Guest blogger Marilyn Kentz: A playdate? Translation: fun time for me.
Whenever my 9-year-old has a playdate with a friend after school, I rejoice over the bonus free time I get. Elated, I usually cram in way too many tasks or talk on the phone the whole time or even dare to take a nap. So when the time arrives to pick my daughter up, I'm a little rushed to head back home, put dinner on the table and do her homework.
Did I say do? I meant, help her with her homework. Ahem. Once I arrive I want a "clean" pick up -- no giggling and hiding, no taking 30 minutes to find shoes and absolutely no begging to stay. The other mom invites me in. Inwardly, I'm a frustrated control freak who did not allocate enough time for chitchat.
Outwardly, I throw this cheesy smile around like I think our daughters' antics are adorable -- and then accept the invitation of the cup of coffee. I mean, how many times can you say, "Sorry, I've got Lean Cuisine melting in the back seat"? Sometimes I cannot believe my impatience.
I should know better, too, because whenever I relax and allow myself that little bit of extra time, I always benefit. We all do. The kids get to practice female bonding for a little while longer, the other mom enjoys the company of someone who's in the same place in life -- and I find out that there's a report due.