Just like first dates, playdates can go really wrong really, really fast. Just ask my friend Bad Playdate. This mom is so tenacious — no matter how many bad playdates she has, she just goes back for more. And chronicles them for you. To hilarious effect.
I’m not a fan of playdates, honestly. I was relieved when my oldest hit that age where I could just drop him off instead of hanging around myself making small talk, eating stale goldfish and wondering where the wine was.
But now I have the baby and it’s time to start that whole process all over again.
This time, I’ll be better prepared so, just like with a bad date, I have exit strategies in place before I even plop my big bottom down in that child-sized chair.
My Top 7 Playdate Exit Strategies
1. Warn each new playdate that you have a bad case of Montezuma’s Revenge and if they see you make the emergency face, it means you gotta go, and ya gotta go NOW. Grab your kid with one hand, place the other on your backside and run.
2. Inform the other mom/dad that you’re being stalked by a ex-con, ex-boyfriend who found you on Facebook even after you’d changed towns 4 times to get away from him. At the playground, make eye contact with passing guys until one of them says hi to you, then scream “He found me!” Grab your kid and dash away.
3. One strategy that translates well from the dating world: ask a friend to call you 20 minutes into the playdate. If you’re having fun, ignore the call. If not, answer, say “Oh NO!”, mumble something about your washer overflowing and flooding your entire downstairs then skedaddle.
4. If your chosen playdate venue is fairly crowded, you can employ my favorite getaway from my dating days: Say you (or your kid) needs to go to the potty, then circle around while they’re busy trying to get their kid untangled from the monkey bars, get in your car and leave.
5. Look intently at your kid’s face for a second then scream, “OMG, he’s got chicken pox!” Watch them grab their kids and clear out in 5 seconds flat, along with everyone else in earshot. Sit back and enjoy all the relaxing space you’ve created around you.
6. When the kids aren’t listening, casually mention that you and your hubby spent your last vacation at a swinger’s resort then tell them you hope they’ll come over for drinks in the hot tub Saturday night and they might as well just stay over since they’ll be drinking. You don’t have a guest room but you do have a king-sized bed that in your experience will hold at least 4-5 people.
7. Eat a very large Mexican meal with lots of refried beans and jalapenos before the playdate. Lean in close for some mom gossip and let the burps and farts fly.
As you can surmise by my suggestions, I am a charming playdate guest and very, very in demand around my hometown. So if your goal is not to have to attend playdates, I guarantee that following my methods will cut your invitations down to almost nil. You’re welcome.