Maybe I am overly sentimental about the small preschool that Madeline spent two years at here, but the afterschool pick-up in the kindergarten quad leaves much to be desired. I was feeling quite down at the beginning of the school year because her new school does not have the same "cozy community" feel – a great number of the kindergarten students are picked up by mae baans or ride the Montri buses into Bangkok, so I don't get to meet, let alone befriend, their parents. And the people who I would sit beside on a bench and chat with, waiting for our three year-olds or four year-old to come flying out of the door at the preschool? Well, they are at the new school as well, but more often as not, they are hanging out, mostly silently, outside their child's classroom door. As am I, outside the door of Madeline's. No one ever hangs out in the middle of the quad, having a conversation. Can I blame the architecture that puts the classrooms along the outside of the square, or is this just the culture of the international school?
Onto my second gripe about the kindergarten pick-up, and the one that I referenced in the title of the post! Madeline has taken to flying out of her classroom door and the words, "Mom, can I have a playdate today? Please! Please? Please! Please? Please! Please? Please! Please????????" escape her body even before the straps of her backpack are squarely on her shoulders. Now, I am not against socializing outside of school hours, but I get really frustrated at being bombarded by the LOUD and the BEGGING and even the on-the-spot-ness of this frequent request. I outright loathe the Playdate Beg. I've even created a new rule, whereby a Playdate Beg will be met with an automatic "No, not today". I just can't think, amid the chaotic dismissal of sevety-five kindergarten students and the throng of people fetching them, if it's a good day to have someone over, if I have enough fruit for a snack at home, if Sadie has something going on that needs less-divided attention. I feel bad telling Madeline, "how about we plan something for tomorrow?" but I can't allow the Playdate Beg to get the desired results without setting myself up for bigger trouble in the future!