Friday, April 17, 2009

The Week in Frenemy Playdates

Before Laura got out for Spring Break last week, I happened to run into Frenemy Neighbor, and I said, "So, are you guys taking a spring break next week?" As you may recall, her daughter P is homeschooled now, except for the couple of days a week she spends at a homeschool center (it's a lot like a school). She said they were, so I thought, "Great, L loves to play with P, and surely if they're on spring break too, we'll fit into their carefully-managed schedule somewhere." So then. . .

Monday: I text Frenemy Neighbor. She likes for me to text her rather than call her, as she explained, because if I call her, her daughter will know that Laura's mom called and that she has been invited to play, and if a playdate doesn't fit in with FN's plans, P will have to be told no, which creates a problem. Alright. So I texted her, "Would P like to get together and play?" She texts back, "Maybe later. P has to finish some schoolwork." I text back, "Oh, thought y'all were on break." She texted, "We are, but we still have schoolwork." Um. . . ??? Later that afternoon, Laura did go up to their house for some basement karaoke, which staved off her imminent death from boredom, so that was a good outcome.

Tuesday: Frenemy Neighbor texts to ask if P can play at our house while she runs some errands. Certainly, I said. While the two girls are playing, Pretty Neighbor drops by with her daughter and preschooler son. She settles her pregnant self on my couch, and we dig into a nice chat. Hank and her little boy dig into Legos. Now the three girls are playing together, except P doesn't really like to play in groups, and she keeps devising ways to pull Laura away from her other friend, F. When they propose all getting on Webkinz, with Laura and P in one room and Pretty Neighbor's daughter in another, I decide to do some parenting: "Nope, no computers. I want all three of you to go play out back." Laura and F happily agree, and P says, and I quote, "My mother won't allow me to play outside, because it's too cold."

Okay, it was chilly, it was probably in the low 40's and sunny. But I am of the opinion that if a child wants to play outside and will dress appropriately, it is never too cold. I mean, this is Atlanta--we're not going to be pulling her out of a snowbank. If they really get too cold, they'll come inside, right? Do you have a policy on this?

So I said, "Alright, but no computers. Find something to do." So they played hotel, with F and P as guests in separate bedrooms, and Laura as the overworked chambermaid.

Wednesday: A painful death from boredom looms over Laura again, and all of her other playmates are busy. The weather is also warmer. So I text Frenemy Neighbor, and lo, P comes over, carrying, as she always does, her own water bottle and her cell phone. The girls play happily. A couple of hours later, Frenemy is knocking on my door. When I greet her, she says, with annoyance, "I called P's cell phone to tell her I was coming but she didn't answer!" I shrug. P's phone is on my dining room table, and nobody has heard it ring. I imagine that P will be reprimanded for not having her phone on her person, because I've seen this happen before.

There you have it. Oh, and in addition to Pretty Neighbor's daughter, L played with a couple of other friends here and there with no friction and no weirdness. Frenemy Neighbor is the epicenter of the weirdness.

Sure, this is all kind of trivial, but you know me well enough now to know that that's just the stuff I like to tell you about.

Have a great weekend, y'all! The weather here is gorgeous, I'm cleaning up my back porch for company, and the hydrangeas are blooming. I love that hydrangea bush so much that I want to make out with it, but it's kind of polleny.

15 comments:

Carrie said...

The 40s is too cold to play outside? Hahahaha in the winter we WAIT for it to hit the 40s to so we can hit the playground. Really fresh air is always good for kids; the only time I declare it "too cold" for the kids is when it's well below freezing and I usually get no argument at that point.

Michele Renee said...

You are such a good mom for continuing to have P over to play with L even though the mom is a nut job. You sound like you have a ton of patience. Our theory is that there are less germs outside than inside and you get sick from germs and not from cold weather. But what made me roll my eyes the most is P’s mom calling on P’s cell rather than calling you or just coming over first.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Amazing tale of weirdness.

We just had a huge facebook discussion about kids and cell phones. Becky, I wish you were my facebook friend so I could know what you thought of it all.

bigbinder said...

I have no comment on the friend thing... but I just finished Eat, Pray, Love and the author made out with some Indian tree. I am getting a little wierded out by the sudden frequency in chick-on-foliage action in my reading material.

Amy said...

I so agree with you on the cold weather thing and I even take it a step further. Last winter after we got back from a week in Hawaii (thanks, in-laws!)Ava wanted to swim in our pool. After having a round and round discussion about how it is cold outside and the pool is freezing, she just wouldn't let up. Ok, I told her. Let's get your suit on and get out there, then.

Of course, after 3 minutes (I couldn't believe she lasted that long!) she was like, This is freezing. And I'm like, Uh, yeah. I think if they're cold, they'll wanna come inside!

Your Frenemy stories are my fave! I just feel sorry for her--like, could she be a happy person and still be so weird?

Cassie said...

That woman is just... weird. Weird weird weird.

I'm totally with Carrie on the playing outside thing. I'm actually known to throw my kids *into* snowbanks on occasion. (I'm kidding... they jump in themselves.)

Will you pretty pretty please post some pictures of your beautiful hydrangeas so I can covet them?

Becky said...

Cassie, funny you should mention that! I have a hydrangea post up my sleeve!

Amy, I never heard that story about Ava! I can't believe she lasted 3 minutes either.

Bigbinder, you have piqued my interest about that book. Maybe I am part of a trend?

And yes, yes, so many eye-rolling things, but it kills me how her mother would rather call her child's cell than have a conversation like adults. And I already told Forrest this, but sometimes P will call ME from her cell to see if L can play, and I always decline the call and call her mother back. Something about feeling summoned by a child's cellphone call. Possibly I am evil.

Ginny Marie said...

I don't think you're evil...I wouldn't let my child call a friend's mother to ask for a playdate. I think that's weird.

My hydrangea has only tiny little leaves right now. I think I planted it in the wrong spot; it has never bloomed for me, poor thing.

Michele said...

Wow! Frenemy has a bit of a control issue which doesn't bode well for her daughter. Laura's week of boredom is over and now she can get back to complaining about school. doesn't do this yet? Just wait.

Keely said...

Um, wow. Control issues.

The cold thing is relative. It spends a couple months being -40 here, so when it 'warms up' to freezing, it seems downright balmy. I had X outside - bundled up of course - when it was about ten below.

bsouth said...

Goodness, your frenemy is quite the control freak! We live in the UK, it's never too cold to go out to play, only too wet sometimes! When it snowed I was out there playing before the kids!

Drama Queen Jenner said...

I would probably call my daughter on her cell phone (if she had one and if I let her go anywhere) rather than call an adult, but she'll be 13 in a week, so I think it's a little different. Plus, she needs to hear my tone, so she knows to run her butt home, not just sroll like she's exploring the gardens. Is that bad?

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

That poor frenemy kid. Boy do I feel sorry for her. Cell phone, cold moratorium . . . what's next? A camera installed at your house to monitor her activities in your yard. Oops, probably already in place. Kiss that hydrangea bush for me. If I had a magic wand I'd have a peony bushes all over the place.

The Stiletto Mom said...

Go stick a for sale sing in Frenemy's yard. I'm packing my boxes and I'm on my way to Hotlanta to hang with you. :)

Casey said...

For as neurotic as you describe her mom, I'm shocked that this girl is normal and able to even function on playdates. Wow.