When you hit the play-dating level of parenting, it brings about a whole host of unforeseen and often amusing interactions.
When my kid started going on play-dates, I found there was a massive amount of novelty in hanging out with people who my son had essentially chosen for me. It’s like if you let your kid swipe Tinder for you. In fact, from here on out I’m calling it Kinder. Of course, you’re not always going to love your kid’s taste in other kids and their parents and sometimes they get it hopelessly wrong – pre-schoolers, you idiots. Though I’ve noticed when they get it wrong, it’s even that bit more fun (see point 5). Plus sometimes they get it totally right.
6 Things I Love About Play-dating Other Parents That I Totally shouldn’t Admit To
Hands down THE best thing about the playdate is getting to see other people’s houses. I have an insatiable appetite for perving on the homes of others. It doesn’t even have to be some totally amazing pad, I just want to see anyone’s gaff. If I could ingratiate myself with YOU and get inside YOUR home it would litch be the highlight of my week. However, know this, if you don’t just give in and give me a house tour, I will sneak off under the guise of going to the toilet to prowl the rest of the house. Yes, I am a creep.
Discovering That Other People Are As Chaotic As I Am
Okay, this doesn’t happen on every single playdate that I go on, but even if the kids are immaculate and the house is an Insta-dream of fresh flowers and rose gold and marble tabletops, if there is even a tiny petal out of place I can use this to great effect when consoling myself about what a sh*tstorm my own life is. “Yesssssss,” I rejoice in my head. “Even Amy Costigan uses baby wipes to clean her walls and she doesn’t even have real coffee – I mean c’mon, who doesn’t have coffee in this day and age?” *Immediately feels better about own shabby life*
Parenting in A Non-Judgmental Environment
Am I the only person who finds it more stressful parenting in front of my friends who aren’t parents themselves? Weirdly they seem to have much higher standards for childcare than the average parent does. “Eh, is he supposed to be eating that?” One of the child-free friends might remark, as my son sucks on a battery. “Fine! Shame me why don’t you then.” Whereas people who have kids themselves barely notice these lapses in my parenting skills, mainly because they’re too busy trying to retrieve a cigarette butt from their kid’s mouth.
Sometimes It Is FREE Childcare
The first time I realised that the mother I was playdating actually meant for me to leave my son with her (to wreck her house, I might add), I nearly cried I was so excited. “You mean I’ll just head off then…? Weeeelllll, okay.” I ran from the place and was in such a state of giddiness that I never quite settled on what to do with the precious window of surprise time that I had just been gifted. I basically wasted it but STILL it was amazing. Sidenote: Incase you’re wondering I did mange to get in a quick house-perve when I returned to collect him.
I’ll put my hand up an admit it right here, I L O V E getting a close-hand look at other people’s relationships. Stop judging me, you know you do too… right? RIGHT?
Nothing could’ve prepared me for how much day drinking I would end up doing after having kids. Day drinking is an activity that is sometimes slightly frowned upon in some circles, but throw a couple of kids into the mix and day drinking is pretty much the only hope of drinking a parent even has. If you’re not tiddly by noon, sober(ish) by storytime and hungover by bedtime you don’t have a hope. Other parents undertstand this.