Monday, October 14, 2013

Pardon Me While I Vent About Other Parents Being Late

Maybe I'm a witch, but I don't appreciate late pick-ups for playdates

Sorry, folks, but I have to vent.  My daughter recently had a new friend, Stacy, over for a playdate.  Now new playdates are dicey because kids who get along in school and on the blacktop don't always get along when it's just the two of them at someone's house.  So I asked the mom to pick the kid up after two hours.  "No can do," the woman replied.  "My other daughter has a dance class.  I can't pick up until 6 o'clock."  I understand that because we run around a lot, too.  So I hesitantly agreed;I mean we were going to be home anyway.   Still, I was nervous because that's really long for a first-time playdate.  Thank God Stacy was nice, polite, sweet, and calm.  But 6pm came and went and still no sign of Stacy's Mom.   Again, we weren't rushing anywhere so I didn't call the mother, figuring she's probably stuck in traffic.  It's dinnertime, so I make an extra portion of dinner and feed my own kids plus a very hungry Stacy.  6:30 passes and still no Mom.  I am getting ticked.    Finally, at 7pm, Stacy's mom shows up without any apologies, mumbles a "thank you" and the two quickly leave.

What just happened? Apparently nothing involving common courtesy!    I've been a few minutes late to playdate pick-ups (hey - stuff happens), but not without a profusely apologetic phone call or a text!  Unfortunately, not respecting pick-up times is not unusual these days. 

The first time it happened, Junior was in kindergarten and the playdate was sandwiched in between the end of school and his tae kwon do.  David's mom was two hours late.  What to do?  I tried calling the Mom, but there was no answer.  I still had to get Junior to class, so I got him ready to go, stuck a note on my door for the mother, plopped both kids in the car (this was before I had my daughter), and started backing out of the driveway.  A car pulls up.  "Where are you taking my son?" David's mother demanded.  "Well, you're an hour late picking him up and I have to get my son to a class so I was going to take your child with me," I replied.  "You had no right to take my son anywhere!" said David's mother, grabbing the child and dragging him to her car.  And YOU had no right to be that late and unavailable!

Last story:  Junior, now 13, invited two friends over for lunch this summer.  He told them they needed to be picked up at 5pm.  5 o'clock came and went, 5:30 arrived and still no word from the other parents.  Supposedly the boys had texted their parents who were allegedly on their way (I live in a small town - it does NOT take 1/2 an hour to get from one section to the other).  This was on a Saturday and my husband was now ravenous for dinner.  "WTF?" he asks.  I yawned and explained it's happened before.  Since NO ONE was coming for our guests, my spouse wound up taking both boys home.

If either of my kids wants to go over someone's house, I ask what time they should be picked up.  If I can't pick up at the time requested, the kid doesn't go.  Parents who are kind enough to host a playdate should not be inconvenienced, no matter how much the kids want to play together.  And, as I said, if I'm running a wee bit late (never more than 5 minutes - tops), I call or text with heartfelt apologies. 

The end result?  If I can't rely on some parents to respect my pick-up times, their children cannot come to play with my kids.  It's a shame, too,  because these are nice, well-mannered kids.  Nevertheless, our schedule as a family goes on and should not be subjected to the discourtesy of other parents.  It's sad, but when it comes to playdates, the sins of the parents unfortunately effect the lives of their children. 

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