With JT now in Kindergarten and making his own friends (rather than just playing with the children of my friends), the subject of play-dates is coming up all of the time. Of course, we have done play-dates before but I’ve always been there. Now that he is 6 we are entering the world of the “drop-off” play-date. I’m sure for lots of parents this change is downright blissful. While for some, including myself, the idea brings on instant anxiety. A few free hours of unpaid child care while your child plays and has snacks with friends actually sounds really great. But, I tend to be a little on the nervous and overprotective side anyway, now throw in JT’s allergies, asthma and medications and the thought of dropping him off leaves me a wreck.
Let’s just say Molly was old enough and going to a “drop-off” play-date. With no medical issues to think of I would still be nervous about plenty of things. Will this family supervise my child like I would?, Will they be in a safe place?, Is the family reliable?, If they are gun owners, do they store them safely?, Are they good people? Now add in JT’s medical complications and I’m adding questions like: Is this family clean?, Do they have pets?, How do they handle food?, Will there be exposure to peanuts or eggs?, Will they recognize an allergic reaction?, Do they understand how serious this can be? On top of that is the responsibility I would be putting on another parent. In order to drop him off I need to teach that parent what foods to keep away from JT, what signs to look for if an allergic reaction is starting , how to use an epipen and how to give JT his inhaler. That’s a lot to ask someone I’m not paying!
For now, we are laying pretty low on the play-date front because I’m not feeling ready for it to evolve into the “drop-off” stage, but I don’t think it’s doing JT any good. I know I need to think about that next step, but how?
So, parents who have been through this, how did you do it? Or did you not do it? What advice do you have for a little-bit-nervous, maybe-slightly-overly-protective Mom?