Rock, Hard Place, Ball, Court...and Me

Did you know that I H-A-T-E feeling like I am in between a rock and that proverbial hard place (whatever that means)? I also H-A-T-E having the ball in my court, especially when it's a ball I don't want in the first place.

In a nutshell, I have been cursed with a fresh, new playdate situation that might require more Xanax. How do I get myself into these things? Oh yeah, I'm a parent. Of a very social six year old girl. At the last classmate's birthday party (remember the one with the snake charmer?), one of the moms cornered me and put me on the spot about arranging a play date between our two daughters.

I was caught. Cue deer in the headlights position. My brain checked its files and came up with no plausible excuses real-time. I responded with my usual vagueness (it's a defense mechanism), which did not deter her at all. She pushed some more. Before I realized what I was doing, I nodded and asked if she had my phone number. She did.


Didn't she know this is a BIG fat hairy deal for me? That letting my daughter go over to someone's house I don't know very well pushes me close to the edge of the very scary ledge called sanity? Didn't she pick up on the fake smile, sure, yeah, sometime...nervous laughter that meant no way jose, let's just let this one die a quick death signal?

No, she didn't, because now there is a phone message on our machine asking me to call her back so we can arrange a play date. So far I've done the extremely mature thing and have not called her back yet (from last Thursday).

I know, I am a small, small woman. With passive-aggressive control issues.

See, I am absolutely A-OK with letting the little girl come over to our house to play. Playdates here are great. It's the next play date that will most likely involve allowing Annelise to ride home with and PLAY AT BASICALLY A STRANGER'S HOUSE that freaks me out.

Can you tell?

How do I play that scenario? Without offending the mom, of course.

Help. And I'm shamelessly begging.


  1. Can you go with her and hang out for a bit to see how you feel? I know, if you feel bad, what do you do then?! Weird. Is there going to be a man there when A is there? I would be not pleased with that arrangement. If it's just the girl and the mom, then that could alleviate some of your stress.

  2. I'm a lot like you Holly. I'd rather kiddos come to my home....my mother was the same way (and my parents built a pool the summer I turned 14. It kept us home. ) I would just tell this mom via email/phone call/etc that you are "different" about A., not that you are saying you are sorry for that, but it's the way you are...and you would like to visit for a little bit. You might find out that she is somewhat the same way. I think gentle honesty is the best....chose your words carefully (which I know you will do beautifully) and speak from the heart. Afterall, it's your baby girl. If the Mama doesn't understand, then it's best to not pursue that playdate. There are plenty of friends for A out there with Moms who will totally understand. (((((hugs)))))

  3. Since the ball is in your court, why don't you just run with it and call her with an impromptu invitation from your cell phone...have the dog in the car and see if they want to go to a park or something after school for just an hour. Then you'd be able to get to know the mom better and maybe feel more at ease about a house playdate.

  4. I was going to suggest something along the lines of what Anna just did. Go to a park for a picnic, or even a McDonalds playland for that matter. You also can always mention that A. is nervous about going to someone else's house and that A. would prefer to have her friend at her house instead. Good luck! :)

  5. If this is the family who threw the party... than no way- that was STRAng--Ola, in my opinion.

    Anna is right- opt for your house or a neutral location- see how it goes, go from there!

  6. Thanks y'all for your suggestions! I thought about the park possibility but wonder if the mom wants the playdate in the first place for some down time. Not sure, but I definitely like the neutral territory and the girls would love it.

    Patsy: No, it's not THAT mom from THAT party. No way would A.go if it was. :)

    I know that I make things into a way bigger deal in my head than they actually turn out, but I can't seem to stop myself. It's MY sweet, innocent daughter after all and I want to know where/who she's with/around and what kind of influences are there.

  7. Girl! I deal with that too....it's so hard. There are times when my mommy gut just tells me NO! Then other times I feel ok about it. I am with the other girls, though...sometimes I tell them Macy isn't comfortable or a trip to McD's is always a fun time. :) I know I am no help on here....call me. :)

    Had fun last night...hope Scott wasn't too sad about the scoreboard hoopla~ haha. I'm such a dork.

  8. our playdate place of choice is to go to chickfila for lunch then let the kids play on the playground for a little while while we visit. :)

  9. It always stresses me out when the kids are invited to play with friends that I don't know very well. Fortunately it doesn't happen very often since they tend to gravitate to their favorites, but when it does it definitely stresses me out. I always encourage them to play here.

  10. Holly...don't get onto yourself for feeling this way. It is FINE to feel like you don't want to leave your child with someone you don't know. My feeling is that more moms should think harder when it comes to this. I don't allow my kids to go without me unless I know the person VERY well. And even then, it is only if it is an absolutle can not get around it...I always explain to our kids that different families have different rules because we are all different, I have felt that uncomfortable moment of telling a mom we don't do sleep overs but could arrange a playdate together and that I would be happy to meet somewhere (like the park as mentioned). I have always been relieved afterwards too that I stuck how I felt. I think it means your a good mom, willing but protective with boundries and one can never be sorry for that. It is your child we are talking about afterall. Don't disregaurd your instincts. Embrace them! :) Hehe. Wow....that was a bossy comment for not having commented in a long time. Sorry :) Hugs to you and Good Luck!!

  11. Thank you all for all of the advice. I really do appreciate it!

    Sunshine, don't worry, you weren't bossy at all! It's reassuring to know other moms share my concerns about casual play dates--and it frightens me that soooo many are so nonchalant about them, that makes me paranoid that I'm weird. Oh well! :)


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