Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Playdate Problem

As the mother of an only child, I have some different challenges than a mother of two or more children would have. For instance, I feel it is my responsibility to make sure that my child gets plenty of social opportunities. This seems fairly easy, right? I contact other parents and try to schedule playdates. For quite a while, this worked very well. However, the transition to kindergarten has made playdate scheduling more challenging. There are lots of kids in class who already know each other, and so their parents seem unmotivated to schedule playdates with new kids. There are kids who would like to have playdates with Captain Adorable but with siblings, it seems there is no hope of ever scheduling a time to have a playdate my son. Of course if I can somehow get to know the mom, then there is a chance she will let her son come over to our house without her, which we have done with one family. It just seems so hard. I guess families with more than one child are less motivated to have playdates since their children have playmates at home already, or because it is difficult to work around the schedules of more than one child? I feel I am failing him in this way.

We attended a New Year's Eve party at the house of some new friends, where we have been a few times before (and had them over to our place). There were a bunch of boys there, who have been there before, and once again this one pair of brothers worked the group so as to exclude Captain Adorable. It is painful for me to watch him persevere, to keep trying to participate, to take the little leavings they will allow him...but when they started running upstairs and slamming the door in his face I was ready to leave. He was unhappy too. Captain Obvious told me to relax and I tried...drank too much champagne to do so...but didn't want to make the situation worse by alienating the grownups either. Once those boys left the situation changed for Captain Adorable and he was included again. I know that they will be there do I help my son? Do I help or let him suffer alienation? Neither choice really seems right.

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