Thursday, February 2, 2017

The One-Night Stands of Play Dates

Photo © Pixabay
You see her across a crowded room, the mom with windswept hair and cool boots. Her child is adorable and sweet, and more importantly, can put up with your child. You close your eyes for a brief moment and picture years of play dates in perfect harmony.

But alas, it is not meant to be. Here are the three types of play dates which start out full of promise,  but fizzle out in awkward goodbyes and vague promises to get together soon.

1. The mom of twins
She is remarkably unfazed by any child that does not come in double doses. Her house is cleaner than you expected, and she kindly cooks you lunch along with her brood. Your children play together well, and you are excited to meet a kindred spirit in the preschool crowd. However, it is impossible to book a second play date due to the myriad doctor appointments and babysitting challenges that come with twins.

2. The mom in graduate school
She started studying for a second career as soon as her children were ensconced in preschool. She has lived abroad and had all sorts of fascinating adventures that you are happy to hear about. Your children get along swimmingly, and frolic outside in the backyard without bothering you for at least an hour. However, she is busy studying for school, and barely has time to text you back when you try for another play date.

3. The mom with the mansion
Oops, you were not paying attention to what her husband does for a living, but she lives in a huge house with brand-new furniture! Your children play happily, but you are too stressed out wondering if your child is going to break something. This one's on you, you are too embarrassed to have her over to your humble abode.

Now when you run into each other at preschool, it's time for an awkward half-wave and stilted conversation. Do you pretend you're only acquaintances? Do you pretend you've only just met? What would Carol Brady do?

Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.