Friday, February 7, 2014
Am I Doing Playdates All Wrong?
I've never been a fan of the word. It just sounds so...cutesy.
My kids have had a lot of playdates over the years. These days they can go over to friend's houses and I no longer have to join them. Natalie has several kids who come over here to play. On other days, she goes to their homes. I always assumed because the kids were older, that they were capable of entertaining themselves. I send everyone to Natalie's room when they come over.
Then Natalie started telling me all the things she does when she goes over to her friends houses:
"When I go see my friend, her Mommy does Science experiments with us."
"We're allowed to play dress up in her Mommy's closet and dance in her Mommy and Daddy's room. Their door isn't shut like your room always is."
"We had organic cookies and juice, because organic is better I guess."
"Her Mommy had a picnic with us. We didn't watch TV at all because my friend hadn't earned enough tickets to watch."
"We learned about constellations. Her Mommy showed us a book and we all drew pictures of our favorite. I like the Big Dipper!"
I was like,
Am I doing playdates all wrong?!
I didn't know I was meant to STAY with the kids! This is what happens when children come to our house: I send them upstairs to Natalie's room where a television AND a Wii live. I remind them to stay out of my room. Not because I'm worried they'll break anything, but because it's generally littered with dirty clothes and cat hair. If they try to come downstairs and sit on the couch, I remind them that the toys live in Natalie's room. If they say they are hungry, I usually hand over the following:
--Fruit Roll Ups
--Little Debbie snacks
None of which are organic.
I'm surprised anyone allows their kids to come over. I wonder what their child says?
"Oh, I went to Natalie's house. We had to stay in her room. But it was okay because Natalie has a TV and a Wii and she doesn't need to earn tickets to play them. Natalie's Daddy shouts a lot, but not at us, he's on the computer and he's usually yelling at the screen. Natalie's Mommy is either cleaning, reading, or on her computer. She hands us food that is not organic and tells us to go upstairs. We can't go in her room. Natalie and I usually play Disney Infinity the entire time. Is it violent when Natalie makes her Rapunzel character throw frying pans at mine?"
Look, I'm not crafty so I'm not about to sit around a table with kids and create something. Natalie has returned home with the following before:
--a princess crown
--a painted leaf
I'm an Only Child and I never babysat, so I'm never sure what to say to other people's children. Hell, I sometimes don't even know what to say to MY OWN children. I'll stare blankly at them, wondering what comes after, "How was your day?"
I can't do picnics, because then I worry I won't be able to get back up. And also, if I prepared picnic food it would either come from KFC or I'd make sandwiches with white bread and non-organic meat and cheese. I'd serve regular juice.
I wouldn't want a strange child pulling my clothes on. What if she doesn't wipe properly after using the bathroom and her urine is now all over my dress?
I'm glad Natalie has friends over because it means she's entertained. When her friends are not over, she constantly wants me to play with her. Barbies, princess, dress ups, Disney Infinity, Memory, cooking shows...the list never ends. I'll just never be the fun parent. I'll never be the one that other kids squeal over. "Yay, Natalie's Mom! Today she's teaching us how to make something with quinoa!" (I would NEVER. Quinoa scares me.)
It's okay though. Everyone is different.
Maybe one day when Natalie has a friend over we can make something in her Easy Bake oven.