It’s vacation week for my children. My wife, however, is working. So, I’m the parent in charge. Not wanting to rely completely on screen time and with only so many playdates possible, I’m taking my children out. You could say we’re going on a date.
Ever had a bad date with your children? Of course you have because we all have. Maybe it involved throwing-up, or crying, or whining… Whatever it was, the date sucked, and you wanted it over.
Ever had a bad romantic date before? Of course you have because we all have. Maybe it involved boring conversation, arguments, or whining… The reasons are endless and you want it over.
Clearly, there are a lot of similarities between bad dates with your children and bad dates with a romantic interest.
But there are differences as well. And those differences can be rough.
1. Only One Person to Please
A date involves two people. When you are planning a date, you have one person to please. While I planned to enjoy my dates, my main concern was the woman. So if she didn’t like something, no problem. We could just do something else. One person, one set of quirks, one set of needs, one set of weirdities. Planning was rather simple.
Children is plural. I personally have two. So, in theory the quirks, needs, and weirdities should not have quadrupled. Yet somehow they do. It can take hours to find something both boys will enjoy. Sometimes one will wait to hear what the other one wants to do before deciding he does NOT want to do the same thing. Planning for a nuclear meltdown would be easier.
2. Getting Ready
When you get to your date’s house, you expect her/him to be ready. You honk the horn or knock on the door and she/he appears and the two of you are off. You might have to give an opinion on clothes/appearance but (if handled properly), this is brief. Okay, it might be a few minutes. Reasonable. Even the worst dates don’t usually go awry at this point.
Children need you to do EVERYTHING. They don’t do preparing. So, you have to do everything. Wash them, get their clothes out, remind them to go to the bathroom, zip their coats… If your children are of a certain age, preparations take longer than the date. When you finally do get out of the house, if you’ve forgotten something, you’re screwed. No drink is fixable, but low charge on the electronic device can lead to an eruption. Prepare poorly and the date has no chance. Continue reading