Not Child's Play

Finding compatible playdate partners is even more daunting than finding a life partner. A romantic coupling only requires two people to click. But playdating is a fearsome foursome (at least). Read on to find out about the types of mom you might run into on a playdate -- and hopefully you won't recognize yourself!

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Finally, I had to have a frank talk with her about this and admit my shortcomings. I assured her that when I was ready, I would approach her. She was mortified... for about five minutes, and the very next week -- she asked me if I was ready for a playdate yet!!! I spent the last weeks of the semester ducking behind cars and hiding behind trees whenever she approached.

5. Wham-bam-thank-you-mom

She comes. She eats. She plays. She leaves. It's over before it even began. Although it was mercifully short, you can't help but wonder, "Is that it?" Of course, she doesn't call ever again, leaving you to obsess over what went wrong.

6. Crazy mom

She seems like so much fun at first, but then her quirkiness rapidly becomes alarming. One mom invited us to her house for a playdate and gave us a tour of her house... and it was a shrine to all her dead pets. She showed us the elegantly engraved urns where she kept her kitty's ashes – in the pantry. And in the backyard, there were rows and rows of tiny crosses marking each grave for all her dead goldfish. She explained in loving detail how she placed each dead goldfish in a silk-lined, jewelry case (so it wouldn't biodegrade) and about their memorial services.

By the time she offered us a snack, I hastily made up an excuse and left. I was too afraid to find out what other dead animal remains she stored in the fridge. I haven't reciprocated that playdate because I'm too afraid to let her know where I live.

7. Bad girl

This mom is an unconventional soul who flouts all the parenting rules. Her fearlessness is what attracts the more angst-ridden moms initially. momShe's unafraid to tell a teacher off or call out another mom on the playground and you think that's cool – at first.

>> Pickup lines for playdates | Baby Banter

But what started off as refreshing quickly devolves into narcissism. She doesn't call when she says she will. She flakes out on playdates at the last minute and stands you up. She's exciting, but she's emotionally unavailable, and don't you deserve better?

8. Nice mom

There's not much to say about this mom except that she's just so very nice. Her kids are super nifty and neat. Her home is immaculate and her snacks are lovingly homemade. She's always ever-so-perky and sweet and earnest. She's also soul-crushingly boring because she has nothing interesting to say. She doesn't even have any juicy gossip, because, well, golly-gee -- that's not nice.

9. Swinger mom

She's not the monogamous type and likes to make each playdate a group encounter. Forget about an intimate coffee with this mama, she's all about variety. Each playgroup is a bacchanalian scene where moms and kids are sprawled all over the house and in each bedroom. Toys, sloshed juice, cookie crumbs and socks are strewn everywhere.

line of goldfish crackers

In my time, I've eaten lots of stale goldfish and sucked down many a lukewarm juice box in order to find my playdateable Princess Charmings. Heck, I've even fallen in love with entire families – imagine that! But it's undoubtedly grim out there, and whatever you do, don't leave home without your trusty NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) of choice and an emergency exit strategy.

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Comments on "How to steer clear of a bad playdate: The 9 moms to watch out for"

Mommyto2 May 02, 2013 | 5:13 AM

You just described practically all kinds of moms here that I know. And I'm sure I might fit the bill in one of these too. So in effect, no playdates cos you are so narrow minded to not accept anything for anyone different from you? What example does that set dor your children anyway? If the kids are friends then we shouldn't let our weird hangups with people affect their friendships. It's just a kids play date for gods sake, not a life long commitment (though you may not even find mr right with such stringent criterion of finding another you!)..

HJS November 16, 2012 | 8:27 PM

I think moms need to get over themselves and let their kids just play!!! When we start judging moms who are just trying to make something happen to our kids, we ruin the fun for all the kids. So, just because the moms don't "hit it off" we have to ruin a good friendship that is forming between the kids! Come on. If a mother is not a nice or something is seriously wrong (i.e. she can't be trusted), then maybe forget a play date. But if the mother is a little odd, or weird, or what have you, give her a break!! You are probably no better yourself. Just let the kids play-just like you got your chance in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Don't be a jerk just because you don't clique with a certain mom. Be gracious and have some manners!!!

robin hunter January 10, 2009 | 9:08 AM

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