Is This a Playdate Fail by Dad — or Perfectly Reasonable Behavior?

Did this Dad Make a Playdate Faux Pas? Is this a funny blunder or WHAT?  #humor #playdate #dad #baby #embarrassing #funny #kids

So then…I plop on the hotel bed, moving my files over so I can chat with my 9-year-old daughter Chloe back home.

Me: I’m so happy I’m almost done with my business trip! How was your day, honey?

Chloe: Great! After school, I went for a playdate at Maggie’s house!

I furrow my brow. That can’t be right.

Me: You mean Layla’s house?

Chloe: No, Maggie’s house.

Me: You mean Ashley’s house?

Chloe: No, MAGGIE’S house!

Me: You don’t mean the Maggie whose mom just had a BABY?

Chloe: Yes! Today was the first day they brought the baby home and I got to meet her!

Me: You had a playdate at Maggie’s house the SAME DAY HER MOM BROUGHT HOME HER BRAND NEW BABY?

Chloe: Yes! It was great! The baby’s so cute! I got to stay for dinner!

She prattles on and on about the baby –

and of course I make all the appropriate responses to share in her glee.

But the whole time I’m thinking: What the HELL?

When we finish, she puts her dad on the phone.

“Um…did you know you accidentally let Chloe have a playdate at Maggie’s house the same day her mom brought home the new baby?I ask, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

“Oh, that was no accident,” he says proudly. “Chloe asked if she could go see Maggie’s new sister, so I dropped her right off!”

“Did Maggie’s parents know about it first?” I ask.

“I dunno,” he says. 

“David! Don’t you think the last thing a sleep-deprived, just-endured-childbirth mom wants to see at her house on her first day home is someone else’s kid?”

“Oh come on,” he says. “It’s her 4th baby. She probably didn’t even notice our kid was there.”

Oh my God.

David’s a terrific dad, but sometimes I wonder if he understands basic social graces.

When someone has a new baby, you drop off a casserole.

Or a gift.

NOT your kid.

And CERTAINLY not for dinner!

To be fair, David’s the type who wouldn’t mind at all if the roles were reversed. If HE popped out a baby, he’d probably invite the whole neighborhood over as soon as we pulled in the driveway so he could proudly display his creation: “Tap a keg, grill some burgers, look what I just pushed out of my hoo-ha!” (or he-ha, as the case may be)

He was raised in a free-range neighborhood where kids constantly meandered in and out of each other’s homes, mooching meals whenever they were hungry, and everyone was cool with it.

I was taught that you don’t even call someone’s house before 10 am or after 8 pm – and never during dinner time – MUCH LESS just SHOW UP at their house!

Consequently David’s fine with anyone coming over anytime no matter what’s happening at our house. It’s practically like this:

“We’re having construction done at the house today – but come on over!”
“Sure, the kids all have the flu — but that’s ok — pop on by!”
“Don’t mind the termite fumigation tent – we’ll just barbecue in the backyard!”

OK, maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the picture.

And as moms go, Maggie’s mom is very chill.

When my kids take a tumble and bleed – I rush to console them, disinfect the entire limb, bandage it carefully, and mollycoddle the child endlessly, while surreptitiously checking WebMD on my phone to insure no signs of sepsis.

When her kids report scrapes and cuts, Maggie’s mom just says, “You know where the band-aids are.”

And damn, if her kids aren’t much more resilient and independent than mine!

(I’ll be bandaging my kids’ paper cuts when they’re 45 and still living in my basement.)

Maybe it’s the large quantity of kids that makes these moms so chill?

As soon as I return to town, I drop off a beautiful gift, coo over the darling new baby, and make apologies for the awkward timing of the surprise playdate.

Maggie’s mom just smiles and shrugs – no big deal. The new baby in her arms starts to fuss, so she shoots her a look, like “Hey, you know where the boobies are.”

— Darcy Perdu

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(Who’s more observant of social graces – you or your spouse? Any funny examples? Am I crazy to think HE’S crazy for letting her have a playdate on Bring-Home-the-Baby Day?)

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56 replies on “Is This a Playdate Fail by Dad — or Perfectly Reasonable Behavior?

