How to Prevent “Puke” and “Play Date” from Ever Going Together

I love play dates for my daughter. Not because I particularly enjoy entertaining another rugrat but because Haddie and her friends are finally at the age they can entertain themselves. And if they do interrupt me, I just announce, “Go play. Don’t bother me.”

OK maybe that is not exactly correct. Some days I say, “Don’t bother me. Go play.”

You know, just to mix things up.
I always take them to do something prior to setting them loose on their own. Some days we have a picnic in the park. Other times we go hiking. Last week, it was Central Park playground. If you’re a Denverite and have never been, repent now. This ultra-cool modern playground in Stapleton is a children’s Mecca and features all kinds of nifty rock-like climbing areas, swings, spray fountains, hills, playing fields and a padded ground cover.

The children’s favorite structures were the Dizzy Dummies (bonus points if you know to which show I am referring). They could not get enough of the big blue wheel that spun them around and around. It was a delightful day of spinning and dizziness.

Or so I thought until the drive home.

Hadley and Bode were chattering away while Hadley’s friend Alex remained uncharacteristically quiet. When we were about a mile from our house, she finally croaked, “WATER, I NEED WATER.”

I turned around and I kid you not–the child was green.


“WATER,” she desperately convulsed.

I threw her my CamelBak and she drank like she had been wandering lost in the desert for weeks.

“Do you feel better?”

She still looked queasy but had downgraded from green to a light sage. But still, sage is technically green and I couldn’t get her out of the car fast enough. Vomit is bad enough when it is your own kid but it is utterly reprehensible when it is someone else’s.

We fortunately made it back to my house before she regurgitated her lunch on our front lawn.

It was then that I regretted ever giving her those Doritos.

This little experience has caused me to modify my play-date strategy. No more picnics. No trips to the park.

Better off just to ignore them from the get-go.

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