Playdates. Love em or hate em, chances are you have been to a few. You get the kids ready, snacks packed and mentally prepare yourself for a few hours of kids-at-play... bonus for adult interaction. Right?
I am sure you know what it is like showing up and just hoping your kid has fun, makes friends, shares or whatever. However, when I show up... I hope I don't have the biggest kid there. For me, there is nothing quite like surveying the room and seeing that I have the biggest kid because I know what that means. Constant reminders to be mindful of people around you, "remember to be gentle" and the looks between us of "that's a little loud bud".
And then it happens (it always does), someone wasn't paying attention and got knocked down. No matter whose fault it was... He's the bigger kid. Not necessarily older, but he's bigger. Is it something I create in my own mind? Looking around, wondering if they are discussing my son. Oh man, just waiting.. no WANTING to hear, "Where's his mom?... Shouldn't he be in school? Seriously?..." Anything. I am mentally preparing myself for a battle, when really I am just going to end up making him say "sorry" followed up by me saying "sorry".
photo credit: porter meister photography
Since he started walking, this is how it's been; family get togethers, playdates with friends. He even asked me once, through tear-filled eyes, "why is everyone always mad at me?.
What am I suppose to say?
Because you play just as hard as everyone else, you're just bigger? ....you laugh just as hard as everyone else, you're just louder?
....you jump, run, hop, skip, fly, you're just... just.. just???
This past week we were at a playdate and there was no question that he was the big kid. TAG is always a fun game, right (insert eyeroll). Everyone is running and screaming, laughing and the whole thing is just chaos. As the big kid, he is the one that stands out to the other parents... and it happened. He clonked heads with a smaller girl. He sheepishly mumbled sorry and ran to me, where I told him to really go say sorry. I saw the looks, I can assume the comments and had I heard a single one, I wouldn't have been silent. I talked with the mom, who immediately assured me, "no problem! they're all running and playing!".
Thank you. Thank you for the understanding, kindness and overall "no biggie" attitude.
..................To the other moms.
I hope there never comes a day where you feel like the 'odd mom out' because Motherhood is hard enough without judgement.
So to the mom at the playdate with the big kid. I see you and you can play with us.