I know some people who find the idea of entertaining other people's children a complete horror story in the writing but I love them. I think it's great for the kids to have friends over to play. The kids keep each other amused and it gives Z and Miss C a break from each other's company and my referee duties. I can see it being our house, in years to come, that will be full of teenagers on a Friday and Saturday night. Maybe even during the week too.
My love for play-dates seems to stem from when I was younger. When we stayed in Edinburgh, I loved having my next door neighbour over to play. During the school holidays and even after school or at weekends, she would come over just after breakfast and stay until tea time. Depending on the weather, she'd usually be back over until bedtime. We would ride our bikes up to the shops and back, play with our dolls and other toys or watch cartoons in my Gran's living room.
Then we moved to Manchester, and I was a teenager by then so it wasn't so much about play-dates at the house but going out with friends. We'd go shopping in town, to the cinema or we'd have sleepovers at each other's houses.
The kids love their play-dates. During the Easter holidays, Miss C had a friend over to play at our house and they spent the day outside on the bikes and building dens for her horses. They sat together on the couch before dinner and watched a movie, and chatted away together whilst eating spaghetti and meatballs. On another day, she headed to her best friend's house and had so much fun painting and playing with the toys. Miss C is always asking when her next play-date or sleepover is.
Z's play-dates consist of Xbox or the PS4. He loves going for a sleepover and, on the first day of the Easter holidays, he headed to one of his best friend's house for his birthday. They went to a trampoline centre, had a McDonalds for tea and played Pie Face until really late! We had another of his best friends over at our house after Karate; most of their time was spent on the Xbox. And he had his third best friend over for tea and a play at the park because the weather was so nice.
I do love our family time together and I cherish the moments and memories we make as a foursome every weekend. But I also love to see the kids enjoying their time with their friends because that's also an important factor in the memories they make of their childhood. These friendships, which may (hopefully) last way in to their adult lives, are going to see them through some of the best times, the worst times and the hardest times of their lives.