  1. Bwahahahaha, Darcy! Thanks for the chuckle. I needed it today. I have a lot of David’s qualities. The more the merrier, I say. Unless it’s family, in which case whatever the opposite of that is. Having said that though, even I know that you give the new mom time to settle in before you burden her with another kid. Of course, maybe your kid distracted her other kids and was actually a benefit to her. David should go with that.

    • Ha! “Unless it’s family, in which case whatever the opposite of that is.” And yes, Don, I can see how you’d totally be a “more the merrier” type of guy! You might even share your Bud Light!

  2. Judy P said:

    I was in my first year of college when my friend proudly marched another young lady and I down the hall to “meet her mother” who happened to be in bed, complete with bedhead, crumpled tissues and a throw up bucket by her side. I was like, “oh hi! nice to meet you! do you need some sprite or something?” yet so mortified.

    • That’s hysterical! I bet the mom had a little “talk” with her daughter later about appropriate time/place to conduct introductions! Ha!

  3. Julie said:

    HAHAHA! I’m sorry Darcy but I am much more camp David here. I don’t mind someone just dropping by as long as they are ok with the fact we might be on our way out. (ha. like we go anywhere) That said, I don’t think I would have let Chloe go either. Day one home? IDK. Then again I only have 2 biological kids. If I add up all their friends who call me mom…… I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Sounds like your house is a fun one to hang out in! We’ll be right over! :o)

      • Julie said:

        :) any time Darc, you don’t even have to call first!

  4. Oh my goodness. I would bar the door if someone tried to drop off their kid the day I came home from the hospital. I can’t even imagine.
    Cassandra recently posted..Headed in One DirectionMy Profile

    • Right, Cassandra? I’d be at the door, like: “No, I don’t want your kid — in fact, take a few of mine!”

    • I agree, Kathy! We love those dads, but sometimes they can be a bit oblivious! Ha!

  5. It occurs to me that what we have here is a classic Mars vs. Venus thing. In which case, David’s behavior is completely understandable (and must be forgiven). Oh, and as the youngest of 8 girls, I am a product of the Oh For God’s Sake, Suck it Up and Go Get Yourself a Bandaid mother. The plus side of being #8 is that, by the time I turned 18, my parents had seen EVERYTHING so I could do pretty much whatever I wanted. Wanna live with your boyfriend? No problem. Etc.
    Suzanne Vince recently posted..Pepper Spray, Stun Guns and the Modern WomanMy Profile

    • The youngest of 8 girls? Holy Cow! I’m surprised they even had band-aids left for you! I picture it more like, “Move to the left, dear — you’re bleeding all over my magazine.” Ha!

      • AinOakPark said:

        See? She didn’t have a BETTER mother, she just had a DIFFERENT mother. I still tell my older brother he was useless in the breaking in the parents role as he had nerdy hobbies and became a chemist. What was a wild child supposed to do after THAT? Although my mother did shock guests one day when my brother came in, bleeding and announced that he had to go to the hospital because he needed stitches. Her shocking response: “Get a kitchen towel, wrap it up and get in the car.” When I broke my arm, she cleaned me up, gave me a nap and acted like it never happened, until I passed out from the pain later. Couldn’t ignore that.

        • Yikes! Your mom sounds REALLY chill! Sounds like she needed to see some decapitation before she’d take you seriously! Ha!

    • Bwahaha! Yes, yes! Blame it ALL on Justin Bieber!

  6. AinOakPark said:

    Well, I’m with you, although I do admire Maggie’s mother’s grace! And you wouldn’t have been a better mother if you’d had more kids, you just would have been a DIFFERENT mother.

    We had a 4 year old and an 8 year old when we moved into a house. Two neighbor girls showed up and played at our house for about nine hours, during which time the two youngest found a “black and white kitty” under a bush and were lucky enough to get only lightly misted by the “kitty.” (“Uhh! What’s that SMELL?!”) My husband was thrilled that the kids made new friends and that we had neighbors who were SO NICE that they sent their kids over to welcome our family. Rolling my eyes and snorting simultaneously, I informed him that NICE neighbors would have introduced themselves and their girls and invited our girls to THEIR HOUSE. Sheesh.

    • Omigod – YES! Really nice neighbors would have invited YOUR girls over — rather than dumping theirs at your house for free babysitting for NINE hours! I’ve had a few of those types of neighbors — “can you watch our kids while we run to Costco?” Seven hours later, I’m wondering — “did they choose a Costco in another STATE?”

