I want to share with you some of my recent learnings, in particular with regards to those things the parents like to call ‘play dates’.
You see, I have one of those mums who chats to EVERYONE. All the time. She can’t help herself. This means that I end up being dragged along to these pre-arranged play dates a lot; sometimes with children I don’t even know, or want to play with.
As I am now, what you would call an ‘old hand’ at this lark, I thought it would be useful to share my experiences for all you play date newbies. Here’s my ten step plan to the creating the perfect play date.
- Break the ice. You’ve arrived, the mums are chatting, the play mate is looking shifty, this is your moment to announce your overwhelming need for a poo. Always leave the door open and make sure you give a running progress report; “mummy I’ve done three and they smell worse than daddy’s” etc.
- Locate host’s Elsa dress / Batman costume (delete as appropriate) and put it on as fast as possible (even if this involves ripping it from their clenched fists). DO NOT REMOVE. Do not give in to bribes and refuse to take it off at home time. Yes, you know you’ve already got one at home, but it’s so much more fun to wear someone else’s. Especially when it’s making them very angry, and look – now it’s creating tension between the mummies too.
- Always suggest playing upstairs in their bedroom. Make it your mission to seek out the mummy’s make-up bag. Don’t let me stifle your creativity here, but I like to go for that stuff they call foundation combined with some of that black mascara thingy with the cool looking brush. It’s always a good look, particularly on the host who possibly wasn’t aware of the location of make-up bag, its contents, or the joy of drawing on their friend’s faces / walls / bedding.
- Suggest a game of hide and seek. An excellent spot is the parents’ bed. Don’t worry about those scatter cushions, they were put there for jumping on, and what’s a bit of mascara on the pillow between friends? Plus it’s your host wearing the mascara, so no one can blame you.
- Host a tea party. No, not just with those lame plastic cups and saucers. We’re four for god’s sake, we need real water to make our role play properly edgy. There’s usually foot stool access the sink, and hey presto! It’s only water, so really it doesn’t matter if you spill it, lots of it, in their bedroom, on the carpet, or in their bed.
- Refuse all offers of healthy snacks / drinks and instead demand fizzy drinks, chocolate and biscuits. You and your mum know you’re not allowed these at home, but they don’t. Enjoy the look on your mum’s face as she tries to explain you don’t usually eat “rubbish.”
- Be specific about your choice of cup / bowl / plate when offered food / drink. Why not? Yes, the pink cup, no not that one, the Elsa one, no, WHY don’t you have a Frozen cup GODDAMMIT????…a well-timed tantrum always fits well here just as everyone is gathering at the table.
- Offer up your opinion on the host’s house. Something along the lines of “but where’s the rest of it?” or “Mummy I can smell dust” are my suggestions, but you’ve got carte blanche here to be as creative as you like.
- Recently I’ve started to notice that most people like to display pictures in their homes, photos of their wedding day, their families and so on. When we go to a new house I find it lots of fun to point to the wedding photos and ask mummy “why is that man wearing a white dress?” I don’t know why, but this always makes mummy’s face turn pink.
- Sometimes before a playdate I hear mummy telling daddy it’s something called a ‘posh playdate’ and then she moans about not having a kitchen diner (whatever that is). When we go on these posh play dates, I like to watch mummy’s face when I sob as we’re leaving, “But mummy I hate our house, I wish I lived here.”
Sometimes it looks like she does too.