Play Dates

>> Friday, 25 September 2009

Poor Boy #2. For nearly four years now he's been the side-show to the main event - his brother - being pulled from pillar to post, from playdate to party, from school to after-school activity. He's been good-natured about it, sure, but heck, when a guy is nearly 4 years old he needs some space and time of his own, know what I mean?

So he's started, in his own winning way, to make his feelings on this matter felt. No longer is he content to sit back and play the adoring little brother whilst Boy #1 calls the shots. Now Boy #2 wants to have his own playdates, his own activities, his own visits to other peoples houses with - and this is the most important thing - other people's toys.

I have to admit that organising this has not been top of my list of priorites. But today, when he asked me again to organise a play date with a boy at his school who he's been mentioning for the last 3 weeks now, I decided that it was time to do something about it. And as luck would have it, there was a party this afternoon that this little boy would be attending.

Now I'm not quite such a bad mother as I've made myself out to be here. At the end of last week I gave Boy #2's nursery teacher a note for little X's parents, asking if it would be possible to set something up. Admittedly, not knowing the surname of this boy (the curse of 'subsequent' siblings is that their mother never has time to hang around the school gate learning names and mobile phone numbers in the same way she did for their older brother or sister, I find), I had been forced to address the note to "Dear X's parents...." and also, not knowing X's schedule and desperate on my son's behalf to set something up, had been forced to list Boy #2's activities out in almost obsessive-compulsive detail (who, me?). In spite of this, I thought I struck just the right warm, fuzzy, slightly manic tone... (Oh dear). Of course I heard nothing back.

So at the party today I reminded myself of Boy #2's wish and kept an eye out for the little boy in question. Once he arrived, I approached anyone who looked remotely as if they might be his parent, and finally struck gold when I was pointed in the direction of a young-ish dark haired woman. (X is blonde. Perhaps that should have been my first clue that she and X are not blood-relatives.)

I approached her and spent 5 minutes chatting away about how Boy #2 was always mentioning X, how much he liked him, and how he really wanted to ask him over for a playdate. I mentioned the note I had previously written, to check that the nursery teacher had passed it on. I suggested a couple of days that a playdate could work, and threw in a passing reference to our proximity to a garden square with a playground in it to bait the hook. As a further sweetner I said that she was welcome to come too, or if she wanted to 'dump and run' and come back in an hour or so, that would be fine. I mentioned Boy #2's older brother, and even commented on the lovely weather we've been having.

Finally, I drew breath. She responded.

"I... sorry. I - nanny. I not speak... much... English?"


Foiled again...


Frog in the Field 26 September 2009 at 07:49  

I can just see you swearing under your breath and muttering while smiling terribly politely.
She probably drives a 4x4 by the way!

Thames 26 September 2009 at 08:26  

LOL! And I wonder what the nanny was thinking...

The Green Stone Woman 26 September 2009 at 12:15  

Oh, you were too enthusiastic, PM! You were too eager to make it work. Why do they have a nanny who doesn't speak English? I would think that would not be very supportive of the child in his daily activities. I could not imagine doing something like that. They must really be desperate to have someone look after their child. Oh boy, I sit in judgment, don't I? I'm just highly suspicious of people who leave their children in the hands of others who may not be competent.

Iota 26 September 2009 at 18:06  

So you just gave the whole spiel again, but slower and louder, and added 'comprenday?' at the end of each sentence. Right?

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings 27 September 2009 at 02:25  

Argh! I feel your pain. How very annoying for you! Maybe you'll finally ... one day meet his actual parents!? (After you move probably!)

Perfectly Happy Mum 27 September 2009 at 10:11  

I couldn't help laughing! The nanny was probably thinking "how can get her to zip it and tell I don't have a clue what she is on about!" :)

Expat mum 27 September 2009 at 20:29  

That poor girl must've been dying!

Potty Mummy 27 September 2009 at 20:55  

Frog, no doubt. And no doubt she can't drive it or park it, either... (sorry - not feeling very 4 x 4 friendly right now)

Thames - HELP! probably.

Irene, well, I actually think she was spanish and that so are the family - which would account for it. Having said that though, some familiarity with the language of their country of residence might be a good idea, I agree...

Iota, no, I reined in that impulse. Instead I wrote a note for her to hand over to her employers. Although I suspect that she hasn't done so since I've not heard anything. (Either that or she's told them I'm crazy, which is not beyond the realms of possibility)

Lisa, see previous comment to Iota - I think we will probably never meet them and that they duck behind hedges and around corners whenever they see me coming...

PHM, you're right, of course. I just wish she'd done it sooner so I didn't make quite such a fool of myself!

EPM, of laughter, perhaps...

Michael OBG 28 September 2009 at 00:18  

Oh, good luck! I've done this EXACT same thing but luckily the Nanny spoke English and eventually we even got a playdate - and the kids are now best friends - good luck!

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