One hour prior to play date: Tell 4 yr old that we will be meeting up with her best friend from school to swim. Sheer excitement ensues and she can't wait to see her friend. She begins to make grandiose plans of what will happen on play date.
First 30 minutes of play date: Kids hug. Smiles abound. They run into the water and begin to frolick and splash. Life is good.
Next 30 minutes: Kids decide that whatever swim toy the other has, she MUST have. Negotiations and common sense will not work- so don't even try.
30 minutes later: Children are friends again. For now. They play water princesses and harrass whichever adult is brave enough to be in the water with them.
Last 30 minutes of play date: Lots of "I don't want to be your friend." "You can't come to my house. Ever." "You aren't being nice." "If you don't wanna be my friend, I don't wanna be your friend." From both of the girls who 30 minutes before had been water princess sisters. No hugs. No smiles. Parents pack up and say goodbyes, hoping the kids will be quiet, so maybe the chance of another play date isn't out of the question.
On the way home: "Mommy, when can we see her again? I love her."