The time has come, your child is old enough to request a play date. In lieu of flowers, please leave booze, the good stuff.
Once you figure out the game of tetris that is sorting out who the kids parents are, and how to reach out to them (i.e. leaving a note in their cubby).
I’ve never handed out my number to anyone, but you know in the movies, when someone gives their number to the server on a napkin and asked them to bring it down to that person at a bar and then they wait? That’s exactly how I feel. I am waiting for some unknown number to text me and say ‘Hey this is Sally – Jimmy’s mom’. Once I get that text I can breathe, because my four year old will finally be at bay because we can set up a play-date.
Of course, all of this would be easier if not for two things;
I drop off ass early at school. I am literally the parent who is sitting in my car waiting for 6:58 so that I can start getting the crew out of the car so we can be at the front door when it unlocks at 7. So I never see any other parents. On the flip side, I get to their school at about 4:40 while most parents don’t get there until the 5:30-6 wave. So I never see any other parents.
There is no parent contact list – which is mind blowing to me. I mean I am sure when they are in ‘real’ school there is no contact list then either, but I feel like at this age there should be.
Alright, so all these things aside, I met one of the parents of a classmate of my four year old at a birthday party a few weeks back. We connected and traded numbers. I would like to report that we had our first ‘real’ play-date this weekend, and while in our care, no one; got lost, injured, or even cried. Yay for us!
Yet, I feel I need to let it be known that if you are planning your first play-date and you have multiple children, I would suggest starting out easy. The hubs and I tackled the group of four just fine, I wore the baby (5 months) and he wore our middle child (2) and the two four year olds ran free. BUT with two high energy four year olds, on your first play-date, maybe a trip to the Zoo, isn’t the best. Things we should have done instead for the first time;
- Play LEGOs at home
- Play Dressup at home
- Sports at the park
- Play anything at home/park
If your children aren’t high energy and don’t feed off of each other, then you can ignore my words. Go to the Mall, go to Chuck E’ Cheese, hell, go to a Zoo – have a grand ol’ time. But for us, and these two boys and any like them, starting small would be better.
I am not saying that a play date away from the house is something that will never happen – nope not at all.
What I am saying is that you should do something in an environment that is a little more controlled and familiar. A place where you can observe them and understand better how they interact so that when you decide to adventure out and go to the Zoo, you know how to conquer it.
And if a child’s parent ever offers for you and the kids to come over, bounce on their bouncy house and parents have pizza and beers – you jump right on that opportunity. That’s a two-fer play-date and those are amazing.