I Hate Playdates

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I hate playdates. There, I said it. We've tried several times to hang out with families who have kids in Some Boy and Sidekick's age ranges, and it never goes well. The kids usually get along great. Us parents, however, have a harder time. Most of Nate and I's close friends don't have children, so we wind up doing the playdate thing with “acquaintances.”

freezer playdate

Needless to say, these people don't always align with us in terms of parenting styles.

playdate tooltime

Our last playdate started smoothly. Our sons were playing together nicely. And then my son picked up a stick and started running around like a spazz. He wasn't pointing it at anyone. He was more, sort of, pretending that it was a sword and generally waving it in the air at some invisible foe. Like a free-spirited toddler. Like he always does.

“Uh-oh,” said the other mom. “Some Boy's got a stick!”

She looked at me like I was supposed to do something about it.

“Right…uhh…dude, give me the stick. Apparently we're not supposed to run with sticks.”

whipped cream playdate!

Undaunted by the loss of his stick, my precocious toddler made a beeline to the refrigerator, yanked out the whipped cream (why this can is still within his reach is beyond me) and proceeded to spray a big dollop into his mouth. He kindly offered the sweet, sprayable deliciousness to his little friend. I was SO proud of my little sharer!

“No, honey, we don't eat treats before dinnertime,” the other mom intervened.

Uh, right. Us either. Not. At. All.

puppy playdate

And then – the cherry on top of the whole experience – my kid marched over to his beloved dog and planted a big, wet kiss directly on Kraken's slobbery lips. “Muuuuah!”

The look of sheer mortification on the other parents' faces was priceless. I don't think I helped AT ALL with my explanation that scientifically, dog's mouths are cleaner than our own. True story, you guys, I'm just saying.

The family found a polite excuse to leave shortly thereafter. God forbid they linger in the dreaded stick-wielding-sweet-imbibing-dog-macking house.

playing in the dirt

Here's the thing, people. We like to live. We get out there and we get messy and dirty and sometimes we get hurt. But we enjoy every second of it.

I will not have my children look back on their lives and remember a slew of antibacterial wipes and a series of motherly “No”s. And I won't judge other parents who do it differently than me. We all have our reasons for the parenting styles we choose. I'm all about freedom and expression and the beauty of the ungraceful moments, largely because I grew up in a rigid home with stifling rules. It took ages for me to break free of that overbearing presence and embrace who I really am at my core. Other parents have grown up differently and responded accordingly. I like learning from them and commiserating together, and I really do hope that one day we can find our perfect playmate pals.

i hate playdates

In the meantime, I guess we'll just keep having our epic failures.

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12 thoughts on “I Hate Playdates”

  1. Hahahahaha… This.Was.AWESOME!
    I’m so glad someone other than me thinks this way. Because come on, who doesn’t squirt that sweet can into their mouths every other time they open the fridge? And I’d totally rather kiss my dog than 1/2 the squeaky clean tots that come to play… Have you seen what tots put in their mouths when helo mom isn’t hovering? ;)

  2. Love this! I didn’t quite get along with most of the moms at play dates that I went to with my youngest son. I never tried again after my daughter was born. Kids will be kids – let them enjoy it while they can! Besides the more germs they are in contact with before starting school the better right? Builds up their immunization and resiliency – sounds good in my book :)

    • I knew a new mom who would literally sterilize everything her baby came in contact with. And guess what…the poor thing was CONSTANTLY sick when he grew up! Live a little, people.

  3. Ha!! I feel for pain, seriously!! My son was like a walking commercial for health insurance! If he could hurt himself, he would. He could find dirt when wearing church clothes, find old food near his car seat and eat it, and he would always every dead insect at the park or playground ….and bring it to me as a gift! lol He is almost 9, so I miss those days. Ha!! Enjoy!!

  4. Playdates can be so hard. Thankfully my son is at that age where I stay the first time, and then every time after I can just drop him off…and run!

  5. I have three boys so I can relate to the stick wielding, dog kissing and everything else. We should totally get our kids together, they sound perfect for each other.

    • I set the kitchen shears down for ten seconds the other day. My son grabbed them from the counter next to me, turned to the chairs at our breakfast nook and slashed one of their covers to bits. All in the blink of an eye. They’re just magnets for destruction.

  6. I get those same looks from moms when I have play dates. Even from my own mom lol. I let the kids live, I let them take risks, I let them get dirty and hurt only little owies.

  7. Ha ha – this is so true. I have a hard time relating to other moms too that aren’t my immediate friends. I have developed some good friendships with moms from my kids’ school but it’s very hit or miss. I find that when our parenting styles don’t match up, then it’s awkward.

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