The Playdate Diaries

Trying to stay sane in my 2-kid world…

Playdate #7:The Character Meet-n-Greet October 20, 2007

Filed under: today's playdate — L.Gonzalez @ 4:32 pm
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Today we had a mall event where the children got to meet-n-greet with Curious George. The kids all had to be part of the ‘Kidgits Club’ in order to participate. The information sheet states ’20 minutes per child for photos’ blah blah blah… something along those lines. So why is it that when you actually arrive it’s a whole ‘nother story?

I pull into the mall – park the car… the world is peachy keen. Victor gets loaded up into his car seat, I take out a billion items from his diaper bag and place them in the stroller’s basket for easier access, and into the mall we go.

As soon as I walk in, I get a call from one of the other playdate mommies. Seems like there’s a new member there and it’s her first playdate. Since my friend on the phone is running late she asks me to give her a quick call to let her know she’s not alone – basically, that the group hasn’t ditched her. I’m thinking, AWESOME! Another mom. So I give her a call and we meetup by the Kidgits club registration desk. She’s laid-back and all smiles – phew!

More and more playgroup mommies start showing up with their kids and you know, the world is still peachy keen. I swear I checked my son’s stroller a BILLION times to make sure I had taken him out of the car. He was too quiet! Unusually quiet… creepy quiet. Evil plan-plotting quiet…

After having to run to Starbucks, debate with the cashier why I think she should break my $20 without me having to make a purchase, and then turning my back to her coldly and saying “Whatever – I’m not buying anything. This is ridiculous”, I finally find someone who can break my $20 so I can pay the freaking $5 yearly club membership fee. Thank you whoever broke my $20 – I owe you one!

Still chatting away, I unsuspectingly move my conversation to the wait-line. Of course, that was cue for Curious George to need a break. He’d been there for 30 minutes and already needed a 20 minute break. Where’s the elevator music while we stand here like idiots? 

 20 minutes later, our star reappears. I’m chatting away, forgetting my own child is with me because he’s still unusually tranquil. It was hilarious when one of the playdate mommies asked me if I wanted her to turn my child’s stroller so he could be in the picture I was about to take. Oh, what, you mean my child is here? Oh silly me… and I thought I had left him in the car.

I’m outside the play area like the paparazzi, trying to get Curious George to look at me so I can take the ‘perfect’ shot. Of course, as soon as I’m about to take the photo, he always turns the other way. I have a great shot of his left butt cheek, right butt cheek, back, arm… let’s get together sometime and I’ll show you.

Finally it’s our turn. I didn’t want to be in the shot but I had no other choice. Putting Victor down would of been like tempting fate. He would of gone from 0-60 in a few seconds and been all over the play area. That was a tantrum I wanted to avoid thank-you-very-much.

Ok Victor, say bye to George… “Bye bye bye”…

30 seconds later a wild fight broke out. I was in awe, I could harldy believe it was happening. What in the world… why do they allow such things to happen in a mall. I mean, what kind of a world are we living in when a mother can’t even take her child to get a cute little photo with a fake monkey? There was screaming, kicking, a shoe went flying… it’s just a shame that all of it happened to be between my son and myself. Yep, that’s right. It was my ‘angel’ of a child throwing the world’s biggest, most embarassing tantrum.

I’m sure the other mommies loved having their husband’s there. They all got a 2-for-1 special meet-n-greet… one with Curious George and the second with my big breasts almost popping out of my shirt. Hey, if George got $1 per each photo with him, how much do you think I can get for a photo of your husband next to my huge, shirt-popping boobs? I mean, I think $5 minimum per husband is cheap, don’t you? I’ll even pay for your marriage counseling session afterwards. What a steal!

Needless to say, before killing my child in front of the public view, I quickly escorted (aka. clubbed and dragged) him away from the play area into the nearest store. Thank God for the cover of clothes racks.

I’m carrying my 38lb toddler in one arm, pushing a stroller with the other arm, and of course, as soon as we actually reach an area of the store where there are other people present, my son decides it will be fun to test my patience by slapping me in the face. How far do you think a 38lb toddler can go flying? Hm… Of course, before I even say anything to him, the mall-starers are already looking at me like I’m the world’s worst mother. How dare I let my child cry like that… tsk tsk.

