In late December 2011, an old high school girlfriend and I started mentioning that since we were both SoCal transplants in the NorCal Bay Area, we should totally get our kids together for a playdate.
Megan, of Never a Dull Second, is now proud BoyMom to two of the cutest little dudes you’ll ever meet – a 3.5-year-old and 5-month-old. But way back in the day, we were livin the dream in an orange and blue high school dress code down in the San Fernando Valley. (I looked for a high school photo of the two of us to post here, but alas all the pictures of 90s early teenage thespian angst are at my parents house. You’re welcome, Megan.)
Jon: Do we need to put the boys in cute outfits to impress them?
Me: She reads the blog. There’s no outfit cute enough to recover from that.
So while one of my sons sported cargo pant khakis and a stylin’ polo shirt, the other wore his beloved neon green basketball shorts (a size too big) and a dry-fit red t-shirt (also way too big).
I, however, threw on a jersey maxi-dress (don’t judge me, they’re comfy).
Jon: You’re all fancy. Now I feel underdressed. Should I wear slacks and a dress shirt?
Me: I’m wearing a summer dress. It’s comfy.
Jon: It’s a gown! Are we going to prom?
Jon: Oh my god, it’s got an open back. I’m asking the Internet.
My phone buzzed as we prepared to depart.
This is why we’re friends, folks… She understands.
All was well and we got our act together and arrived for the dinner/playdate two years in the making. I brought wine.
(I would like to share that when we arrived, Megan was also wearing a comfy skirt. I know you were concerned.)
Tangent: A playdate is the early version of a blind date. It goes both ways.
Kid: Hey parents, I’ve got this cool friend that I get into trouble with at school. You should totally hang out with their parents and be friends.
Parent: Hi Sweetie, Mommy has a friend with a kid your age. They’re going to come over and play with all your toys, while we do boring grownup things like talk. It’ll be awesome.
Megan’s Little Man had been forewarned about the impending arrival.
Megan: Search and Destroy are going to come play with you. They like baseball, Tinker Bell and Cinderella just like you!
Little Man: I do NOT like Cinderella, Mommy.
Megan: Yeah, kid, you do. Trust me.
Search and Destroy burst into their new surroundings and took to the playroom as though it was their own.
Cars! Jake and the Neverland Pirates! Toy kitchen! Trains! Sports stuff! All kinds of toys and goodies that were not theirs – which makes everything 10 times cooler. There was actually very little interest in their new friend – the kid who actually owned the cool toys.
We migrated outside for a rousing game of Hoccer Baseketball. This is an amalgamation of hockey, soccer, baseball and basketball – all played at the same time, depending on the whims of the small person holding one of many yellow soft toss balls. (There was a lot of time spent in the penalty box for high sticking. Although to be fair, not hard when the stick is twice your size.)
The boys, big and small (Jon, Megan’s husband Brian, Search, Destroy and Little Man), ran amuck while Megan and I discussed the important discoveries that adulthood has brought. Like did you know that Pete from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Is. A. Cat. (I know. Take a moment there. Mind totally blown.)
The smaller peoples took to the living room to play trains. I snuck around the corner to see how the playdate was *really* going.
Little Man was sitting in front of his train set, hugging some of the tracks and looking a bit shell-shocked. (Ok fine, looking like he was thinking, “Who are these hurricanes and why are they in my playroom?”) Destroy was excitedly liberating every toy train and decoration from its box while Search narrated the efforts.
Brian headed to the barbecue to grill some delicious chicken the kids would later adamantly refuse to eat with varying Tony caliber tantrums. (Make your mommies proud with your theatrical abilities, boys!) Jon took this respite to snuggle with the baby. Because the tiniest of little dudes was happily cooing.
Jon: I’d forgotten what it was like to have a tiny one. But, NO. This does NOT make me want to have another one.
Destroy: I hafta go potty!
Jon: Babe! Can you help? He needs to go potty but I have a baby.
Destroy: No. I don’t need to potty.
In the end, Search and Little Man hugged goodbye. Destroy overeagerly leapt up, bruising my chin, and went screaming into the other room. (We’ll consider this a run-by hugging.)
I’m going to consider the outing a success. Here’s hoping Megan and family did too…
The next morning my phone buzzed again.
Now, I did appreciate the heads up. But in defense of Little Man, Search and Destroy are a lot to deal with at once. And really – toddlers and germs go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Did you ever think you’d hear a preemie mom say that?!