Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Hate Playdates

I'm not a huge fan of playdates. Most of the time, I hate them. This lack of interest in meeting up with another mom who has a kid close to my kid's age might spur from the fact that I am a loner to a fault. Maybe subconsciously, I'm trying to make my kids more like me than my spouse. Buzz is a 100% extrovert; I'm a 100% introvert. He LOVES meeting people and making small talk. I have no problem with conversation. When it's meaningful, I actually enjoy a good discussion.

The first playdate I attempted was with a former coworker who had quit work to become a stay-at-home mom to her daughter, who is about a year younger than Spark. We met at an indoor playscape at a mall. As a mom, a lot of my life revolves around my kids. Not all of it, mind you, but quite a bit of what I do is kid related: pediatrician appointments, waiting in line to ride cable cars in San Francisco, working a second job as a short-order cook.

Naturally when I get together with another adult who has kids, we should talk about our kids some. But, I would like to talk about other things. It's hard to discuss adult books with my almost 4-year-old son. It's even harder to discuss politics with my 6-month old daughter. So, I meet with my former coworker friend and her daughter. Every time I try to talk about something not kid-related, she would stare at me blankly. Then, she would change the subject back to the kids, something like:

Me: "Hey, have you read The Secret Life of Bees?"
Lisa: "No. Is Spark eating a lot of vegetables? I can't seem to get Mary to eat her vegetables anymore. I'm wondering if it is a phase."
Me: "Hmmm... Spark eats just about anything we give him. Do you like Barbara Kingsolver? I recently started reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and it's fascinating!"
Lisa: "We read a lot of the Baby Einstein books. Mary JUST LOVES THEM. Does Spark like those? What's he reading?"

Towards the end of the playdate, Lisa mentions that she has one afternoon left open for a playdate. She wants to know what my work schedule is like. Is that a day/time I can commit to? Suddenly, I realize she is trying to book her last open slot for a playdate with me and Spark. Fortunately, I'm a working momma, so I can blame it on the job. "Gee, you know, I just never know. I couldn't say right now that every single Wednesday at 3:15 will work for me..."

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