Working Mum: Playdate is a cover for debrief
By Tabitha Ronson
The mum who is in the middle of an acrimonious split from her partner invited us over for a playdate.
I say "us" because it wasn't about getting our boys together but about her pumping me for information about another school gate mummy, Miss P, who is flirting outrageously with the ex-partner in question.
Master A rarely mentions the offspring of the Acrimonious Split so he was somewhat bemused by the invite.
"But, why Mummy? He said I am his worst friend ever."
The judgment of the Acrimonious Split offspring has clearly been damaged by the upheaval.
To begin with it was all rather polite; the boys ushered off into the garden to play while we sat supping cafetiere coffee and eating Duchy Hazlenut & Cranberry sweet oaten biscuits. (On the subject of Waitrose: I'm afraid Pippa is no Delia.)
We made small talk, covering topics such as what our bambinos had done over the holidays, how ghastly the weather has been, the new spelling list our boys have been given to learn ... you get the drift.
It was only a matter of time before she got onto the subject of her ex, and the real reason behind her hospitality.
"So, do you see much of Miss P? I understand she and my ex took the children out over the holidays."
It was all rather awkward. Me pretending to know nothing, knowing that she knew that I knew more than I was letting on.
In truth, Miss P had phoned to tell me she had met up with this mummy's ex and they had taken the kids to the London Aquarium. She tried to elaborate but I made my excuses and hung up.
I was wishing I could do the same in the playdate. I thought my prayers had been answered when Master A ran in, believing him ready to leave.
"Is it alright if we stay for supper?"
The eyes of the Acrimonious Split mummy lit up. "Yes, please do, the boys are having so much fun and we can talk some more..."
Working Mum, wondering just how I get caught in these situations.