The ideal play date involves a perfectly behaved kid coming over to your home, playing quietly with your equally well behaved child, pausing only for a nutritious snack and then politely waving goodbye after exactly 90 minutes.
Of course play dates rarely actually turn out that way. Usually there are recriminations, endless demands for junk food and squabbles over electronics and perhaps a broken vase thrown in for good measure.
Sometimes playdates are horrendous because of the kids—and sometimes it has nothing to do with children and it’s because of psycho parents.
Lisa, a lawyer from New York, remembers when her daughter had a Saturday playdate with a friend that was supposed to start at 2 p.m. She dropped off her kid with the dad who was home, but then once back in the car realized the playdate was for 2:15. She even went back to retrieve her daughter, but she was already happily playing and the father said not to worry.
When Lisa got home she called to check that everything was ok and that’s when things went a little “bat-s..t crazy.”
“The mom got on the phone and screamed at me at the top of her lungs,” Lisa remembers with a shudder. “Saying, ‘My husband is not your f..king babysitter!’” Lisa felt so uncomfortable that she immediately went back for her daughter and admits the girls’ friendship was never the same.
Nadia, a New York based writer says her worst playdate wasn’t horrific because of any unhinged behavior but rather for its excessive length. What was supposed to be a three hour playdate stretched into an epic eight hour ordeal that had her texting the MIA parents at an increasingly frantic pace asking when they were coming.
“It was the longest day of my life,” Nadia groaned.
Gabrielle, a teacher in New York, says that she offered to look after a very wealthy friend’s daughter because her pal was feeling ill. When the little girl came over she immediately peppered Gabrielle with questions: “Where is your movie theater? Where is your swimming pool? Where is your playroom? How come your house is so tiny?”
“I told her we didn’t need those things,” Gabrielle says. “We made play dough, cupcakes, did feather painting and made a tent with the couch and a table and blankets.”
The next day the mother called and asked what they had done because her little girl had exclaimed, “I had the best day of my life mommy!”
Lauren, a New York mom, says when her boys started an exclusive private school, there was an informal meet up for kindergarten parents. When Lauren asked if she could be involved the leader looked her up and down and said that she thought the group was too full even though they met at a local park.
Afterwards Lauren found out that mother had driven past her home and deemed it acceptable, so she was subsequently asked to attend.
“I went to one meeting,” says Lauren. “They discussed cars and I had an old Volvo a the time – hmmmm – I was busy ‘working’ for every other meeting!”
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