Monday, April 11, 2011

The Mismatched Maven and the Can’t Do Kid

My daughter had a play date the other day with her best friend. She has several besties but this is her best friend from her second grade class and he’s a boy. (insert giggling) My daughter coaxed us to take him home from school one day after their class performance. I couldn’t resist their wide-eyed pleas, but wondered how this towheaded boy would fair in a sea of girl toys.

My four-year-old son was thrilled that another living breathing boy was coming over. He’s had enough girly play between my daughter and his future wife from across the street. (A girl my son’s age has announced to the world they will be married when they are bigger, much to my son’s disappointment)

So, my daughter came home and immediately changed the dress she wore for the school program. If you’ve read my blog The Mismatched Maven and the Grumpy Vampire before you’ll know that my daughter doesn’t care what clothes she puts on, if they match, or if they are too small. All she cares about is if they are “comfy” or not. Needless to say, she picked out a size 4T teal pair of warm-up pants that she can’t part with and a grass green soccer shirt from the previous season.

“Maybe Brandon would like to play the Wii,” I said, knowing the pink and purple in her room would zap his equilibrium outta whack.

“We don’t have a Wii. I’m not allowed to play video games,” he said.

“No video games?” My face stretched with wonder. I’ve heard about these kinds of kids. No TV or videogames, but in all my years as a mom, I’d never met one. I looked at him, really studied his face. He stared back at me like a monkey at the zoo, tilting his head just so. “Do you have cable?” I asked, fearing the answer.

“No, but I can watch PBS.”

“Oh, fun.” I managed to smile even though I’m sure I looked more gassy than anything. Now don’t get me wrong I like PBS, but that is one channel—ONE! My kids have a dozen kids’ channels and still manage to complain. How can this poor kid survive on Clifford, Arthur, and Sesame Street? I didn’t know what else to say so I went for a diversion. “Would you like a snack? There are some cookies in the pantry.”

“I’m only allowed to have fruit after school or carrots. No sugar.”
Carrots? Fruit? What kind of kid was this? My mind swam with thoughts of inadequacy. I bet his mother was one of those responsible parents who tote around sanitizer in her purse and whip it out in the McDonald’s playplace—if they even go to McDonald’s. You know the types, maybe you're one of them. The primped and primed moms squirt a glob of sanitizer in their children's palm before and after they play. The kids get nuggets and apples with milk or juice—no soda or fries. Meanwhile, I’m watching these moms prep their kids for the dangers of the mighty G-E-R-M while I pop a couple of fries in my mouth and sip my ultra mega Diet Soda. I rationalize that my kids are just building their immune system so why bother with the stinky sanitizer. Or that’s just a great rationalization from a lackluster and tired mom.

Anyway, back to the playdate. . . I tossed the kids an apple each and sent them up to my son’s room to play with his trains and cars. I listened to the kids chatting about school as I  folded socks. Now, this part about the socks won’t seem strange to anyone who doesn’t know me—a simple task of a stay at home mom. For those who know me—Hi, Ma—you’ll raise a brow at the idea of me actually sorting and balling up socks. But that Can’t Do Kid rattled me. I bet his mom bundles his socks and she probably even folds underwear (A task I never understood).  

All in all, the play date went well, he's a good kid and my daughter seems to like him. She wants the Can’t Do Kid to come back this week, but it seems like a lot of pressure just for a play date. I could send my daughter over to his house, but then I’m wondering what information she’d yammer on about to his mom. Would she reveal the secret ingredient in Mama’s special drink? Or that I haven't mastered the art of baked goods. I can’t be too sure. Maybe we'll wait until her dad can be in charge...


Elisabeth Hirsch said...

So darling ;) I need to remember the folding socks trick LOL!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I know a few of those kids too. Nothing like them for making you feel like an inadequate mom! These are my mom's words of wisdom: "It will all work out fine," and, "You're doing a good job!"

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Makes me glad my two are now grown up and I can take a breather from all that responsibilty! Really enjoyed your post and it sounds like you're doing agreat job with your kids.

Christina Fifield-Winn said...

LOVED your post!! I have to admit, I'm one of those moms...well just a half mom who's fallen off the healthy train (I'm sure my kids will wind up in therapy because of it). There were no video games allowed until my uncle forced a Wii on us via Santa Claus. What was I going to do?? Send it back as my kids watch, wailing?? I limit the fry side dishes to once a month, but cable TV has always been a source of pleasure for my kids. Luckily I got the kids who love the Discovery and History channels. Enjoy balling socks!! Really liked your post!