brat2 On Monday I was chatting with my friend, colleague and fellow blogger Channa, (see TheCleanEatingBlog) about a weekend play date that had gone bad for her son G.  According to Chan, her pint size guest incurred several infractions worthy of sanctions, but the unforgivable transgression was that he was mean to G’s little brother, E.  He encouraged G to exclude little E throughout the afternoon.  I know the type and could immediately relate.  Any friend of Noah’s who encourages ill will towards Chase is black listed in my mind. Believe me, Noah does not need any help in this area.  I call these kids “the instigators” and they quickly fall to the bottom of my list of acceptable friends for my sons. 

Channa’s boys are younger than my boys  and she is just beginning to enter the minefield of bad play dates.  As a service to her – and the public – here is a list of other gems she may want to try to avoid if possible:

The Weasel:  This child wears a halo when his or her parents drop off but transforms into devil spawn as soon as they walk out the door.  They are often the quickest to deny any wrongdoing when confronted and are constantly smirking smiling.  Their parents are often unaware of what they have created, because their kid says “thank you for having me” upon leaving after direct prodding which apparently makes them eligible for sainthood.

The Informer:  Often the youngest child in a family with older siblings, this play date is a wealth of knowledge about everything you don’t want your child to know including the truth about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and blow jobs.

The Glutton:  You wonder if the parents feed this child as he or she is constantly asking if they can have a snack.  I am a huge fan of “the snack” as part of a play date, but not every 30 minutes.  A variation:  The child heeps food onto his or her plate and eats only a fraction of what they gathered leaving the rest completely unfit to re-serve.  Augustus – save some room for later!

The Wire Tap:  I actually enjoy this play date which is characterized by the child sharing intimate details about what goes on in their home, particularly the mishaps, utterings, sex lives and political views of their parents.

The Destroyer:  This child can make a mess out of any activity leaving your play room looking like the aftermath of a 7.8 on the richter scale.  Do not suggest trading cards, Legos, Polly Pockets or marbles to this child.  Let them bratty play datewatch television.  All. Afternoon.

The Social Boor:  Either a complete oaf or an unheralded genius, this child invites himself or herself to extend a play date sleep over in such a way that it is difficult to say no – like when their parents are picking up.  “Mrs. Mendell, Noah wants me to sleep over because he says he has nothing to do tonight and my Mom says its ok if its okay with you.  OK?”  I don’t mind the play date extension, but often this child exhibits one of the other qualities above, making this option rather unappealing.

Not only do you try  to avoid these children at all costs, but you also have to teach your own children not to become one of them. The best way to accomplish this is to strongly counsel them not to eat too much, play too hard, or open their mouths on a play date.  At all. 

So, MoB readers, did I miss any play date types from hell?  I’m sure you have a few.  Do share.

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