and Lou! You peed in the potty! Here is your jelly bean reward, please go grab the potty so we can clean it out before your sister gets to it except she’s already dumped it onto her legs and is playing in a puddle of urine.

You’re probably right—cleaning fresh pee off a baby in our kitchen sink isn’t super hygienic but I’ve fallen asleep with Lou breathing post-vomit breath into my face so I think we’re past formalities. May I offer you a glass of wine and the rest of this luke warm mac and cheese? I was going to eat it while standing over the pee sink later, but you’re the guest so you can have first dibs. Oh you’re going to dinner after this? Like on a date? Please tell me more about your decision to not have kids and what that lifestyle looks like because I know that three years ago we didn’t have kids but I can’t be more specific than that because I don’t remember. Your reservation is for EIGHT THIRTY on a WEEKNIGHT? That is wild, man.

Thank you so much for coming over and trying to take Lou seriously while he stood really close to you in only a hat, shirt, and shoes and told you about an air conditioner he saw from the car last week. He’s right, it was gray and could have been off or on. I’m pretty sure that in two years, when my kids are 3 and 5, I will be 15-20 percent more present in conversations that occur when they are around so please just keep being supportive and cool and willing to dive into the crazy with me—it means a lot. And here’s your jacket, I don’t know how the cat’s got it, but I took the liberty of putting a lint roller in your bag.