Rob and I took Zoë to the playground this afternoon and by chance our neighbors were there too. While the kids were playing we got to talking about what it used to be like when we were kids and we could just go out and play. I can only remember being taken to an official play ground a handful of times. We didn't need to do that because our parents could just let us out the door and tell us to be home by dark. Nothing new in that I know, but it did get me thinking about these new-fangled "playdates" that never really existed when I was a kid.
Before this year a playdate meant a get together for me as well as for the Zoe and her friend. Sometimes this was fun and sometimes this was the opposite of fun. There's only so much coffee, chit chat and "kids, share with each other" I can stand.
This year a change has come to the playdate. Now that Zoë has reached the golden age of 5, drop off playdates are acceptable. I don't know who sets the age standards, but apparently 5 is the age. Drop off playdates are a good thing. Obviously when Zoë gets dropped off that means a few hours of time for me while she is having fun, but when Zoe has a friend over, that equates to a few hours of mostly quiet time at home for me. I can get things done around the house or just relax. On Friday while Zoë had a friend over I did 5 loads of laundry, balanced the check book, did some online Christmas shopping and watched a little TV. I made the girls lunch at one point and had to tell them to stop running around a couple of times, but other than that it was quite nice. I should also point out that Zoë had a fabulous time. She was quite sad when her friend was leaving and she can't wait until she can come again.
I am decidedly pro-playdates.