With a son that’s just over two years old, playdates have become something of an occasional necessity. Admittedly, probably not as often as in some other households since our son gets lots of play and social time thanks to his childcare situation, but I’ve had enough of them to notice a few key themes arising. These themes have, well, left me feeling a certain way about playdates in general, and wishing that a few undeniable facts were more well known than they actually are. In fact, I suspect that maybe, just maybe, there are the things other moms want to say about playdates, too.
My family and I just moved to a new neighborhood, and there appears to be some other moms in the area with lots of potential for a real, valuable friendship, who could be members of the ultimate squad I daydream about starting. But, even if we don’t make it into a full squad, perhaps we could still have, like, a casual club because it’s pretty suburban here and I’m guessing someone has a tree house where we could meet. Motherhood can be lonely, and finding some quality friends (whether they have kids or not, actually) would do wonders for, well, all involved.
I just have a few hurdles to get through first, like actually spending some scheduled time together while our kids play at the park, which is why I think it’s finally time for us all to get on the same page when it comes to these playdates:
It’s As Much For The Kids As It Is For Me. Or, As Much For Me As It Is For The Kids. Whatever, It's Both.
I mean, I’ve only been a mom for as long as my kid’s been a kid, so I’m new to this stuff, too. I can use all the community, support and camaraderie I can get, so if it’s going to come in the form of planned chit-chat on a park bench, sign me up.
If You Ask Me To Coffee, The Answer Will Always Be "Yes"
Obviously, we’re going to get coffee first, right? I’m sure there exists an alternate universe where playdates can happen without it, but that sounds like a nightmare.
I Don’t Really Care About The State Of Your House...
If we are by chance getting together at your home instead of the park, I promise to reserve all judgments. Exceptions: anything dead or decrepit in my line of sight. Otherwise, you definitely don’t need to be apologizing for non-existent dust or, like, one puzzle piece sticking out from under the couch.
...And, You Definitely Don’t Need To Apologize For Your Kid
I have a toddler, too. I’m passing exactly zero judgment on how yours is opting to roll around in mud and ignore your attempts at discipline.
I Changed My Kid’s Clothes Directly Beforehand
That’s very sweet of you to notice his crisp, clean shirt because the one he had on, right up until we left, was covered in applesauce and yogurt. If you look closely, you can probably still some behind his ear.
I’m Aware That They’re Technically Too Young To Play Together
Good thing parallel play is so cute though, right? We can still seat them in proximity to one another and take plenty of pictures. And by "seat," of course, I mean "pose."
I'll Probably Text You In Advance To See If You’re Going To Be In Anything Other Than Sweats Wear And/Or If You’ll Be Wearing Makeup
Like Mark Anthony, I need to know. Unless I have some sort of clue that you're doing otherwise, I will almost certainly be in something with an elastic waistband.
I Mean It When I Say Nice Things About Your Kid...
If I didn’t really think it, I would say nothing. Or, I’d talk about the weather or how excited I am that I didn’t have to put on makeup this morning.
...And I Appreciate It When You Say Nice Things About Mine
Especially his haircut. I may or may not have done it with nail scissors while he was asleep, so any praise is definitely appreciated.
I mean, I go on playdates for the same reason we all go on playdates: to find lifelong soulmates with whom I can share all of life’s trials and tribulations. That’s not asking for too much, is it?