It's Not You, It's Me

By Jen Piwtpitt - 3:34 PM

Hey girl. We need to talk. 

I'm just not sure I how I feel about this whole play-date thing. I mean, I like you, sure, and hey, that kid of yours? Pretty cool, am I right?! I mean, Phaedra talks about her all the time at home, and has been bugging me for weeks to invite her over to play. And you! You're so great! In fact, I'm pretty confident you wouldn't even steal anything from my house if you came over. Also, that time you pretended not to notice how jacked-up I looked when I dropped Phaedra off at school wearing my pajamas and gold-sequined Uggs? Pretty solid of you. 

Let's not and say we did

What I'm trying to say is… it's not you, it's me. I want to get out there and start play-dating, but I just get all squirrelly and weird at the thought. For me, play dates are essentially a milder, less legally-binding version of a visit from Child Protective Services. I’m forced to clean up the house and try to semi-disguise all the, uh, quirky things we now accept as normal: the dried cereal cemented around the base of the entertainment center; the curtain with the big burn hole in it from the summer Rob decided to start killing flies using a lighter and an aerosol spray; the R-rated TV shows mixed in with the G-rated movies next to Phaedra's bedroom TV.

Plus, to be completely frank: I'm just not in the mood. All week long, I'm away at work, or busy dropping off kids or picking them up. When I am at home, I spend most of my time at home either preparing kids for bed or keeping kids in bed. When the weekend comes, all I want to do is spend one day at home in my pajamast doing housework that I didn't do all week long. If I lose that one day, the odds are very good that my kids will end up wearing Halloween costumes to school and eating off of Frisbees during the next week.

Also, I don't quite understand how the mechanics of this relationship is supposed to work. Are you supposed to stay at my house the entire time? So basically I have to hang out with you for, hour? Two hours? What if you turn out to be a turd? You're already in my house, and the kids are already playing, so I'm supposed to sit here and pretend to enjoy having a conversation with you about why we painted the living room orange, and be uncomfortably noncommittal when you start into politics or social policy or something we inevitably disagree about when I could be watching Judge Judy and folding clothes while Surrey takes a nap? On the other hand, what if you leave? I'm just supposed to babysit your kid until you decide to show up again? And what if your kid sucks and I end up having to entertain some kid that no one else in the house wants to play with because she's a total asshole?

You know what? I don't think this is going to work out. Let's just break this off right now and maybe we can get together in the future when we're both in a difference place in our lives. But we can still be friends, right?

No? Oh. Well, thanks anyways for the birthday cake. I’ll just see myself out.

This was originally published on 649.133: Girls, the Care and Maintenance Of.

More About Janel: Janel Mills is a librarian raising three beautiful girls with her beardedly gifted husband. She writes about raising a princess, a spirited child, and the happiest baby on Earth using as many curse words as possible on her blog, Girls, the Care and Raising Of (

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