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Play Dates please! I can’t believe it’s been six years since the birth of my first child, that means I have been doing this play date thing for about the last 5 years and 3 months ( give or take). I know, we were late to the scene. What can I say I was a newbie and had no idea what I was doing. Three moves later and I am still the new girl, ergo so are my girls. When they were smaller, I felt it was my duty to find prospective dates for my girls. I signed us up for a couple of the “it” classes that are imperative for childhood development at that age. It’s hard work but if I want them to be any kind of anybody when they grow up, I needed to put myself out there. I’d hate for them to grow up to be hermits or serial killers because I was too lazy to enroll in a damn Gymboree class. It really is the little things, folks.
It basically worked like this, I’d go to our classes and cast my potential friend net far and wide. I’d try and gauge from the brief encounters with the other mothers and the public interactions of those Mommies with their children, who just might be worthy of our friendship, or at the very least, which other Mommies were on “my” level. I know, it sounds horrible when you say it out loud but let’s be honest, nobody want to be friends with the one eyed, mean mom whose kid barks like a dog and bites everyone. This casting the friend net scenario is very akin to freshman year in college. We all did it.Some of us cast the net, some of us were caught and all of us threw some back. You are scared, alone, new to the area and willing to befriend and accept just about anyone into your “clique”. Let’s be clear, you’ve got to start a clique so that you can be a part of something. We have a need to belong to the best clique (for our children’s sake) but we end up so desperate that we’ll have a play date with just about anyone who’ll have us; provided they walk upright,have two eyes and their kid doesn’t bark and bite everyone. That is until we get our bearings and regain our senses.
In most cases, the original play date relationship dynamic falls apart and ends in a tortured long death…much like a Kevin Bacon movie ( or this post..I knew you were thinking it). You see, the original net we cast to catch that elusive play date friend usually has a lot of throw backs. Just like freshman year, we find ourselves floundering to unmake the original friendships because we find that we have absolutely nothing in common, except for our one common denominator, said children. Common sense rears its ugly head to smack us upside our fantasy, a warm body is not enough to sustain a real friendship but it can foster a false sense of belonging. The things we’ll subject ourselves to in order to feel accepted. I don’t know why we do this, especially as Mommies, we are dragging our poor children into this pit under the guise that “this is what’s best for my baby”. In our hearts, we mean only good and can never, at its inception, perceive or fathom what twilight zone like situations we may soon find ourselves in!That’s right, I even cast my net and caught that mean one-eyed mommy and my kid may or may not have been barked at and bitten.Don’t judge. Its hard being a Mommy. It’s damn lonely at the top.
Of course, I’ve been doing this for years now.I’m a play date pro but my babies are not babies anymore. It’s turning from a situation in which my girls and I go over and hang out with another Mommy and her little ones into a situation where I’m the babysitter for some kid who wants to come over and play. Which I have absolutley no problem with, no way I’m sending my kid over to the kid’s house who thinks he’s a dog without my supervision. But, as I said, we are the new girls again. Where’s that leave me? I need friends too. Oh well, I guess it’s time for Mama to start trolling the coffee houses for my own friends. Zumba class? The library? The grocery store? Church? PTA? What can I say, deperate times, desperate measures. You better keep an eye out, you just might see me trolling the local farmers market trying to chat up some new mommy. What do you do to make friends once Play Dates are no longer an option? How do you get Mommy Play Dates when your kids no linger need a fix up and you are home all day?