Play date anxiety

I feel as if I am back on the dating scene again!  The anxiety of whether or not your child will get invited to have a play date coupled with questions about where will the play date take place?, and what will we the parents talk about?, and what happens if it all goes terribly wrong? how do you initiate a 2nd play date?

 ImageWe had our first play date late in the summer.  It was an outing to a baseball game as opposed to a traditional play date, which was really great in my book!  Our son and his little buddy went to see the Lowell Spinners and the buddy is quite a pro, putting our son to shame as he shunned the hot dog!  And luckily we think the parents are nice folks (I’m not sure that always is the case right?). Anyway…so feeling confident about the success of 1 play date I somewhat foolishly decided to throw a multi-child play date! Why? I don’t know – seemed like a good idea when I thought of it.

 So one of the issues (up until this afternoon) was who else from the day care center to invite to the multi-child play date (notice I’m avoiding the word party).  The buddy mentioned above is a given.  But there are a few other little ones our son seems close to, but in our day care world the parents tend to quickly drop-off and pick-up and engage in little conversation so it is difficult to know if anyone is interested in a play date.  I’ve been thinking about it for a little while because it is like dating in the adult world. 

  1. You wonder if the child or children you invite over are really interested in coming over? (“Does he really like me?”)
  2. You worry that your house isn’t clean/big/stylish enough. (“Is this dress o.k. or should I wear pants?”)
  3. You don’t want to invite just any child (and parent(s)) to your house, but you also want your child to have children over that he knows and likes. (“I only met him once before so I hope we have enough to talk about.”)
  4. You worry if it doesn’t go well then you still have to see the child and parents at the day care center. (“I’ll have to change my lunch hour so I don’t run into him/her downstairs.”)
  5. And who decides if it goes well – the parents or the children? The kids could have a blast and the parents could not really connect with one another.

Someone initiated a play date today, which brought me some joy and relief but fueled more anxiety because its a girl and are there rules for boy-girl play dates at this age? LOL!

Play date anxiety!!! Then I thought “Does it matter? They’re 2 years old!”  It doesn’t really matter, but it kind of does.  In my mind this is how our son gets introduced to other children and playing with others outside of school and learning to be a host (my mother would be proud).  And on the other hand he’s 2, if it doesn’t go well there are lots of future opportunities for other play dates and friendships….and more anxiety for mom!

 The anxiety is so funny to me that I had to just release the thoughts on paper.  And I am 100% positive that my mom did NOT go through play date anxiety. Because when I was growing up all the kids ran in and out of each other’s houses all weekend and weekday afternoons and played in the street and you just ran to the house that had dinner served first to eat and then went home.  Every day was a play date.



2 thoughts on “Play date anxiety

  1. Isn’t that something- it is true I remember just playing at people’s houses and the parents were never around, or where off in the distance (drinking maybe?). Why have we structured things so much now a days? I guess it is a sign of the times. I have had people over and thought the kids will just play and we “the parents” can talk. Then when same parents invited us over they provided snacks and art activities ..oh my I thought, I didn’t have any of this when they were here. SO the next time I did and now it seems to be a bit of a one up”manship- which is still strange to me, and even stranger that I play along. For goodness sake I made apple crisp last weekend- that’s so not me. I feel your anxiety.

  2. Yep. And I definitely don’t want to get into the “She did this at her house so I should do this” game because it’s silly….remember my handmade V-day cards?!

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