By BERN MORLEY
“Playdates” are quite the common occurrence when you become a parent.
If you’re not familiar with what exactly a ‘playdate ‘ is, basically a scheduled appointment for children to get together and play.
I know what you’re thinking… Since when did kids have to “schedule” an appointment to play? That I can’t answer, but I can tell you that after having endured quite a few of these ‘playdates’ now, I have decided to draw up a few rules that perhaps all parents, myself included, really should adhere to.
I present you with the Playdate Ten Commandments.
1. Thou shalt not linger.
Drop and go parents, just drop and go. I’m not saying push them out while the car is still moving, by all means, come on in. I’m just saying, I do not require you stick around. I say this with love. Listen to me, you have a good 2 – 3 hours to yourself! Go and enjoy it because believe me, when my kid comes around to yours, you won’t even get to see the door hit my arse as I leave. You’re lovely, I like you, but our kids are hanging out and we can talk when you come back to pick him up.
2. Thou shalt reciprocate.
If my child invites your child over to have a play at our place, it’s an unwritten rule that you will, when convenient, return the favour in kind. My child will want to come to your place at some stage in the future plus it’s just the right thing to do, so let’s not make things weird huh?
3. Thou shalt not blow me off the next time you see me at the school gate.
All I’m asking is that the next time we briefly cross paths in the schoolyard, you don’t treat me as if I am either invisible or have leprosy. Our kids just spent a solid Sunday together and you spilled some pretty hefty marital problems my way over coffee when you came to pick him up. All I’m asking is that you don’t be a jerk and acknowledge me when we next see each other in public.
4. Thou shalt not force the situation.
Understand that our children are friends TODAY. Tomorrow, due to the fickle and transient nature of children, they may not be. If your child is being brought here under sufferance, this probably won’t work. Ditto if you really don’t want them to come around or for whatever reason, dislike my child.
5. Thou will prepare thy child.
What I mean by this is you will have told your child to help pack up the mess that they help create. That they will use please and thank you when interacting with me, and that they will not harass the family pet in a catatonic state. But also, please prepare them to come and find me if they get scared or if they miss you. Assure them you are only a phone call away.
6. Thou will not dictate the playbook.