Mum’s “Petty” Playdate Etiquette Shocks the Internet

Awkward playdate moments are nothing new. We’ve probably all experienced a playdate that didn’t go to plan or where the standard playdate etiquette wasn’t followed. Sometimes it could be because the kids don’t get along, someone gets hurt or you simply don’t gel with the mum.

But this painful playdate takes the awkward playdate to the next level, thanks to one of the mothers who refused to pay for her daughter’s friend’s snack. 

The woman, believed to be in the US, took to Reddit’s AITA to explain her side of the story and see what random strangers on the internet think of the situation. Here’s the story: 

The mother (who we will refer to as Captain Stingypants) and her daughter, 11-year-old Ellie, were invited to an indoor play centre by another mum and a 12-year-old friend of Ellie’s named Sophie. Two mums. Two tween girls. One playcentre. Here we go. 

Now, it should also be said here that Sophie’s mum had a membership card so Ellie got in under a guest pass and didn’t pay an entry fee. This is kind of important for later. 

Transfer the money

After an hour of playing, the young girls started to get hungry. This is when things take a terribly uncomfortable turn. 

Captain Stingypants packed her daughter some snacks but Sophie’s mum did not. 

I packed a snack for Ellie but Sophie’s mum didn’t have any snacks on her,” she said. “I told her they sell snacks in the front but she claimed that she didn’t have any money on her and asked me to buy Sophie some Goldfish [fish-shaped crackers].”

Captain Stingypants agreed to buy the $2 crackers, but only if Sophie’s mum transferred the money to her. 

“She says she paid for my kid to get in so I could cover the $2 for the Goldfish.

I said no, I took care of my kid and it’s not my job to take care of hers too.

I told her if she wanted me to bring snacks she should’ve told me when she invited me but I won’t be wasting $2 for a 50 cent bag of Goldfish because she was unprepared.”

It gets worse. 


Who needs playdate etiquette when you can be petty instead? 

Sophie’s mum leaves the awkward situation and heads to the canteen. She comes back with Goldfish and some fruit snacks for her daughter. I guess she must have found some cash. 

Anyhow, when Sophie’s mum returns to Captain Stingypants’ table, she’s acting cold and “petty” according to Captain Stingypants.

Sophie’s mum asks Captain Stingypants if she will pay her back for her daughter’s entry fee, which Sophie’s mum already sorted out through her membership card. This isn’t the first time Sophie’s mum has used the membership card to get Ellie in either. This is a regular thing. 

Now she’s being petty… We’re not getting along,” Captain Stingypants said. “I’m going to have to see her at school drop off and pickup, ballet class, gymnastics class, and the girls weekly playdates so I wanted to know if I was the a****** for not buying her kid a snack? Though they regularly pay for us to join them on outings.”

So, that’s the story and we’re pretty sure she’s the as$hole, here but what about you? 

Just pay for the kids’ snacks already

Sharing snacks is pretty much par for the course when it comes to playdate etiquette, or at least I thought so. I always bring snacks for all the kids to share and so do many of the other mums I meet up with. And, if my kid wants a heavily overpriced lollypop or bag of chips from the canteen, I will offer to buy one for the other kids too. Playdate etiquette 101. What about you? 

Captain Stingypants clearly doesn’t follow this playdate etiquette though.

And the internet is more than happy to put her in her place, calling her “selfish” and “ungrateful”. 

 You were invited to a place for free that you would otherwise have had to pay for. You only packed snacks for your child? Why didn’t you also take snacks for the other child?” one asked.

Yes, you did not have to do so, and that child is not your responsibility, but if I was meeting someone for a playdate for my child, not paying to get in, knowing, at some point both girls were going to be hungry, I would have packed snacks for both, as a thank you for the invitation and just because,” said another. 

If someone asked me to transfer them $2, I’m rolling my eyes big time. It’s petty, especially when someone gave you something likely far more valuable,” someone else pointed out. 

And perhaps the best comment: 

Don’t be an idiot. Apologise. You might care about 50 cents. But your daughter will lose her best friend. And that is worth a lot more. Your daughter might never get a friend like that… And the fact that universe gift wrapped a friend for your daughter and you choose to throw it in the trash. Wow, you are truly a fool.”

What do you think? 

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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