I am British so I say sorry a lot. But I don’t think I ever say sorry more than when I’m on a playdate with a new mum friend. I don’t mean to. It makes me uncomfortable when people constantly apologise in my house. But there are so many sorry possibilities…
- I’m so sorry he pushed Tom (I’m sorrier that you didn’t see Tom snatch and snarl ‘I hate you’).
- So sorry she didn’t eat much, she’s picky (she’s had sausages 3 times in the last 2 days)
- I can’t believe he knocked over your plant on your cream carpet, sorry (why would you have soil near a cream carpet? argh)
- Sorry the house is such a mess (I’ve tidied frantically for 30 mins straight)
- Sorry I only have ice cream for pudding – they’re not usually allowed it ever (*lie*)
Why do we do this dance? It’s an awkward performance of please’s, thank you’s and sorry’s. You can’t relax while they cook. They can’t relax while you tidy etc. Is it a mating dance gone wrong?
The big playdate dilemmas:
- Bang on time or 5-10 mins late to allow them a final tidy and not look too eager?
- Bring foodie gift offering? Sneaky biccies for mums or cookies for kids pud?
- Sit and play with kids or prop up the kitchen bar?
- Intervene when the host’s kid hits your’s with a mega block or stay schtum?
- How far should you discipline your own angel when they make a cushion castle and coffee-table surf on the host’s furniture?
- How do you come back from your potty-trainer peeing all over their playroom floor?
- After tea do you get down on all 4’s chasing peas and chips around with a wet wipe?
- Do you attempt to tidy up the destruction (risking the horrific wrong toy wrong box) or make a reciprocal no-tidy pact?
- How soon after the ‘date’ should you send the thank you text?
- How soon after the thank you text do you propose the next ‘date’ (depending on the ‘chemistry’ of kids and parents!)?
Play dates are really like double dates – do you like the mum and does your kid tolerate their kid. When it works, it’s amazing. You have to date around a bit to get your perfect play date matches. Mine usually start in flapjack and end in wine.