Yesterday I left work at 5 to pick up my son. I’m really bad about actually leaving work at 5, but Kimmie’s daycare is much less accommodating than regular daycare re: pickup times. (And also a half hour drive away.) He was the last kid there. At 5:30. How do other parents do it?!?!?
Anyway, I got home and started dinner. I had a Plan. I may not be able to make friends for Grey at daycare, but I can set things up and facilitate things so he does have friends. (I remember this being a consolation — Jasmine wouldn’t acknowledge my existence at school but at least I had someone to play with after school.) So when A. got home I kept an eye out the front window. And when our neighbor boy (let’s give him the pseudonym of Jefferson) got home we gave them 10 minutes to get settled in and then went over to see if they wanted to play and have dinner with us.
Jefferson and Grey are going to be good friends. Jefferson is about 8 months younger, but he’s highly verbal. The two of them did pretty well sharing (for a pair of 2 year olds). There was riotous laughter and the two year old version of jokes. (Mostly this involves saying funny sounds and words like “Poo poo caca”.) Jefferson brought down the house by announcing, in response to the question “What does Daddy do” (he’s an architect), “I have a screwdriver.”
So the boys got to play together for an hour, and we got to get to know our neighbors a little better and established that we’d all be comfortable with one set of parents watching the kids, which opens the doors to playdates and sleepovers and periodically actually going out to eat etc.
The reason this is such a big deal to me is because it’s really hard for me. I simply do not know how to be a good neighbor, and I do not know how to facilitate my son making friends. I’m trying to figure it out as I go and it makes me really nervous. I would almost call it a social anxiety — I haven’t asked someone if they wanted to come over and play for 20 years. (And when I did, two decades ago, as often as not they said no.) But I did it! And it was fun! And hopefully we’ll do it again!
Then after that, I went and read Robin McKinley’s new book in the bathtub. Ah, bliss.
Then neither A. nor I could fall asleep, despite it being like 2 hours past our bedtime. I am a sleepy, sleepy girl this morning. (And Grey was a bit of a crankosaur.)
But it’s Friday! And my birthday party is tomorrow! (I turn 30 on the 23rd. Yeah, I know. It’s simultaneously hard to believe I’m that old and hard to believe I’m only that old.) And I’m gonna dress up and see my friends and have chocolate and maybe they’ll sing Happy Birthday and embarrass me. And Grey starts dance tomorrow.
I’m really enjoying myself these days — a sure sign that the times are about to change.