My son is 2 1/2 and is in desperate need of some friends. Quite frankly he is sick of looking at only mine and my husbands faces all day every day. Up to this point our playdates have been with other kids in our families or kids of my own friendships. This is a problem though because all of our family with kids and our friends with kids live at least 2 hours away from where we live. So on most days its just J and I playing at home together. I swear J can hear Jason coming down the street and about plows through the front door when he sees his daddy is home and he has another face besides mine to look at for a few hours before bedtime.
I am the oldest of four siblings and I never remember not having someone to play with when I was little. My brother and I are only 15 months apart so we pretty much kept each other entertained from an early age. We also had cousins and lots of neighborhood kids to play with everyday. I don’t think the term "playdate" even existed back in the early 80’s. You pretty much just went outside and found your BFF in the neighborhood and played till the sun went down. Well my friends, times have changed!
Nowadays finding playdates is like dating. You have to put yourself out there and are in constant search of the perfect match. You will probably go on a few bad dates before you find someone you like and you have to be prepared for rejection. Maybe I’m the only one that feels embarrassed about the way playdates occur during the toddler years. But it feels really awkward to me to ask some random parents that I’ve seen once or twice at toddler story time at the library or swim class if they want to be friends and have a playdate.
When was the last time that I had to make a new friend? Hmmmm……I can’t even remember. But in order for my son to make new friends, I will have to make friends first. And I am discovering that my "let’s be friends" skills are really rusty. But because I love my son more than air, it’s pushing me to step out of my comfort zone and venture into the world of child-parent socializing.
In order to make this whole playdate thing work there are a few things to think about ahead of time. The kids have to get along…The parents have to get along…Must have shared hygiene beliefs…Acceptable location…etc.
I have a few concerns. I’ve found that mom’s who have two or more kids have that amazing ability to take everything in stride and that can sometimes make me look like a hovering lunatic when it comes to my son. I don’t like looking like a lunatic. But at the same time I am not willing to forgo certain things just to make a new friend. There is no way I am going to just drop off "The Reason I live and Breathe" at somebody’s house that I’ve only met a few times. Which as I understand some mom’s are totally comfortable doing right from the start. Does that make me a hovering lunatic? Oh well if it does, but that is just not happening! Now if I wanted to request a full background check along with fingerprints and a complete tour of their house proving there are no sinkholes or alcoholic relatives hanging around on the couch……That might be going a little over the line, OR IS IT????
I know eventually I’m going to have to cut the cord and let my child venture out into the world without me hovering close by to make sure his every want and need are met without him even having to ask, but for now he is stuck with me and so are any new playdate mommies. It’s a package deal until he is a little older, like 18, just kidding!
Hopefully, I will meet other moms that have fantastic kids that share my lunacy about new playdate drop offs and if I’m lucky, have some adult girl talk about important things in the world…ya know, like, the Real Housewives of New Jersey or the new Twilight saga movie Eclipse that is coming out soon. =)
So, I will keep you posted on my playdate seeking journey. We start swim class next week and I’m already preparing ways to put myself out there for my child’s sake, hopefully without looking like a stalker. Until then......
Any playdate stories you’d like to share? And what makes a playdate successful at your house? Any advice welcome!