We’d go for a walk and then congregate at a Starbucks or a mall with a playspace and swap war stories as we breastfed, or shook a stroller to and fro. I got really good at maintaining eye contact during conversation while bouncing up and down and side to side with a babe strapped to me.
“I have no idea what the hell I’m doing half the time,” I confessed. They confessed the same. We were in solidarity.
Sometimes they had suggestions. “Try white noise.” or “this diaper rash goo actually works.” Those playdates meant the world to me and those moms… we were literally bosom buddies. We got each other through cradle cap. We looked out for each other. If there was a sale at Baby Gap, our group was gonna get there first, before the good stuff was gone. We thought we’d be friends forever. But then our kids grew up a little. Things changed.
If you had a bunch of friends before you were married, and some of them married total tools, you know how this story goes. It’s essentially the same story, except the tools are tinier. Babies are blank slates. They can’t be bullies. But by the time those tots turn four? All bets are off. The question is, can your friendships survive the (pun intended) wrench?
Ok so I lied a little. It’s not just the kid. If your kid is acting like a tool to me or mine and you are looking the other way, it IS you.
Some of my best friends have kids that I (and they) considering challenging at times. The point is that they don’t allow it, make excuses for it, or try to cover it up. Sometimes (yes, shockingly, it happens) my kids are the total tools too, by the way.
Real friends are able to discuss whatever it is, address the issue and move on. If the kids don’t adore each other, so be it. We have more in common than just the kids, it turns out. I have friends that I met when my daughter (now in high school) was in preschool. Our kids don’t hang so much any more. We do.
The point is this: If you can’t get past it and find yourself lingering on who’s to blame for that cookie incident? Might be time to find a new pal. Recognize any of these toxic playmates?
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It was hard for me to deal with the loss of some of my “early mommy hood” friends. But much like those post college friends who ended up with jerks and sort of started morphing into the jerks they chose, my kids and I are probably better off without toxic playmates in our lives.
Check out these other posts:
More Casa de Chaos adventures:
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