It’s time for a grumpy old lady post.  (Please wait while I don granny glasses and peer over them with an “I brought you into this world and I’ll take you out of it” expression.)

What is up with kids today?!

I don’t mean all kids, naturally.  I’ve met a number of perfectly well-behaved girls and boys, and we’ve received more than a few compliments on T-man and Bear (for which I’m always exceedingly grateful).  I know there are good kids in the world.

But I’ve met enough of the bad apple sort to wonder what the hell’s going on.

Now I know there are lots of ways to go here, but I’d like to zero in on sleepovers.  Children’s sleepovers, in particular.

More specifically, why do I keep ending up with pint-sized assholes at our kids’ parties?

Seriously, is no one teaching proper etiquette anymore?  I’m not talking stuff like salad versus dinner forks, but saying “please” and “thank you” without prompting?  That seems like an acceptable requirement for the eight and up crowd.  Is it unreasonable to expect children who’ve mastered wi-fi and iTunes to clear their place after eating?  I don’t think so either.

Now let’s talk entitlement.  I find it hard to wrap my brain around this, but we’ve actually had more than one party guest help themselves to, well, anything and everything.  Now, I’m not talking about kids who are in genuine need.  I’m referring to 11-year-olds we’ve already hosted through dinner, cake, snacks, and breakfast who feel perfectly comfortable going through our fridge and helping themselves to cans of soda.  Soda they haven’t been offered at any point during the party.  Cans they then leave half empty all over the house.

Who does that?

I’ll tell you who.  Kids who run wild in their own homes.  Who don’t even think to ask permission because the very concept that something in the house might be off limits to them is inconceivable.

Kids. With. No. Manners.

And then these same kids have the gall to give me the side eye when I call them on their mess. Well, forget that.

Here is my solemn promise to you.  If my kid shows his rear end at your house, feel free to set him straight.  And if yours pulls a nutty with me?  Don’t be surprised when you pick him up if you hear all about “that crazy lady” on the way home.

I’ll own that label.  And maybe…just maybe…your kid will clear his place after supper.

A girl can dream.