Hosting a playdate is a parenting right of passage.
You basically have to do it at some point, no matter how much you try to avoid it.
Getting a group of small children together for a playdate is always heaps of fun when it’s at someone else’s house, but it can be a little more stressful when the army of children are descending upon your house of cream carpets and vintage ornaments.
You will spend hours tidying up for their arrival, making sure is lots of free space to play in as well as a selection of fun toys to hand.
You’ll head to the shops and invest in some kid friendly snacks, as well as a decent selection of drinks and biscuits for the parents.
No matter how much time you spend preparing for the event, there is nothing you can do to try and tame the tornado of chaos that comes with having a houseful of toddlers.
15 Things That Will Happen When You Host A Playdate
Here are 15 things that will definitely happen when you host a playdate:
#1: Someone Will Wee On The Floor
Whether it’s a potty training disaster, or a mid nappy change accident, the chance of wee soaking into your carpets is extremely high. In fact, you should celebrate if you only have to clean up one suspicious puddle at the playdate.
#2: Caterpillars Will Come To The Party
Nasal caterpillars are pretty much a given at any social gathering including under 3s, these grotesque lines of snot are pretty much extra limbs for all babies and toddlers. This is gross at the best of times, best especially when the playdate is taking place at your humble abode. All of a sudden you’re on red alert for kids inadvertently wiping their noses on your curtains, cushions and carpets.
#3: Your House Will Smell Of Stale Fart
Kids are experts at popping off, but not so expert at understanding the social rules that dictate when this is inappropriate, so expect your house to smell like a bathroom for the entire duration of the playdate.
#4: There Will Be War
Toddler wars usually start around snack time, when every child realises he wants someone else’s snack. Even if you try to avoid this by providing snacks, they will still argue over who had the most strawberries or who gets to hold the bowl of strawberries. As soon as those bellies start rumbling, run for cover, because things are about to turn nasty.
#5: There Will Be Snatching
Snatching is pretty normal child behaviour, and though it may not feel like it at the time, it does not mean you have raised a monster. If you want to reassure yourself that all children are selfish, egotistical materialistic sociopaths with little care for those around them, host a playdate. You’ll soon see that all of the angelic guests are secretly evil as they fight tooth and nail to get hold of the toy of the moment.
#6: There Will Be Different Parenting Styles On Display
As the children turn into a whirlwind of toys, fists, snatching and tears, you will be able to see the obvious differences in parenting styles across your adult guests. As some parents roll their eyes in a ‘Tut, kids!’ sort of way, others will reprimand their children for the behaviour.
The shouting mums will think the quieter mums are pushovers, and the quieter parents will secretly think the terrifying shouty parents are way over the top. Excuse yourself from this awkward atmosphere by going to put the kettle on.
#7: Someone Will Get Hit
There’s always one kid who takes it too far, or in the case of your playdate, all the kids who take it too far. Depending on the age of the kids, you should expect at least a few punches, kicks, bites or shoves before the day is out. And yes it is all your fault, you should have foreseen this danger and ensured an equal number of both doll prams and children so as to avoid any fistfights.
#8: Someone Will Have A Meltdown
All of this fighting will get too much for at least one member of your party, and you will be faced with a full on tantrum. There will be tears, shouting, screaming, and a very angry red face. Hopefully you won’t be the one having the tantrum, though nobody would blame you if you did.
#9: Something Will Get Broken
Whether it’s your child’s favourite toy, his most expensive toy or your spirit, rest assured that something will get broken during the two hour playdate at your house. It is unavoidable.
#10: Your Child Will Be Territorial
At some point during the playdate, your child will decide he doesn’t want to share any of his toys. This will be particularly awkward because you have a houseful of children doing just that.
Your usually well-tempered little man will march over to his supposed friends and demand they stop playing with his toys, if this fails, he will snatch. Each time he notices a child happily playing with a toy, he will set his heart on that toy, and all hell will break loose until her gets it.
#11: They’ll Find The Out Of Reach Toys
No matter how well you think you’ve hidden them, it is guaranteed that your little guests will find the forbidden toys. Whether these are your child’s favourite toys that absolutely cannot get broken, or the paints and playdoh you confiscated for the safety of your freshly painted white walls, kids are great at honing in on prohibited items. And once they have them in their grasp, it’s not going to be easy to get them back.
#12: It Will All End In Tears
After two hours of snatching, fighting and running riot, your guests will be well and truly tired out. As the witching hour approaches, the children will turn into monsters, screeching and sobbing at almost everything. Prepare yourself for the fact that there will be tears, and plenty of them. This does not mean the playdate was a failure, in fact, it’s what qualifies it as a playdate.
#13: You’ll Wish You’d Bought Wine
All that time perusing the fruit teas and juices, and alcohol content didn’t even cross your mind. Now that you’re sat pretending to enjoy a conversation about who-knows-what while five feral toddlers run rampage through your once clean home, it’s a different story. You might find yourself trawling the kitchen cabinets in a desperate bid to find that Christmas brandy that’s been gathering dust waiting for an occasion just like this one.
#14: Someone Won’t Want To Leave
There’s always one guest who just doesn’t want to leave at the end of a party. It’s usually not a big deal, you can either let them sleep it off in the bath, or exaggerate your yawning until they get the hint. Neither of these tactics will work on children.
Firstly, the prospect of sleeping in a bath will make staying at your house even more appealing, and kids don’t pick up on the subtleties of yawning. Nope, you’ll have to sit it out until the child’s parent finally manages to bribe the kid out of your house, and that could take some time.
#15: You’ll Decide Against Having A Large Family
As you finish saying goodbye to your final guests, you will turn back to survey the damage. You will cast your weary eyes upon the playdoh encrusted into your sofa, the blueberries stomped into your carpet, and the path of broken toys leading to the kitchen. It is at this moment you will decide that perhaps having just one child isn’t too bad after all.
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