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Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Play date

If you have ever wondered how many small pebbles a one-year-old old can fit into their mouths before spitting them out in a drooley toddler pebble waterfall, I can tell you. Approximately 45.

If you have ever wondered how many times a one-year old can repeat this action OVER AND OVER AGAIN before growing weary of it, you are barking up the wrong tree. I can’t tell you. We left the park WAY before we got to that point.

Madge was taking her pebble tasting quite seriously. After spitting she would take notes on the nose, bouquet, and nuances of each batch before moving on to the next. She displayed a strong preference for the smoother variety with fruity undertones.

Sunday afternoon I had my first official "play date" for Maggie with a friend and her daughter who is just a little older than Maggie at 16 months.

The whole idea of a play date involving any child under the age of three is pretty comical. I mean, they don't PLAY. At least not with each other. Sure, they might saunter up and eye each other curiously. "Hey, THAT'S not the kid I see in the mirror after my bath! Weird!" They might ogle each other for a moment and reach out to touch the face of their strange new companion. They might even poke their little "playmate" in the nose or ear. If there is one bottle of apple juice between two children, there will be a brief conflict manifesting itself into staccato-like chimpanzee shrieks until the offended party is placated with some cleverly marketed child foodstuff.

And then, as quickly as their curiosity was roused, it’s all over. They toddle off in different directions to take care of very important business. Business like sticking small objects in their noses, climbing up slides the wrong way, and eating things they have no business eating. They wander off happily oblivious to the fact that the whole purpose of this outing is to play with the strange creature on the other side of the park, who, like themselves, also has large quantities of pebbles down her diaper.

Or, in Maggie’s case, they pick up fistfuls of tiny pebbles and bring them to their mouths, eagerly awaiting the obligatory “NO! YUCKY!”. The first twenty times this was followed by peals of squealing laughter. Then Maggie turned it up a notch, actually getting a pebble or two in her mouth. She did not appear to enjoy the flavor of pebbly goodness and made short work of spitting them out. This was repeated about thirty times. At this juncture, I was left to wonder “if you don’t like the way they taste, and clearly you don’t, why on God’s green earth do you continue to putting them in your mouth?”

Then Madge upped the ante once more, and began frantically stuffing fistfuls of pebbles into her mouth, watching eagerly for my reaction each time.

She may be trouble, this child. I am afraid her father and I are IN FOR IT. This was the point at which we decided it was time to head home.

On our way home, pulling the toddlers behind us in a red “Radio Flyer” wagon, the grown ups decided that our next play date would take place at the Liz Phair concert.
The children, of course, will be playing “asleep in their cribs” under the watchful eye of a babysitter.

Now THAT’S what I call a play date.


Blogger AverageMom said...

I always thought the point of playdates was so the Mommies would have a friend to drink beer with!

1:12 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

Totally. I'm all for post-5pm playdates.

And what is it with eating pebbles and sand and the like?

1:30 PM  
Blogger Prego said...

Dig this crazy beat... A friend of mine's wife was offered a play date with a neighbor. She accepted, figuring she could use the company. The neigbor sent over her "retarded nanny" (my friend's description - not mine.) Although the woman watched the kid like a hawk, she wasn't exactly fun to chill with.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Mary Tsao said...

Playdates are as much for the moms (or dads) as they are for the kiddos. Wait until you start going on playdates with moms you don't know -- it's like going on blind dates. Very odd. I've been meaning to blog about this.

Oh, and prego's comment touched on one of my sore points: when moms send their nannies with the kids for playdates and/or playgroups. As a SAHM, this irritates the hell out of me. My kid will play with any 'ol sandthrower at the playground; I'm looking for moms I might one day want to go to a Liz Phair concert with!

6:59 AM  
Blogger Prego said...

Sandthrower. Haw-haw. That's a new one. I likes.

11:27 AM  
Blogger jenB said...

charlotte is more dicerning. she likes to find a nice smooth rock and suck on it for a decent length of time. or until i catch her. then she cries when i take it away becuase i am MEAN!

11:51 PM  

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