Since moving the kids to public school I have struggled with playdates. Actually it is since I moved Leif to public school a year and a half ago.
During this time we have found one boy whose parents willingly let him come over and play on a regular basis. Of course this year the boys are in different classrooms and not so close anymore.
Maybe it was being in a small private school that gave parents more trust in each other? Maybe it was that I worked "with" (at least for the same company) as many of the other parents? Or were we just a much more trusting bunch?
Last year (when Leif was in 1st grade) Leif picked out a few boys in his class and I sent notes home with them through the teacher requesting playdates and sending my phone number and e-mail address. Not a single taker.
This was near opposite of our experience at the Montessori school where the kids' social calendars were things to be reckoned with. Playdate on this day with this family, on this day with another, sleepover with E on this Saturday...
I started Leif's second grade year in the same manner - he picked out two kids (a boy and a girl) he was close with - and is still close with - and sent in a sheet of paper for each with my phone number and e-mail address and a note requesting a playdate. No reply.
I volunteered in Leif's class for the Christmas party and Leif introduced me to the boy who said, "you sent home a pink piece of paper with your phone number!" Probably so - I didn't remember it being pink. I told him I would love to have him over to play with Leif still.
He dropped his head and said, "yeah, I am not allowed to go over to anyone's house".
I decided to inquire - "at all, like ever? Or are you just grounded or something."
He replied, "ever, I can't ever go to anyone's house".
If this is the 2nd grade mentality - you can imagine that the kindergarten situation isn't better at all.
Skadi has a girl in her class two houses away from us. She walks home from the bus stop with us and her mom. Her mom loaned me her Doppler so I could listen to the baby's heartbeat whenever I wanted. We exchanged phone numbers - but the little girl has never been allowed to come to our house.
At open house this year Skadi introduced me to another little girl and her mom. We exchanged phone numbers and her mom has never returned my phone calls requesting a playdate.
I had started wondering if it was just me? Do we come off as creepy? Am I way too lax in that if my kids were invited to another family's house for a playdate one Saturday afternoon that I would be dropping them off and waving goodbye? When I was both my kids' age I was constantly walking to someone else's house to play. In kindergarten it was 4 houses down, or my friend whose grandmother lived next door.
My kids are still used to the small Montessori reality that we lived for so many years - and thankfully I still have phone numbers for many of those kids. But it seems nowadays that unless you know the parents pretty dang well - playdates are off limits.