Thursday, March 25, 2010

Play What?

Now that the snow is officially gone, mittens don't need to be worn to school and the bike tires have been pumped up, Zoe won't stop talking about summer: What are we going to do (have fun)? I can't wait (me either)! Can I go swimming (of course)? Will you buy popsicles (by the truckload)? Where is my pool (still at Target)? I can't wait (you already said that)! Can we go on picnics (as long as I can bring a couple beers)? Are we going on vacation (we haven't told her yet, but yes we're going on vacation)? Can I have a playdate (Ummm....WHAT? What the hell did you just say?!)?

I don't know where my daughter picked up such a horrible, wash-your-mouth-out-with-soap word, but it certainly wasn't from me. That word has never been uttered in our house, unless it's being used in a sentence like "No, you can't go over to Mary's house for a stupid playdate, because the word playdate makes mommy throw up in her mouth." Plus, conversing with Mary's mom about the playdate makes me want to chop my own head off.

As much as I hate the word playdate, I suppose I should be preparing myself for the fact that at some point this summer, Zoe will want to have a friend over. While the thought of hosting another six-year-old is not my idea of bliss, having to deal with the other six-year-old's mom is even worse. (Don't get me wrong, there are some moms that I love and these women can come over any day any time because we're already friends, and our friendship doesn't exist just because we happen to have kids the same age: it's because we understand, and like each other.) So, since I will probably have to be civil to a bunch of women that are complete strangers but don't want to sacrifice what's left of my sanity for my daughter's social life, I have created a contract that the other parent will be required to sign before any not-a-playdate is initiated.


This Agreement is entered into between me (over-scheduled, hyper-critical, sometimes drunk) and you (kind of smothering, overly-chatty, boring) regarding the social interaction that will take place between my kid and your kid.
  1. Scheduling: The timing of said interaction will be negotiated and agreed upon by both parties, with a maximum time limit of three hours. If your kid is a picky eater, or if you have a list of weird dietary restrictions, then the specified time frame will not, under any circumstances, overlap with any meals. Any request for an extension of time will be presented to me before your departure and I reserve the right to say "No way in hell. Be here at 4:00."
  2. Services Included: This not-a-playdate is defined as your child and my child playing, laughing, running, sometimes fighting and maybe even finding something to do that your kid might enjoy. These activities are not required to be educational, might include some violence, will not involve craft supplies or kits, and will hopefully require minimal supervision from me. In fact, they might even watch a movie. Or three. Reasonable snacks will be provided if your child gets hungry.
  3. Services Not Included: Excessive discipline beyond saying "Stop it," preparation of any food that requires turning on the oven/stove, feeling bad if the cheese crackers aren't organic or hesitating to tell you if your child breaks something. My child will not be required to put up with excessive amounts of whining or bossiness from your child just because she's "the guest." I am not always (or ever) going to ask if you'd like to stay for coffee and chit-chat about our husbands/you/ vaccinations/you/vacations/you.
  4. Rights to Terminate: If, during the course of this not-a-playdate, your kid starts channeling satan, has eaten all the kettle chips and is on her fourth peanut butter sandwich, has peed on the floor or is just pissing me off in general, I have the right to call your cell phone, interrupt your pedicure and immediately put an end to my horrendous afternoon.
  5. Scheduling of Future Not-a-Playdates: You can ask me, but when I say "Well, I don't think so, we're kind of busy that day," I really mean "No. No. And um, no."

Signed: Me___________ You___________ Date: _________

1 comment:

Kimm said...

Love the contract - may I borrow it from you? Although, I'd like to add a clause about excessive bragging. I am aware, dear child, that your walk-in closet is the same size as my daughter's room, and that your family has a summer cottage in Ireland, etc., etc.