Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Kool-Aid House

*Image From Google*

Have you ever heard the term, "Kool-Aid House?"  In case you have not, let me sum it up in a nutshell. This is to describe the neighborhood house where all the kids go to play.  I have been that house since I had kids.  I am not sure what it is.  Once my children started making friends, I was the "it" house.  One fine autumn day in VA, I had about 10 kids in my front yard.  I had to thank the Lord that they were not inside!  My driveway was littered with toys.

When we first moved here, our street was very quiet.  There were hardly no children. That is except my own.  At times, I felt pangs of guilt when I let them play out in the backyard.  What if they were too noisy?  Would the neighbors complain?  My kids are pretty good kids.  They don't throw rocks at people's windows.  They don't throw mud.  They just yell, sing loud, chase, run, and play.  They do not cause mischief, or do things that are harmful to others.  However, their noisy games had me worried.  Then, we got new neighbors.  These new neighbors had kids.  It was good.  Or so I thought.  It really hasn't been so good.  Since then, we have found other kids to play with, along with these neighbor kids. The problem I am facing, is I am the go to house...or as I like to call it:  The Kool-Aid house.  On the one hand, I do not mind as I know right where my child is, what he is doing and who he is playing with.  I have all the details.  I am a nosy mom, I need information.

So yesterday, I had two little people over my house.  I had them all day, with the exception of lunch.  At that point, they were sent home to eat their lunch.  Did they eat?  I have no idea.  All I know is, they played here all day.  And not once, during that time, did a grown up come and check on these two.  (They are not related.)  Not once in all that time did a grown up tell me, send them home if you have had enough.  Not once did a grown up thank me for letting their child spend the entire day here.  And not once did a grown up come and fetch their child.  One child was fetched by her older brother who is only nine, and the other sent home by myself.

I just am astounded that people are willing to send their little children off for an entire day, without knowing where they are.  Or at least, that is how it felt.  Maybe they named their friend.  "Ryan's house."  However, they don't know Ryan's parents.  I know this, because I do not know them.  (I know some, but not all.)  Just the same, none of the adults came to me.  Would you allow your child to be gone for so many hours without question.  Would you never speak to the adult?  Not even introduce yourself?  I am happy to let kids play here.  Then I can control (a little bit) what goes on, but have some sense.  What is in their heads???    Are they at work, and the child is being watched by a lazy babysitter?  I am trying to make sense of what I find to be disturbing.  After a long day with extra children, I felt, in a word:  used.  I have guilt issues if my son spends too much time at one friends house.  Maybe I feel this way because I know what it is like to be the Kool- Aid House.

I am linking up with Shell today, and pouring out my heart.


Nicole said...

Back in the olden days, this happened a lot, but times have changed, so it does seem a bit odd.

Angie said...

My daughter is 14 and I see it all the time. Once I had a "Beginning of Summer Party". She invited a boat load of girls to come spend the night and boys to come till midnight. I was certain no one was coming because I had only heard from one parent. To my surprise I ended up with about 20 some girls and 20 some boys. Now granted they were in Middle School but still, I thought it was odd. I guess maybe I'm too over protective but I like to know where my kids are and who they are with.

MiMi said...

I really don't want to be the Kool Aid house!! I don't like company. LOL

MiMi said...

Also, no, I don't let my kiddos go to the kool aid house.
First, I'm protective.
Second....we all know what happens to people who drink the kool aid...Attack Republicans...need I say more?

Shell said...

I can't imagine just letting my kids go all day without checking to see where they are or if it's okay for them to be there.

I've never heard "Koolaid House" though. That's a funny term!

mormonhermitmom said...

I've met the parents of all the kids my kids go play with. I've exchanged phone numbers. I don't let my kids go off to play all day though. I make sure they do chores first. That limits the play time so no one neighbor has to be the kool-aid house all the time. I wouldn't mind if my house was the kool-aid house once in a while. Must be the lack of grass.

Amy said...

I have always wanted to be the koolaid house. It may be a bit more work, but how comforting is it to be able to look out the window and see your kids playing and having fun and being safe? My husband is the worrier in our family, and when they are gone for 2 hours (I think it has only happened once as they are still very young)he was freaking out.
Feeling used is no fun, though. Maybe you could contact the parents to see if it is okay for their child to be playing at your house for so long?!