Today was one of the most exhausting days I've had in a long while. I don't know about other families but I think we're not ready for family playdates (is there even such a term?). We went out for the day with another family (they had two tween daughters), something that I remember my own family doing a lot of when I was a child. It was so much extra work!
Firstly, I made a mistake in agreeing to going in the one car (they had a minivan). So, the car ride to and fro was spent anxiously trying to turn the volume down on my two noisy kids. And, I've spoilt them by allowing them to have food in our car so they are used to that. This other family also eats in the car but I was so worried about the mess that my children would create that I spent the whole time reaching across trying to prevent spills and crumbs. It was a long day so by the end of it, all their usual misbehavior were magnified several times because they were tired and grumpy. The only thing keeping the peace was the food I was enticing them both with. Yes, a vicious cycle because I then had to try to keep somebody else's car clean.
If we were on our own, I wouldn't need to worry about a messy car. I also wouldn't worry about kids who are noisy because they are excited. And, I wouldn't need to worry about making sure that they were on their best behavior. I would be able to comfortably say "no" and not have to feel judged when there is retaliation to it. Is it just my kids or do children in other families also behave a little worse whenever there is company?
To be fair, I should say that they weren't all that bad. They were actually very excited about the day and were waiting patiently on the sidewalk for our friends to pick us up.
They started off 'good' and as the day went on, and they got more tired, things got a little harder to handle. I think it was more my own paranoia then their misbehavior. Its been a long day so I'm heading to bed early. Tomorrow is a public holiday and I'm hoping to have a quiet one at home with two well behaved little boys.