So. The play date issue?
Here's the latest scoop.
I wrote an e-mail to the mother and told her that I genuinely appreciated the offer of a play date for Carolyn, but the hesitation for me is that: 1) I've never let one of my children go off on a play date by themselves before, especially not to someone's home where I've never met the family; and 2) Carolyn is a triplet and her sister is sad that she was not also invited. This, however, would not necessarily preclude me from allowing Carolyn to go on a play date, it was just something that I needed to sensitively manage to protect young feelings from being hurt.
I stressed that I think it is important for Carolyn to develop her own friendships and I want to foster my children's individuality however best I can. I just need to figure out some way that we don't have a broken-hearted six-year-old at home, while her sister is off having a grand old time. I need to remain extremely cognizant and sensitive to fragile emotions.
The mother wrote me back to tell me that she knew Carolyn was a triplet and she certainly didn't want to hurt Elizabeth's feelings and if it would work better, perhaps Elizabeth could come to the play date, too? As much as I appreciate her gesture, that's not necessarily the solution.
I think a more appropriate solution would be for Elizabeth to host a play date the same time Carolyn is at her play date (which either Charlie or I would attend). And sure, that sounds like a fine idea although it also feels like I'm breaking up the herd and as it turns out, I'm really not ready for this for a number of reasons the chief being this whole socialization thing is A LOT OF WORK and will require much running around and coordination on our part and really, who has time for that kind of thing?
And to think, I thought life was challenging when I had three babies sitting in high chairs that all needed to eat at the same exact time. Boy, those were the EASY days.
Meanwhile, this past Friday, William came home with an invitation to a birthday party for this coming Monday (aka: TODAY.) The party, to which only he from our family was invited, was scheduled for noon at a local pizza parlor. And while this might be a great thing, it poses a number of obstacles when: 1) Only one child is invited; 2) there are four children in the family all of whom LOVE this local pizza parlor; 3) there is only one parent home to shuffle children to and from a play date; 4) birthday party on a Monday at noon?! 5) there is no way we're leaving our child at a party where we've never met the family.
Charlie called the mother to talk with her on Friday and she said that it would be no trouble for her to drive William from school to the party. Perhaps on the surface, this sounds like a fine idea, but again ... we've never met this family. And maybe I'm just a little too uptight but I'm not too keen on some one driving my little boy from school to a weekday party where I, nor my husband, will be in attendance and .... um ... no.
My husband said he didn't think we'd be able to do it, but he'd call the mother back to confirm, one way or the other, in the next day or two. We should have called back right away because we knew that even if we had felt comfortable with William going alone, there was no way Charlie could pick the kids up from school, drop only William off at a party, return home - prepare lunch - feed children - and an hour later - drive back to pick up William, in the midst of Henry's nap time.
But we got side tracked with a million other things, many of which involved me laying on the couch asking for more pain medication. Charlie called the mother first thing this morning, and left her a message that we're very sorry, William cannot attend the party. Maybe next time, or five years from now, when the birthday falls on a Saturday.
An hour later, the school called.
They were calling to confirm that we approved William's classmate's mother picking him up from school and taking him to the birthday party.
Seeing as today was Day 5 for me, I was still laying on the couch with my foot elevated when I heard Charlie exclaim, "NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! IT IS NOT OKAY FOR ANYONE TO PICK MY SON UP FROM SCHOOL! WE DIDN'T CONFIRM! WE NEVER CONFIRMED!"
Apparently, the mother had sent in a list of all the children that had been invited to the party and whom she would be taking to the pizza parlor, after school. William's name was on that list and although we hadn't confirmed, I suspect she just submitted the list as-is. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I'll bet it was just an oversight on her part and certainly not an attempt to be pushy? Unfortunately, whatever the case, this didn't sit well with my husband. Charlie, the man who never gets upset, was flipping out.
He had visions of going to pick the children up from the school bus and William not being there. And then, he was strapped with the worry of where was his son?! and how would he go and retrieve him with three other children in tow?! and what if there had been a car accident?! and who was this person?! and as he was working himself in to a tizzy, I had to tell him, "TAKE A BREATH!"
He was going nuts.
I had to heave myself off the couch and stop him before he called up the mother and said things like, "HOW DARE and WHO THE HECK and YOU HAVE SOME NERVE and DON'T YOU EVER!"
Our poor children. We are completely crushing their social lives and they're not even mid-way through Kindergarten.