Why can’t scheduling playdates be simple?
I must admit, until recently, my children have never had playdates with children we didn’t already know. So playdate etiquette was never even a thing I had to consider. But now that we’ve moved to a new neighborhood and my children are making friends in their new schools, playdates seem to be “the thing”. (Whoo-hoo, insert sarcasm here) They come home all excited about a new friend’s number and tell me how I need to call the child’s mom to set up a playdate. Not to mention, they have all the particulars planned out. Even my three year-old comes home and tells me how he and his best buddy are going to Disney tomorrow!! And here is where the confusion begins.
Don’t get me wrong, I know we live in a different era. Gone are the days where you send your child out front or to the neighborhood park. For me it was an all day affair with the strict reminder to check in every hour and to be home when the street lights came on. But things just aren’t that simple now.
Am I showing my age?
I’m old school. I grew up in an era where we played with the neighbors’ kids, my parents’ good friends’ children and family. That’s it! The only time there was an attempt to call or reach out to other parents was when there was a birthday party to be invited to and even then it was limited. Other than that…it didn’t happen. So I must admit, this idea of “random playdates” gives me anxiety and here’s why:
1. Who makes the first call? I mean, do I call the unsuspecting parent and say, “Hi, you don’t know me but, my daughter and your daughter have conspired to have a playdate and I wanted to see if you were available to make good on the arrangement.” I mean let’s face it. That initial phone call is super AWKWARD and borderline stalker-esque.
2. Where should these playdates take place, my house, theirs or the park? Did I mention I’m old school? I don’t quite like the idea of inviting complete strangers to my house. I’m not one of those people who invite everyone over all the time. Maybe I’m strange, you can say it, (Trust me it wont be there first time I’ve heard that), but I just don’t like the idea one bit.
3. How long should a playdate last? One, two, three hours? Like most moms, my life is crazy and time is limited. But I just don’t know what’s a realistic timeframe for a playdate. And let’s not mention adding one more thing to try to get out of the house on time for.
I’m a talker, I can talk to just about anyone…
4. But what happens if you and the mom don’t hit it off? Does that mean no more playdates? I’m sorry, if you haven’t met my children, they are pretty damn persistent. So no more playdates is not a viable option.
Let’s say all goes well…
5. Who’s responsible for arranging the next playdate? Is it done on the spot or do you wait?
As you can see, such a simple effort to get children to play together turns in to a major planning event. The reality is playdates are inevitable. So for now, sounds like I’ll be working off of trial and error.
Are you an old playdate pro? Got any tips to make planning a playdate easier? Please share below. As you can tell, I could really use some help.[/wr_column]]