Saturday, February 16, 2013

Play Date Paranoia

I am composing an email to the mom of one of my son's classmates.  I have met her once before and I am trying to arrange a play date at my house.  It sounds so simple, but things have gotten a little complicated, especially this time of year.

I want to write:

"Dear Mom of Little Johnny,

My Little Guy can't wait to have Little Johnny over to play tomorrow.  I was just wondering, does Little Johnny have any allergies? Does he have an aversion to babies who swipe toys like a ninja in the night?

Is Little Johnny harboring any germs? Is he recovering from any recent illness? Has he thrown up in the past 48 hours?  Complained of nausea? Displayed any lesser appetite than normal? Had any diarrhea? Is he coughing? Nose running? Pink eye? Puffiness? Flu-like symptoms? Is he on any medication? Is he carrying an Epi-pen?

Does Little Johnny have lice? Scabies? Scurvy?

When is the last time you took his temperature? Under the arm, orally, rectally? (Strike that.  Too much information).

Are any of your family members, including pets, currently sick or complaining of the aforementioned symptoms?

Is Little Johnny allowed to watch TV? Does he fear mildly frightening parts of G-rated movies? Is he allowed to use an iPad and iPhone? Does he object to mild profanity that my son may inadvertently (or intentionally) discover on the iPad or iPhone?

Does Little Johnny enjoy ninja fighting? Is he allowed to jump on beds?  Sofas?

Does Little Johnny need help wiping in the bathroom?  Will he let me know if he needs to go - or do I need to remind him/beg him/threaten him?

Is Little Johnny a vegan?  Is he kosher?  Is he allowed to eat snacks? Lollipops? Candy? Will his head spin around if he sees Fruity Pebbles in our pantry?  Will yours?

Does he eat Play Doh? Marbles? Are there any other small toys that might get lodged in his throat if I step away to use the bathroom for 10 seconds?"

Truthfully, this email could go on forever.  The logistics of having a 3 year old over could be as complex as a NASA mission.

DELETE DELETE DELETE.  The entire email.

I start again, deciding I will make this exchange brief.

"Dear Mom of Little Johnny,

My Little Guy is excited for Little Johnny to come over to play tomorrow.  Does Little Johnny have any allergies?



ps. I think we might all be better off returning to the glory days when we said, "Bye, Mom," and then played outside all day long with neighborhood friends, ran through creeks, skipped through storm pipes, climbed monstrous trees and came home at dusk.

No play dates.  Just play.

How simple and sweet.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What Would You Be Willing To Do?

My husband woke up at 5 a.m. last Friday to gather with thousands to watch grown men fight like gladiators to shove the most chicken wings down their throats. Catching a glimpse of an unattractive woman flashing on the jumbotron was just a lucky bonus.

It had me thinking. Wow.

The things that men do just to get out of the house these days.

Ridiculous.  Embarrassing.  Stupid.

Tonight, I am going out to speak to college seniors about Women in the Workforce. A few friends laughed when I told them.  I did not initially find it funny, but upon reflection, it is.

I have been out of the "Workforce" for 4 years.  My former law firm does not even exist anymore.  My business cards are obsolete.  Maybe I am too.

That's the sad part.

Here's the funny part.

I am EXCITED to go speak to college seniors because it gets me out of the house, alone in my car, rocking out to music so loud it will probably lead to early deafness.  Most important, it gets me time away from my two wild and crazy and sweet and maddening little boys.  And that time is priceless.

So, I started thinking about all of the things that I would do or have recently done just to get the hell out of the house.

I would:

1. attend the funeral of a distant acquaintance
2. talk to maximum security prison inmates about Women in the Workforce
3. go to the dentist, even for x-rays and impressions

Recently, in an effort to escape from home, I have:

1. sat shiva for a relative stranger
2. taught mock trial to elementary school students
3. taken my husband to the ER for a minor illness (it was nice alone time)
4. attended multiple bridal and baby showers
5. driven 30 minutes to get my hair cut
6. sought solace in the supermarket aisles sans kids

Ridiculous.  Embarrassing.  Stupid.

What have you done?

Maybe the moms and dads of the world aren't so different after all.  We all need to get the hell out.  Where we go and what we do doesn't so much matter.

Still, watching a wing-eating competition is where I draw the line.  I don't even like thinking about it, let alone writing about it.  If I want to watch real gladiators fight, I'll stay home with my boys. And, if that isn't work, I don't know what is!