It's not very often that my children have playdates. With my former work schedule, weekday playdates were out and the weekends were often reserved for errands, cleaning, and family time. Plus, my children usually play so nicely together, that they often amuse themselves and are content.
I got married and had children much earlier than my friends. So playdates with them are very rare because of the age difference of our children. Plus, I enjoy being able to go out, sans kids, and being able to have uninterrupted adult conversation every once in awhile! Summer and holiday vacations from school make for fun get-togethers with former teacher colleagues and their kids.
Today my kids had a playdate with one of my former colleague's daughter. My daughter is always shy when first seeing someone she hasn't seen in awhile, but will soon warm up. The three kids were playing nicely until.....crying. My son wasn't hurt, but the girls were tugging on him and he didn't like it. I told him next time he needs to use his words. Time for snack! I was very lenient today on the amount and kinds of sugary snacks my kids could have since we had a guest. Don't think that's going to happen again! After snack, the giggling and playing resumed. More crying....our guest was hurt, accidentally by my son. He was told he needed to apologize. There were negative words exchanged, "this is my house so I'm going to play what I want" by my daughter. It's hard when there's an odd number of kids and they want to play different things. All went well and our guest left happy. The kids were so hyped up (a.k.a. sugared up!) when she left and our house was a mess! I made them take some time to clean up which had my poor daughter in tears. "But I didn't make the mess by myself!" My son and I helped her to clean her room up, while I explained that this was part of a playdate. I asked if she had fun, which she told me she did. So, I explained that when you have a guest over you need to clean up when they leave. Tears were wiped away but the kids are exhausted. My son didn't eat dinner which got me annoyed, since I let him have so many snacks. And now they were told that they need to play quietly and will maybe watch a movie later....if they stay awake!
Playdates are great for kids to practice their social skills. However, I think things will go smoother as they get older and make their own friends. I'm going to get ready now to go out to meet one of my girlfriends for dinner, for an "adult" playdate of my own!