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Kris

E with a touch of D. I hate conflict.

swampy

I would casually put the bag on the kitchen counter or some other high place at the first opportunity ("here let me take this while you go play") but I pretty much say "E". You are having kids over, there will be a mess -- and a good chance of stuff getting broken -- you will need to clean up regardless. I do think the mother was pretty rude to let her kid trail goldfish through the house like that.

the fixer mamma

f) give the kid your dustbuster and invite them to play cleanup.

Molly

C. There are usually house rules at every house - you will sound like a bit of a stick-in-the-mud but it's fair to blame it on your kids. I usually bring all the kids to the table and help them share it out, with a gentle aside to the parent that "I hope you don't mind, but my children know that I won't let them eat away from their seats".

After that, when they get up and walk around anyway, that is when you go to D/E. But start by stating the houserules.

Elizabeth

B or C, depending on my relationship with the other parent.

Holidays are an excuse for an extra cookie or staying up a little late, in your own house, not for disregarding basic guest-host etiquette.

kris

how about F)..ask the other parent...are you fucking kidding me???

andrea

B. I am a wuss and hate confrontation, but I have no trouble directing other people's kids. So, to the child, in front of the parent, I would say, "oh, sweetie, at our house the rule is that we eat goldfish only in the kitchen. Would you like to have a seat at the table, or can I put that bag up for you, if you'd rather go play? And help me pick up the ones that spilled, okay, here we go..."

Don't feel at all bad about it. Many if not most of my mommy friends have rules about food in certain zones of the house (not upstairs, not on the sofa, only eat X at the table but other stuff okay anywhere, etc.) What's worse is when the friend shows up with something your child is allergic to or you're morally offended by.

midlife mommy

C, I think. And I would secretly hope that mom would feel like an a$$, for well, being such an a$$.

anita

E and grab the vodka bottle and pour myself an extra splash

melissa

Definitely c. Why is a three year old allowed to hold the entire bag? Little plastic bowls or baggies!

Jk

I'd do C and also get the vacuum out to clean up the mess.... (we have a Roomba and they always make parties more fun!).

So sorry this happened!

Amy

While I would like to say C, I'd probably end up doing B. I'm a little too direct sometimes - should probably work on that.

I really like how andrea illustrated using B. I would never think of handling it like that until after I'd already stuck my foot in my mouth and alienated the other parent. Andrea's way is sooo much better.

Due to the above mentioned directness there's no way on earth that D or E would be an option for me. I would totally be thinking A the whole time, of course.

thalia

I would be fine with some version of B, the others would make me seethe too much inside to enjoy the visit.

deborah

E, but with the caveat that you must pluralize it (as in Bloody MaryZ).

DD

B and C then chase it with E.

I am very strict about the no eating in the living room. It's the rule in MY HOUSE, not just for my kid.

Sorry, but holidays or no, rules do not fly out the window. Tell HER to go fly out the window.

Jill

B, C, E, and then don't invite them back.

NicaLMN

"A" is pretty darn tempting. And pretty darn correct.

But "B" is good, too.

Dee

I'm a "D" girl all the way, with a touch of "E."

kathy

Make mine a double and clean the carpets tomorrow. BTW when invited to their house take something both sticky and crumbly for the kids to share.

Perfectly Disgraceful

I probably shouldn't even comment since I don't have carpet, we eat in every room of the house, and my housekeeping standards are shamefully low. Depending on many factors, but most especially how many Bloody Marys I had already consumed, I might not even notice the goldfish mess. If I did, I would probably take Andrea's tack of talking to the child. I might pour the goldfish into a bowl without really saying anything just because we don't serve things in bags at our house.

But aren't you going to have to vacuum post-party anyway? Why waste energy seething?

Lee

C or E

Erin

Probably B and C. I've never had trouble asking other kids to do something or not to do something at our house. However, I usually catch it before the other parent can say something. Then it would be "Let's bring the Goldfish in the kitchen, okay?" And then I'd probably suggest getting out bowls for all of the children.

I would be ticked that the mother wasn't automatically suggesting that they be shared, though. My kids are absolutely not allowed to bring food somewhere unless a) have enough to share AND b) are planning to offer to share as soon as we get in there.

Rules can fly out of the window at the holidays at HER house. She doesn't get to decide if they fly out of the window at yours.

Betty M

Definitely B but probably without the collegial laugh! I am happy to order about the under 10s.

Sara

Been there. Definitely C.

Sam

I second "F" because the mother recognizes the fact that her kid is making a mess AND you are upset at it. Also, you may want to introduce her to her ass flying out the window. HOW RUDE!

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