A few months ago, I wrote my list of rules for moms at playdates. Apparently I need to amend these rules and add: When someone tries to invite your child over to her house, don't be a twat.
The other night I was out with my friend, Sandy, and she told me about the angst she's having trying to arrange playdates for her youngest daughter.
Her youngest is in half day Kindergartener this year and she's anxious to have some friends over to play in the afternoons. There aren't too many girls to choose from because the class is heavy on boys. Sandy asked a couple of moms if their daughters could come and play and they had various (normal) reasons why they couldn't come over - dance class, gymnastic class, etc. And then Sandy asked this other mom:
"Can Drusilla come over one day this week and play with Olive?" Sandy asked.
"I don't know you," was the reply she got.
"Oh. I'm sorry. I thought we met at various school functions already this year. I'm Sandy. I'm Olive's mother."
"Yes. I know who you are. But I don't know you."
Sandy was dumbfounded. She had no idea how to reply to this.
"Well, like I said, I'm Olive's mother. Olive would love to have Drusilla over to play."
"I'm not comfortable having Drusilla in your house. I don't know you."
"Oh. OK." Sandy was a tad offended. After all, it's not like she's on any watch lists of any kind!
"I don't allow Drusilla to go to anyone's home that I don't know."
"OK. How about this? How about you and Drusilla come over? I'll make some coffee and muffins and we can chat and you can get to know me while Olive and Drusilla play?" Sandy offered helpfully.
"I'm not comfortable with that either," she said. "That means both Drusilla and I are in a stranger's home."
Sandy was at her wit's end. She just wanted a friend for her daughter. This was getting ridiculous. What did this woman want from her???
"Look. Then you tell me what you are comfortable with. Olive would like to play with Drusilla outside of school. How do you usually do that?" (Sandy is fucking saint. At this point I would have told this woman to stuff herself.)
"We don't. Drusilla only plays with people I know. And. I. Don't. Know. You."
Now Sandy was ready to cry. What a fucking bitch. Who does this to someone?? Did I miss the news bulletin about the suburban moms who lure other suburban moms into their homes, dope them with tainted coffee and then steal their internal organs to sell on the black market? Is there a burgeoning child sex slave ring in the heart of suburban Kansas City that I haven't heard about?
What is this woman's problem? We are all wary of strangers and concerned about where our kids are going and who they will be with, but this woman is taking it too far. If she doesn't want her kid to go to a stranger's house, then get to know Sandy so she's not a stranger anymore. At least offer to meet at a fast food playland and risk a staph infection and have a cup of coffee with Sandy!
I think this also goes to my friends are hard to find post I wrote a few months ago. Sandy isn't just looking for a friend for Olive, she's hoping to find another mom or two that she can relate to. She'd love to have another friend or two that she could hang out with while the girls trash her house.
I don't know what this woman's problem is. Maybe she truly is afraid of strangers. If she's that afraid, she needs professional help. And if she is that afraid, she needs to figure out a nicer, kinder way to explain her phobias, because Sandy took it personally. Sandy felt like this woman didn't want to go to SANDY'S house and didn't want her daughter to be friends with SANDY'S daughter. This woman made Sandy feel like shit. And now Olive still needs a playdate, so Olive feels bad too.
(Adolpha is in all day Kindergarten or else I'd have her at Sandy's every afternoon if she'd let me - I told you Sandy was a saint!)