October 27, 2011

My Kids' Play Dates

I feel uneasy about being responsible for lifeforms that don't have my last name.

Play dates therefore, stress me out.

My anxiety is compounded by the fact that nearly every time other people's kids come over to my house, they always seem to injure themselves.

The events of this afternoon serve as a case in point. Each of my kids brought a friend home from school. The three friends hadn't been in my house for more than ten minutes when one of them got a bloody nose.

"Do you get these often?" I asked once we got the problem under control.

The boy shook his head. "This is my first bloody nose ever," he told me.

The boy the spent the rest of the afternoon with wads of tissue stuffed up his nostrils.

We made it a whole hour before the next boy tripped over a soccer ball and twisted his ankle.

"People are going to think that I'm hurting their kids," I hissed to my husband over the phone.

Just to be safe, I barred my daughter and her friend from all physical activity. "Why don't you watch a movie?" I suggested. "Or play a board game?"

For the record: I asked my daughter's friend three separate times during her visit if she was hungry or thirsty. Each time, she told me "no."

The minute the girl's mother pulled up, the girl burst into tears. "I'm so thirsty!" the girl cried as she clutched her throat. "My mouth feels like sandpaper. I need a drink!"

The mother looked at me as if I am the manager of a medieval torture chamber.

"I asked her three times!" I told the woman. I even opened my refrigerator to prove to her that my offers weren't empty.

My daughter's friend shook her head. "I didn't hear her," she whispered.

My case was not helped by the arrival onto the scene of the boy with the tissue stuffed up his nose and the boy with the ice pack wrapped around his ankle.

"Is my mom here yet?" the bloody nose asked.

The mother of the severely parched ushered her daughter into a waiting minivan. I didn't even bother to pretend that we would ever see them again.

"Good-bye," I called out from the front door as they drove away.

"Mommy." The voice behind me was small and pathetic.

I turned around to find my three year-old with freshly picked boogers on each finger.

While I was reaching for a clean tissue, my son wiped his treasures on the boy with the bloody nose's leg.

Yes, I writing this from the darkest corner of my closet, where I am curled in the fetal position and have been chanting "Why me?" for the past three hours.

38 comments

I'm the Sweatpants Diva said...

That is the most amazing play date story I have ever heard! I hope you recover soon!

I'm the Sweatpants Diva

Karen said...

Oh Jana...you never fail to make me laugh.out.loud. I'm sorry you had a crappy day...but it sure made for a funny blog!!!!

Surviving 4 said...

Oh, I so feel your pain. One neighbor told another neighbor - who told his wife - who then told me - that my 3-year old and his friend were seen unsupervised today. Apparently, they were throwing rocks at the neighbors' cars. I don't expect another playdate either...

I have 4, too - with twins in the middle. It makes me so happy every time you post :)

Little Mommy said...

So funny.. I'm wondering what our play dates will be like when Ash gets old enough... from the looks of her attitude now.. I'm afraid..very afraid.

The Davis Family said...

Oh my gosh, play-dates stress me out too. The last little boy we had over spent 2O minutes telling us all about his dad who just got out of prison and is so cool because he doesn't think kids should wear seat belts... I don't think I'll be sending my kids to their house anytime soon.

Megan said...

Oh, wow! I'm so sorry!

Once my both brothers had friends over (who were also brothers). They decided to climb a tree... that had a wasp-hive in it none of them knew about. One friend (aged 7) got one wasp sting. The other friend (age 5) got 14 stings. Both my brothers got away unscathed. Not fun.

ReadytoSoar said...

This is great! We will share this at www.readyts.com. Ready to Soar is a learning community for parents and childcare providers.

ashley in wonderland said...

oh. my. gosh! first time reader and i almost peed my pants reading this! can't wait to be a mom hahah

KS Photography said...

Seriously? Every day stuff at my house.

My response?

"Oh well."

Jon and Alyson said...

Aww man, those dang booger pants...gets you every time!! Hehe sounds like you had an ultimate fighting night without the ultimate fighting at your playdate. I dread them!! =)

Yvette said...

Play dates stress me out too. One time my kids told a lady that I sent them to her house without any lunch because I knew she would feed them. So not the truth. Then my 6 yr old and 3 yr old were playing with their cousins outside (they are about the same age) All of the sudden my son and his cousin come in both having deep cuts to their hands.The other two kids were about to suffer the same fate.They had been trying to cut oranges. The best part is I was in the kitchen and didnt realize they had taken a totally sharp knife outside. My sister in law thinks I'm the best babysitter ever. Feel better.

Anonymous said...

My daughter had a friend over today. When said friend opened the refrigerator a heavy, wooden xylophone that my son left dangerously perched on top of the fridge fell and landed on her big toe, bounced and crashed loudly to the floor. I was sure her toe had to be broken. This is the same child who has broken her arm 3 times in the past year and a half. I was so relieved when she could wiggle her toes after icing it. And even more so when her mother told me she participated in a Zumba class later this afternoon. Really dodged a bullet there!

Mum on the Run said...

Why you?
For our entertainment, of course.
That is just frickin hilarious!
:-)

Mom of 12 said...

I have a solution for you, but you probably aren't going to like it. You just need to have enough kids that you never have to worry about inviting a friend over because your kids can all just play with each other. It works great for me!
Sandy
www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

Anna said...

