Today we had a play date with my neighbor and her friend (and a new Mom that I just met today). I went through a flurry of different people trying to find an appropriate and non-soul-crushing method of socialization for Jp and this duo and their four kids are the ones that stuck. It’s a match mate made in heaven. There are two boys that are rough and tumble (I’ve written a post before about them) enough for Jp to play with but closer to 4 so they understand when I sit them down and explain that Jp doesn’t comprehend things as well as they do even though he looks like a “big boy” just like them. With minimal supervision, they are patient with him and still engage him to play when they can. The moms are funny, nice, and smart and we get along pretty awesomely and that is always a bonus when it comes to play dates as there is nothing worse than trying to find things to talk about with another Mom when you would rather be anywhere else on the planet. Though this was the first time that I ever felt like a part of the group as opposed to just an outsider with a Guest Pass.
Jp only had one major meltdown -which is an amazing feat in a brand new environment- and it only took about ten minutes to subside. I also only took a few frustrated hits which is about as good as it gets these days. He’s getting bigger and more opinionated though sometimes his vocabulary isn’t as large as his needs. I’m used to it and even though I always address it immediately, it is just one of those quirks that we work on, but for now, it is what it is. I saw the raised eyebrows from the Mom that doesn’t know Jp and I as well as my regular play date buddies (of course she would be the one standing there when it happened) but I didn’t even let that affect me.
Today was a success. A social event in a brand new place with very little emotional outbursts and minimal prompting for good behavior. He even used “please” and “thank you” like a little pro. For us, that’s a unequivocal victory.
I even received one of the highest compliments that a Mom can bestow and having my ego stroked is the expressway to my heart every time. The best part of the play dates with this group is that everyone chips in. We all watch each others kids and help out much like a commune of Moms that just “get it”. No one needs to ask, we just all pitch in where there is a hand needed. I’m the best with the older boys (of course) and since the other Moms all have a younger and less mobile siblings, I tend to be the one refereeing the tiny testosterone balls who can be cute and cuddly one moment and fists of fury the next. Years of working with children as well as having my own high needs little miracle make me fully equipped to see an event before it happens and calm it before the little hands get going. After a few times, one of the Moms looked at me and said, “Wow, I wish I could hire you. You’re so good with them!”.
Be still my beating heart.
Ooooh, that felt so good. It was such an innocent statement that she probably didn’t think much of at the time but it truly made my day (and if only they knew how easy it is to be “good” with them since they actually understand me!). I love feeling as though other Moms approve of me. I know that I shouldn’t care and maybe it goes back to the most sophomoric of emotions but the overall feeling was that I had finally found my place in the group.
It was a unprecedented feeling since “fitting in” isn’t something that Jp or I are very good at.
It’s a good day, I’m feeling happy and worn out, and Jp took a nap at a decent hour for once this week. I have a ton of things that I should be doing but I think I am just going to celebrate my victorious day with a long shower.
And any Mom knows that a shower alone with no one to disturb you is basically better than good sex!
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.