We have a ridiculously great group of friends here. We meet at the park every Tuesday, gab on about who went skiing this weekend, what mountain they hiked or what trail they ran. Who has a race coming up, who is traveling on vacation and which kid is riding a 2-wheeler on their own. We high-five each other, throw out sarcasm like it's confetti and just enjoy being outside and having a breather from the hard parenting stuff.
The people are so similar to me, it's scary. But, we haven't had a playdate. Like, at someone else's house. We've never seen each others' houses, actually. Tuesday, there were 6-8 of us, plus all of our kids. Collectively, we probably had about 20 of us at the park on a gloriously 55-degree, warm and sunny day. It's not that we're against playdates at houses, it's just... they're complicated.
Once you're in ones turf, the precedent changes. There are pretenses that adults have to deal with. Who will be the first to initiate? And should I clean the house? Will they like me once they finally see my mess of a life?
More than all that though (because honestly I don't personally care what they think of my junk and worry more that our small rental is too small for 20), it's about sharing. Not sharing my things or my space, but MY KIDS and their kids amicably cohabiting, sharing and being KIND. Because if it's anything like yesterdays 3.5 hour playdate at the park where almost zero bickering happened, that's not how it's going to go down when we're sharing space and practically living amongst one another for 3+ hours.
It's literally impossible for about a dozen kids (or even two) to share space and belongings without some issue for 3+ hours. Or with that many kids, at least 286 issues.
Benjamin has a sweet friend at school that he's been wanting to have a playdate with. He really wants to go to her house, but I can't exactly invite him over, so I invited her over... with the hope that we could swap playdate time and he could have his wish to visit her house, too.
That's not happening. For the first time in a long time, I had to endure one of those out-of-body tantrums he used to present us with multiple times a day. And it was totally embarrassing. I'm sure she's telling her mom all about his horrible behavior. Ugh. Thankfully those days are mostly gone, but I saw it again today, complete with the removal of clothing, destructive behavior, loud shrieking and need for restraint. Ugh.
He's lost treats, tablet time and sadly, that opportunity to visit the friend's coveted house next week. I just can't risk it. I honestly thought this afternoon would be super fun. School was great, they did their favorite activities and we were having a playdate where my kids would be so occupied sharing their toys with their sweet friend that I would park it on the couch with a book. Did. not. happen.
Sharing is hard. I know. Parenting is hard. I know that, too. And playdates? Well those just suck.
Heartbreak and Healing
1 year ago