Okay, I’ll admit it; I have a love/hate relationship with playdates. As I’m sure you know, a playdate is when you invite another mom or dad into your home to judge you’re housekeeping and parenting skills. Oh, and your kids play together. My oldest is 6 so his friends mostly come over unaccompanied, but when their parents pick them up I still find myself saying crap like “They played so well together! Um, I did let them watch half an hour of a nature program but they ate granola and carrot sticks, so it all balanced out.”
The truth is I locked the kids in the backyard for an hour and told them I’d hidden pirate treasure somewhere. The rest of the time they ate popcorn and watched my neighbor scream obscenities at his broken lawn mower. It took me a while to convince them that Jesus H. Christ was the brand of the lawnmower he was working on. But I believe they benefited from the fresh air and may have learned a thing or two about basic engine maintenance.
In my defense, I am a stay-at-home-mom and the whole point of playdates is to keep my kids busy so I have more time for important things like recreational hair removal. Otherwise my boys stand in the bathroom and say annoying crap like “How come you like to pluck the hairs in your mustache, Mama? You should let it grow, like Dada’s.”
My youngest is 4, so his playdates still come with their moms in tow and I have to spend hours making polite conversation. Polite is not exactly my strongest skill. But I’m working on it, for my kid’s sake. At the moment I’m able to limit his playdates to kids whose moms are either a) worse housekeepers than me (you can get a pretty good idea about this by peeking inside a mom’s mini-van), b) already my friend and therefore fun to hang out with or, c) both. These are the playdates I love. A mama-friend who will help me lock the kids outside and then chat as I cleanup last Thursday’s breakfast dishes is a gem!