Just another Monday Afternoon

I have an unofficial standing date on Monday afternoons with a good friend of mine.  It started on a whim and then a phone call, “what are you guys up to this afternoon?…we’re not either…. come on over”.  An hour later she showed up with her three girls.  Two young Jedi’s in training came around the corner sized up the situation, decided it was cool and four of them paraded off to the basement leaving the baby with the dog.  She got plenty of kisses.

First time play dates can be a crap shoot.  Sometimes it’s great but sometimes it’s a bust.  It could be any number of things; an off day, bad chemistry, only one desirable toy, who knows.  One thing I’ve learned though is I always pick a mom that I like spending time with.  That way, if the play date is a bust at least I’ve had an hour or two chatting with someone I enjoy.  And if the play date is a success then all the better!

The first play date with the girls went great.  Sometimes the boy and girl combination is just the thing: a fresh perspective on the usual.  The next play date started off a little slower.  The kids just needed a little more hands on from the moms to get things going.  But we weren’t interested in a high maintenance play date, we had catching up to do.  After countless interruptions and suggestions from the “chair”, the kids finally decided they were going to make a car.  “Great, go for it,” we encouraged.

My oldest pulled out a large cardboard box and we all gathered around taping and holding.  It was starting to take shape so we retreated back to our conversation.  They stayed busy for a while talking about how fast it was going to go and who was going to drive first.  But then they came to a dead end.  It was all taped up with no place to go.  Uh-oh, here they come again.  “Mom, can we paint it?” asked my son.  **Pause**  I hesitate.  In my head I am weighing the mess of paint verses how much time it might occupy them.  If I say no the play date might fizzle out.  If I say yes and they’ll make a huge mess, love it and the moms get some time.  I say yes.

The color of choice was red and maybe some yellow and green too.  They painted and mixed colors and rinsed their brushes in the kiddie pool.  Thankfully the dog managed to stay far enough away but my lawn looked like a crime scene.  By the time the kids ran out of paint, the clock had reached five and another Monday afternoon had wrapped up.