      • AinOakPark said:

        Hahahaha! Another State! I shuddawuddacudda thought of that! A mini vacation!

  7. Paul said:

    You’d really have to know the “dropped upon” to gauge this, it’s an individual call. Failing that personal knowledge, good manners would apply – as you say Darcy , never drop by without calling and never call before 10am or after 9pm (that was my parents rule). That being said, I have friends that I know well that are always welcome. One in particular travels a lot and often finds it more effective to call me at 2 or 3 am so we can talk. I return the favor – Ha! I have one acquaintance whose life is so tightly scheduled, that I have to first send an e-mail to get a time to call in order to arrange a time to meet.

    Besides, you’re southern girl at heart, Darcy and in my experience manners are much more important there. To me the bottom line is whether the other person will take offense. I resort to manners when I don’t know the answer to that question. Kind of like (here) you have to have an 8 foot fence around your property if you have a pool. At 7′ 11 1/2 ” if someone climbs over and drowns, you are legally liable and will be charged with negligent homicide. At 8′ you have done all that is considered reasonably required to have kept out unwanted visitors. Manners are like that – you are not allowed to get pissed at me regardless of the situation if I call between 10am and 8pm.

    All that to say that if David knew the family well enough to drop off Chloe on arrival day, fine. If not, it seems he lucked out as they didn’t appear perturbed. (P.S. David is also the name of my friend who calls at 2 am and considers it normal – maybe it’s the name. Ha! )

    • That’s so funny that some of your pals are “call at 2 am” types and some are “email to arrange a call to arrange a meeting” types!
      And yes, I AM a Southern Belle at heart, so you know how we feel about manners! One of the jokes they used to tell in Louisiana was “Why don’t Southern Belles attend orgies?” Answer: “Too many thank you notes to write.” HA! roe in

    • Ha! Right? And it’s a phrase used QUITE often ’round here!

  8. Meredith said:

    Dude. No. When my second kid was born, my parents took the elder one to Disneyland for the weekend. There were no playdates while I was on maternity leave either, at least not at my place. If you have to go back to work in 12 weeks, those 12 weeks are crucial for building up the new normal.

    • Right, Meredith? Don’t bring EXTRA kids to a newborn’s house — take some of the existing kids AWAY! At least temporarily! ha! :o)

  9. Oh my God, Men! Guess what I did to my mom? My baby brother was born when I was in fourth grade. He made our family complete with six of us little darlings. I was so excited that I invited two teachers to come and see him after school. Actually, I demanded that they come. You should have seen the look on my mother’s face when I told her they were on their way. (She’s still pissed about it.)

    • Bwahaha! That’s hysterical, Millie! I can just IMAGINE the look on your mom’s face when she found out! “You invited who? What? NOW? Ahhhhhh!”

  10. I’d say David really lucked out. I believe in calling first a few days after the baby is home, arranging to come over for 30 minutes or less and bringing a meal. I had my babies 18 months apart, so we weren’t at the playdate stage yet when I had my second–via C-section. If anyone had come over unannounced, though, I would NOT have been happy! I think I would have either politely turned them away or made the adult stay and entertain my toddler while I got some rest. Plus, my house would be a mess and I almost certainly wouldn’t be dressed! I guess I’m on the less easy going side of people dropping by w/o calling.

    I’m with you with the mollycoddling. My 15 year old daughter had all of her wisdom teeth extracted in addition to having 4 other molars pulled last week to make room for braces. She completely regressed, started calling me Mommy again and insisted on being tucked in (for about 30 minutes) every night. Yesterday she told me that she expected me to come over, tuck her in and “wait on her” whenever she is sick for the rest of her life. What have I done?!

    • LOL! I can totally relate to your 15-year-old! My daughter is 14 and she is the same way when she’s sick or tired. She’d have been a fantastic 16th Century royal with handmaidens attending to her every need! For now, I am the handmaiden! Ha!

