Ok, to set the stage:
I’m married and have a three year old son. My son is good friends with a four year old boy, and his mom and my wife are good friends. The four year old also has a two year old brother. It was my wife’s birthday over the weekend, and she wanted to have a bowling party with a group of our friends. I rented out a couple of lanes for a few hours so everyone could just bowl as much as they want and not have to worry about paying for shoes or the games. My son and the two other boys were the only children at the party, everyone else was adult friends.
It started off fine, the boys all played together, and everyone was bowling. The four year old decided he wanted to bowl, and we added him to the list. When it was his turn, he stood and looked at his dad, who decided to bowl instead of helping him out. I took him up and showed him how to bowl, and he got a big kick out of it. Ok, no big deal, but it did bother me a bit.
Later on in the party, I noticed the father was just gone…no where to be found. We took him off the bowlers list and kept going. However, the mother is now chasing after both of her boys, and the two year old keeps escaping. The four year old stayed pretty close to my son, who was sticking close to us. Finally, after about fifteen minutes of both parents being gone, the mother comes up with the two year old. Right after that, the father walks up and wonders why he can’t bowl anymore. Well.
I saw red. I’ve been busy watching his son to make sure he doesn’t get hurt in a bowling alley…not exactly a low risk spot. His kid isn’t my responsibility, but I’m not going to let him get hurt. So I said, loudly, “Hey, why don’t you come over and watch your kids instead of playing games in the arcade?” He started laughing me off, and I just asked “Why is it my job to make sure your son doesn’t get hurt?” Obviously, this cast a chill over the remaining few minutes of the bowling party.
Aftermath: They don’t come over for cake and stuff, and I’m told that it may cause issues with our kids playing. I don’t want to screw up a friendship for my son, and though I wish I hadn’t been public about it, I don’t think I was wrong with what I said. It’s one thing if you’re at a day care or the bounce house, but at a bowling alley I think it’s completely wreckless to not watch your kids.
So, how wrong was I? Or was I?