The playdate went as well as could be expected. Which for a non-socially-anxious person would probably be "It was AWESOME! We got along GREAT! I like the mom AND the kids, HALLELUJAH!!!"
I do like the mom. She's ten years younger than me, which. I mean. Some of YOU are ten years younger than me and I don't have any trouble thinking of you as peers, but it's the flip side of the problem I more often have, which is when moms are ten years older than me. Ten years is a GAP. There are times I feel it more than others. This time I didn't feel it much, but I wondered if SHE did. Her husband is three years older than her, but he's still seven years younger than me.
But I like her. She swore appropriately and cheerfully several times when the kids were out of earshot, but then creatively non-swore ("That'll really sssss" for "suck") when they were nearby. She was interested in talking at least for awhile about baby names. From what I could tell in an hour and a half, her parenting doesn't clash with mine. She's comfortable and social, which can be helpful: she assumes there's no awkwardness, which can make me less awkward in response.
The kids got along, although Elizabeth and the other girl excluded Edward, which left Edward crying in the sand, which was a little embarrassing and also hard to know how to handle. But that went okay. In fact, the only real issue was that I got sand on my feet and had to chop off my feet because OMG SAND ON MY FEET AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
Speaking of awkward, after Henry and I dropped the twins off at kindergarten (both still sandy from their park time in the morning), we went to the music store to buy a music book for William, who has decided to take clarinet (it doesn't seem like two whole years since Rob chose clarinet, but here we are). And the guy who owns the store came over to help us, and Henry said, "Hey, that guy has girl hair!"
So I was immediately torn: do I act like it's no big deal, or do I die outwardly as well as inwardly? I went with Option A, saying absently, "LONG hair, Henry, yes." And the guy said to Henry, "Yep. How're ya?" Then the guy went into another room, so while the cashier was ringing up our purchase I lectured Henry about how some girls have short hair but it's NOT BOY HAIR IT'S SHORT HAIR, and some boys have long hair but it's NOT GIRL HAIR IT'S LONG HAIR, with the intention that the cashier would overhear and perhaps report to the guy that "the mom was really embarrassed and also not at all the type of person who would refer to long-haired guys as 'looking like girls'." She kept chuckling, so I thought to myself "Success!"
Then as we left the store, Henry saw the guy again and said, "Hey, there's that guy with girl hair!" Oh god. I mean, what is the right thing to do in this situation? Should I apologize to the guy, possibly making it into a big deal rather than a nothing deal? Should I act exasperated and say "GEEZ, Henry!"? Should I say, "Henry, dude, are you kidding me? that is AWESOME ROCK HAIR." And I ask this knowing YOU know I can't go back in time and do it over and can only do what I DID do which is to say "Henry" in a reproving tone of voice (with just a TOUCH of "Geez!") and continue to take him out to the car, where I delivered the lecture a second time, adding a chapter about how it is rude to comment loudly about other people's appearances, er yes, unless of course it is Mommy saying "Oh, I LOVE your shirt!" or whatever, so in fact why don't you just play it safe and not say ANYTHING AT ALL until you come of age?
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...