The following is a transcript of an overheard (read: eavesdropped) cell phone conversation in the rec center lobby following swimming lessons. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Certain details may or may not have been slightly altered for dramatic effect.
Well, we really must get a play date on the schedule soon. Lester and Barnabas haven’t played together in weeks!
Tuesday mornings aren’t good, Barnabas has a standing date with Oprah. Then in the afternoon there is Gymboree with Zelda and Brutus.
No, sorry, Wednesdays are water polo with Thor and Mittens.
Thursdays are fantastic! He has macramé with Simba and Buick Skylark at 4 a.m., but the rest of the day is wide open.
Great! We’ll meet at the rifle range Thursday at 9:17. I’ll call Voldemort’s mommy and see if she’d like to join us too. See you then.
These are the types of mothers that cause me to immediately snort at how balls out ridiculous they sound, and seconds later wonder if I’m a horrible parent for not following suit. I don’t know that I can say my son has ever had what would qualify as an official “play date”. Sure, he’s raised a juice box with a shorty or two. But these were children of OUR friends, the focus of those outings was more centered around the raising of adult juice boxes. I’m left wondering if I’m doing him a disservice by not helping him to seek out his own social circle.
To me, play dates seem like the arranged marriages of babyhood. The parents take care of the logistics, and then hope the two form a lifelong relationship based on a mutual hatred of strained peas. How do these things even happen? We don’t take him to daycare and I certainly don’t recall seeing any fliers about upcoming toddler singles mixers. Is there a baby eHarmony somewhere out there? “Antonio – 22 month old male seeking casual play dates. Open to the possibility of something more serious. Loves long stroller rides, fine apple juice, and eating lint off the floor.”
Obviously he is in swimming lessons. Also art class and open gym whenever schedule allows. Oh, he’s out there! Never once have we been approached for a play date. Oh god, are we not cool enough? Do Igor and Mildred’s mommies not like us? Is our stroller too dorky? I’m instantly transported back to middle school, just substitute designer diaper bags for Girbaud jeans. None of this bodes well for my fragile self-esteem. Since I’m no good to my son wandering the house anxiously muttering nonsense about 6th period algebra, I’d better just stick with the current system. Here’s hoping none of my friends’ children force him to eat their boogers or set off on multi-state crime sprees. Until then, I think we may be okay.