Date protocol…Playdate that is.

11 May

The playdate, something I was completely unfamiliar with until I had children. When I was little I just cruised on over to a friend’s house either on foot or by bike. If I wanted to visit with a friend who lived too far away to hoof it, my Mom would drive me, drop me off and be back to get me later. We called it going to a friends house. Nowadays it’s known as the playdate.

Since my years as a housewife have made me painfully shy and socially awkward, Cameron has suffered…Of course. Cameron was a late bloomer in the playdate department. It wasn’t until he was close to three that we started hanging out with other kids and thus other mommies. We would have swim dates at the Y. We would meet up at a park and maybe hit Chick-fil-a afterward. Art classes at the mall. What we never did was go to someone’s house.

I think a big part of that, at least on my end, was that I didn’t want to go to someone’s house for a playdate because I would feel the need to reciprocate in the near future. Before moving to The Hill, I was pretty embarrassed of our house. We had a tiny townhouse and it was OLD. There was no way I was inviting the kids from their McMansions to come to our little hole. I know it sounds stupid, but I was very self-conscience when we lived there.

Once Cameron was in school he would talk to his friends and they would arrange playdates themselves and then bug the hell out of me (and the other mother) until we caved and set something up. The first time this happened I put it off as long as I could, until the other mother emailed me. I couldn’t really say no, but I sure as hell wasn’t having anyone at our house. Where were they going to play, the parking lot? Anyway, arrangements were made for Cameron to go over and play with a little boy from his class. I didn’t know the kid and didn’t know his mother either. The anxiety I felt the night before and the morning of was borderline insane, I walked around feeling like I might throw up.

Then something else hit me…What was playdate protocol? Am I supposed to drop Cameron off? Do I stay? Do I bring a snack? Is it ok to bring Logan along? Not like I had anywhere else for him to go. Is there a time frame for the playdate? I felt like I was in middle school all over again, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. We did bring our moon bounce for the kids to jump around in as a contribution. I still feel bad that we never did had that kid over for a date, but I just couldn’t bring myself to go through that again.

Cameron has never gone on another playdate. OK sure, we’ve had his girlfriend over with her parents, but we’re friends with them. He’s been over to his girlfriend’s house to play, but once again, her mother and I are friends so it never feels awkward. Actually, I look forward to hanging out with them.

So here I am on the eve of our first real playdate on The Hill and I must say I’m just a little nervous. Cameron’s little girlfriend is coming with her mom and brother (who is Logan’s age…perfect I know) but we are also having another little girl from the class over with her mom. I like the little girl and her mother, I’ve met them a few times at school functions, but that’s the only interaction I’ve ever had with them. While I like this other mother she’s not really a friend, more of an acquaintance. I’m sure we’ll get along, she seems very down to earth and real. We’ll see how it goes, who knew being a mom could get so complicated?

Do you have any fun playdate stories to share? A nightmare? A pleasant surprise? Tell me about it!

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