“Hey, she’s 5 and I’m 4 and I’m bigger than her!” Neve commented, not at all unkindly.

Yes, I thought to myself, and in every way: Neve is an adorable, precocious little girl (little, though she probably DOES stand a head taller than Annabelle, as well) and Sophie’s blind date for the morning, yesterday, during the Great Play Date Experiment.

Although I’m surrounded with little girls on many days, someone I manage to forget how advanced a typical 4 or 5 year old girl can be. Neve could hold her own at happy hour, any day.

“You ARE bigger!” I said to Neve. “Sophie’s pretty short.”

That was the only difference Neve noted about Sophie, at least, the only one l I heard. They did have different likes and dislikes: Neve wanted to play Wii, while Sophie — though glad to try bowling — was still more interested in an old Elmo puzzle she found in Erin’s den.

I don’t know how to spell Neve, so I’m guessing — and I chose this spelling since it echoes “Eve”. Sophie got all excited when I told her we were going to Neve’s house. “Eve! Eve! WALL-E!” she said.

WALL-E (and his girlfriend, or girl ‘bot, Eve) made a big impression on Sophie. Me too. Definitely my favorite movie of the summer. Okay the only one I’ve seen, but still.

I’d love to tell you that like WALL-E and Eve, Neve took Sophie by the hand, into her world, and showed her around, fascinating her, rendering the two inseparable.

Not quite. I’m not sure Sophie would follow Neve into outer space — or vice versa – but have you ever seen a first play date like that? I would have been creeped out.

This date was darn good: The girls did disappear into the back of the house for a good five minutes at a time. Erin made them a tea party with petit fours and strawberries (she even cut the tops off, something I have to admit I almost never do, bad mom) and juice boxes.

We grown ups sat on the couch and drank coffee and talked grown up talk in between fielding the many requests that come from two little girls playing a room away from their moms, and Erin explained that her favorite friend’s family, growing up, included a little girl with Down syndrome.

“We loved Becky,” Erin said. “That was just normal for us.”

We agreed the next play date will be at my house (I hope the therapists forgive me, that’s not part of the “rules” here) and I knew the morning was a success when I couldn’t drag Sophie out the door with the true news that we were headed next to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.

(And if you don’t believe me about Sophie and CEC, read this:


and this:


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Tags: Filed under: The Great Play Date Experiment by Amysilverman

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My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome is available from Amazon and 
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