I’ve never really liked the term play date and I’m not sure why. Maybe because I’ve just never liked play dates. What’s the expectation for a play date? Just because our kids want to be friends, does that mean that the adults have to act interested in getting to know each other as well? We’re not the same as kids, we can’t just run around all over the playground yelling out nonsense and giggling. Instead we have to stand there awkwardly trying to make interesting conversation and if you’re like me, it’s painful. If you’re like my husband, it’s good times.
Because of this, I have successfully avoided setting up play dates for my kids for 14 years, minus one or two mishaps. Before anyone goes into a panic worrying my kids will need therapy, rest assured they’ve had many happy years of playing with their friends. Most of these friends have been from church and the beautiful thing is that I am friends with their parents. So my school play date avoidance has been working pretty well for me up until this school year. Josie is just too dang social. Too dang social and too dang persistent. She’d been asking me to set up a play date with her best friend, Lyla Ann for a solid month now. She came home from school telling me all about her very best friend and how she wanted to go to her house.
“Sorrry sweetie, but we don’t know where she lives.” I said, which worked for a few days.
She came home one day with a phone number that was 15 digits long which she said was Lyla Ann’s dad’s phone number.
“Honey, that phone number is too many digits. It’s not the right number. Sorry.”
Earlier this week I was leaving to take Judah to gymnastics when Josie came running out after me. “Wait for me! I want to go with you. Lyla goes to gymnastics at the same place and maybe we will go and see her and maybe you can talk to her mom and set up a play date!” This girl is relentless.
I couldn’t say no. Plus, what were the chances that Lyla would actually be at the gym at the same time? Turns out chances are good because as soon as we walked in Josie came running to me and told me that sure enough, Lyla was on the floor doing gymnastics and her mom was there as well.
So I did it. I acted like a grown up, introduced myself, and set up a play date for the girls. I told Josie and you would have thought I said I was taking her to Disneyland. She talked about it nonstop until the day finally arrived.
They had a great time playing, running all around the playground yelling out nonsense and giggling. I texted Lyla’s mom and asked if she could stay longer since they were playing so well together. When it was all over and Josie’s little extrovert heart was fulfilled, Judah came to me and said, “Josie’s so lucky. She actually got to have a play date.”
“What do you mean? Last weekend you had friends spend the night and went to another friend’s basketball game. You hang out with friends all the time.”
“Yeah, but when I was in kindergarten and first grade I asked you all the time to have play dates and you always said the same thing. No. No. No.”
Ouch. I couldn’t argue with that. I’m a mean mom. At least I made one kid’s dream come true.