Saturday, March 27, 2010

Don't Come Back Real Soon Now, Y'Hear?

What good is having other kids come over to play if my kids aren’t having any fun? If I’m forced to entertain, referee, and intercede, it’s not a playdate, it’s babysitting. Anyone else experience these playdate pariahs? Have one to add to the list?

1. The Bore. “I don’t want to play that.” “I don’t like that game.” “I don’t want to play outside.” Pssst. Hey, kid. You’re a kid. You play. That’s what you do. It’s kind of like your job. Do your job.

2. The Dumper. This peach derives some kind of twisted pleasure from opening up a bin of toys, emptying its contents on the floor, and then NOT PLAYING WITH A SINGLE THING before moving on to the next bin. The game is in making the mess, or maybe in watching your friend’s mom twitch.

3. The Picky One. Usually demands a snack at the outset. This is a trap. The picky one doesn’t like any food. Forget fruit (too fruity) and veggies (ha!)-- pretzels are too salty, crackers are too crumby, yogurt is too runny, granola is too crunchy. I actually had a kid wear me down to the point where I was offering oreos and mallomars and he still said no.

4. The Snob. “I don’t like tap water.” “Where’s your Wii?” “is this all the books you have?” “our kitchen is way bigger and nicer than this.” Charming.

5. The Bully. Initiates and sustains warfare against any and all siblings in the house. Secretly wants to play girl games with the little sister or just a jerk?

6. The Destroyer. Like the bully, except the naked aggression is aimed at the house. “I bet I can throw this car against the wall harder than you!” “Let’s see if we can jump from the chair to the sofa to the coffee table.” Let’s not. Let’s go outside. Let’s leave the dog alone. Let’s schedule the next playdate at your house.

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