Back in your free-wheeling, childless days you based your friendships on one simple, single criteria: whether or not you liked the other person. Once you throw kids into the mix, though, there are several more subtle factors to consider. Here are a dozen that can make or break a bond.
1. She tackles her kid and spackles him with hand sanitizer every time he picks up or puts down a toy. Ain't nobody got time for that. (Doesn't she know that germs build immunity?)
2. Her purse is a mobile stop-and-shop on straps, packed with an assortment of snacks, games, and First Aid supplies. Hold her tight and never let her go. (She might make you look like a slacker, but as long as she's around, you won't have to schlep any of that crap!)
3. She's lovely. She's funny. She's kind. She shows up with snacks for everyone. Her kid is a total nightmare. If this friendship gets off the ground (not likely), it's only a matter of time before it crashes and burns.
4. She's a pediatrician or a paramedic (or she's married to one). Unless she's Kardashian-level annoying, she'll hold court at the top of your speed-dial list.
5. She shows up at school drop-off every day in her coordinating Lululemon gear with freshly highlighted hair pulled into a perfect, glossy pony. Oh, and she's got six-pack abs. She might be the sweetest thing this side of pecan pie, but you will never be friends with her.
6. She shows up at school drop-off every day in the same cat-hair-covered Old Navy "activewear" you saw her wearing yesterday. Oh, yes. Let the friendship commence.
7. She says things like, "We only eat organic, raw, non-GMO, gluten-free, locally sourced, completely unprocessed foods we grow ourselves." There's no shame in the occasional goldfish cracker, no matter what she says or implies. (Plus, more for you!)
8. She brings a bottle of wine to the playdate. If this was a first date, you might sleep with her.
9. She sells Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Shaklee, or CABI. If you're prepared to support her business, go for it.
10. She actually disciplines her kid when he acts like a brat. It's only a matter of time before you consider getting matching anchor tattoos.
11. Her precious child—possibly named Precious—can't hiccup without her documenting it on six different social media sites. Precious is destined to become a narcissistic nightmare; see #5.
12. When you confess your awful-mommy moment, she trumps you with an even better (worse) one of her own. Can you say "keeper"?