Monday, May 31, 2010

Play date pandemonium

Picture it:  a sweltering, mid-30s kind of day.  You decide to wipe down the plastic pool that's been gathering cob webs and grime through the long Canadian winter.  You pick up a few groceries in the morning (because a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do), and you just so happen to notice that Clamato juice is on sale. 

Clearly the urban gods have decided to smile upon you 

So, you go out on a limb; you decide to host a play date. Nothing fancy or foolhardy, just a friend and her son who just so happens to be the same age as your son.  Giddy, you install the pool on the deck and get the hose.  While the water is rising, you entertain pink-tinged visions of two toddlers splashing in the pool, laughing and playing with toy walruses and dolphins made in Chinese sweatshops.  But by now you are feeling so good, not even the Chinese sweatshops can get to you.  Then you turn your head incrementally and see the pair of recently, lovingly built Muskoka chairs occupied by you and your mama friend.  Each mama fans herself and smiles beatifically at the sight of the splashing boys.  Meanwhile the condensation on the tall glass of your Caesar (aka Bloody Mary) wets your presently idle fingers...  By the time the pool is filled, you too are brimming with optimism for the afternoon ahead. 

After the nap, your friend arrives

She has waited an inordinately long time for the bus.  She looks slightly wilted, and her poor chap is a fast-melting ice cream.  The water is so fine, though, and you and mama friend are sorely tempted to dip your butts in it.  (Instead, you end up lamenting the fact that the pool is in no way big enough to accommodate said butts.)  And your friend -- the angel -- has brought a bouquet of beautifully fresh tulips.  You hurry inside to make the drinks.  Getting the boys lathered in sun cream and stripped to swimsuits makes you feel somewhat harried.  WHERE IS THAT COCKTAIL ALREADY?  Ah, the drinks are poured.  The boys are stripped.  Hers doesn't want to go near the water; he is more than happy to play with the outdoor toys.  Yours, on the flip side, is content to dip his hand in but only his hand.  Suddenly hers changes his mind and bounds over, splashing enthusiastically.  Yours, having taken great offence to the enthusiasm of the splashing, wails. 

Both boys blatantly refuse to enter the pool 

Caesars are gulped here and there, amongst the ensuing chaos.  You and mama end up in the dim indoors.  More pandemonium as swimsuits are removed, baby powder-white skin is towelled.  Fresh diapers are applied.  Contented now, the boys play, oblivious to each other's presence until they covet the same toy.  Then try to forcibly take it from the other.  Mama friend's son takes your son's train from him.  This, clearly, is the last straw.  Your son howls and thrashes epileptically.  Not elliptically. 

Mr Green arrives home from work.  Mama friend packs up and makes haste while your son has to be calmed in another room.  The play date is officially over.  You need another Caesar.  But when you open the cupboard, you see that there is no more vodka.  Not a dewdrop.  You want to cry.  So much for urban gods.


  1. Caesars?! I would have so come to your pool party! Chaos be damned, I have a high tolerance for chaos. This is the age when playdates can become nightmares. My son despite the fact that I brought him everywhere as a baby decided to be super clingly and stayed that way until he was like 2 and a half. Now he is a little bit more adventuresome and not so shy but for a while he was so unpredictable in new social situations. Oy.

  2. You & mombshell need to come over. Don't fret I have a full bottle of vodka for our continuation of last weeks pool party ;)

  3. A sweltering 30 degrees? I thought you were joking. Then I realized that in Canada? Maybe 30 degrees IS sweltering? And then I thought some more, and figured out that maybe you all do the Celsius thing up there. That figured out, I continued to read. The best laid plans of playdates - don't the kids know they're really for the MOMS? Glad you got to down a few Caesars..

  4. LOL - I have so lived that playdate - sadly, sans adult beverage! And, it is amazing how the same type of things happen when they are teens - you plan, great details, and they balk! It is much cuter when they are little!

  5. I'm all for a reprise of the pool party. This time, mama butts must enter the pool, though! Are you in T.O. by any chance, Momb?
    Sorry about the C/F confusion, Cheryl. What can I say: we Canucks are a mixed up lot! When it comes to measurements and language, we use a US and Brit mishmash that is distinctly our own.