One of the challenging things about being "older" parents is that most of our peers are so far beyond the baby stage that they look at us with a profound sense of relief. I can see the looks of "wow, thank goodness it's them and not us" in their eyes as we deal with a cute, but willful toddler. Many of the old high-school gang have kids that are starting and even finishing up college. Even the college friends who 'waited' to have kids are dealing with the trauma of high school, but here we are talking about moving Lucy to a big girl bed and worrying about our it'll happen when it happens potty training philosophy. These friends love our girl and enjoy her, but it's with a grandparentish feeling. You know, hop them up on sugar and then send them home. The idea of playing in the mini-kitchen EVERY DAY is not something that sounds awesome, to these wonderful people. They've done their time in the Kid Kraft Kitchen. (I just noticed the K.K.K. - is Lucy playing in a racist kitchen?)
We have a great set of allies in this journey in JoJo's parents. They are young, energetic and seem to tolerate us well. The girls love each other and I know Lucy asks for JoJo almost every day. It is wonderful to have family who are friends who are going through the same thing we're going through.
However, we've talked about how it would be nice to have some more friends who are around our age and have a kid or kids that Lucy could bond with. We're attracted to the parents of one of the kids at school. Lily and Lucy are pals and Lily's mom is great. She's also pretty full up with friends and family in her own world. I stalked her for a bit trying to make a mom to mom connection, but alas we are friendly, but not friends.
Today, in the never ending quest for things that are fun and burn energy we took Lucy to Bellevue Square to play on the boats in the Kid's Cove. (See... you can have alliteration without doing a nod to our shameful friends.) Lucy still loves the boats and I love the containment as well as the soft play area. Lucy made friends with a shorty today who looked to be about her age (turns out is about 3 months older) . As Lucy and N. played N's mom and I started chatting. I've tried to talk up other parents at the Cove, but it hasn't gone well. Mostly I manage to scare tired nanny's or grandparents, but N's mom was funny, open to talking and very friendly. While the girls ran and twirled, we introduced ourselves. After about 30 minutes a wonderful thing happened... N's mom asked me for my phone number. Excited, I gave it up willingly and then horror washed over me.
"You don't sell Amway, do you?" I asked without any fear that if the answer was yes that it would be offensive. It would be..but then I'd simply be offending an Amway salesperson and I think it's allowed.
S. laughed and said she was a writer. When she asked what I did I used the simplest explanation that I've managed to work out that doesn't take four hours to explain "IT Security". This is where S lured me in and stroked my easily bruised ego "Oh that's not what I expected, you're so funny I expected you to be a comedy writer or something." (Somehow this blog doesn't quite qualify.) I did and do admit that my day job is rather, um... unfunny. I do like it though, so what can I do? I'm like a super hero, unfunny during the day, but when the situation arises I set aside my Security Policy Framework and drop witty one liners to fill empty, awkward silence.
After the girls kissed and hugged good-bye, we waived to our new acquaintances and headed on our way back to our regularly scheduled day. In the car I mentioned to Jason that it was nice that she asked for our contact information and that even though I'm clearly excited about the prospect of getting to know these also-40ish parents of the uber friendly N, I'm not the one debating when it would be appropriate to make contact. For once, I don't have to be the stalker.
So, we'll see if a play-date ever happens.