by Jeanne Sager
Oh, playdates, how do I love thee. You're about as close to free babysitting as a mama can get. But not every playdate is created equal, something I'm learning as my daughter branches out beyond the children of friends. Some parents, it seems, are awfully demanding about what goes on at your house.
And by demanding, I don't mean asking you to follow allergy protocols (that's pretty normal) or keep your language clean (come on, parents!). I mean there are parents out there who want you to change your whole life, for their kid.
Haven't had this happen yet? Consider yourself lucky, because parents were more than willing to share some of the oddest requests they've gotten from parents before a playdate, and they're truly bizarre:
1. My son has a friend whose parents don't allow their child to be exposed to any violence at all, which is understandable. I'm not letting my kid watch violent TV either! But they requested that he not be allowed to play tag at my house because it's too violent. Come on!
2. My daughter wanted to have a friend over, and I said I'd talk to her parents. The parents demanded I turn off my WiFi so their kid wouldn't be exposed to radiation.
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3. "A friend rings me up and tells me that her [daughter] had a friend over ... family is vegetarian. But she tells me that the parents came to pick up the kid and they flipped out when they heard from their DD that the family had served sausages and eggs for breakfast. Their DD had fruit and cereal and eggs. No one even offered her meat. The dad told her that he thought is was very rude and inconsiderate of her to eat meat in front of their kid."
4. My daughter's friend's parents have a rule that no adult is allowed to use a cellphone in front of their child, and when my daughter wanted her to come over to our house, the parents expected me to comply. I did for my daughter's sake, but I think it's a little ridiculous.
5. I know a mom who refuses to tell her kid "no." And she expects the parents of her kid's friends not to say it either!
6. I won't let my daughter eat yogurt at other kid's houses because it's always full of sugar. It might as well be ice cream. I guess other parents are less controlling than me.
7. My daughter's friend lives in a TV-free home, which is cool, I guess. But when they found out I was watching TV while the kids were playing -- in another room, I might add -- the mom flipped out. I think I should be allowed to watch TV in my own house!
8. When I called the mom of my daughter's friend to ask if she could come over, the mom asked if her younger daughter could come. Thinking she was asking if the little girl could tag along, I said "yes." The more the merrier, right? It turns out the mom was sending the younger sister instead! Apparently the little girl is jealous that her big sister has playdates and she doesn't. I felt bad, but the little girl is four years younger than my daughter, and they aren't friends! She really wanted to play with HER friend. It was like a bait and switch.
What's the strangest playdate request you've received?
Image by Jeanne Sager