I reach the restroom and I’m relieved. Phew. No witnesses. Let me just say that I’ve never seen a restroom clear out that fast. I swear those women piled out of there faster than if “Smelly Betty” had the runs and the toilet had clogged up and started overflowing with crap. No pun intended.

I left the mall as quickly as humanly possible, loaded up Victor and all his stuff, and sped away like I’d stolen something. Wait, did I load Victor?

The boy did not make even ONE sound all the way home. Not one. No crying, no sudden movements, nothing. How lovely. My little demon all of a sudden becomes Mr. Doesn’t-Hurt-a-Fly-Perfect-Little-Angel.

I feel like I’m Lois Griffin, mother to Stewie from ‘Family Guy’. Damn you, vile woman, you’ve impeded my work since the day I escaped your wretched womb!

george.jpg  stewiegriffin-familyguy.jpg  curiousgeorgepolaroid.jpg

 

Playdate #6: The Pumpkin Patch October 15, 2007

Filed under: today's playdate — L.Gonzalez @ 10:48 pm
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OMG – I have never been to a pumpkin patch before! (And for the record, I’ve never carved a pumpkin either, but we’re not talking about my childhood inadequacies right now). I’ve passed by dozens of patches – all perfectly laid out and colorful – but I’ve never actually ventured through one. I always see the cute photos other people take of their kids. What is it about fresh pumpkins, some grass, and a clear sky that can make any photo turn out absolutely beautiful?

So yea, this playdate was another one for ME – of course. You already know the drill… I was so excited to be doing this playdate that I think I would have gone without the kids if they had gotten sick. Let their dad deal with it all – he needs to learn how to take care of both of them all by himself like I do every single day.

So anyway, the playdate consisted of a storybook reading, some pumpkin’ pickin’ and decorating, plus TONS of photo ops. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t know who’s hilarious idea it was to create ‘the playdate’ scheme. There were at least 15-20 moms there and I’m sure I only talked to about 5 women total. The same women I’ve talked to at every other playdate. In actuality though, were there more than 5 women? Or was I so busy taking photos and watching my lil’ man run by that everything became a blur and my eyes started playing tricks on me?

When the storybook reading started, everyone sat down on the laid out blanket… everyone except for my lil’ man. Of course, my son has to be different from everyone else. Ok, let’s call it what it is – he’s one of the trouble-makers of the group. My friend’s son wandered off into the patch and of course – BIG surprise – my son quickly followed suit. So my friend and I are watching our little ‘delinquents-in-the-making’ heading off by themselves… HELLO! Remember us? Your moms? Why are we following you around? Shouldn’t you be liste- oh, what? Man! We missed the titilating, thought-provoking story… might as well take some pictures then…

Let me tell you that I feel like paparazzi at our playdates. The twisted part is that I’m actually the target. “Ok, turn this way – NO, WAIT! …ok, hey baby… VICTOR! hi! hello? …come back over here real quick, I want to get a nice pictu- VICTOR! NO! We don’t hit other people! …put the pumpki- VICTOR LUIS! I said NO! omg… hey girl, will you hold my camera real quick while I run down my kid and tackle him? Thanks, I owe you a tackle…”

And for the record, can I just point out real quick that when you ask a question and the other person keeps walking by you like if they didn’t hear you, people start thinking that you’re really losin’ it. Wait. Isn’t blogging the same thing?

OK, so moving on… we did the photos, the running around after the kids… now it’s time for the REAL fun to begin! We went into the microscopic-pumpkin patch (how cute! I feel like I’m easter egg-hunting) to select our pumpkins. My son had absolutely no interest in the whole activity besides throwing the pumpkin around. What a safety hazard! He could have hit another little kid. So I did what any other mother would do in a situation like this. I picked my own two pumpkins for my kids and then ran to get the stickers to decorate it. Gimme’ gimme’ gimme’! Where the hell is the sticker lady? OMG – did I just say ‘hell’ in a church pumpkin patch? Uh oh… where’s my kid?

