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When I read this post, I kind of rolled my eyes and thanked my stars that I did not need to mommy date because I had enough friends. Granted, none of them were parents, but in my view that was a good thing. Frankly, the very concept of a playdate seemed precious (not in a good way) to me. Whatever happened to plain old playing? When did it become a set-up that had to be orchestrated between parents.

Well, now here we are.

Admittedly, I kind of got steamrolled into the playdate thing. But I have to admit, it works … for the kids. It cements friendships which makes your child’s adjustment to school, for example, easier. In summer, where days are long and kids (in Hong Kong) usually have a number of things going on, it gives your kids something to do. The fact is that my kids have friends they run into without too much planning – though sometimes the helpers coordinate among themselves – and they play together. They form adhoc alliances in the playground too. So if I didn’t do the playdate schtick my kids would be fine.

Nevertheless, Nene has a once-a-week playdate the location of which rotates between the houses of the three kids involved. My feelings about the mommies involved are mixed. We are not a natural fit: I am probably at least five years younger than them, and have never been a SAHM. Both are much wealthier than me and have huge houses and cars. They are nice enough to accommodate me, and I appreciate them including Mimi and dropping my kids to railways stations from their home. We exchange useful information and proffer help and that occasionally feel warm and fuzzy towards them. Sometimes we have conversations that reveal a little more than the surface, but we are not besties.

I have had the mommies over for lunch once, and I find myself doing anything to avoid a repeat. Though they didn’t say anything, fitting everyone in my house is a tight squeeze and because they do proper sit-down meals when we go over to their places, I feel obliged to do the same, but a) I am not a cook and my cook’s cooking skills are limited b) I do not have the space or paraphernalia to ‘host’ people. I realised how edgy they make me feel when we had V’s cousins over and I barely thought about what and how were going to serve them until the morning they arrived. If it had been the mommies I would have been stressing for days.

And then there was Mimi’s friend D. I really wanted them to be friends because I know much easier school was for Nene when he had his little gang. And D adored Mimi. However, apparently the feeling was not mutual. We tried over the summer and the last date was awkward. What made it suck even more was that I really liked D’s mum. We could have been friends if only our my baby would cooperate. D’s mum is friends with another mum whose kid is in their class and who I like but who always kind of gives me the cold shoulder. Oh God, it’s high school all over again. Anyhoo it was not to be, and I guess I just have to accept that.

Now another mum in Nene’s class seems to want a playdate with him, which works because they live just across our street, except that I don’t know if I should be including the other kids too. Ouff the politics of it.

The mums in Mimi’s class have a whatsapp group to share information and they seem like a warm and supportive bunch. Everyone gets invited to birthday parties, for example, at least what I know of.

When I went back and found the post that started all this, I realised how a lot of that list now applies to my life. Without knowing or wanting it, I am embroiled in the mommy dating scene. And with that I need to institute a new tag #eatingmywords.

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