Last week Mini had his first ever 'straight-after-school' playdate. He's had a few playdates before, but in school holidays when a child has been dropped off here, or we've picked them up, and they've been with children whose mums I'm friends with. You might remember I talked about one he had in a half term holiday here, and my nervousness about it.
This time it was different. I was approached on a Friday in the playground by mum of Blofeld, who asked if Mini wanted to go round to play after school one day. I was shocked...not because Mini doesn't have friends, but this was a) the first time Blofeld's mum had spoken to me, despite our kids being in the same class for 2 years and our husbands commuting together and b) the first time Mini had such an invite.
So I've been nervous...really nervous about how he'd do. I'm sure that most mums get nervous the first time their child goes off to someone's house...especially when you don't know the parents all that well? And of course, Blofeld and his family don't know that Mini is adopted...why would they? (I've only shared that with a few close mummy friends) But I briefly mentioned that he suffers with anxiety. Turns out...so does Blofeld! I was especially concerned that Mini would be wet either during the day, or once he got to his friends, so made sure he had spare clothes in his book bag, just in case, and we kept talk about it to a minimum over the weekend, without making a fuss.
Mini's been struggling with bedtimes and sleep A LOT recently, so I wasn't surprised when he couldn't sleep the night before the day of his playdate, but I was surprised when he confided that he was worried about recognising Blofeld's mum in the playground. But I reassured him that I'd make sure his teacher directed him to the right person, and suggested that he and Blofeld came out together. Go Mini for voluntarily sharing a worry...big step!
In the end, it all went swimmingly, and Mini appears to have a bit of a friendly crush on Blofeld - Blofeld is allowed to swear (oh really?!), Blofeld has got 2 dogs, 2 rabbits, chickens, cats and fish, Blofeld has a telly and an x-box in his room, Blofeld said that I was allowed to play with his toy guns, Blofeld and me played this, Blofeld and me played that... Blofeld is currently the best thing since sliced bread!
So, in the end, my nerves weren't needed, neither were Mini's. His spare clothes weren't needed either. Not only was this a first for Mini, but one for me too - of letting go a little bit and letting my boy do something new, something that he enjoyed. It really feels like a positive step and I'm looking forward to returning the playdate favour...