The Playdate Diaries

Trying to stay sane in my 2-kid world…

Playdate #5: The Birthday Party September 29, 2007

Why is it that as soon as you’re having fun, your kids start to go NUTS and do stuff they’ve never done before in their entire little lives? I’m talkin’ tantrums, hissy fits, crying, shouting, screaming, kicking, biting – whatever their favorite is at the moment and gets your (and everyone else’s) un-divided attention.

We were invited to a birthday party from one of the playdate mommies. Promises of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, drinks, cake, live music, toys / friends to play with, and plenty of adult interaction were made. Plus a “surprise”. I’m thinking, what a sweet deal! We can’t possibly miss this!

So we get there at the listed start time of 10:30am (me on my quest to not be late ever again) only to find out they had pushed it back an hour. My tremendous luck begins. Dim the lights, grab the popcorn, and cue the curtains please, the shows about to begin…

So anyway, I’m hanging out, mingling with the teens who are there decorating and what-not, and Victor will just not stop trying to climb on me or hide behind my leg. He’s like, instantly scared of everything and everybody. Now mind you, these were actually nice people! Nothing at all like those scary few you find every now and then. You know, those down-right creepy folk who look like they’ve either just escaped from a mental hospital or need to be put into one. And why do they always have that damn crazy laugh down?! So, back to my point… what amazes me the most is that my son will warm up to the creepy person faster than he will with the nice person. My son shares pleasantries with the loonies? WTF?! Meanwhile, since these are actually nice, decent people, I’m basically screwed. *Victor, enter stage-right! Cue the tantrum please!*

So I manage to stay there until about 11:30am (the newly scheduled start time), when everyone actually starts to arrive. I’m having “fun”, trying to mingle and talking to the other playgroup mommies (who arrived at the right time – go figure!), and Victor keeps whining and complaining. By 11:40am, he’s ultra-fussy and trying to get me to pick him up. Seriously, if I had wanted to wear him for the party, I would have at least thrown on a matching shirt to his or something… 

Well, I decide to cut our party-venture short after the crying and shouting starts, and I say goodbye to everyone. I swear the kid started to laugh it all up as soon as I closed their front door behind us. I look at his face and see the biggest smile in the world – giggles included.

Fast forward about 10 minutes. Where am I? At the Mickey D’s drive-thru. I’m suddenly hearing cascades of laughter, cheering, and kisses being thrown from the back seat. Was this part of his evil plot to leave the party? Did he see the Mickey D’s on our way there? And why is there always a Mickey D’s around every street corner – no matter where you are in the world? When I think about the fact that I had woken up at 6am this morning and skipped on breakfast because we were going to be FED at this party – delicious food good enough to skip breakfast for – I want to throw a fit myself! Who can I climb onto? (…don’t answer that…)

Now… MY theory is that my son was persuaded by my husband to act up only during the time we were at the party. Not a minute before or a minute after. Hm. Is that why my husband offered to stay home with the baby? Did he know it was all going down like that and want to save face from any possible embarassment of his own? What an evil, evil man…

But not to worry! We’re even now. I went to walmart and spent an average $70 above the “budget” he was so kind to give me for today. Ha! ME with a budget limit? I beg to differ… *smirk – wink*

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Playdate #4: The OVERSIZED Park September 28, 2007

Ok seriously. Do the people who plan these parks even have kids? This park had more escape routes for our kids than the actual number of kids we had there! …ok, so I’m exaggerating, but come on! Sometimes I wonder if I’m being filmed on some hidden camera show (and I used to LOVE reality tv… tsk tsk) where the sick, twisted host is plotting and laughing how to make the mom’s life more miserable.

“Ha! Mom #5’s kid has just found the hole we cut in the fence. Let’s see how long it takes her to figure out her child has gone AWOL. Meanwhile, let’s zoom back into Mom #3’s little girl Theresa to see if she’s still playing in the fire-ant pile by the sandbox…”

I’ve come to the realization that playdates are a sick, sadistic joke on unsuspecting parents. Where else do you go to ‘meet other moms and make new friends’ when all you end up doing is chasing after your – and sadly – someone else’s kid? I’ve never believed in those ‘kid leashes’ but they’re becoming more and more appealing… I wonder if I can get them to match my wardrobe?

OMG, and speaking of wardrobe… WHEN does the t-shirt wearing and flip-flops start? I try so hard to dress cute (as cute as a 65lbs overweight mom can dress) and end up with the same ‘outfit’ protocol each time I step out the door. Here’s my mental checklist:

1. Let hair dry on the way to playdate so it will be dry and bouncy by the time we get there.

REALITY CHECK: upon arriving at the pladate, end up fumbling through the diaper bag, my purse, and possibly the glove compartment and under the passenger seat for a hair tie. …where the hell does it go?

2. Wear a top that covers my breasts so I can bend down to pick up Victor and play with him without falling out of my top.

REALITY CHECK: …how the hell do my boobs end up hanging out of a turtle neck? hm.

3. Take water, preferably already ice-cold, snacks, and extra change of clothes for the kids “just in case”.

REALITY CHECK: Oh shit – I forgot the water… um, is this clothes dirty from the last playdate? What’s it still doin’ in here? WHERE is the snack cup? Did it fall under the car seat when we swerved off the road as I was getting the toy VIctor threw… again?

4. Bathe both kids and get them dressed all cute in color-matching clothes, shoes, and accessories.

REALITY CHECK: Is this shirt clean? Great, his pants are all wrinkled! Victor, WHERE are your shoes?! *go to throw out a  diaper and find them in the trash can after searching the whole house and officially ‘giving up’.* Well, I guess I can bathe them after the playdate… they’re going to sweat anyway…

5. Feed both kids so they won’t be as hungry at the playdate and we dont’ have to end up buying something extra.

REALITY CHECK: Whoever invented the ‘drive-thru’ is a God-send! It must of been a woman who was running late with the kids…

6. And speaking of late… head out early so we won’t be late getting to the playdate.

REALITY CHECK: …oh hey guys! Sorry I’m 45 minutes late!

oh the sweet torture of it all… but you know something? I still wouldn’t trade all of this craziness with my chunkie monkeys for anything else out there…

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