Play Dates: Do We Love Them Or Hate Them?
If you are relatively new to the world of parenting, you are probably just becoming familiar with hearing this sentence, 'Why don't we organise a play date some time?!'
Playdates, in case you are unfamiliar, involve bringing yourself, your kids and some sort of offering to another parent's house and hanging out together for an hour or two (we're talking a packet or two of biscuits or a few scones, by the way, and not booze - playdates unfortunately take place before Happy Hour commences). Or it involves another parent and their kids coming to you visit you, meaning you have to clean your house, hide the dog (kids and dogs are not always fond of each other, who knew?!) and also figure out some refreshments for the visitors.
The general misconception is that the kids will be so delighted to see each other that they will happily hang out in the garden, or the playroom and leave the adults to enjoy a wonderful intellectual chat over a brew in peace and quiet. And sometimes they are, for about the first ten minutes or so...
Don't get me wrong, there are delicious moments when you and your friend realise that you've gotten away with completing not one, but several conversations from start to finish. Every now and then, you sit and stare at each other, wondering if there is anything left to talk about for now. Those are the super-amazing playdate visits that keep you going back for more.
But what of the other 92 per cent of the time? Let's just paint this picture, shall we: a sunny Tuesday afternoon, three shoeless toddlers on a trampoline, one balloon, two bottles of bubble mix, one very slow pregnant mother and another weighed down by the weight of a new baby in her arms.
The reaction time WASN'T particularly great or speedy when a fight over the balloon broke out, forcing it up and over the garden wall. In the scramble to grab it, one toddler's jeans fell to their ankles, which in turn caused them to slip on the trampoline floor, wet from the bubbles that burst when they hit it. In what felt like slow motion, we watched as one little toddler head whacked full-force into another little toddler head, causing her to fall backwards against her older sister who spilt the remaining bubble mixture all over the younger two's heads.
And just like that; tea cups discarded, unfinished scones abandoned (not to mention, the adult conversation you had been craving all week) and a cacophony of snots, tears and 'Mammmmmmmyyyyyyyyy!!!!!'
Do you like to organise playdates with your other mum pals? Let me know at sharyn.hayden@HerFamily.ie