Back when I was a new mommy, glowing with new-found motherhood, raging hormones, and lack of sleep, I joined a playgroup. I said that it was for my little guy to find new friends, learn to share, and develop wonderful social skills.
Playgroup was really for me.
I mean, how social can an 8 week-old baby really be? Sure, babies smile and all that. Eventually they even start to grab hair and steal toys from their
rivals playmates, which we interpret as interacting. But when they are very small, there really isn’t any playing in a playgroup.
When you have extracted yourself from your former life as a worker bee/wife/friend and whatever else you did before baby (because you can’t remember) you need to find others like you. Other grown-ups who can appreciate the fact that you slept for a whole four hours straight or actually remembered to brush your teeth.
We would meet at parks on a weekly basis when the weather was good, and during bad weather we took turns hosting the group in our homes. It was a LOT of work, and we were all tending to our kids constantly it seemed. Someone always needed a diaper, a snack, a nose wiped, or just had to cry. Loudly.
I was lucky enough to find two of my most favorite lifetime friends in this group. Yeah, they have great kids too….but hey, it was my playgroup to start with. And yesterday one of those friends invited us over for lunch and swimming.
It was heaven.
You see, once they get to be a certain age you just don’t really have to DO ANYTHING for them. Yesterday was like fast-forwarding an old movie reel to remember these same kids, us same moms, 16 years earlier in the same situation.
Pizza lunch and swimming? For a playgroup meeting back in the day that would have been a mountain of work. Cutting up pizza, pouring sippy cups, cleaning up spills, taking potty/diaper breaks, applying sunscreen, fixing boo-boos, applying more sunscreen, putting on water wings, “helping” them swim…..well, you get it.
Pizza lunch and swimming now?
- Set pizza boxes on counter next to paper plates.
- Pull a lounge chair up next to the pool.
- Start gabbing. Gab for hours and hours, about puberty and driver’s permits, about college costs and scout camp, vacations and jobs. Real, grown-up talk with one of my favorite friends.
And the kids? They took care of their lunch, helped themselves to drinks, made their own snow cones, applied their sunscreen, swam, played a board game, talked, and had fun. The moms hardly had to lift a finger.
It was the best playgroup I’ve been to in years.