Oh yes, not all play dates are glitz & glamour. I should know...I've had plenty of them. And the funny thing is, it's not because of the children being little heathens either. It's because of the parents. Yes, the parents make or break a play date it seems like in my situation.
I really enjoy having play dates. I love getting the kids out of the house because it's better since my husband has to sleep all day to work at night. So this way, less noise is made at home when we can be out as much as possible. And it's so much more fun with a friend. Don't you agree?
But what happens when you are excited to meet up with friends and the kids are excited to play, only to find out that it doesn't go as planned? Well, it sucks. Yes, just plain sucks. And it's happened quite a bit. And I'm not a fan.
I've had some where the other mom wouldn't get off her phone from texting for more then 30 seconds to even engage in any conversation at all with me. And when I did speak, she didn't hear me cause she was so busy texting her other friend. She invited me over for the play date but it ended up me just sitting there watching her text for a few hours with minimal conversation.
I've also had some where I was invited to go out for a play date only to have the mom tell me as soon as I got there that she decided to leave. She was bored and just felt like going home. Mind you, it took me over 30 minutes to drive to her and I was upset that we met up at the agreed time but she wanted to bail. But it was ok.
I had one where I was told to meet up for a play date with a friend and her daughter at a specific time. I got there. i sat and waited and waited....and waited some more. Almost four hours there waiting and she never showed. She never contacted me saying anything changed. I finally left. I got home and hours later got a message from her saying sorry, she just decided not to go and went somewhere else. I guess it would have been nice to have let me know when she had changed her mind. That way I wouldn't have sat all day looking out for her to walk by. Plus, it disappointed my daughter really bad thinking she was going to have someone to play with.
And then there was this one...
Was invited to take the kids and hang out at the pool. It was my first time taking all three children by myself and I was a bit nervous. I mean, who wouldn't be? I had no idea how I was going to handle trying to watch my seven year old wanting to go off with her friends, while my one year old was just waiting for the moment for me to turn around so he could run away and think it was funny. And then the baby couldn't be put down. She had to be held the entire time.
Where was I supposed to put her anyway? I was suggested just put the two little ones in the stroller strapped down so I could go off and enjoy a dip in the pool.
ummm....I don't know about you, but that really just threw a curve ball at me for a minute. It was suggested because my play date mommy did not want her one year old in the baby pool because she wanted to stay in the big pool. When I said I couldn't bring both of them in the big pool because I know how my kids would try to escape my arms and the baby pool was perfect, I was told to just strap them down in the stroller and come over to the big area for a while to hang out with her.
First of all, if I were to do that, I think I would have been kicked out. Not only from all the screaming my son would be doing to try and wiggle his way out of the stroller, but also because it was like 100 degrees outside even in the shade and the babies needed to water to be cooled off in.
Second, I don't think I could even just leave my kids in a stroller with no supervision around in a pretty big public place. I would have lots of fear someone would snatch them right up and walk out while I was doing flips off the diving board.
My friend actually seemed upset by me. She kept saying just put them in the stroller and come over to her in the water. I finally got to the point I just ignored her and tried my best to play with my babies and have a good time. We actually never even spoke for more then 5 mins there and we were there for three hours. I wondered why I even agreed to meet up for a play date when we had no interaction at all. Not between us nor our children. It was just basically as if we both ended up going to the same place at the same time and happened to see each other, waved hi and that was that.
I understand that she felt she wanted to play with her child in the adult pool and that was fine. But when I had to little ones to keep watch over that I barely could let go of and then a third who doesn't swim every well so she needs lots of supervision, I couldn't just ditch my kids to go hang out with her. I thought she understood prior that I had made it clear that I was not able to leave the baby pool and I just assumed she would be in the baby pool as well since her baby was as old as my son.
So all and all I was disappointed. I guess I felt the entire point of a play date was so that we could hang out while enjoying the company of the kids as well. Not to just feel like I was being shrugged off because I had to deal with my children.
Maybe I am over reacting. Maybe I just am taking it more then it should be. Maybe it just wasn't that big of a deal. But to me, hauling three kids out of the house with two diaper bags filled with stuff is just not only time consuming, but a huge chore as well.
What I can say is that being at the pool with them wasn't as horrible as I thought. The babies did act up a bit and got fussy at times, but it wasn't the nightmare I thought it was going to be. And my daughter enjoyed going.
So I'm wondering if I have a play date curse. I haven't had all bad play dates now. There have been some where they were very enjoyable with friends. But it seems I tend to get more bad then good when it comes to these.
It's probably not as bad as I feel like it is, but it kind of hurts, you know? Putting in effort, getting excited and then kind of just getting dumped. But I'm not going to let a few bum me out. I'll continue to try and make the best of them. Sure, I may be complaining and some probably are sitting here scratching their heads thinking I'm just over reacting. But it's ok. I just feel a play date can be a very special and really fun time. I guess I'm totally lame like that but I hate when I feel bailed on when taking part in them.