I can't call it a play-date, because that phrase was banned. I can call it a playfest, because my 3-year-old has never been so entertained within the auspices of a friend's house, for free.
"Was he trying to win some prize for most amazing 'gathering' ever?" I enquired (innocently) as we ricocheted between dough making, cookie cutting, fancy dress and fire building...
The quizzical look I received said it all - "what is it that mum's do when they meet up?" Good bloody question. Natter mainly, obviously. I was itching to share with them the details of my rather bizarre lesbian dream (they possibly would have enjoyed that) but the opportunity just didn't arise.
It was jobs allocation from the outset, of the "you build the fire while I reduce the pizza topping" variety... It left me feeling a bit spare partish - I'm not used to feeling so useless! (one even brought home-made soup to share)
As one 21st Dad managed the culinary side of things, his comrade in arms fielded potty training accidents (unruffledly) between dressing up WITH the children (I've never actually even thought of doing that) and making wolf noises outside their Wendy house (to squeals of laughter and enjoyment).
I took rather too many pictures.
Thankfully I did get a bit of natter in when Elsie popped home for a light lunch (provided by super-hero/husband, Tom), although not time enough to get down to the nitty gritty of the dream... she was off back to her desk before I knew it and I was left trying to contribute to a conversation about bicycle tyre punctures (seriously).
"Would you be talking about us girls if I wasn't around?" I postured, jokingly. "No, that really is the domain of sad women," came the riposte. "Oh"
Next week it's my turn to host and I've been googling mad ideas for what exactly 3 three-year-olds can do in three hours...I even thought about hiring a circus act in. I then considered bribing my other half to swap days with me so he could enjoy these heady days of creativity and cavalier fun.
But I've decided to jump in with both feet and grasp this opportunity to learn from the Mars inhabiters, they've got hanging out covered.
This is a guest post from my friend Jules.
[Jules - after you all left Tom had a large whisky and then went to bed!]