We’re back on the dating scene. Playdating that is.
Kids hanging out in this day and age is a totally different ballgame from when I was a kid. We used to run around from neighbor to neighbor ringing doorbells to see who was home and wanted to play. We played without adult supervision until the street lights came on and we knew it was time to go home. Simple. Easy.
Today, its a whole other thing. Playdates are prebooked and marked into the calendar. Parents are often present for the duration – at least for the under 6 set. These things are SCHEDULED. You text back and forth with the other parents, booking the event around swimming lessons and art classes, soccer practices and violin lessons. They are capped at 2-3 hour window of time and recur only once a month or so. Its like casual dating.
Shorty #2 just turned 3 but she’s already all about booking the playdate. This morning she asked me to set up a play with a new neighborhood friend. I promised I would reach out to the kid’s parents and # 2 says “Just text her Mom.” then shoots me the double guns. When did my kid become a CAA agent asking me to arrange meetings for her. I’m surprised she didn’t ask for the playdate to happen over lunch at the Four Seasons.
The other element to the playdate is the parent hang. With really little Shorties, you have to stick around and make sure they are well behaved. This means you’re on a double date with the parents of said kid. Sometimes this is cool, but sometimes its a bit awkward. Now you’re spending the next 2+ hours of your Saturday wrangling kids with another adult you don’t really know and may only have in common a toddler kid. Sometimes its awkward. Do you offer them tea? Wine? What? And God forbid the Shorty wreaks havoc (Hello little biter – I’m looking at you), now you’re really on the spot. Discipline with an audience. Fearing judgement you need to find the right level of admonishment so you appear just firm enough according to the other parent’s standards.
Seriously, dating in my 20’s was easier than this.
Maybe that’s the answer. We need Tinder for playdates. “40-something mom and 3-year-old seeking same for fun times and laughs in the East Van neighborhood. Our likes are finger-painting, applesauce and finger-painting with applesauce.” Here’s our profile picture:
I miss the days of ringing doorbells and asking “Marky’s Mom” if Marky could come out to play. It was easier. If the parents were around it was because they were ordering pizza together and there was usually beer involved. What’s happened to us that playing is such a production?