The new friends – and their parents

We are rapidly approaching the next phase in Ane’s social development: picking your own friends.

Up until this point, the majority of the children that she has socialized with in her three years of life have been the children of friends – prime example, the Brain and Head. Because of the Webmaster’s and my friendships with Friend and Doc (which even predates our marriages), our kids have become friends by default. Not that this is a bad thing, but I’m not sure the boys, given the option, would have picked Ane for a close playmate. Just a guess. Oh, well – whatever doesn’t kill them will make them stronger, right?

Even her friends in Sunday School are children that she has known since birth – she spent time with them in the nursery, and while the Webmaster and I may not be close to their parents socially, we do know who they are and can chat with them easily.

But with more kids coming into Sunday School, and Ane beginning preschool next fall, we’re going to hit the point where she comes home and tells me about all these new friends… and I won’t have any idea who their parents are.

It’s a frightening thought. I am trying to fight the urge to check out the parents before their kid approaches mine to play. “YOU may want to go on the play date,” I can see myself saying to Ane, “but I’M the one who actually has to TALK to their parents!!”

I’m sure my mother went through much of the same thing as my siblings and I got older. In fact, the trick she hated most (right up there with needing something for school and telling her the evening before we needed it), was us discussing doing something fun with our friends over the phone, then we would hand her the phone as our friend would hand their parent (usually their mom) the phone, and these poor mothers are getting told “You’re on the phone with fill-in-the-blank’s mom, and we want to go play/to the mall/to the movies/to fill-in-the-second-blank’s house!” without even the smallest consideration of their own awkwardness. Hey, they were moms, they’d figure it out, we thought.

I need to figure out a way to apologize to my mother for doing this to her. Perhaps all she wants is the apology, and then she can sit back and watch it happen to me and gloat silently.

Anyway, the reason this has come up is because Ane has made a new friend at Sunday School. This little girl is actually a full year younger than Ane and should be in the nursery with Tad, but she is quite well-behaved for her age. She and Ane have really hit it off in Sunday School, and her mother would really like to have a play date for the girls. The family is new to the area, and may be moving again before too long (they are a Navy family), but the mother really would like her little girl (currently an only child) to have some playtime with a friend. We are making the arrangements, and this will probably happen next week.

The mother was telling me that her little girl (who just turned two on Valentine’s Day) had received a play kitchen for her birthday very similar to the one that is in the two-year-olds’ Sunday School classroom. “So they can play together with that, and we can sit and have coffee and chat!” she said enthusiastically.

I resisted the temptation to say, “So, do you like Battlestar Galactica?”

I promise to behave. Really. I’m a mom, right?

2 Responses to “The new friends – and their parents”

  1. Little Cousin's Mommy
    March 13th, 2007 10:49

    Come on! You’re a big girl, you can do this (better than I can). But play dates with strange parents aren’t so bad, especially if you know one parent there.

    Little Cousin needs more play dates, she’s starting to think that Mommy’s boring. I’m amazed it took her this long!

  2. Erin
    March 13th, 2007 12:50

    I had the same concerns when The Princess started school this year. However, despite making new friends there and at her dance class, she has yet to ask for a playdate. My time is coming. Oh, how I know that!