Then we had a baby.
At first I thought it was just me. Since we moved here, we've been on the prowl for a little friend and his mommy to sit at playgrounds with. But I'm starting to get the feeling that every new mom around here is out on mission to find a friendly matchup for herself and her baby.
After a long, pleasemakeherlikeme poolside convo this afternoon with a random chick who had a toddler Carter's age, she popped the question. Do you play date?
I've never heard anyone put it that way before, but literally, I may as well have just been asked out by a boy. Do I 'play date'? Yes! Well, no. I mean, we want to. Ugh, I can tell I'm already a play dater on the verge of getting dumped.
(My mom used to hate when we used that word.)
There's a reason we're all calling them play dates ... because really, I'm feeling those same social stressors I had in high school. Requirements for a match? I'm not sure exactly. Here's the gist I'm getting from the parental dating world:
*Both moms should have similar styles. There are the highly makeup'd, girlie ones (ahem, me). There are the ones who don't comb their hair. There are lots of in betweens. There has to be a slight possibility that you'd be friends in life, had you no babies. Ideally, you can have long conversations that don't include child-raising topics.
*Must live within 10-15 minutes driving distance of each other.
*Moms should approve of each other. One mom might see a general attitude/parenting style she doesn't like, so she won't make a love connection. Other moms (like me) just want to be liked and don't care so much about whether she nursed her baby for a year or has her kid diligently working on manners.
*Toddlers should be close in age. Moms are almost always giddy about meeting another baby within a month or two of her own baby's age. Birthdays within a couple days of each other? Golden. We were meant for each other. Other matchup discrepancies can be overlooked.
*Bonus for same sex babies.
*Friendly toddler/baby interaction during all of the above judgy-judgy, sizing up business is nice, but not usually important. Baffling, I know.
*Husbands meet? No idea. I've never gotten that far.
I've had tons of fails. You know a fail when you're talking to another mom during a playgroup/social situation, and you just can't push the conversation past the babies' ages, where you live, and another two or so general questions. Someone grows disinterested, or silence might even hit. That girl's wearing too much makeup. (Seriously, I know what they're thinking about me.) Nope, we won't be asking for each other's numbers.
Poolside chick and I exchanged numbers and made playground plans for later this week. This is the first time I've ever witnessed a successful play date set up with a complete stranger.
Ooh. And with me.
Carter went to sleep tonight, probably with no recollection of the same-sized, blonde friend he shared his ball with this afternoon. But me? My day was made.
blogs need dates, too.