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Old 09-17-2012, 06:44 PM   #11
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Re: How do you do playdates?

We usually do out and about playdates. I do live in the city, so there are endless places to meet, but we actually end up in just a few places (the park, a small zoo, and the Children's museum) for most of our outings. Usually we meet late morning, pack a lunch, and then head home after lunch is over. It has a nice rhythm to it, and the kids know what to expect.

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:45 PM   #12
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Re: How do you do playdates?

We do play dates often. We meet at the park, and the beach. Everyone brings their own snacks drinks etc. We meet at a time and you leave when ever you want to. Our gymnastics gym has $5 play times in the mornings sometimes we meet there. We meet outside in the neighborhood with bikes scooters ride ons chalk bubbles etc. If we go to someones house its just common courtesy you leave before dinner. If at my house and I have to start making dinner at x time or we have to leave at x time I just let them know before hand. Most moms with kids understand. I don't think that's rude. It can be overwhelming at your house this is why we meet out and about.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:18 PM   #13
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Re: How do you do playdates?

Your friends are being rude by not leaving at a decent time. I do playdates somewhat regularly and none of my friends would dream of staying into a meal hour unless we've discussed it ahead of time. I've never had to kick someone out because they all need to get home for lunch and naps or to make supper too.

If they aren't leaving and you need to get supper going, then it isn't rude to say 'i've enjoyed visiting with you but I need to cut our visit short now so I can ger supper ready before dh gets home.'. You shouldn't need to lie and say you're leaving. It should be enough to say you have things to do around the house but you'll see them again soon.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:19 PM   #14
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Re: How do you do playdates?

Ours are scheduled with a beginning time and an end time. Usually we say '9:30-11" and usually they end at 11:30/12 so that everyone can go feed their children lunch. It's sorta implied that if it's supposed to end at 11, then you aren't making lunch for everyone.

It doesn't ruin our morning, because that's sorta what I consider our mornings to be for - to meet with friends and have playdates. When it's time to leave, someone usually just starts cleaning up toys and then it's implied that it's time for everyone to clean up and leave.

When my friends and I impromptu-ly get together at someone's house after naptime, then it can get awkward if you need to make dinner. But, I guess we just say something like 'well, I'm so glad you stopped by, I need to make dinner now'. No biggie.

If you are so uncomfortable with the playdates, I would recommend suggesting a meeting place such as a park. That way, you can even have a picnic lunch if you so choose. We do this atleast 1x a week and it's great.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:39 PM   #15
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Re: How do you do playdates?

I never did structured playdates. The girlfriends that I did playdates with, I am close enough with them that I will get dinner going if they are still lingering at my house. I just tell them to follow me into the kitchen and chat while I'm working. I've never had anyone stay during our meal. Now ds is 8 and I don't do playdates per se anymore. His best friend lives down the street and they are together almost every day after school. I am friends with his mom but we don't visit all the time. The boys pretty much play together every day after homework is done. We send the other one home at 5:30 for dinner.

Maybe you could do a crock pot meal on playdate days. They you won't have to scurry to get dinner if they linger. Or have playdates in a public place so you can leave when you want.

Not to hijack but I have to vent about my sister pulling this sort of crap. My mom has leukemia and has been staying with me as my dad is trying to work as much as possible. He has already used up almost half of his fmla. Anywho my sister pops by right around dinner time to visit my mom. So I have to feed her too. Last week, I didn't know she was coming and I didn't have enough pork chops so I went without. She has no concept of family meals as she doesn't cook and everyone has to fend for themselves at her house, including the kids. It's sad. She popped over saturday and stayed through dinner. I handed her a plate and she said she didn't want to impose. i wanted to tell her to quit showing up at dinner time if she didn't want to impose
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:47 PM   #16
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Re: How do you do playdates?

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...I don't want to say, "Yes come on over at x time but you have to leave at y time" because I think that sounds rude. But seriously, I need some advice!
Uhm, I don't think it's rude. I tell my friends that almost any time they come over for a playdate. Occassionally they still run late, but that's usually because I'm enjoying the banter too much to point out the time and shout out "clean up time, kids - our playdate time is almost up." Jumping up with a smile while saying that and following up with "shoot - I love chatting and hate how time seems to go twice as fast when you are having fun" tends to get the ball rolling and friends headed out the door.

I think it would be more rude not to tell them your boundaries and just expect them to leave by picking up subtle clues. Friends - they're meant to be honest & understanding
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:59 PM   #17
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We meet at a girlfriends house and honestly? We talk and chat and the kids play until lunch and we leave. If weather is nice we walk and go home.

Make sure when you plan them you say that you have x to do at x time. And like a pp said, get the kids started cleaning up and the parents will hop on board.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:14 PM   #18
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We have a great group of us that meet weekly for past 4 years. We rotate park places and then have volunteers sign up to host play date in case of weather. We all bring our own lunches drinks and snacks and plan on 11-2. Now that we know each other so well and if somebody has something going on in life we may stay later but now we know each other enough to say hey leave my house !
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:23 PM   #19
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Re: How do you do playdates?

Thanks ladies! We don't have "organized" things like some of you do - it's just basically 6 close friends and their kid(s) who I like to visit with - they only see each other at my house at birthday parties, so it isn't a group thing, just one of them and their kid(s) with my kids and I, sometimes the husbands are included too. There are local play groups, but we are not mainstream folks and I don't have common ground with the moms who are in those groups, so I stick to my circle of fellow natural/crunchy/homeschooling moms. That is also part of the problem - we are all free-range parents and time is basically just a thing that passes as the clock spins :-) So, we don't have many "set" schedules, but I have my rhythms and need for mental quiet time!
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:34 PM   #20
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Re: How do you do playdates?

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I tried that, but afternoon play dates turn in to "I have to make dinner but these people won't leave" and then my husband walks through the door to a trashed house full of kids, our own tired and cranky (and starving) kids, and a super stressed (but trying to hide it) wife, and he has to play nice until the company finally gets the clue and leaves. By that time, we're all in meltdown mode!
Ah! I can totally relate! I love meeting out at places because then the ball's in your court and you can leave anytime. I will usually prep them when we make the plans (ie DS has to go down for a nap by 1 so we'll need to leave by 12). Plus, I don't really see this as turning them away or being negative, its just giving them an idea of your day and setting expectations. If people come over to our house it's usually in the morning, and when I need them to go, I usually say the kids need to go down for a nap now (which is true!...after lunch). If I can forsee the visit lasting through lunch, sometimes I'll ask if they mind picking up bagels or something easy on the way over for the moms, then I'll make PBJ or pasta or something easy and fast for the kiddos. I'll offer the same when I'm going to their house.
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