Thursday, October 13, 2011

Play Date

From yesterday's post about home phone telemarketers.

My wife and I did enjoy a few magical years without a landline home phone.
We took pride in our cellular independence.

Home phone number?
Joke.

Oh but then I got worried.
It happens. From time to time.

Had a couple little kids bouncing around the house.
And a few influential experiences.

Started thinking about situations where we'd need to call 911.
And though the technology has improved, I still believe that a landline is THE guaranteed way for emergency services to know a call is coming from my HOME.
My landline = My location

Read about the Wireless and VoIP 911 stuff on Wikipedia to see what I mean.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_9-1-1#Wireless_enhanced_911

Landline didn't ring once today BTW.

Play Date
I had a conversation after getting out of the pool this morning.
I did various strokes and kickboard.
But I don't think I actually talked about swimming.

It is the Year 2011.
Parenting has changed since I was a kid back in the 80's and to an extent the 90's.

We are a little cutesy.
A little over the top.
A little helicopterish.

One thing we've done is taken the following conversation from my childhood:
"Hi, this is Mike's mom.  Would your son Bobby like to come over and play?"

And we've changed it into this:
"Hi, would Bobby like to have a playdate?"

Now, this may imply some formality.
Stricter scheduling.
Exclusivity.

But that's not how I use the word.

I just use it as a 21st century substitute like so:
"Would your son Bobby like to come over for a playdate?"

There is no implied advanced scheduling. The schedule is immediate.
Other kids can be involved in the playdate.
And there's no structured activities or anything.

OK.
That's how I use the word.

But other parents and other kids THINK that playdate requires formality.
I use that assumption as a form of defense.

Call me crazy.
Call me mean.

But even though my kids are young, I've already picked a few children that they are not allowed to play with.

Various reasons:
  • The kids are mean
  • The parents are freaking nuts/alcoholic
  • The kids have no respect for the property of others
  • The kids have "seen too much"
Let me expand on that last one quickly.

I had a sheltered childhood.
I don't think intentionally.

My kids are relatively sheltered, also.
Although at times (and I'll explain this another day), I probably reveal too much about how the world really works.

"Seen too much" can mean things like a rough upbringing.
Seeing things like domestic abuse.
Like older siblings or friends that can corrupt.

Which means that I can't have them influencing my innocent little kids.
Not this early anyway.
Not if I have any control of it.
Which I at least think I do.

Anyway.

"Play Date" is used as a deterrent when approached by children that my kids can't play with.
If I say they have a Play Date, there's no further conversation needed.

First of all, the Play Date is probably exclusive. Can't add another kid.
Secondly, it suggests that bad-kid's parents would need to coordinate a Play Date. And since that won't happen, that's the end of the idea.

Again.

It's not very nice. But I've dealt with too many mean kids in my 31 years to NOT intervene.
And all it takes is a cutesy little "Play Date" to accomplish my goal.

1 comment:

lindsay said...

well i hope you aren't the extreme helicopters. got to love the stories of parents going to job interviews with their kids. does that really happen?!?

granted, your kids probably aren't going on job interviews just yet. (or are you stingy with the allowance? hmm?) :)

i don't think that with just me and my hubby we need a landline, but i can see your point for safety reasons - esp with kids!