Nothing sets a mother’s teeth on edge like hearing the words “I’m bored” come out of the mouths of her children, who she knows for certain live in a home with more opportunities for fun than a toy store delivery truck a month before Christmas. So when the phone bleeps with a text from a friend, inviting your brood over for a last-minute playdate, it feels like a ray of golden sunshine, slicing through the inky clouds of a tediously dull afternoon to wrap itself around your heart with the warmth of a million smiles. All hail last-minute playdates and the many things we know (and love) about them!
1. When the call comes, you are always ready for it. ALWAYS.
2. Being showered is strictly optional.
3. As is wearing something you weren’t wearing yesterday.
4. They’re usually made because one or both mums are at the very end of their terribly frayed ropes.
5. The closer the friendship the less likely any tidying up will happen before guests arrive.
6. Except for kicking a clear path through the toy debris from the door to the kitchen, of course.
7. And seeing exactly how unspeakable the bathroom is.
8. Ages, genders, and personalities don’t factor in. Every kid in the family is invited and WILL GET ALONG, OKAY?
9. They are why you buy chicken nuggets, juice boxes, and crackers in bulk.
10. They smell of parental desperation and antsy children.
11. They remind you that kids don’t need devices or a plan, just a friend and to be told to go figure out how to have fun on their own.
12. They often include a pick-up game of some sport in the yard with other neighborhood kids that results in many many grass stains.
13. You will have to remind one of your kids that “Last Minute” doesn’t mean Lord of the Flies Hour at least once with your Slightly Scary Mum Smile firmly in place to drive the point home.
14. The rainy day ones feel like a mental hug.
15. They are why you hide crafts, board games and classic DVDs in your closet.
16. The ones during which you drop off your kids are pretty darn good.
17. They are why you keep a change of clothes and sunblock in the boot of your car.
18. The ones where you meet at a playground are even better. Especially if the local pizza place will deliver there.
19. They remind you of why you make a point to not over-schedule your kids.
20. The ones you get invited to in your neighborhood by friends who love to cook and all they ask is for you to bring a bottle of wine and good cheer are the best.
21. They often start abruptly but linger endlessly in all the greatest ways.
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