Now that Squidgey is reaching the age of actual playing, we’re starting to negotiate the shark infested waters of play dates. Up until now, we’ve mostly just met up with a friend of mine who has a baby girl several months his junior and they’ve mostly ignored each other as they each enjoyed the park on their own. But now, we’re starting to run in to opportunities to schedule real, honest to god play dates. With people who so far, the only thing I have in common with is the relative age of our children. So it’s a bit intimidating. I am not at all an outgoing, talk to strangers sort of person. I’m all about the insecure social awkwardness. I feel a bit as if we’re both on trial to judge our future play date worthiness.
The first mommy/date pair we met up with is someone who moved into our old neighborhood and I’ve met since I still go back to socialize. (Okay, it’s a bunco group. Don’t judge. It’s an excuse to get my Martha baking skillz on and get out of the house.) Anyway she has a two and a half year old boy and a one year old little girl, so Squidgey and I went over there a couple weeks ago. I know it shouldn’t surprise me, but it is amazing what a difference 6 months or so makes in a kid’s development when he’s only two. I guess when you think about it, that’s like 25% of the entire time he’s been alive.
This kid was so different from Squidgey in terms of play-able to pretend, maneuver trains over tracks without knocking down the entire setup. etc., while Squidge is more in the “hey, let me snatch that engine out of your hand, and decimate your carefully arranged train depot” stage. I think the other little boy was frankly a bit disappointed-he already has a baby sister who does that to him. But we soldiered on and it went pretty well. Squidge was heartbroken to have to abandon the brain-meltingly awesome Thomas the Train table and I felt like the mom and I clicked and is someone I might want to be friends with too. Next play date will be at a park since Squidgey understands “run around like a crazy person” a lot better than he understands sharing and taking turns.
Then, fresh off the semi-success of that play date, we got another offer at mom and me class. Every Saturday morning for the last few months we’ve done this “class” which is really more like organized chaos/cat herding with tumbling obstacle courses-balance beams, springboards, ramps and mats. Basically, it’s me keeping a death grip on Squidgey for half an hour to keep him from shoving to the front of the line or taking off out of the gym. I learned after the first week not to bother showering before it-I’m sweating ten minutes in. But he’s exhausted and happy and gets excited as soon as I bust out his clothes Saturday morning “Go gym. See Miss Stacy!” he exclaims.
And it was Miss Stacy herself who tapped us for a playdate! I can ‘t help but feel a little proud that despite the fact he is the most insane child there (I’m sure all the other parents feel sorry for me the way he’s always taking off in one direction or the other, but he’s not like that at home. We’re well childproofed and so we simply let him run around in circles), we were singled out by the teacher as play date worthy. Turns out, she has a little boy named “Squidgey” as well, a few months younger than mine and actually lives in my neighborhood. So that’ll be in the next week or so. I hope she like me! Um, I mean, I hope the boys get along!