Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Play Date Pressure

My daughter is six months old.  Her interests are rolling over, trying to grab dangling objects in front her face, putting anything and everything into her mouth, making nonsensical squawking sounds and laughing at me when I sing to her.  She lays on her belly or her back and is pretty much amused for hours on end.  I don't have to do much.  Reading the NY Times is just as enthralling to her as People magazine or Food and Wine magazine.   My point is this, I don't feel like I need to sign her up for classes yet, because as of right now, I think my silly antics are enough.

Enter NYC super mom.  
"Why haven't you enrolled her in music class?"  
"You have signed her up for sign language, haven't you?"
"You don't have a play group!  You need a play group!"

Here's the thing, Baby Bean doesn't play.  If she see a baby, she's moderately interested for a few minutes.  She is much more interested in whatever object said child is playing with.  So the need for a play group hasn't been high on my priorities.  And let's be honest,  at this point, aren't the play dates really for the moms? 

Why can't we just call it what it is?  Just say you need to get out of the house.  Just say you want to put the babies on the floor and talk about last night's episode of Glee?  Must we call it a play date, when it's really a date out for moms?  

After months of avoiding these so-called play dates, I caved.  I gave in to peer pressure.  Worse still, I gave in to NYC super mom and joined her play group.  I know.  I should have known better.  I missed last week's play date, but I volunteered my place for this week.  I e-mailed the various moms and told them to dress the kids in costume.  I envisioned a menu of homemade caramels, ghoulish looking cupcakes and maybe some kind of homemade punch to share with my guests.  And then two days before my big date, NYC super mom writes to say that her daughter is on a different sleep schedule and could we make the date two hours earlier or two hours later?  Ugh.  I can't do earlier  or later and isn't it at my apartment?  I reply that I really can't change the time.  Ten e-mails followed about the importance of sleep schedules, about how she really wants to go, until finally the last "well, I just can't make it."

This is when it got ugly. I don't know the other moms.  Never met them.  Barely e-mailed them.  So the idea of having a group of women (that are friends of NYC super mom) over to my apartment seemed less and less appealing.  And so I did what I should have done from the start.  I cancelled the mom date (because that is what it really is).

I'm following the same advice that my mom told me in 6th grade.  I don't have to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge just because everyone else is doing it.  I don't have to have play dates for my 6 month if I don't want to.  Thank you Mom!

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