At this point I plan that Drew needs to have a friend or child to engage with. I expect that Gabby wants someone to play with too. What I do not plan is Noah needing that same level of interaction.
I had Drew after a close friend had her baby. We would get our babies together for an intense play date where both never left their car seats. They progressed a few weeks later to have side by side tummy time. It wasn’t exactly social for the babies but we were so excited for the prospect of it that we sorta pretended it was.
In the ways a pimp might run a brothel, I am running the equivalent revolving door of play dates. Some play dates for different purposes. Some are intended for Drew or Gabby to become more comfortable with classmates. Some are to help balance my load and pawn off a child for an hour or two (and the expected pay back of taking someone else’s child). Some are so that I can have some peer keep my child occupied while I balance other things. Whatever the circumstance, play dates are around the clock over here.
Sadly, I never think of Noah first. I go through the checklist of Drew’s activities and friends, Gabby’s and then I get carried away with something I need to do. The thought that Noah has a schedule, a friend, an agenda just hasn’t come into my sequence of thoughts…yet. It’s hard to imagine life any more complicated than it already is, but I suppose that it will become even more so when I’m balancing his activities too.
So you can imagine my surprise when Noah started playing with his future friend at a family friend’s gathering. I say future because who really thought that a 13 month old and 18 month old would play with each other?!?! Well low and behold they did!!! It’s almost as if I wasn’t looking and Noah became a bonafide person! A person who has thoughts, some version of language and interests. It just so happened this interest was a bouncing ball but we’ll take what we can get!!!