I had such a blast running to all the possible photo op locations after that. I took pics of my kid, my friends kid, unknown kids, big kids, little kids, mommies… the best was when I had my picture taken like if I were a scarecrow. What fun!

We let the kids run around a bit more, trying to tire them out before getting back into our respective vehicles, and I struck up a conversation with one of the playdate mommies who had brought me a free Bebe Pod seat for my little one. WOO HOO! You mean I get to place him in that seat thingy and get a break from holding him? Amazing what modern-day inventions allow the chic mom to do huh? I mean, 50 years ago, who’d of thought that you could actually get something done throughout the day by using a lil’ plastic-seat? Hm. Why didn’t I think of that? I guess I can put away my duct tape now…

The kids all got a little treat bag filled with a mini bag of pretzels, a plastic kazoo-like thing, a mini bag of gummies, and a coloring page. My husband and I ended up eating the gummies – and the pretzels subsequently ended up all over my bedroom floor after I tried to get my son to eat them.

But back to the playdate. I promised one of the mommies I’d take my weight watchers information with me so she could use it and come to find out when I’m there talking to her that I forgot the instruction manual. Talk about being ditzy. And I had even written it down to remind myself too. Tsk tsk. I guess I have to plan my days with a little more ‘self-guidance’. Remember to eat breakfast. Brush teeth. Brush hair. Shower – wait, not in that order. Shower first then brush hair. Take weight watchers book to playdate. Remember to take 2 kids and do a head count to bring back 2 kids – personal resemblence to me IS important…

P.S. shame on you for not calling the cops after what I said in my last post… it’s been MUCH longer than 2 days. What kind of friend are you? Hmph. That’s right… walk away. I want you to go to your bedroom and think about this. The nerve…

pumpkins2.jpg  8.jpg  victorhispumpkin.jpg  t-seventeen.jpg  p-kinpatch.jpg

 

Playdate #5: The Birthday Party September 29, 2007

Why is it that as soon as you’re having fun, your kids start to go NUTS and do stuff they’ve never done before in their entire little lives? I’m talkin’ tantrums, hissy fits, crying, shouting, screaming, kicking, biting – whatever their favorite is at the moment and gets your (and everyone else’s) un-divided attention.

We were invited to a birthday party from one of the playdate mommies. Promises of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, drinks, cake, live music, toys / friends to play with, and plenty of adult interaction were made. Plus a “surprise”. I’m thinking, what a sweet deal! We can’t possibly miss this!

So we get there at the listed start time of 10:30am (me on my quest to not be late ever again) only to find out they had pushed it back an hour. My tremendous luck begins. Dim the lights, grab the popcorn, and cue the curtains please, the shows about to begin…

So anyway, I’m hanging out, mingling with the teens who are there decorating and what-not, and Victor will just not stop trying to climb on me or hide behind my leg. He’s like, instantly scared of everything and everybody. Now mind you, these were actually nice people! Nothing at all like those scary few you find every now and then. You know, those down-right creepy folk who look like they’ve either just escaped from a mental hospital or need to be put into one. And why do they always have that damn crazy laugh down?! So, back to my point… what amazes me the most is that my son will warm up to the creepy person faster than he will with the nice person. My son shares pleasantries with the loonies? WTF?! Meanwhile, since these are actually nice, decent people, I’m basically screwed. *Victor, enter stage-right! Cue the tantrum please!*

So I manage to stay there until about 11:30am (the newly scheduled start time), when everyone actually starts to arrive. I’m having “fun”, trying to mingle and talking to the other playgroup mommies (who arrived at the right time – go figure!), and Victor keeps whining and complaining. By 11:40am, he’s ultra-fussy and trying to get me to pick him up. Seriously, if I had wanted to wear him for the party, I would have at least thrown on a matching shirt to his or something… 

Well, I decide to cut our party-venture short after the crying and shouting starts, and I say goodbye to everyone. I swear the kid started to laugh it all up as soon as I closed their front door behind us. I look at his face and see the biggest smile in the world – giggles included.

