(Play) Dating

Play dates are called dates for a reason.

It starts with meeting each other, being attracted to each other’s kids and/or mom and/or parenting style. Interest is conveyed. Numbers are exchanged. Scheduling commences. Dates take place. And you decide, should I call them again?

Part of a woman’s many transitions to motherhood is using her “single girl” dating skills for  scoring play dates. When I was a new mom, I thought play dates were all about making my friend’s kids play with each other. But it’s really about finding kids the same age as yours and finding moms who value play dates as much as you do. It’s harder than it sounds.

At 20 months, my daughter’s regular play dates are about 5 months older than her. We have two friends whose kids are born within the same week as my daughter, but we hardly see them because one is a little boy – yes, boys and girls do play differently– and the other’s mommy is too busy. Fortunately, I found an existing group and I am so thankful that it is consistent. We are all busy moms but we have managed to schedule a date once a week.

We’ve been dating for nearly a year…I think it’s getting serious.

Just yesterday, our play date host prepared two activities: baking a cake and making a tambourine. The cake was one of those no-bake, fuss-free things but it taught the kids how to mix and measure. They were so thrilled to hold an electric hand beater. The best part is eating the oreo cake when you’re done and of course my daughter couldn’t get enough.

I loved the tambourine craft because it was so easy! All you need are beans, paper plates, a stapler and crayons. Tada! (The same!)

There’s someone for everyone.

Kids need other kids. (I think it’s a size thing. I’m kidding-  it’s so much more than that.) Moms need other moms. (It’s a woman thing.) Our little girls have known each other since their skills were limited to crawling, crying and not caring for each other’s existence. Now, they walk, run, slide, pull, grab, talk, say each other’s names and invite each other to “Come! Come!” Something magical happens every week and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I can’t say that happened in every “single girl” date I had! So GO.

Go out and find your compatible play dates. It’s worth going through the cancellations, rejections and no call backs. Your dream play date is out there.

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Ps. We do continue to meet new kids and moms and they ask for our numbers from time to time. It’s flattering. But nothing beats our regular play group. We have history, you know?

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