I am hoping to get some advice on the polite thing to do.
I have 2 elementary school age kids, who ride on a school bus daily. They have plenty of friends in general and their play dates fall in one of two types. School friends are usually dropped off or picked up by us from school and their parents collect them some time later. Occasionally the parents stay for a a bit to chat with us, but these dates are predominantly kids only. For our family friends usually the mother or the father stays – so both kids and parents have time with their respective friends (these happen more often on weekends or evenings when both families have finished work). I should also say that with school friends we host play dates probably twice as much as we send our kids somewhere. We like hosting and having the kids play at home is no trouble at all. My husband and I both work from home and kids that age do not need much supervision any more, one of us can step out to help and come back to our work.
One exception is a neighborhood girl of similar age to my kids. Her house is on the way to our home from the school bus and my kids have fallen into the habit of stopping there for a half hour play date a couple of times a week. This is always by invitation from the girl and her sitter, actually the invitation is extended almost daily, but my kids have sports after school some days, so not all days work. My impression is that it’s easier for the sitter if the girl has company, the kids have fun, and since the invitations keep coming (often the sitter will stop by in advance to get my permission to have them come over) it’s probably mutually beneficial. The mother of the girl has been to our house once staying over a birthday party and knows our kids too, no problems from her and she is at work during these dates anyway. I have recently made my children bring some snacks to share since I noticed they often get treating to snacks at the other place.
My dilemma is to what extent can I have this going on without reciprocating. As I mentioned above we host often and we find kids no trouble. The issue is that this kid comes with a sitter. We have invited them a couple of times and the lady comes as well and stays. It’s a bit awkward, since either we have to stop working for the whole time and chat with her, or send her join the kids in basement or backyard wherever they are playing, which seems impolite. It would be incredibly easier if she would be willing to drop off the girl and collect her later, but I haven’t dared suggest that. Don’t get me wrong, nothing against her personally, but this is still during the work day for us and not convenient.
What is the proper thing to do? Keep going as now, extend invitation occasionally and just bear the awkwardness, ask the sitter to do drop off? 0322-17