Fast forward about 10 minutes. Where am I? At the Mickey D’s drive-thru. I’m suddenly hearing cascades of laughter, cheering, and kisses being thrown from the back seat. Was this part of his evil plot to leave the party? Did he see the Mickey D’s on our way there? And why is there always a Mickey D’s around every street corner – no matter where you are in the world? When I think about the fact that I had woken up at 6am this morning and skipped on breakfast because we were going to be FED at this party – delicious food good enough to skip breakfast for – I want to throw a fit myself! Who can I climb onto? (…don’t answer that…)

Now… MY theory is that my son was persuaded by my husband to act up only during the time we were at the party. Not a minute before or a minute after. Hm. Is that why my husband offered to stay home with the baby? Did he know it was all going down like that and want to save face from any possible embarassment of his own? What an evil, evil man…

But not to worry! We’re even now. I went to walmart and spent an average $70 above the “budget” he was so kind to give me for today. Ha! ME with a budget limit? I beg to differ… *smirk – wink*

bdaycake.jpg  vplayroom.jpg  victori.jpg  mickeyds.jpg  linnettesbreakfast.jpg

 

Playdate #4: The OVERSIZED Park September 28, 2007

Ok seriously. Do the people who plan these parks even have kids? This park had more escape routes for our kids than the actual number of kids we had there! …ok, so I’m exaggerating, but come on! Sometimes I wonder if I’m being filmed on some hidden camera show (and I used to LOVE reality tv… tsk tsk) where the sick, twisted host is plotting and laughing how to make the mom’s life more miserable.

“Ha! Mom #5’s kid has just found the hole we cut in the fence. Let’s see how long it takes her to figure out her child has gone AWOL. Meanwhile, let’s zoom back into Mom #3’s little girl Theresa to see if she’s still playing in the fire-ant pile by the sandbox…”

I’ve come to the realization that playdates are a sick, sadistic joke on unsuspecting parents. Where else do you go to ‘meet other moms and make new friends’ when all you end up doing is chasing after your – and sadly – someone else’s kid? I’ve never believed in those ‘kid leashes’ but they’re becoming more and more appealing… I wonder if I can get them to match my wardrobe?

OMG, and speaking of wardrobe… WHEN does the t-shirt wearing and flip-flops start? I try so hard to dress cute (as cute as a 65lbs overweight mom can dress) and end up with the same ‘outfit’ protocol each time I step out the door. Here’s my mental checklist:

1. Let hair dry on the way to playdate so it will be dry and bouncy by the time we get there.

REALITY CHECK: upon arriving at the pladate, end up fumbling through the diaper bag, my purse, and possibly the glove compartment and under the passenger seat for a hair tie. …where the hell does it go?

2. Wear a top that covers my breasts so I can bend down to pick up Victor and play with him without falling out of my top.

REALITY CHECK: …how the hell do my boobs end up hanging out of a turtle neck? hm.

3. Take water, preferably already ice-cold, snacks, and extra change of clothes for the kids “just in case”.

REALITY CHECK: Oh shit – I forgot the water… um, is this clothes dirty from the last playdate? What’s it still doin’ in here? WHERE is the snack cup? Did it fall under the car seat when we swerved off the road as I was getting the toy VIctor threw… again?

4. Bathe both kids and get them dressed all cute in color-matching clothes, shoes, and accessories.

REALITY CHECK: Is this shirt clean? Great, his pants are all wrinkled! Victor, WHERE are your shoes?! *go to throw out a  diaper and find them in the trash can after searching the whole house and officially ‘giving up’.* Well, I guess I can bathe them after the playdate… they’re going to sweat anyway…

5. Feed both kids so they won’t be as hungry at the playdate and we dont’ have to end up buying something extra.

REALITY CHECK: Whoever invented the ‘drive-thru’ is a God-send! It must of been a woman who was running late with the kids…

6. And speaking of late… head out early so we won’t be late getting to the playdate.

REALITY CHECK: …oh hey guys! Sorry I’m 45 minutes late!

