Saturday, January 19, 2008


Scott's got a buddy over. A kid from his class. Gary set it up, worried that we needed to balance out Connor's playdates with some for Scott. Then Gary conveniently disappears, a mountain ski trip for the weekend.

I'd explained to the dad yesterday that I had to take the dog to obedience class at 2.

When he dropped him off at 10 he said, "I'll be back at 2." Horrors. I asked if we could make it one, since I wanted to walk Kody (and wear him out a bit) before class. Fortunately the dad hadn't scheduled himself right up until 2, so he agreed to come at one.

There is such a difference between 6 year old and 10 year old play dates. This is not low maintenance. "MOM!!!!" "MOM". "Canweusethehottub/canweusethehottub?" "Howboutnow/howboutnow". "Now" arrives and I explain the rules: no jumping, no splashing, no going underwater. Connor went out with them too so I figured he'd be the enforcer. Sure enough: "MOM!!! Scott and Richard are splashing, and jumping, and going underwater!" Sigh. Out I go on the deck above them: "If you can't follow the rules you'll have to get out." Moments later some other disturbance takes me out on the porch and I hear the splashing and a jump. "OUT!!! Both of you, out!"

And that was before I had to ride herd on them picking up all the tiny legos and other toys that they had dumped out of several bins. It truly would have been easier if I'd just done it myself, but I wanted to establish the precedent. I had to stand there and give a command for nearly each and every piece, because they'd get distracted and start playing, or stop cleaning up altogether. Infuriating. In the meantime the dog's outside on the leash, refusing to come in but barking.

I felt like such a shrew. I had to be sharp and severe and I didn't spare Richard either. I often fear that my dislike of kids shows. At this point I start doing some serious clock-watching: "Where is he?"

Still, Richard asked if he could come back, so I must not be too much of a deterrent.

1 comment:

Lori said...

I shudder when I think of certain playdate-mates.

I'm also stuck on your first sentence, the one that says that Gary is making commitments for you to keep. Ugh.

And, FWIW, here's how I handle the clean up: "Don't worry. Whatever you don't clean up, I will." They know that is code for "you'll never see your legos again," and while there still is some gnashing of teeth, I don't have to actually get down on my knees very often.

Love the pic!