Monday, November 3, 2008

The Pick-up Playdate

You've heard about the drop-off playdate, that lovely invention that allows busy mommies a bit of free time and active kiddos a chance to torment someone besides their little brother. Okay, I've never actually dropped my kids off anywhere specifically for a playdate, but it's on my list of things to do, as soon as I learn which mom goes with which kid at school. Our "drop-off playdates" look more like this:

Husband calling me: I've got a training session at 3pm today, just wanted to let you know my schedule

Me (at work): Uh, okay. What are you doing with the kids?

Him: Think your parents could take them?

Me: I don't know, why don't you call? Then who would pick them up?

Him: I don't know, I couldn't get there until around 7. I'll just call Xxx, see if she can take Keegan home. When can you get home?

Me: I need to pick up Dovonan, but I'll try to be there by 5:30.

While in my fantasy world I'd hoped I'd meet a mommy who would welcome a playmate one afternoon a week for her kid and would offer to take my son home, it didn't really work out that way. But we've got some extremely helpful friends, walking distance from our place, who will watch our kids pretty much anytime they are free, and I'm always very excited when I can return that favor. I managed to put 4 hours in the "childcare bank" this weekend (so I'm only about 4 hours in the red now) and on Sunday when one mom called as she was driving home she shared these magic words:

"We're on our way home. I could come by and pick up Xxxx or, if you'd like, you can meet me at my house and we can have a glass of wine in the backyard while the kids play."

My husband was at the Bridge School Concert till 10pm, had been gone since 8am that morning, and I was thrilled at the prospect. It wasn't easy to drag the kids away from their giant hole-digging mountain-building sandbox project, but I'm nothing if not manipulative when it comes to wine with an adult. "Remember, they have a hot tub, and a tent in their backyard?"

So we had a nice afternoon chatting in her backyard while the kiddos played in the hot tub. I got to drool over her kitchen while she made dinner and told me how often she takes her kids to the awesome inflatable-packed pumpkin patch down the street. (Guess what we did after our mommy play-date? )

I actually did something similar earlier that week, only without the wine. Using that mommy 6th sense, I knew my son would whine about having to come home already I showed up with green felt and fabric glue in hand, all prepared to make me some incredible hulk hands and feet. It was fun hanging with another adult for a while, but frankly I prefer the Halloween-costume free wine playdate.

I'm thinking of making this a tradition. Drop off your kids with me anytime, but lets work in a mommy playdate after pick-up, because it's likely three boys will have WORN ME OUT.

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