My wife and I have an 18-month old son named Ivan. He is very concerned that parents do right by their children (he is especially worried about my parenting skills). Ivan has decided to help out new parents by issuing a regular newsletter called:
#TeamIvan’s: News From The Crib (#94) – PlayDates
1. Our son is 18 months old, and we want to have a playdate with friends of ours. Is that okay? Well, let’s be clear — if you and your spouse have a playdate with friends of yours, that’s called swinging, and that’s definitely not okay for your son.
2. At what age is okay to start having playdates? As soon as mom and dad are mature enough to handle the pressure of watching some other kid hit their child without overreacting.
3. What’s the key to a successful playdate? Not judging the other child or his/her parents too harshly, which, by the way, is almost impossible.
4. Are playdates important to a child’s development? They’re more important for mom’s and dad’s development (see, answer to question 3 above).
5. What are suitable activities for playdates? Anything that doesn’t involve risk to life or limb or intake of sugar-filled foods that will cause children to go berserk.
6. How do I get our son to get over separation anxiety so he can enjoy his playdates? If you continue to act like the annoying pain in the rear-end that you are, it is certain that your child will want to separate from you without anxiety. It will be the getting back together that will cause the anxiety.
7. We are vegans. Is it okay to insist that the mother of the child with whom we are having a playdate serve vegan food or should we bring along vegan food for our son to eat? You should send along the vegan food in a basket made of hemp that you’ve woven yourself on a loom you made of recycled driftwood. If you can’t do that, then let them eat steak!
8. Is it okay for children to have playdates with children of the opposite gender? Yes, of course. It will prepare them for the awkwardness and artificiality that lie in store for them in the real dates they will have in the future.
9. Is it okay to have a playdate at a Chuck E. Cheese? Yes, unless you wish to maintain your sanity.
10. Is it ever appropriate to ask Grandma to escort our son on his playdates? Yes, particularly if you wish to torture Grandma or you and your spouse wish to have sex or take a nap.