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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.

What to say (and not) at pickup

Oh, you're here to get Ryan so soon?
after he cornered the cat with a toilet plunger and an evil grin.

Why, he's such a creative child
judging by the Magic Marker monster he drew on my toddler's new white party shoes.

And so full of energy!
Not to mention Girl Scout cookies, but you'll discover the crumbs in his overalls later.

My little Jacob had a great time
learning how to climb up the bookcase.

And it looks like Ryan had fun, too
making coasters out of my CDs while I was cleaning up his "rocket ship," aka an emptied garbage can and our wok.

His imagination is so vivid -- he looks at my tennis racquet and sees something else entirely.
Apparently something waterproof, unlike my tennis racquet.

I wouldn't be surprised if he grew up to be president
of the Young Anarchists of North America Club.

We'll have to get them together again soon
at your house, lady, 'cause I'm out of migraine medicine.

7 signs the playdate should end

1. You just saw the diamond necklace your husband gave you for your anniversary pass by on a child who isn't even yours.

2. You've convinced yourself it's not such a bad day to send the kids outside. After all, it isn't raining sideways or anything.

3. The pint-size opposing army is still on the attack, but you've run out of fort.

4. Your kid's friend has been over so long, you just scheduled her well visit at the pediatrician's office for Tuesday.

5. You and the dog are hiding in the basement.

6. One kid keeps asking for his goody bag.

7. Every time the doorbell on the dollhouse rings, you jump up to answer the front door, shouting, "Your mom's here!"

Will you like the other mom?

she shows up with...
she's late because...
she's wearing...
she was up late because...
she dishes out...




a sour pussSour Patch candies for kidssour mix (and the fixin's) for you both
she's so busy with the PTAshe misjudged her ETA her other kid was being a PITA
Manolosmoccasinsmismatched loafers
her kid was so pukey (OMG!)her husband is so sexy (TMI!)Jon Stewart is so funny (ITA!)
flaxseed cookies from her pursegood advice (not that you asked)gossip about the local alpha mom (they aren't real!)