oh the sweet torture of it all… but you know something? I still wouldn’t trade all of this craziness with my chunkie monkeys for anything else out there…

smiles.jpg  bigslide.jpg  jaimevictor.jpg  victor.jpg  victorjaimeme.jpg 

 

Playdate #3: The Puppet Show September 26, 2007

Filed under: today's playdate — L.Gonzalez @ 10:47 am
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This happened yesterday. It was officially our 2nd playdate but who’s counting right? (Did I mention I wrote in the wrong date on my calendar and showed up the day before that too? You can imagine my surprise when the girl at the counter had NO clue why I was there…)

I took the husband with me. And thank God I did! The venue was awesome. The price was really good too. We even got a discounted group rate. WOO HOO! The only gripe I had was that my toddler wanted to leave because he had seen ‘car’ toys on his way into the theater. How annoying. I don’t like to take them both with me to the mall by myself. Obviously because I’d end up like I have in the past – chasing down a toddler with a 15.5lbs baby flailing in my arms and my shirt riding up to show the world my beautiful fat. No thank you.

We got to see the Wizard of Oz. The kids were too cute, dancing around to the music and clapping along. Some got scared of the ugly, evil witch and I “awwwww’d” to that fact. The best part of these playdates of course is the fast-food. Ha ha ha… no seriously, it is. I get to excuse myself from any diet for the sake of my kids being able to eat after some serious playing. One of the perks of playdates I guess.

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Playdate #2: The Park

Filed under: today's playdate — L.Gonzalez @ 10:28 am
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This playdate is from last week. Now that was a lot of fun! This was officially my first outing out with the kids by myself, and I have to admit I had been psyching myself out for nothing.

I packed the diaper bag the night before so there wouuld be a minimal chance of me getting there late. I even google-mapped and printed the directions the night before too.

Now my toddler usually sleeps until 9a, so you can imagine my surprise when he comes strolling into my bedroom at 7am. I figured it was a “sign” and got up to make him breakfast. You can’t beat oatmeal as a good morning meal!

Got them both showered and dressed, loaded them both into the car, and we were off.

Wow. Did I bring the kids with me? *look at the back seat* Yep… they’re there. I was shocked, thrilled, excited – AMAZED – that they were both calm, quiet, and collected. I blame my husband for their crying all the other times we’ve gone out. I mean, he must not have given the baby enough milk before loading him into the car or something! And believe me, I’ve tried this newfound technique various times now and it actually works. What a phenomenon… you feed your child enough to satisfy him and he’ll stay quiet throughout the whole car ride – to AND from even!

So anyway, I was the first at the playdate – a park this time. I was afraid Victor wouldn’t want to play if he saw a bunch of kids hanging out in there, but by being the first one’s there – he had the park to himself and instantly wanted to play.

I must say, I’m so proud of my little man for the independence he showed. He did hog someone else’s ball, but then he opened up and started to share. Can’t blame him, it’s his first time at a park with other kids like that. And he’s only 2 years old…

I even got a treat when I got home and he had dozed off in the back seat. He NEVER naps throughout the day. It must of been about 1:15pm or so. THANK YOU playdate! …and thanks for the help my friend gave me by loading Victor into the car.

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Playdate #1: The Mall

Filed under: today's playdate — L.Gonzalez @ 9:33 am
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This was actually over two months ago or so – silly me.

Yes, well… I love being able to get to places on time. At least only 15 minutes late – TOPS.

Let me just point out here that I HATE depending on others to get to places. Needless to say, I was given a little lee-way from my playgroup in regards to making my first appearance because I had just pushed out a 10lb. 8oz. baby with no medications whatsoever. So I get up 2 hours early to get the kids and myself ready… only to get there an hour late – you know, when the playdate itself is actually over.

What a great first impression.

Oh, what? The playdate? Yea, it was a mall play area thing we all did. Operative words being “we all did”. I ended up purchasing some toys for my son and then eating in the food court with a fellow playdate mommy – and friend. *sigh* oh well, maybe next time…