Thursday, 25 September 2008

Naked On A First Date?

Small Child has been at the same nursery/pre-school for nearly three years - and today we got to go on our first play date! Always having been one to suss things out from the fringes before joining in, I haven't really felt comfortable enough to walk up to any of the mum's of Small Child's class mates, thrust my phone number in their hand and suggest a get together. If that's even how it's done?
This is not from some deep seated fear of rejection you understand... more that we seem to easily fill our time with things to do and places to go. With other friends and kids already gathered, I couldn't imagine fitting anymore junior social shenanigans into our hectic schedule!  

In the past different names have been bandied about, mostly boys I might add, and a few party invites have been sent and reciprocated; other than that Small Child seems to have been content to draw a wide and varied social circle about her person. Conversations at said parties have been struck up with harassed fellow parents and there's even been times in the local supermarket when Small Child has piped up "Oh look there's so and so's mummy/daddy/granny", followed by some friendly chit chat. But I always think it might look a bit  desperate, slightly stalker like even, if I then suggest we swap numbers and arrange to meet outside the confines of pre-school!  
Having heard one little girls name mentioned increasingly often recently I did begin to wonder if it was time to put myself out there a bit and try and look a bit receptive during drop off and pick up times. Easier said than done when you have to be somewhere ten minutes ago and your first priority is to remove Small Child out from underneath your skirt without dragging the snot trail across the front if it! Or my personal favourite...  when I would pick her up and she point blank refused to leave, hysterically clinging onto the fence/door frame/playhouse  whilst all the other kids ran to their parent with open arms and a big smile. Thankfully that phase is over and I no longer feel like the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Anyway, it happened quite naturally in the end. One day last week as we were finishing lunch in the coffee shop,  a lady came up to me and asked if I was Small Child's mum... as opposed to live in Au pair perhaps? Turns out she was Frequently Mentioned Little Girls Mum so I seized the moment and launched into how Small Child was always talking about her and how the pre-school staff say that they're inseparable etc. (All true by the way and not just a load of guff to help me make friends!) She was nodding along enthusiastically and seemed really nice so I asked if she wanted to swap numbers.... eeek! She seemed as keen as I was and left me a message a couple of days later inviting us over for coffee.  

This left me thinking that maybe a lot of women feel this way and are unsure of how to make the first move towards striking up a conversation that might help to forge the friendships of their offspring? Anyway, we had a great afternoon...the two girls played happily upstairs (how grown up is that?), whilst we chatted over coffee and cookies with her little boy playing at our feet. 

Hopefully she wasn't put off when, having decided we'd better make a move home, Small Child appeared at the top of the stairs completely naked apart from a pair of her new best friends pyjama shorts!  I left, at least taking some comfort in the knowledge that she won't grow up with any of her mothers hesitant approach to life! 


A Confused Take That Fan said...

Ha! Nice look. Must try that next time I visit a friends house...
Well done you for making a new friend. I find that at the moment I chose my daughters playdates to be with the children of the mums I like. I know this is about to change now we have entered big school...Aargh! Oh no, I have just had a thought. I won't be invited on the playdates anymore. It will just be her and it won't be a playdate, it will be for tea. Oh. I am kinda missing it already...

workthatwardrobe said...

I was lucky enough to meet a lot of new mums at NCT coffee mornings which led to what youdescribe as playdates. Several ended up at the same nursery and school so it was a logical progression.
This evening my youngest will go back to his friend's for tea and to another friend's on Monday.
What I hate it the 13-year-old saying he is going to a friend's house for tea and then when I phone up there are no parents around. I still feel a parent should be around in the house when othe rkids are there at least if it's longer than an hour.
Enjoy this time and well done on reaching another milestone. And congratulations for raising a child who is obviously popular, friendly and very comfortable (ahem!) inher own skin!

Mom/Mum said...

That made me laugh. Am reassured it's just not my child who gets naked on playdates. (He shocked neighbourhood moms but repeatedly getting hi skit off infront of their daughters this summer! oops) Anyway, i agree with you over the difficulty in making new friends for your kids when you already have a calendar full of playdate options...but good for you for taking that step. I feel bad I never sorted a playdate out for my son with a boy he talked incessantly about at ptre-school last year. But truth be told: I didn't like the look of his Mom! I guess as trhey get older it might be better that we don't have to tag along to playdates. Then we just have to find ourself our own friends eh?!

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

My son has a friend who strips off. Her mum says it's because she is a free spirit. I say she is leading my boy astray!
When she comes round they both strip off to their pants, get in my bed and watch TV together like an old married couple.
So sweet, but I'm putting a stop to it once they hit 8.

auntiegwen said...

I used to be a nursey teacher and one day a mummy asked another member of staff if she could point out Gwen and her mummy as she wanted to ask them round to play.

I had to admit that I was Gwen and I don't live with my Mummy anymore. Apparently her child always talked about me as her best friend gwen which is nice !

They didn't have me round to play and I would have kept all my clothes on !

Busymama Kellie said...

Hello, found you thru Tara's site! I loved your post, particularly since my daughter was just invited on her very first playdate this coming weekend. She has been at the school for almost 3 years as well and it never even dawned on me to invite any of her classmates to come over. Maybe it's a Hawaii thing to stick to your own clique and not venture out to make new friends. I too look at it as an opportunity to make some new Mommy friends and hope I can make a good impression as much as my daughter! :)