posted on by

The Evolution of the Playdate

When the twins were younger, playdates were a fantastic idea.  It involved grabbing the babies, filling a bag with everything from nappies to Calpol and throwing myself into a coffee shop where I could gossip with friends whilst our children slept, drank or gurgled on a knee.

The only stress came if a child dared to cry and ruin our Lattes, but usually a brisk stroll in a buggy or a large nipple solved all problems.

twins
I look back to my baby playdates with a cloud of nostalgia.

Because then the buggers grew up, and with each stage of development the experience of the play date has evolved.

The Toddler Playdate.

This stage of playdates involves another mother coming to your house and staying whilst your toddlers either ignore each other profoundly, or scream blue bloody murder if the newcomer dares to even glance at one of their toys.

build

To add to this hell, you have to clean the toilet and spray pledge into every room to convince the other parent you are fully functioning and share genes with superwoman.  Normally cooking is considered polite, as is not removing the visiting toddler from his high chair and dumping him in the garden when he wipes some funky, smelling organic gloop on your favourite sweater during the feeding process.
twins 2 headline
It is not so much a play date but an endurance test, where no adult conversation is muttered and you spend most of the time hoping they will feck off so you can try and get your kids to sleep and catch up on last nights Eastenders.

The pre-schooler playtime

Pre schoolers, they want to be independent and come without a parent, but truth is, when they do, they often spend the session in a whole state of shock.

We had a friend round to play when the twins were little who spent the whole time staring at me with eyes filled with unrestricted terror.  No words were spoken except “Mummy” and it was like having a human doll glaring at you.

Seriously spooky shit.
christmas jumper
She held a dolly in her arms and kept twisting the head, it must have been voodoo as I had a crick for weeks after.

The plus about pre school playdates is they are often cut short through fear.  In our case it was when the poor child wet herself because we had forgotten she was still here and she didn’t dare ask where the loo was.

School times

Like most things in evolutionary terms it gets worse and becomes embedded in technology.  Playdates are no different.

The school age playdate all want to disappear into a futuristic world and build houses online rather than from lego.  Fine if you have a tablet per child, argumentative if you only have one.

The other kick in the nuts is, the playdates get longer.  Gone are the drop off for an hour or so of preschool days.  School day playdates are serious, they arrive post school ( after you play who gets to not sit on the car seat because you forgot the spare again) and they don’t leave until every chicken nugget in the house has gone and it is dark outside.
mario
And brace yourself..

Sometimes they sleep over.

Yes, I mean stay all night.

Sleep being a confusing term because they actually spend the night launching from room to room not even trying to be sleuth like.

They talk, laugh like hyenas, steal food from the fridge and simply ignore when you lose your cool and issue the threat of separation.

Nothing shows you how little impression you make as a parent until you are ignored by a multitude of other peoples kids.

Then the next day you have to endure the hangover of the playdate.  Your own (obviously, from the emergency gin stock), plus teary eyed little monsters who can’t exist on less than ten hours kip, so subsequently spend the day over reacting and emotionally broken.

The only upside to sleepovers is sometimes; someone else gets your kids! You still get their hangovers but you don’t have to break up the party – someone else gets to be ignored!

I know this whole process is going to continue to evolve, but if you could do me a favour and lie to me that would be great – tell me it gets better!

I am so excited to be shortlisted in the Mad Blog Awards 2014 in two categories,

thanks to everyone who voted in the first stage

Best Writer and Most Entertaining,

if you would like Northernmum to win, please take a moment to vote here

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. Brilliant!

    Totally spot on and funny as ever.

    As a nanny once working in a very posh area we had a little boy (5) over for tea who demanded I take the shepherds pie I’d placed in front of him, back to the kitchen and get him ‘something I much prefer thank you – like steak!’

    Oh my word. He didn’t get invited for a play date again.

    I love your writing and read often, I must comment more!

  2. Thanks fi! X
    northernmum recently posted..The Evolution of the PlaydateMy Profile

  3. Love this – the playdate hangover, brilliant.
    Jess Paterson recently posted..How To Get A Bit Of Lego Out Of Your Kid’s NoseMy Profile

  4. My five year old has started talking about having friends for a sleepover. I am hoping to put that off for a few years. I have only just got my head round having friends over for tea after school. And so far that’s only been friends who I know well and am friends with the parents with anyway.
    PhotoPuddle recently posted..‘blue skies and parasols’ by MeMy Profile

  5. ha! Seriously Spooky Shit… lol x I dread the day we have another thing sleeping over! Kill me! lol x Good luck in the MADs misses – looking forward to meeting you! xxx
    Wallymummy recently posted..Thank You… A MADs Poem… (contains alcohol…naturally)My Profile

  6. I think we are averaging a sleepover a month at the moment, fair to say some get invited more than others! I’m rooting for you at MADS.
    Coombemill recently posted..What Motivates a Tween Girl?My Profile

  7. Ha ha brilliant!!
    Lauranne recently posted..I don’t need a man, I climbed a mountainMy Profile

  8. I don’t do sleepovers, I’m mean like that. We tried it a couple of times and it wasn’t awful but I already have 4 children in the house and that’s more than enough – if they each have a mate over that’s EIGHT CHILDREN. They haven’t grown up warped and deprived as a result. Made me snort out loud again, many thanks :-)
    Chris at Thinly Spread recently posted..Sailing Holidays – The UK Reality and a Delicious Dream!My Profile

  9. Utterly hilarious and so very true
    Claire toplis recently posted..Daffodils Waves I think of youMy Profile

  10. This made me laugh my head off…at 6am! Z is somewhere between the toddler and preschooler stage right now. He hates one particular girl because she has an obsession with poking him in both eyes. He spends the entire play date hiding behind me whilst I try to look all casual sat on the sofa.
    INotmyyearoff recently posted..How To Play Football At Age 3My Profile

  11. Very very funny….

  12. Is it bad that we haven’t had any playdates for ages and ages. I blame it on the fact that we need a new carpet desperately but really it’s because 3 children are more than enough.
    Rebecca recently posted..Cool Activities Using Easter Egg ActivitiesMy Profile

  13. Brilliant – it does get easier with teens but then you have to sit up waiting for them to get home. 10.30 Chloe arrived home after going to a friends afterschool yesterday.
    Emma recently posted..What I wore to the races.My Profile

  14. I guess you have club 18-30 to look forward to after all that.

    Fantastic post as always I would be very surprised if you don’t win your awards x
    Pinkoddy recently posted..DC Super Friends BooksMy Profile

  15. I’m now sufficiently terrified of my children ever growing up! Brilliant post though :D
    Stacey Corrin recently posted..Lasting Quotes From Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’My Profile

  16. Oh i remember those lovely coffee shop days …sigh
    Becky recently posted..Seasons Of MotherhoodMy Profile

  17. Ha ha, eeek. I’m only just getting used to after school playdates, when do the sleepovers start?
    Emma recently posted..Win with Carddies and the The Brit PackMy Profile

Speak Your Mind

CommentLuv badge