Now let me just say, I realize that some kids are not socially ready to have a drop off play date and so these rules might not apply to them. However, there of many out there, who are in fact ready, yet their parents appear not to be. And so these are for them:
1) If your child is over 4 do not assume you need to stay for the duration of the play date. In fact seize this opportunity to not only develop your child's independence but to give yourself a little downtime, relax and simply try to enjoy the gift of time FOR YOURSELF!
2) If you make a play date with a "friend" and the "plan" is to drop your kid off, do not call the 1/2 hour before the play date is suppose to start, (which may also happen to be a Sunday morning), tell the "friend" that in fact your husband is bring your child, has decided he will stay AND he will be bringing their 2 year old along for the fun.
For those saying, "Well, what's the big deal?" The big deal is, the "friends" may not have signed up for two hours of entertaining other adults and in fact may have had plans to try to get somethings done around their house during the play date. After all, isn't that some of the benefits of a play date? The children can help entertain each other so you can perhaps fold some laundry? Now, I 'm not suggesting you go about your business without properly supervising the children - of course, but many of these kids are now at an age when they can engage in some play independently with you not far away. Right?
3) If you are going to stay, do discipline your children when they start jumping on the beds. Especially when you have had a older child fall off the bed when jumping who had to be rushed to the emergency room when fluid started leaking from his ear. And when a simple, "Please don't jump on the bed [insert name here]," does not work, more effect means of communication may be necessary.
4) When you have already been at the "friends" house for two hours, and they are clearly trying to get ready to go out (as they said they would need to prior to the play date) do take the hint and get the heck out.
5) Don't be surprise that when failing to following rules 1-4, your "friends" do not call you again and invite your child over for another play date any time soon.