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The Playdate Survival Guide for Moms

What's going on when...

The duct tape and rope are missing: The kids are attempting to affix either the wagon to a bicycle or a little brother to the couch.

You just heard a big THUD upstairs...and another one: Somebody's cape (aka your bath towel) didn't get enough air after the first leap off the bed.

...and now there's just silence: Don't ask.

Elmo's in the basement, singing to himself: Nobody could find the OFF button on the Sesame Street toy, so they left for another (quieter) floor in the house.

Something just crunched under your foot: The chips you bought for Moms' Movie Night are gone.

Your heirloom china platter has disappeared from the display case: Polly Pocket's got a brand-new flying saucer!

There's a snipping sound: Somebody's bangs are going to have more ups and downs than the S&P 500.

That doll has unusually long eyelashes: Have you seen your mascara lately?

Your bedsheets seem to be giggling: Don't get changed out of your clothes just yet.

Everyone's near tears: The playdate has ended -- and someone else's mom is going to host it next time.

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