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sleepovers, playdates and other dangerous activities April 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — panthergirl @ 2:03 am
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It was always difficult for me to let my children go to other peoples places for sleepovers. You never really know what people are like, don't know what goes on in their homes, yet here you are sending your child off for the night.

And I know a lot of people don't have an escape plan in place just in case they're at woolworths shopping with three small kids and a friend there for a sleepover, and a crazed gunman suddenly turns up. I know they don't because I've seen the looks on peoples faces when I told them that I did in fact have such a plan. 

There have been numerous incidents over the years that have turned me into even more of a suffocatingly overprotective freak than I already was. Two examples.

The Sleepover

Kimba was about 12 and went for a sleepover at her friends house. At about 9pm that night the doorbell rings and there she is on our verandah with her friend and mother of friend. The mother then says

My partner came home drunk from the club and went psycho

Apparently the boyfriend came home not only pissed, but pissed off that Mother wouldn't put all the girls in the car and go and pick him up. So when he arrived home the first thing he did was smash in the windscreen of her car. Then he went inside and started to shout and throw things and smash up stuff. So Mother took her two girls and Kimba out to the yard where she hid them in some bushes. It was at this point that Kimba said

I think I'd like to go home now.

Mother snuck into the house, got Kimbas bag, walked to a friends house who drove them to my place.

That friendship kind of sizzled out after that.

The Play Date

Kimba again, aged 6 this time. She went to a friends house for a play after school. When I went to pick her up the mother went in the house to get her then came out and said

Hmm, I don't know where they are

As I was standing there wondering what exactly she meant by that she pointed to the far horizon and said

Oh there they are

And I looked over the tennis courts, past the football ovals, across the golf course and there they were. Two tiny dots, dressed as fairies, flitting about in the twilight. So off I went to get her and she of course had been having a wonderful time she even told me that she

helped a man find his lost golf balls

Isn't that a line every mother wants to hear.

So after a few other incidents it got to the point where I almost had a small questionaire ready for parents to fill out before I let my kids go with them. Simple things such as

Do you have enough seatbelts in the car for all those kids?

Do you let your children play on the road – One woman looked at me as if I'd suffered a recent head injury when I asked her that one. She did laugh and say no though.

Do you let your 5 year old walk to the shops on her own?

Easy things really but you'd be amazed at the amount of people who get the wrong answer.

Of course my kids are all teenagers now  so they can extract themselves from a dangerous situation (hopefully). And they're all much bigger than me so I'm hoping that they can save me from the crazed gunman from now on.

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14 Responses to “sleepovers, playdates and other dangerous activities”

  1. Waterbaby Says:

    I think your plan is not only smart but reflects awareness that we live in troubled times, dangerous times, even psychosomatic times. I'd think twice about letting a kid stay with any mom who looks askance at those quesitons, methinks.

  2. cat Says:

    correct – this is also why you should never sit with your back to the door – even at McDonalds.

  3. Waterbaby Says:

    yeah, criminals adopt this practice as well.

  4. This made me think back only a couple years ago to when then 17 year old son asked girl out and our whole family had to go through an interview process with her mother before she would let them go out. Mother arrived unannounced on our doorstep just when we had extended family there so she got the whole group gathering. She ok'd us but the romance fizzed out fairly quickly, the girl being tagged as the most boring person in the world. With a Mother like that no doubt!
    Our best sleep over was when the mother plyed our 14 year old daughter with alcohol…. lovely.

  5. cat Says:

    lol – don't think I'm that bad. Kimba had a friend who's mum used to give them grog. They used to get to share a cruiser. Only found out about that later.

  6. My son spent the night at someone's house once and the mother went out and was gone until 3 in the morning. I think I blogged about it. I can't believe some parents these days.

  7. cat Says:

    Similar thing happened to the daughter of a friend of mine when she went to a pals house. She was 8 and phoned home to say she was scared because they had been left alone. Bad enough for people to be irresponsible with their own kids let alone other peoples.

  8. Design Shark Says:

    This scares me. People really are crazy…

  9. cat Says:

    I don't even trust people to look after my dog anymore, let alone my kids. I used to have this fear that my husband and I would be killed and the kids (and the dog) would be left to be raised by idiots. (lol that would be my or his family I guess)

  10. No wonder you are cautious after those experiences! We are pretty careful with our kids too. We were in a nanny/babysitting share arrangement with another two women once and had an issue when one of the others suddenly spung on us that she was planning to have her new boyfriend mind the kids on the week it was her turn (rather than the agreed paid nanny). Actually don't even know that she was going to tell us but we just found out by accident the day before and had to say no way as we didn't even know this guy (and this woman had a history of making bad choices when it came to men anyway). Was really annoying as well as we were relying on this woman to provide care (as we had for her kids) while we were both at work. She has also invited one of our children over for sleepovers and we have made up excuses as we just don't feel we could rely on her not to duck out and leave someone else in charge of the kids.

  11. cat Says:

    That sounds dodgy. I know it sounds terrible but I'm always suspicious of The Boyfriend. Even older brothers.

  12. Ninja Says:

    I know what you mean… in my clan I'm known as the psycho, control freak for precisely the reasons you have outlined so lucidly. And you wonder who's actually crazy, huh?

  13. cat Says:

    And I'm not sure if it's better or worse now that they're older. Now that Kimba has left home, when she goes out at night I don't know when she gets home ok, who she's with, what the taxi driver is like – the list of worries is endless

  14. Ninja Says:

    I know. My older one just got her P Plates last week and I try to suppress my urge to freak out every time she pulls out from the driveway solo.
    I just hope that the paranoia I've imparted to them is enough to give them the streetsmarts to stay alive and away from the two-legged weirdos we know exist out there.

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