Have you ever had this experience?
Your child has a friend over to play. They are having a great time. You are sipping tea and chatting with another adult for the first time in three days. All is right with the world.
Then suddenly, the house looks like it’s been hit with a wrecking ball, one child is screaming in the corner and the other has gone suspiciously missing. You find the second child in the bathroom unrolling the toilet paper and stuffing it down the toilet. He has peed on the floor.
Where did it all go wrong?
Perhaps you just missed one of the telltale signs that it was time to end the play date. Because hell hath no fury like a toddler who’s over stayed his welcome.
Here are ten signs it’s time to end the play date:
1. Blood is drawn- It has been my experience that even the most unassuming toddlers will turn into revenge obsessed mercenaries if the offense is serious enough. “You killed my father, prepare to die!”
2. Someone eats a toy- This goes for quarters, bottle caps, refrigerator magnets, crayon tips and anything else that you don’t want to be on the receiving end of the diaper change when they come out.
3. There is poop on the floor– Human, dog, or otherwise: at the first sign of a “number two” it’s time to hit the road. A little pee never hurt anyone, but the first time a toddler steps in a steaming pile of poop and proceeds to track it all over the house, you’ll wish you’d left.
4. Someone drops the F-bomb- Yes, I’ve done this before. Haven’t you?
5. Someone breaks something expensive- Like an iPad, refrigerator, or an arm.
6. Toys are murdered- When the baby doll is found floating face down in the toilet, it’s time to go.
7. It’s been quiet for WAY TOO LONG- This is always the harbinger of doom. Get your coats.
8. The dogs are cowering under the furniture- When the pets have gone feral and start denning under the sofa it’s probably a good idea to instruct the children to vacate the premises. The family pug might just confuse a chubby little finger for a snausage in its panicked state.
9. There is no more food- Hungry children are like wild animals: eventually, they will turn on each other.
10. Someone falls asleep- I’m usually the one who needs a nap after play dates, but in the event you find a child asleep on the sofa, the bathroom rug, the dog bed, or the laundry basket, it’s probably time to end the play date.
I hope these tips will help you avoid future play date disasters. If not, it’s probably Wednesday and you might just want to call it a day.