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Blind (Play)Date, Part 2

posted Saturday February 25th, 2012

You might find this hard to believe, but we actually made it through the entire play date and I still have no idea whether the kid’s mom knows Sophie has Down syndrome.

And that is because I never actually met the mom; and she never met Sophie, either.

To be fair, I’m pretty sure Sophie’s friend has older siblings (or maybe just one) and I’ve found that parents tend to relax more after the first kid. (I didn’t, but I’m neurotic; and our situation is a little different.)

In any case, here’s (pretty much all of) what happened.

The friend’s mom arrived half an hour early for the playdate (even beat me to my house, we were driving home from ballet) and when we pulled up, the kid ran out of a minivan and across our rather large front lawn to Sophie. I started to cross the lawn to meet the mom and invite her in, but she just smiled and waved me away.

“Call when you’re ready to come home,” she told her daughter.

“4:30, please!” I called out, and she nodded, then disappeared.

At 4:30, I called to check in (we had dinner plans and a tight schedule) and the mom explained that she had taken the light rail downtown for the first time, and hadn’t planned well. She was still downtown, probably an hour away; could the kid stay with us a while longer?

I said I wished she could (and I did — it had been a very nice playdate) but we had to get going. Could I maybe get in the car and start driving toward downtown? (I was kind of at a loss….)

The mom offered to have a friend pick the daughter up and (after a delay — turns out the friend was grocery shopping) that’s what happened.

So I never met the mom and she never saw Sophie — except from afar.

To be honest, the whole thing struck me as a little odd, but hey, different strokes, right? I’ll tell you one thing: When all was said and done I had to laugh at myself for being worried that this woman would think it was weird that her kid had a play date with a kid with Down syndrome. Or that she’d be horrified that my house was a mess.

I’m just disappointed that I bothered to straighten up.

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Tags: Filed under: Down syndrome by Amysilverman

5 Responses to “Blind (Play)Date, Part 2”

  1. That is one crazy play date story. I’ve had both extremes – one play date the mom stayed the entire four hours, which was cool. And I’ve had one girl show up on our doorstep after dark, walkimg the neighborhood in her bare feet looking for someone to take her in. Her Mom’s never even seen my house. I’m somewhere in between. But I would never show up a half hour early, and tell my kid they get to choose when to be picked up, and then not show up later. Well, at least Sophie had a good play date! Just think, if you hadn’t cleaned your house this woman would of course have needed to go inside to pee!

  2. elizabeth you are so right!

  3. So many things I worry about for nothing…. We have lots of playdates and since it’s such a small town everyone knows about the DS issue but I certainly have worried about what might happen on a playdate. And I’m with you about the talking to people I don’t know to try to make plans- must be my least fav activity.

  4. I haven’t done many playdates but that does strike me as a bit odd. What I would really love to hear more about are the details of the actual playdate. What did the girls do? Was it totally fun to watch Sophie enjoying time with her friend? Would you have this kid over again?

  5. To be honest, I wasn’t there the whole time — my husband was overseeing the girls while I took Annabelle and a friend to a festival. But I was there for a while, and Sophie and the girl really got along well. They got several board games out, had a snack Sophie had picked out at the farmers market that morning, pulled half the toys out of the bins in the play room, spent some time on our rock wall (under close supervision!)… When Sophie balked at something I asked her to do, the girl was able to cajole her. They had a nice time. That said, Sophie and her best friend still have the closest relationship — and this play date did convince me to try having other kids over, too. I think part of the problem has been that when Annabelle is home the girls tend to flock to her and Sophie doesn’t get left out completely, but it does change the dynamic. One on one seems best, at least for the first few play dates. Hope that helps! :)

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