Before I had JD I had my own playdates. I was living in NYC and went to boozy brunches every weekend. I attended gallery openings with friends (and called the free cheese and wine dinner). We traveled to Napa Valley, Atlantic City … even Europe. These days, playdates include my mom besties, the kiddos, a sprinkler, some Goldfish crackers, juice boxes, mediating a fight over a toy, and reminding the kids to pee, to pee, to pee. Pee now!
Call me a selfish mom, but I miss my playdates. However, I work full-time so I don’t exactly like being away from my son on weekends. I don’t indulge in daytime activities without him. Sometimes I go on dates in the evening when he’s sleeping and there’s a sitter watching TV on my couch. So, in a bold move I scheduled a grown-up playdate mid-day with my work-wife Jemma this past Saturday. JD was not thrilled at first. “Who’s Jemma!? I don’t know her. I wanna play with Lily!” he screamed and dramatically threw himself on the floor. I calmed him down with 7 words: “Jemma is bringing a surprise for you.” He bought it. The tears subsided. We went to the grocery store for burgers and hot dogs. We shamelessly stopped at Gary’s for Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
Back at home, we changed into our swim clothes, packed the cooler, beach and toy bag. Jemma buzzed. “Close your eyes, bud. Your surprise is … here!” In walked Jemma and Lola, her miniature dachshund. JD loves dogs and his eyes lit up! Suddenly he was thrilled about my playdate. JD and Lola played fetch. Jemma and I had a cocktail. After a while, the three of us headed to the pool and we left Lola in my condo. Jemma took JD with her to check on Lola and walk her throughout the day. JD felt really involved and excited about helping with the dog.
We spent the day playing in the sun and pool — then Jemma grilled burgers and hot dogs for us (I suck at grilling, admittedly). I made some salads. We all ate and were merry. JD and Lola watched Toy Story 3. It was a fun day and it was really nice for me to have this adult playdate where I could talk about art, boys and politics — and play with JD. It was equally awesome not to have to monitor several kids near a body of water and negotiate lunch time bites or pee breaks. As a single mom, there’s not much time to squeeze this in, but it’s really important to (it’s my sanity). JD went to bed at 8:30 PM. Jemma and I stayed up and made an online dating profile for me (hahaha!). More on that soon.
My tips for having an adult playdate with your kid in tow:
- Be sure to have child-friendly activities planned: We played in the pool and played Candy Land upstairs.
- Involve your child in conversation: Don’t talk about boy drama or who you’re voting for in the 2012 election all day. Throw in some kiddy Qs, too.
- Take time away from your friend and play with your kiddo like you would normally do.
- Keep your child on his normal schedule: JD took his shower, Aunt Jemma read to him and he went to bed at 8:30 PM.
- Involve your child in the daily activities: JD helped Jemma walk Lola and BBQ his hot dog.
- Remind your child that the next playdate will include his friends: The following day JD had his friends to our pool. It was only fair. He’s a ladies man.
Do you have adult playdates with or without your kids?
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*Disclosure: I’m not compensated in any way to name brands in this blog.