Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sometime between 1985 and 1990 a new term originated ... playdate. By definition it’s an appointment set for parents to get their children together to play. When I was a kid there was no need for an appointment. If you wanted to play, you went outside and joined in on a kickball game or an intense game of Jacks.

Asking around, I’ve learned playdates are most popular for little kids who aren’t old enough to manage their own social calendars. Moms get together with their little people to give the children an opportunity for social interaction. Who are we kidding? It’s for the moms to have adult conversation. I used to do that too, but it was more like mental health insurance for me instead of social development for the kids.

Four friends and their baby girls got together for a playdate at Jill’s house the other day. Vivian was the oldest at nine months and evidently was trying to figure out why all these other girls were holding her toys. When she would try to take something away from one of the younger ones, Jill would give her a different toy and say, “Viv we need to share with our friends.” That seemed to satisfy her, for a bit.

After a while Vivian crawled over and picked up an idol toy, then crawled over to one of the other girls. To everyone’s surprise she put the toy down in front of her friend and took the toy she wanted. At 9 months she’s already working on the art of negotiating. She assessed the situation and figured out the best approach without overreacting.

I wish I could always remember to do that, myself, when faced with a challenging situation. I bragged on Jill and told her what a wonderful mommy she was by teaching Vivian to be a sweet and kind girl. But, I told her not to get too excited because, like me, Vivian might not remember to handle things the same way next time.

“Love is patient. Love is kind...” ~1 Corinthians 13:4

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