I’ve been doing this playdate thing for 10 years. I’ve been at playdates where the kids never even glanced at each other, never mind actually played.
I’ve sat at a playdate with a German nanny who spoke no English while I stared at my phone which had no reception for an hour and a half.
I once hosted a playdate where upon conclusion our 7 year old guest declared it “the most boring playdate ever.”
I’ve dropped off, picked up, hosted and cleaned up many many times but what I’ve rarely done is ask about guns.
Because I don’t know. It feels awkward. “Hey thanks for having my kid over! Oh do you have any firearms in your home not stored properly?”
Plus the mom usually seems so nice and normal and has a cute haircut. How could she have a gun lying around?
So how are we not asking this question?! How am I not asking this question?
We have to start talking about gun safety with other parents. Even if they are nice and have cute haircuts.
And it doesn’t actually have to be awkward. According to GunSafe Mom, have a private (not in front of the kids) conversation with the other parent hours before the playdate. This is not a conversation to have at the door as you are dropping your kid off.
And the conversation can go something like this…
“Start off friendly. “Hey, Angela! Sophie is really excited about the playdate. Anything I can send with her?” Break the ice, then preface other safety issues, like whether or not your child has food allergies or if she’s scared of dogs. Then say, ‘This may sound odd, but it’s a safety issue — do you guys have any guns in your home?’ (Courtesy of The Stir)
See that’s not so bad. Especially because it could save your kid’s life.
And this isn’t an issue of whether you believe in owning guns or not. It doesn’t really matter. It’s about making sure all of our children are safe.
That way when our kids head off to a playdate, they can wonder about things like…
Will my friend’s mom give me access to the delicious trifecta combo of Nutella, Marshmallow Fluff and M & M’s that my own mother has denied me for so long?
Will we be allowed to watch endless amounts of TV until our eyeballs fall out?
Will we get to draw superheroes on the wall of the playroom like my friend absolutely promised?
We parents will worry about the other stuff.