I sometimes don't know whether to laugh or cry after reading your posts, lol. Right now my son has enough friends from church (all whose parents I'm good friends with) that any mishap that may happen during a play date isn't so embarrassing. But once my son starts going to school, well, I'm sure the game will change slightly. Well, carry on, Jana; we're all counting on you. :)

Janet's page said...

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Cristy said...

I loathe playdates, and with 4 kids, they're a real pisser (my kids, their friends, the fact that playdates exist and are demanded....). They are anxiety-producing here too, and when my kids get sick of their friends (which they invariably do) and start ignoring their friends, well, then I have to sit down and play with the kid since my unreasonable kids fail to do it. Just what I wanted to do all afternoon: play with a 4-year old.

LOL!!!! Very funny story, very well told Jana!! Can't wait for the next installment.

Ashley Miller said...

Playdates. Hah. Who needs em? This is why I'm sure that my children will be emotionally, socially stunted little nerds.

Laurie said...

I knew there would be trouble when you said they EACH brought a friend home. One at a time, sister, one at a time!! :)

Nicki said...

Oh that little ovary yielding brat!! The desire to drench her in iced water would have overcome me! My kids' friends come over after they have been warned that I will treat them like I treat my own kids and that means if they do wrong, they WILL be yelled at. Only the strongest ever return!

Kari M. said...

Once again I'm convinced we should be friends (you even came up on my Facebook as "people I may know," though I'm not exactly sure why). Not only would I be totally OK with it if my kids came back from your house a little banged up, you might find the same with your kids if they came to our house to play. My husband even jokes that our kids often have "daily toughening experiences" with us.

BeckyB.West said...

Why does this seem to be the play date generation? I'm with you- having other kids over in my house stresses me out. Your posts are always a sure cure for a stressful day!

dani jane said...

My daughters have informed me that "all of their friends think I am mean". Once I stopped celebrating like a wild woman, I gained composure and said, "Oh, I am so sorry...I guess all play dates will be elsewhere from now on.." Leave me the address, I promise to pick up up when it's over..... Bahahahahaha!

dani jane said...

*you up.

Deputy's Wife said...

This is precisely why I don't do play dates. I have minor anxiety attacks everytime one of babygirl's friends calls, because they MIGHT want to come over to play. Yikes!

Hope the next one (if you ever have one again) is MUCH better!

Beth Hatch said...

Oh man! My cheeks hurt I am laughing so hard. I didn't realize parents drop off their kids to play dates and leave.

I invited my yoga instructor and his wife and their two little kids to our house. Their oldest kept asking where all the cool toys were and my yoga instructor proceeded to pose my daughters Barbie into different yoga poses.

I haven't invited them back. :)

www.librarianmom.com

Meg said...

Oh boy! I guess these are the things I get to look forward to. And I thought having one tiny munchkin was difficult!

www.domesticated-ish.blogspot.com

Adgirl said...

Oh my...the minute a playdate starts (that I am hosting) is the minute I start counting down until it is over.

C-Dub said...

Is it just me, or do these events seem like no biggie? Kids play. Kids get hurt. Kids don't always listen. You can't blame someone else's parents for not wrapping them in bubble wrap and taking their shoelaces. :)

Hang in there, Jana. If those parents are mad about normal kid stuff, they're not people you want to worry about trying to impress. <3 You're doing a great job, I'm sure.

Kristine said...

:-)

My DD's friends call me the food Nazi. They say I'm SO mean with food. I just don't think kids really need junk food snacks, because they don't fill you up. If kids are hungry I have apples and I can put peanut butter on celery for them if they want. But they don't want that. They want 5 granola bars, 350 goldfish, and 10 bags of fruit snacks -- all of which will NOT make you feel LESS hungry!!! So if they ask I say, Sorry! If you're hungry I have apples and oranges!!

The neighbor girl looks at me as if I'm Hitler, runs home and tells her mom I won't give her a snack, and her mom gives her an unlimited amount of whatever she wants -- and the little girl brings back a whole load of snacks back to my house.

Seriously, moms. SEriously??

I would have just told the girl, your arms aren't broken, get a drink yourself. If you want something you ask for it - I'm not a mind reader! That's the rule in my house :-)

Angie said...

I so needed this today. Thank you. Sincerely.

Elle said...

I love your blog, Jana! This post in particular reminded me of when I was an nanny in Germany, and I treated those kids like little princes. Yet somehow they always managed to come up with wild, fantastical fibs about me, telling their mom I "locked them in closets" and "refused to feed them" and so forth. The extent to which children can fully believe their own imaginations blows my mind.

Sheila said...

That's exactly why I don't do playdates, EVER. Great post!

Renny said...

Haha! What a disasterous day! You don't want your daughter to be friends with someone who would act that way anyway so you're better off.

At least he wiped his booger on one of the boy's legs instead of thirsty girl. I feel that would have gone over very poorly.

jeorgee said...

LOL play dates stress me out too!
vivalivie.com

Katie said...

That is the funniest playdate story ever!

Regina said...

Oh my word! My son is bound to be the one getting injured at other peoples homes. I expect it. I hope things get better for play dates. Otherwise farm your kids out to other people for play dates :)

Melonie said...

oh boy, what a day! This weekend we had friends over and their two year old somehow broke his arm! My husband is guessing our three year old must have jumped on him or pushed him but I felt bad punishing him for something I have no idea how it happened. I wonder when I'll see my friends again. ;)