I’m gonna get real with y’all. I’m terrible at adulting. Nothing highlights that more than being a parent. All the mingling at school, pick up, drop off, playdates.
It’s hell for this introvert! I am not at all comfortable with small talk and chit chat. I see it as a huge waste of time. It’s not like that crap lets you get to know a person. Your feelings about the weather do not concern me. Your chatter about your husband’s job will not be remembered.
My son has allowed me to live in a hermit bubble because his friend lives next door. The interaction I have with the parents is minimal and it’s familiar because Hello! We live next door. It’s comfortable without being forced….. usually.
My daughter, however, is little miss parade float. She high fives and waves and “hello!”s every kid in her class and all the kids in the other kinder class and a few of the 1st graders and a couple 2nd graders.
I’ve had 2 playdates requested and completed as it is and now I have #3 today. I’m TERRIBLE with follow up. Awful. I did not invite those two other playdate requesters to our house for a reciprocated play date.
My house is a mess, I’m disorganized, we have a smelly hamster cage and a dog that barks when the scent of a new human is wafted through a window. I have a kid that goes to practice twice a week resulting in a 30 mile round trip event in the heart of rush hour traffic. I volunteer twice a week with ear drum-rupturing decibel level creatures that want to remove my fingers, I hopefully get to sneak in breakfast or lunch or coffee with a friend at least once a week between all of that.
I like the rare quiet down time that I do occasionally get. I don’t want to have to worry about entertaining a person I don’t know and likely wont know after this year because we are moving.
This all makes me a terrible bitchy anti-social human being, right?
My husband met the dad of the first one-playdate-stand we had at a daddy/daughter dance I made him go to. I had to justify why he’s never heard of the kid or the dad before.
It’s not that they weren’t nice. The mom was SUPER nice. Really polite. Quite cordial and friendly.
Unfortunately for her and my daughter, I don’t know what to do with that. I can’t relate. I’m not ‘nicey-nice’ and that’s what’s expected of you when you trot your daughter around to princess playdates.
We are more of a super hero family that dabbles in princesses. And these days you are a neglectful parent if you don’t run down a laundry list of awkward questions before crossing the threshold. I can’t just drop my kid off. Stranger danger! Do they have guns? Do they have a teenage boy? Do they have a face-ripping monster pet? Do they have a creek in the back yard? Do they have a bomb shelter? Donate organs? Feed the homeless? Leave their car unlocked? Doors unlocked? Stairs? Peanut allergy? Oxygen allergy? Sunlight intolerant?
It’s not as easy as “MOM! I’m riding my bike over to Mikey’s house, k? BYE!!!!”
And no, those weren’t “the days”. I had many an unwise unchaperoned visit with friends growing up and frankly, I probably shouldn’t be alive. This is not a knock on anyone, it’s just how things were in the 80’s. (actually it was how it was done up until the 90’s!)
I will do my best to keep my kids reasonably upright and functioning. I’m a stay at home mom, so it’s sort of expected … I think. The employment contract I signed is sort of vague.
So today’s playdate at least has a kid for each kid. Little kinder sister, big 5th grade brother. It’s a double play date. I was given the option to just drop them off and go …. something i’d probably appreciate if I were a nice enough human being to invite other small humans to my house accompanied by their parents, but I feel irresponsible dropping and leaving BOTH kids in a house I have never been in with people I do not know. I guess I can at least stay for coffee before peeling out of the driveway