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How We Got Our Playdate Groove Back

During the winter break I decided it was time for me to be more proactive about setting up playdates for the twins. Preschool was closed for two weeks, and we were in dire need of activities. I emailed a few moms, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. It was time to put our best feet forward, find the cleanest-looking pairs of underwear from the pile and start socializing!

The first little boy’s family suggested that we all meet up to go ice skating. I was initially wary of the idea of taking a pair of 3-year-olds out on the ice, but I didn’t want to decide we couldn’t do it before we even tried. And, who knew, maybe they would be an amazing brother/sister figure-skating duo, like Will Arnett and Amy Poehler in "Blades of Glory." So, on the day after Christmas, the four of us made our way to the LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park.

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We met up with the other family, who had an older daughter in addition to their 3-year-old boy. They had never taken their kids ice skating either, so we figured it would be one big slippery experiment. As soon as we sat down to lace up our skates, I realized that this was not going to end well. I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to outfit a pair of preschoolers with footwear featuring blades sharp enough to finely slice sashimi. Still, we had to at least give it a whirl.

So, we wobbled tentatively toward the ice, ready to channel our inner Brian Boitanos.

I was paired with my daughter. As soon as her tiny feet hit the ice, she lost her footing and started laughing hysterically. "She thinks it’s funny. That’s good," I thought. But after a few moments, her maniacal giggles morphed into shrieks of terror. We were out and heading back to the safety of the double stroller, and we hadn’t even made it past the entrance of the rink. My husband and our son faired a little better, slipping and sliding their way once around the rink before calling it a day.

As we walked home, I had to wonder: why are we always the crazy ones, the family with the screaming children (and parents) who couldn’t get their act together?

Of course, the other family we were there with had positioned themselves in the center of the rink and had shucked off their outerwear to reveal coordinated sequined costumes. Well, maybe not, but they were upright and smiling, a picture-perfect vision of holiday cheer.

I’m pretty sure that, as we were leaving, I saw the little boy execute a triple Lutz.

As we walked home, I had to wonder: why are we always the crazy ones, the family with the screaming children (and parents) who couldn’t get their act together? But before I could get down about it, my husband reminded me that we had tried and that was something!

He was right, it was.

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Although we didn’t get to talk much with the other family, they did seem pretty nice. We agreed to try and get the kids together again — next time on terra firma.

Image via Instagram/Tondemunck

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