Friday, March 23
The play date disaster...
Ok...I've been a school mum for a little over six weeks. I feel very new, out of my depth and a little intimidated by all the experienced school mum's out there that "know what's going on".
So the other day, another mum from the same class and approached me and asked if we could organise a play date as her son seems to talk a lot about my son. Yep, easy done. We swapped mobile numbers and set aside a play date at the park one day after school.
That day arrived and I got a text message from said mother that it was too windy* to go to the park and she invited us to her house and she offered to pick up my son at school. This was my first warning. I replied casually that change of venue was fine, but that I would pick up my own child from school since he has most likely never clapped eyes on you... (thankyou very much!)
Once I got to school this was a little how the conversation went;
Her "Ok, so my husband is at home with a head-ache, so I'm not so sure about our play date"
Me: "Oh ok, we could always just head to the park like we planned?"
Her: "Oh I think it's too windy* - a branch might fall on us!"
Her: "I wonder if there is somewhere else we can go?"
Me: (sigh) "Well, why don't we just go to my house?"
Her: Eyes light up! "Ok then, I'll drop Jerry** off for about an hour?"
Me: "Excuse me? Drop him off? Don't you think that he might feel a bit unsure, seeing as your son doesn't know me or even been to my house before?"
Her: She looks down at her son - "You wont mind, will you Jerry? (he gives a little shake)....See he'll be fine...plus you look like an OK kind of person!"
(Ok! I look Ok?!! I'll give you ok!) I think internally!
Given she drove and I walked, I was able to go over this conversation for a few moments as I paced the pavement. To be honest, I felt like I'd been railroaded. Did I just consent to babysitting her child (whom I know nothing about) without so much as an option of refusing? My mind started racing as I could see myself feeding this child dinner, bathing him, and reading bedtime stories.
I resolved to tell her, that I would feel much more comfortable if she actually stayed during her son's time in my house! She was waiting for me when I arrived and as I approached she made to farewell her child at the gate. I stood, shoulders square and offered that she come inside for a cup of tea and and that really it would be a good idea if she stayed. Luckily she accepted without need for re-enforcing the issue. But.... I felt at a loss as to how this was going to pan out. I made a lame excuse that I had to be somewhere soon, so the play date was cut shorter.
Did I over-react about her offer to 'drop off' her son at mine?
Has some-one you didn't know very well dropped their kid at your door? And how did you react?
Is this usual school play date policy now our kids are getting older or am I well within my rights to want to suss people out first and get to know them before looking after their kids?
*windy? slight breeze perhaps...in my book....perfect park weather!!!
** The child's name has been changed to protect his more identity....thing is, he appears to be a sweet little kid!