  11. This was sooo funny! I am that lax mom, the one who makes my kids fix their own boo-boos and doesn’t mind the whole neighborhood or some friends just “dropping in” at dinner time. (But I ALSO grew up in a house like that) My husband on the other hand…he coddles and has a mini-stroke when the kids get hurt, has a panic attack when guests show up uninvited and unexpected, and likes structure. But even I wouldn’t drop the kiddos off at someone’s house the day a new baby came home!
    Traci of DQM recently posted..Brennan’s Reviews: The Cracker Barrel RestaurantMy Profile

    • Ha! So funny that you & your spouse are the opposite of us. But even you agree not to drop off a kid on New-Baby-First-Day-Home day! And I agree! When MY first baby came home, I practically made all visitors wear completely hermetically-sealed scuba suits for the first year or so! I was all like, “Don’t breathe on my baby! Don’t even breathe NEAR my baby. In fact, just don’t breathe please.” Ha!

  12. That’s awesome that Maggie’s mom was like meh, whatevs.

    That last part had me giggling “The new baby in her arms starts to fuss, so she shoots her a look, like ‘Hey, you know where the boobies are.'” LMAO.
    Rokkie recently posted..100 Points to Get Your Shit BackMy Profile

    • Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it! And yes, I’m very lucky Maggie’s mom is so chill! :o)

    • Phil, you’ve just revealed the secret to long-lasting relationships — “I just…go along with whatever she says.” Brilliant strategy! We women appreciate men like you!! You make life so much smoother! :o)

  13. I agree with you. That poor mother (not saying your child is a hellion, but you know what I mean). I don’t like having people over to my place when I see a cat hair tumbleweed float across the living room floor much less after having a baby.
    Cary recently posted..The Grammar Nazi Kids Hour ShowMy Profile

    • Exactly! (BTW, Your comment almost sounded like you birthed a baby — in which case, me & National Enquirer will be right there!)

  14. I shuddered as I read this. I love having guests, but not unannounced guests! As a woman in her third trimester with baby #1, I sincerely hope nobody expects dinner the day I get home from the hospital. Otherwise they will be redirected to the box of PopTarts in the pantry.

    • Exactly! Pop Tarts for everyone! And I agree with you! New mamas deserve to be SERVED dinner the first night back — not SERVING it!

  15. Oh my GOSH this is amazing. I mean, do you *really* want to drop off your kid in a house with a new baby? I wasn’t the most attentive parent to my older kid when my daughter was first born. You know, all that exhaustion. I couldn’t imagine trying to be responsible for someone else’s kid. Lol.

    Also? How sugared up was Chloe when she got home? Did they Red Bull her out of spite?
    celeste recently posted..I’m Tired of Needing TherapyMy Profile

  16. Oh gosh, I share your social graces! And I don’t show up at anyone’s house except for my brother and sister in law who have three kids AND A PUPPY. The puppy is a recent addition and as much as I love my nieces and nephew, I’ve been coming around so much more since the puppy. If I show up and they’re not home, I take a sad selfie in their front yard and text it to them. That’s not creepy at all.

    • Oh no, not creepy at all. (Quietly phones police; texts warning to brother…and puppy.)

  17. I was raised like he was, the more the merrier. I did eventually learn (the hard way, always THE HARD WAY) that everyone did not grow up in a family of 5, where there WAS always extra kids coming out of the woodwork.
    I can say that often having another child to play with my 4yr old is a HUGE HELP. Someone else gets the constant questions and attention she needs. It’s a break for me. Not sure if that were the case for that mom, but I would go ahead and assume so :)
    Joy Christi recently posted..Update on “A Tale of Two Prostitutes”My Profile

    • I agree it can be a real break to have a pal in tow — and sometimes my kids are even more compliant when there are witnesses. I guess they think, “Ugh, I better eat my veggies or Mom is going to EMBARRASS me!” (How do I embarrass them, you ask? Mostly just by existing.) Ha!

  18. I love a good drop in visit, unless it’s family that stays for hours. Also, beep the horn so I have time to put a bra on.
    Jan Moyer recently posted..He Made ReservationsMy Profile

    • Bwahaha! Laughed out loud at “beep the horn so I have time to put a bra on!” Hilarious — and OH SO TRUE!

  19. Patty said:

    The day I brought home my third child, the opposite happened to me. A friend stopped by, put my kids in bathing suits and took them to HER house for a day of swimming and fun. I was able to have a little quiet time with my new son and it is a gift I will NEVER forget.