The friend – “Hey we should get the kids together!”
Me – “Yes that would be awesome, when is good for you?”
The friend – “so&so has ballet on Monday, piano on Tuesday, and soccer on Thursday.
Me – “Okay, Wednesday at 10:30?”
The friend – “Great, come over and I’ll have coffee ready. Can’t wait to catch up with you. It will be so much fun!”
Does this look familiar to you? The word playdate sounds fun but don’t kid yourself, you know it’s not. It reminds me of the first time I heard “field day” in Navy boot camp 23 years ago. They said Thursday’s was field day and my first thought was, “yay, we get to do something fun!” Reality was, we had to clean the entire berthing from top to bottom, military style. Not a single item could be out of place to include fuzz, dust, or bed sheets not tucked in at a 45-degree angle.
This is how misleading I believe playdates are. You go to the friend’s house expecting to drink a hot cup of coffee, catch up on the latest stuff like; what diet were following, how awesome our marriage is and how we make it tick, what we just read and how it was so great that we’ll create a new book club, and what new and exciting adventures were about to embark on… oh and our insecurities and fears and then the other will encourage us and say how amazing we are.
Instead, you start and stop a conversation at least 97 times. Your kid is all of the sudden hungry and wants to eat your friend’s pantry. She has to go to the bathroom but won’t go alone. The children want to go outside, inside, swim, play, back outside, in the bedroom, and even more commonly, they want to play within 3 inches of where your much anticipated conversation was to occur. You apologize on behalf of your child at least 20 times and desperately work to carry on where your convo left off.
Instead of making a new friend you’ve instantly become a coach, mediator, litigator, fireman, maid, and warden. I’m sorry, I want to skip the play dates and instead hire a babysitter. We will drink some wine (it’s 5:00 somewhere) and get to know each other. Because, let’s be really real…. The playdate can be more work than play and maybe, just maybe the mom date is more important than the play date sometimes.