Both of us hated dating and neither of us was very good at it. It’s awkward, exhausting, and you constantly feel like you’re trying to impress people. We were so glad to find each other and never have to date again.
We were wrong.
Arranging play dates with other parents is just like dating. Our kids love the other kids at daycare, and we want them to be able to have some one on one time with their friends on the weekends. Kind of like how you see a person at work all week, but you never really talk until you grab coffee or brunch on Saturday.
We see other parents at school events and birthday parties, but first you have to figure out which kids your kids really like and which ones your kid only tolerates. Then you start talking to the other parents, and you have to figure out a way to bring it up, and that’s exactly like asking someone on a date, right down to the butterflies in the stomach. If the other parent tells you they’re just really busy all the time or they’ll get back to you eventually, it’s just the worst. It’s rejection.
This doesn’t even get into the land mines of conversation once a play date is arranged! Do you bring up current events? Can you be sure they won’t say something you find abhorrent politically? What if, God forbid, their taste in films and television leaves something to be desired?
It’s something of a minefield, but we’ve gotten lucky and we’ve gotten a bit more used to it. Now we just need to figure out how to escape the nagging guilt about not play dating exclusively.