The other night I had some of my neighbors over for a glass of wine. One guest let me know she’d be bringing her toddler. She barely supervised the child, who wandered everywhere; took and left food around the house (we recently had a mouse problem and are trying to keep things extra-clean); dipped fingers into lit candles then wiped wet wax on my wooden table; played with our remotes, cables, and phones; and pulled out and opened my husband’s Lego sets. I noticed a small but sentimental item was broken but didn’t say anything.
Everyone was delighted with the child but me. Mom left a mess on the table when she excused herself to return home to her husband, who had prepared dinner. I feel a little stressed, unsure about realistic hosting expectations, and overall unappreciated by my guest. How can I do this better next time—if at all? What would be good boundaries for me with someone else’s child in my home?
—Hosting a toddler