Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Play date prejudiced

Maybe it's bitchy of me but I hate the idea of play dates. This is a timely subject for me as the husband has taken a large interest in Jack's social development, because if left up to me there would be absolutely no play dates scheduled, you know, because of the aforementioned play date loathing. And here's why-

1. I hate play dates because of the inorganic way they're brought about. Back in the day, back when I was a kid (wow, I really just used that sentence) we went outside and made friends the old fashioned way- by accidentally hitting them in the head with a ball or saying you liked their Keds. WE made our own play dates. We got into a little innocent trouble, we made our own myths and sought out legends in the park. We built cities before the street lights came on without the assistance of parental units.

2. To me play dates usually only lead to two things- hour long minutes of judging other peoples parenting styles and inane conversation. And I'm usually too sarcastic or perverse for both of those activities.

"Is he potty trained yet?"
"About as much as a drunk uncle."

"Is he reading by himself?"
"Reading?! The damn child is a genius! He's writing his thesis on biomedical engineering* this spring."

"What is he into?"

And the thing is, if I DON'T answer things this way, I want to blow my brains out due to boredom. Because what I'm really thinking is "are you REALLY thinking this conversation is interesting?"
And if it isn't about your kid, it's your husband, your job, your car, your food, all topics with an undercurrent of judgement. And since I'm pretty open, since I'll openly say what is going on in my life without any shame, I'm usually an easy target. My "bravery" (if you'd even call it that) quickly becomes my weakness.

We'll see I suppose. Greg has scheduled a play date for Jack with a girl he works with and her son on Saturday. And I'll try and not fidget, say "fuck" out loud and such.

The only child in this play date will likely be me.

The things I do for this face...

* You never know, his dad did after all. I married a damn smart cookie. He's the brains and I'm...the ruckus starter of the family.


LL said...

the whole thing needs a rebranding. 'Playdate' just sounds so fucking stupid. Or better yet, we should just go old school and call it PLAYING. :)

Amanda said...

EXACTLY! Viva la revolution! I think the worst of it came when I was searching "play date" on google to find a picture for the beginning of this post. I got a BUNCH of children's play date business cards! How we came to a place where our two year olds are handing out "their card" is baffling to me.

Chelsea said...

That's what's so hard when you find a friend who is easy to be around, and you can both tell eachother's kids to "knock it off!" and "be nice!" When you look at the clock and it's already 4 and you have to hurry home before the husband gets suspicious of why you've been gone ALL day. Those kinds of friends are hard to come by. I kind of think that playdates are almost more about the mom's you're hanging with than the kids. I do know what you mean though about the parenting judging though. It's like, who cares, you do things one way, I do them another! The best kind of mom conversations are the ones where two mom's are brainstorming together and putting their ideas together to come up with a solution, not picking apart eachothers parenting styles.... you know what I mean.

I say, go with it and have fun. It might be a really good time. You guys all might make friends and be surprised.

ps, those big brown eyes of his are just tooooo sweet!

Lauren Knight said...

So funny... I was just talking about our apparent shared disdain for "playdates" with a good, REAL mom friend.

Love your blog. Jack is a pixie!