Sorry, No Helicopter Moms Allowed In My Airspace
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My daughter (a 4th-grader) wants a playdate with a friend from her class. I reached out to the mom who was happy to set something up but then added, "I don't let her go to playdates alone, so I will be there as well." This girl must be 9 or 10 years old. What the hell? Does this seem a little overprotective? I mean, yes, come meet me, of course! Hang out for a bit, but two hours?!! My daughter wants the first playdate at our house, so what can I do?
My daughter wants a playdate, not me
There are many people who will read your letter and say that you should stop complaining and instead use this opportunity to make yourself a new mom friend. Why be so closed-minded? What's two hours out of your life to hang out and chat with a lovely woman who maybe shares common interests with you? Have some tea, some cookies, enjoy it. Yes, that's what many people would say. But not me, Bucko.
And the reason why is this: She sounds really, really obnoxious.
I mean, it's okay to be a little overprotective (and I say that as a mother who recently let her son walk home from school alone, but hid in a bush to make sure he crossed the street safely) but this woman's overprotectiveness is coming across as not only rude, but insulting. Does she think you'll let her daughter play with knives? Jump off the roof? Drink a few brewskis to make "Dora the Explorer" more entertaining? It's totally normal to want to assess the home and the mother in charge of a playdate, but that's something she can accomplish in maybe 15 minutes, tops. Not a full two hours where you're forced to entertain her. (Note: I say all of this under the assumption that this girl doesn't have any health issues, etc. that the mother needs to be around to monitor because you didn't mention any and the girl is capable of going to school alone all day.)
My suggestion is to all meet in a park. (Your daughter may object, but tell her that's the only way it's going to happen this time.) You'll still have to chit chat with this mother, but it won't feel as invasive as it would in your own home.
And if you're brave enough, you can even try the "I'm allergic to squirrels" excuse and go hide in your car.