OT - is there anything to be said?
My DD3 has a friend, M4, who goes to school. DD also likes playing with M's little brother, E2, at daycare or on playdates.
Personally, I find M to be annoying. But I blame the parents. They both spend most playdates interacting with M and directing activities for her or setting up something she randomly asked for. E gets relatively very little attention, but still more than me. I only do playdates because DD likes them so much; usually my philosophy is that playdates are for me to socialize and the kids to figure out how to play together.
The mom recently invited me for a playdate. She wanted to go for a long bike ride but I can't (physical limitations). I explained and then I suggested we take the kids for a walk, then bring them to the childcare at my gym and do a yoga class together.
My thinking was, yoga is something I enjoy, maybe something to do in the future with the mom since I don't really enjoy time with her while the kids are around, fun for the kids - nice and tired after a walk, plus DD is very familiar with the childcare environment and leader so the adjustment for the other kids would be fairly smooth.
Of course, if M and E were my kids, I would mention the upcoming new activity a few days before, talk about what we know will happen (play with DD, DD knows where all the toys are kept, etc) and, if I wanted to try the yoga class, I'd do it. I'd also assume, or ask if I had any doubts, that I'd be called out of the class if my kids were having a terrible time.
Anyway, the mom's response was that it would be to stressful for M to leave her in the care of someone new, so my plan won't work.
Now, I do understand. We all have different values and different priorities. If I had more of a personal relationship with this mom I'm sure I'd be way more chill about finding something to do. But I don't think she wants a personal relationship, she just makes plans because M likes DD. Which is ofc my motivation as well, lol, and I'm finding it's just not enough.
So anyway, I'm not sure what a pleasant way to move forward is. I could offer to watch all 3 kids once in a while - not just M because she's not that nice (I'd have to manage a lot of conflicts and cannot expect her to do as she's told) and it would be easier for her if her brother was there as well. But the kids are really young for that in NL culture. Usually playdates that the parents don't stay for start around age 5 or 6. And, I don't see the mom going for it if she wouldn't go for a professional, with tons of toys and other kids, for an hour.
I would be OK leaving DD with her for an hour or two. I know DD is obedient and that the mom, much as we have different values for parenting, wouldn't allow any harm to come to her. But I think it would be a bit weird to "offer" that!
My confrontational, somewhat selfish side wants to tell this mom, "Don't you think that M and E would have a great time with DD? Just do some preparation, and they'll be fine. If not, they'll pull you out of the class. I've got the free passes and I'd love to find someone to enjoy them with!"
If someone said that to me, I might not be comfortable but I would give it some consideration. But I don't know if she was genuine about why she didn't want to go. And I get the feeling she is very committed to keeping M happy (hence the bad behavior from M, and the lack of attention to me as a guest).
So far, I've just accommodated these plans (within my physical limitations) but I generally try to avoid weekends and not more than 2x per month, ince these playdates are not fun for me.
What might you do?