FACT: An "only child"'s mother must make more of an effort than the average mother to create a social life for her child.
FACT: Telling the mother of an "only" child to be "grateful" that she doesn't have to listen to "two children fighting" will make her want to kick your legs out from under you.
I'm not what you would call overly social. I enjoy my friendships and love my close circle of friends. I love a good party and a houseful of kids. But just as much I also love a good book, spending hours online, reality TV, and hearing myself think. Things that are not conducive to entertaining a sibling-less 7-year-old for an entire summer.
So yesterday I decided to have yet another playdate: something that brings her great joy, but for me just means I have to wash my hair.
I invited over a little girl who went to Kindergarten with Savannah but who we haven't seen in awhile. I was never close to the mom, but she's pleasant enough so I invited her to stay. This is when the urge to slam my head in the refrigerator started.
While I struggled to find a common ground (Her: What's it called? Tweetter? Her: No, we don't watch TV at all. Me: *blink blink*) she drifted from one boring topic to the next: the mall, tennis, vacation homes, gated communities (why OC? What is this obsession you have with gates?).
If it had seemed she were trying to make an effort, I would cut her some slack. But she checked her watch more times than I referenced Paula Abdul which was alot. I finally let her off the hook by inferring she probably wanted to go enjoy her alone time. She readily agreed.
As soon as she left her daughter piped up "I'm hungry!".
Savannah, ever eager to please, rattled off our specials. She chose a bagel, which I smeared with cream cheese and served to both her and Savannah.
She made a face at it. "Ew. I thought I said I didn't like cheese."
I couldn't help but laugh. Savannah looked at me alarmed since the only way my child would ever speak to another adult like that is if she were delirious with fever.
Once the cream cheese situation was rectified, Savannah tried to engage the little
Why don't you have a Nintendo DS?
Savannah started to explain how she lost it when she was interrupted.
Are these all your Barbies?
A short time later an old friend of mine stopped by. "I love your place!" she exclaimed about our humble cracker box. "You should see MY house" a little voice interjected behind me.
"Why don't you girls play upstairs?" I brightly suggested. So I don't lock you outside.
Hardly an hour into their playdate I noticed Savannah looking somewhat miserable. I pulled her aside and asked if she was ok. "I'm ready for her to go home now" she replied.
When I dropped the little girl off, her mom met us out front. We exchanged pleasantries. The little girl showed her mom a clay animal Savannah had made her. "Oh great. Now your brother is going to want one too." She looked up at me. "Be glad you don't have to listen to two kids fight".
I smiled politely.
"Next time you can come here" she said to Savannah, "and swim in our pool!"
For sure I said brightly. Let's do that...never? Does never work for you?
As we drove home I asked Savannah if she had fun. Not really was her reply.
"Why are they always pretty?" she asked.
I sighed. "It seems to go hand in hand. Mean girls tend to be pretty. But not all pretty girls are mean. Look at you."
She smiled satisfied out the window.
"Want to watch lolcatz when we get home, mommy?"