When it comes to scheduling playdates I kind of suck. It's not that I'm not friendly or don't know how a phone works, but with two kids, a job, and the obligations that come along with both those things, life kind of gets in the way, doesn't it? My kids are very social and agreeable when we're out at the playground or when they're at school, but, at home, the only regular regular playdates we have are the characters who show up on our screen... which leads me to wonder: Would I be okay with any kids' show characters coming over for a playdate?
On the whole, I have to say that I sort of lucked out: I don't find too many of the shows my kids watch to be unbearable. Then again, I worked at making it that way. If a show looks really annoying, my husband and I keep it from our children at all costs. If they wind up exposed to it anyway and express an interest, we tell them it's a "scary show."
"Oh, no, honey. You can't watch Barney. It looks like a kids show, but it's actually a very spooky show for grown ups. You can never watch it, OK?" (So far it's worked, though I think my seven year old is beginning to have some questions.)
Anyway, the shows they are permitted to watch become beloved indeed, and the characters are seen almost as little friends. But how OK would I be if some of those friends came over... ?
Absolutely f*cking not. There is no way that child would ever be allowed to set foot in my house. I don't even let my kids watch him in my house. Caillou is the worst. I would, however, happily take his parents out for a drink or coffee or something to give them even an hour away from that whiny little monster.
20. The Dinosaurs From 'Dinosaur Train'
Let's just say that I take great comfort in the idea that, 65 million years ago, a giant asteroid hit Earth and now all of the dinosaurs are dead. Especially Don.
19. Thomas And Friends
They all just kind of seem like dicks, TBH. And all that weird, cultish talk about being "useful," as though one's "usefulness" was the ultimate virtue one could pursue? Useful to whom, exactly? I just don't need that kind of negativity in my house.
18. The Assorted Vegetables from 'Veggie Tales'
The only reason they're not further up the list is because there's also the possibility I'll want a salad at some point during the play date.
[Full disclosure: My kids have never actually watched this show, but I used to have to watch it for some kids I babysat and I hated it and I've basically waited 20 years to make a joke about turning them into salad is what I'm saying... ]
17. The 'Ninjago' Ninjas
Again... they're just kind of dicks, amiright? And, I'm sorry, I don't want y'all doing anything called "spinjitzu" in or even near the house. Someone is going to break something and furniture seems the least worrying of all options. So no thanks. Stay in your dojo, dudes.
16. Mickey Mouse And Friends
My kids discovered Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at their cousins' house in 2015 and I've basically had that goddamn hot dog song stuck in my head ever since. Look, if these characters were just ordinary cartoons that rolled out sometime in the last five years then I would never invite them over. But we must respect legends and these folks are, indeed, legendary. So come on in Mickey; please limit singing about hot dogs to a bare minimum, if you please...
15. The PJ Masks
Honestly, I don't find them terribly interesting but they seem polite and like they wouldn't get into much trouble.
No sleepovers, though. Because bedtime is not the right time to fight crime. It's the right time to go the f*ck to sleep. Please leave the crime fighting to the adults.
No matter how the day started off it would end with some kind of party, most likely a dance party, and who doesn't like that? Also, Elly seems really cool, and maybe Pocoyo would bring her along.
13. Super Why
Super Why is that kid you encourage your kid to be friends with not because they're especially magnificent, but because they'll encourage good habits. Like "Hey! What should we do on this play date?!" "Let's sound out some words and maybe eventually read a sentence!" "OK!" That's cool. I can stand a subdued playdate.
12. Peppa Pig
This ranking is due 100 percent to her adorable British accent... also maybe we could talk to her about how it's not cool that she's constantly fat-shaming her dad.
11. Sofia The First
Sofia became a princess overnight (which she sort of annoyingly fits into conversation whenever she gets the chance. We know, Sofia... your mom married the king. That doesn't make you special. Plus it was seven years ago: move on) but she's remained pretty down to Earth and I feel like she'd be a good friend. Also she can talk to animals and always seems to stumble upon magic which would be awesome for my kids.
10. Curious George
If the playdate were at the Man with the Yellow Hat's apartment, I'd be totally down (mainly because his apartment building seems really swanky and I want to snoop around his medicine cabinet). If that were guaranteed George would be very close to the top of the list. But having George over our house? I'd be less inclined, what with the trail of disasters and destruction that tend to lie in his wake. And you know he wouldn't help you clean up (the The Man might). Still, my kids have loved this curious little monkey for years now and it'd be fun to meet a hyper-intelligent primate.
9. Daniel Tiger
The emotional intelligence of Daniel Tiger is through the damn roof. We should always talk about our feelings like Daniel does. Sure, his randomly bursting into instructive song might get a little old after a while but this is a little tiger I wouldn't mind coming over. Also I want Grandpere to drop him off because I feel like I have a lot of questions for him...
8. The Animals Of 'Puffin Rock'
Honestly I just want to hold a puffin. Especially a puffin with an adorable Irish accent who pronounces "now" like "naiow."
7. The Wild Kratts
Again, what's a playdate all about if not getting close to adorable baby animals as possible? The Kratt brothers can get you there and we're all here for it. Plus my kids would really enjoy using "creature powers." I just feel like everyone would have a good time: They'd get to educate my kids and my kids would get to pet an aye-aye. Everyone's happy.
6. The Ponies Of 'My Little Pony'
I'm not going to lie to you and pretend I'm not a grown woman who doesn't appreciate My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic because I do because friendship is magic and these ponies, unicorns, and pegasi get that, OK?!
5. The Vikings And Dragons Of 'How To Train Your Dragon'
TOOTHLESS! TOOTHLESS! TOOTHLESS! TOOTHLESS! TOOTHLESS!
He'd have to stay outside because my house isn't that big but he could come chill in the yard to play with the kids for as long as he wanted.
4. Bill Nye
It's not so much a play date as having the world's most enthusiastic science tutor coming over to give your kid a leg up on their homework, but damn if that wouldn't be awesome AF.
3. Miss Frizzle And Her Magic School Bus
I would accept Miss Frizzle's sister from the reboot, but if we're being honest it's all about the OG Miss Frizzle, right?
Arnold can stay home, though. Arnold's a for real bummer and an ingrate who doesn't appreciate all Miss Frizzle did for him.
2. Anyone From 'Sesame Street'
The world would be more magical if it were like Sesame Street and I would pay money for my kid to be able to hang out with any of the residents thereof. Seriously, from humans to grouches, everyone is just so awesome. WHY CAN'T WE LIVE THERE FOR REAL, DUDES?!
1. Mr. Rogers
Again: less playdate and more "Can you just come over so we can bask in your glorious presence?" Honestly I can't even think about this beautiful human without tearing up.