The whole concept of a play date is really confusing to a stay at home dad, and just doesn't seem that appealing. What are the rules? Is there some kind of system to determine how many hours my kids can spend at your house and how many at mine? Do I have to feed your kids, and does putting on a movie count? Are there time limits, or late pick up fees? What if you have three kids, and I only have two? That doesn't seem fair. And what if your kid's a high maintenance pain in the butt, and mine is a pleasure? The whole thing is just not worth it to me.
And then there are the kids. Little kids go to the bathroom with the doors open. They take baths together. Stuff like that. You can't drop them off with me and just leave. And I really don't want them anyway. I can't drink a bottle of wine while I take care of your kids. I could risk it with mine, but definitely not yours. And every play date seems to open up my children to all the junk food that I have been sheltering from them, all the bad television that I have yet to introduce them to, and all the toys they don't have, and never thought of wanting before.
Look, I'll take my turns watching the kids in our cul-de-sac, I'll let the neighbor kids come over and do art projects for an hour or so and mess up my house even more than it already is, I'll even take your kid to the zoo if I have room in the car, but no play dates. If you want my kids to entertain yours for a few hours, fine, you can have them. But don't expect it to be a reciprocal agreement.
Helpful hint # 71 If you decide to do a play date, meet at a neutral location, just the way you would on a blind date. That way, if their kid is annoying, or the parent is neurotic, you can get out quickly.