Dating is usually pretty stressful. And at this age, things can be even more complicated. There are many pieces to the puzzle – many components to sort before success.
- How do you let someone know you’re interested in spending more time together?
- How do you get to know someone’s family?
- How do you tell if someone wants to play with you again?
But play dates are a staple of suburban childhood these days.
At the tender young age of almost pre-K, kids are now entering the stage where they attempt to pick their own friends. Yet close supervision is an absolute necessity given the children’s inability to reliability to use the potty.
Every date is a double date. And what a meet cute that is, “Hey, my kid bit your kid but it was all in fun. So, wanna spend our weekend morning together?” Because destroying your friend’s autographed book is a sign of BFFs forever right?
Also, in the case of twins – don’t forget the threesome dynamic at play.
What should I wear?! Is it casual? Should I dress up?
What if we show up casually comfy in our jammies but then our date is dressed to the nines in her best pirate costume. But what if we show up in our Monster’s Inc costume and then can’t fit into the Little Tykes house in the back yard?
Should Mom’s wear makeup? Do their hair? Or will yoga pants and a ponytail pulled through a ball cap suffice.
Also, do we have to keep our pants on the WHOLE time?
The vivid imagination of small children prevents a repetitive dialogue of, “What do you want to do? I don’t know; what do you want to do?” What do preschoolers do when they play together (when they’re not trying to kill each other of course)?
- Remove every single toy from every place in every part of the house.
- Hide in friend’s closet.
- Serenade friend on pink piano (a la Say Anything).
- Raid the adults’ office for important documents you can color and play “mail” with.
- Talk to ducks.
- Dismantle the sprinklers and a garden hose to serve as equipment in a hockey game.
- Take in a movie – Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back
Deciphering the complicated palette of a preschooler requires the expertise of a Michelin Guide reviewer able to find the cultural delicacies of a dino shaped nugget molded from a chicken-like substance.
Pizza it is. But only cheese. And cut into bite-size pieces to make it “not hot.” Then a slice eaten backwards off of mom’s plate.
And lest we forget the beverage pairings. Water (in a Star Wars sippy cup) as a cleanser for a donut appetizer. Strawberry milk will bring out the fruity undertones within the pizza’s tomato sauce. It also blends the best with neutral colored furniture when spilled (nothing to cry over).
More importantly, where is the wine?
Due to minute attention spans, great care must be taken to plan the perfect moment for a date. Ideally, enough fun will be had to exhaust the little ones. Yet the merriment and mirth must be stemmed before things get out of hand. A major meltdown is only three minutes past a missed nap.
And finally, is there any interest in a second date…
Discuss that last possibility after the children exude the sleeping angel charade and you’ve collapsed back into your reclaimed couch amid the debris of natural disaster that is children at play.
Might I offer a recommendation for a trip to the zoo for a follow up? The kids will fit right in.