Playdate-palooza

KathyDoodlebug is an only child, so playdates are a way of life for her – if she wants to see another kid outside of school, we have to find one. For me, though, they’re definitely a mixed blessing. When they go well, they can be a nice little mini-break. When they don’t, they can drain the life right out of me. Here’s a list of playdate experiences you may recognize, in order from ahhhh to aughhhh!

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The Holy Grail – you drop your kid off at the house of a friend she loves. They play for several hours while you go home and read, or nap, or do whatever you want.

The Family Affair – you are friends with the parent AND your kids like each other too! The kids play peacefully while you and your friend talk about Orphan Black. (NINE. DAYS!)

The Lunch and a Movie – you and a friend take your babies to one of those special movie showings for parents with little ones. You get to see a movie for grown-ups and maybe even have lunch, hopefully while the kiddos nap throughout. (Okay, this isn’t exactly a playdate, but those were good times.)

The Happy Surprise – a new friend comes over to play with your kid and they get along beautifully. They make crafts, share the toys, and eagerly eat whatever snack you offer. (Am I the only one who is paranoid about snack? Like the kid will starve if they don’t eat something in the two hours they’re at my house?)

The Coelacanth – your kid calls a friend herself, then they run around outside the whole time and you never even have to see them. (Fine, this has never happened at our house, but this does still exist, right?)

The Hit and Run – “Can I drop Molly off for a while kthanksbye!” (I love advance notice. I really, really love advance notice.)

The Nap Eraser – the playdate lasts longer than you thought it would and your kid conks out for ten minutes in the car on the way home. Then they’re up and cranky for the rest of the afternoon – goodbye, downtime. (Doodlebug hasn’t napped for about four years, but just typing out that scenario makes me want to cry.)

The “Preschool teachers should get paid more” – your house is full of kids fighting over the same toy. Everyone ends up in tears. Then they find the drums and maracas and decide to have a parade.

The Ninth Circle of Hell – The playdate has no pre-set end time. Your kid and her friend start fighting after five minutes and you have to wrangle them for who knows how long. Outside. In August. In 90% humidity. This one will require pizza delivery for dinner and days of recovery time.

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So which ones did I miss? Tell me about your favorite and least favorite types of playdates in the comments!

— Kathy

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