Most kids seem to enjoy a play date. Going into somebody’s house and playing with their toys is far more fun than playing with their own toys, even when both parties have some of the same ones!
My boys are no exception. But we have had some odd experiences.
There was the time M and the play date child just sat and stared at each other for over an hour, while the Mum and I had coffee – wondering how long it would be before either child moved!
Then there was the time we went to a friends BBQ and M and the Dad of the house sat and played trains while everyone else was enjoying themselves – not that they weren’t having fun in their own way!
D’s play dates tend to be a little more proactive as he tends to arrange them mostly with girls, and he is in his element being bossed about by the ladies!
On the whole, we tend to have unscheduled play dates by having an open house policy here. It means both boys are on their own turf should either of them be feeling uncomfortable. Its easier to run and hide at your own house when you need quiet time rather than being on unfamiliar ground. I think I have the mobile numbers of most Mums in the area for sending messages to say their child is at our house! Having said that, I don’t allow kids I don’t know, or I haven’t spoken to their parents to check its alright, into the house!
Today though was a big day for the boys, they were going on a play date somewhere new! Next door!
The young man next door has just start school, so he is just turned five. He is a lovely wee lad, as is his younger brother. He is however painfully shy, so isn’t always up for talking. They boys have had garden dates or been in the little play area behind our houses, but this is different.
On Friday at school pickup time I bumped into their Mum, and she asked if the boys would like to pop over at the weekend. They both jumped at the chance. Her son had, like a lot of kids, grown in confidence in the first month at school and was ready to have friends round!
Now she knows all about the boys problems, so that makes arranging a date so much easier. When talking to a Mum that isn’t aware, it can sound as if you are trying to put them off asking your child, rather than fore warning them!
Both boys like the Mum and will say hello when they see her, and there aren’t many people they do that with. I think it is because she has a passing resemblance to the SEN teacher at the school – both have long black hair with a fringe.
They have been on excited tender hooks from 3:30pm Friday until the date, 2:30pm Sunday! When D was feeling poorly Friday night, one of his concerns was he wouldn’t be able to go – luckily the bug he had went quicker than it took to come!
This morning both boys were talking about it from the back of 7 and dressed by 8! Usually getting dressed is not something they do at the weekend and definitely not without being nagged endlessly!
They then proceeded to get niggly, refusing to do anything because they didn’t want to be late! Luckily the new Angry Birds Star Wars occupied their minds for a while!
From an hour before they were due to go, they were constantly checking the time, and on the dot of half two they were out of the door. Hubby looked over the fence to acknowledge our kids being handed over.
I had them all screaming out the window at me whilst I pegged the washing, but other than that it has been peaceful. Hubby popped around after they had been there an hour just to check they were behaving themselves!
I think their reaction to today is a typical example of an autism brain in action. They have both been really looking forward to this event happening but at the same time they haven’t been able to find a pigeon hole for the data so have needed to give themselves plenty of time to work through all possible scenarios of the afternoon. D went to great length telling me they would take their shoes off before going in, and they would be gentle around the younger brother. He then worried he had nothing to take with him, as people always take a gift when they visit with somebody – I had baked cookies so he took some of them!
There are so many variables that both boys need to account for before letting themselves enjoy something that it is quite a painful process to observe. To have fun when they get there though they have to be comfortable with what might happen.
For me though the hardest choice once they were gone and I’d finished the cleaning was which bubbles to put in the bath as I enjoy some peace and quiet before they get home!
Thank you to my lovely next door neighbour xxxx