Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Social Butterfly

So my kid is a bit of a social butterfly. He has recently taken to wanting to have people over, or arrange play dates REGULARLY. Saturday morning, 8am, he says "Mommy, I want to have a play date with Aidan. Let's go to his house. Now." Of course I had not arranged anything with Aidan's mother, for that day or any other, and didn't know if it was going to be possible, but certainly wasn't going to go to their house at 8am on any day. So I emailed her. Then I texted another friends' mother, to see what they were up to. Neither of them was available Saturday, but we did manage to have play dates with both of them on Sunday.

First up was another super hero summit with Aidan.

Then we met our friends William and Kathy at a park near their house, which had a HUGE slide and fabulous views of the Boston skyline.

I am having fun with the Instagram app on my iPhone, can you tell? This is Cooper chugging up the giant hill he had just run down. There is nothing like running all over hill and dale on a blustery March afternoon to work up an appetite and wear a boy out.

But about this social butterfly thing. It kind of stresses me out. First of all, it is just not in my nature to plan my day away with activities. On the weekends I like things to be a bit more spontaneous, with few actual scheduled activities. But that is BOOOORIIING if you are four, apparently. It is also hard if people just are not available. Cooper must have asked 12 times in one hour to make a play date. I know in a few years he can be more in charge of his own arrangements, possibly just running next door to see if the kids are home and want to play. The problem with that plan is at least one family often is not home. They are on the go. We did manage to get in half an hour playing with Cooper's favorite neighbor, his brother on Sunday too, which was great.

Next month we begin two sports, T-ball and soccer. Both are just once a week, for like an hour, but it will be a social opportunity, a chance to meet more people in the neighborhood, kids he will go to kindergarten with in another year (GAAAAH! My kid will go to kindergarten in a year! ON A BUS.) And they will offer the chance to run around and burn off energy. Because Cooper loves to run. It might be that The Bob finally got a runner in one of his kids. That is his thing, and so far neither of the older boys showed much interest. But Coop runs whenever he gets the chance. He acts out being The Flash, moving his arms really fast. And he is fast. If he can eventually figure out the coordination needed for kicking a ball while running, he might make a great soccer player. Or if he can catch a football, hang on and run, he might make a decent football player. Who knows. For now I just need social activities for him that burn energy.

But I also don't want him to be over scheduled. He needs to understand the value of quiet time, of being by himself, playing alone. That will come. It is all about balance I guess. He will force me to stretch beyond my comfort zone, for the zillionth time, by becoming his social coordinator, which is not such a bad thing. But I fully intend to put The Bob in charge of some of this activity too! Share the wealth and all.


Laura said...

Oh silly me, I thought that just indicates that it's time to have another offspring! No more alone time then! HAHAHA

Oz said...

Axel's a social butterfly, and that playdate thing stresses me out, too. Now he's starting to request sleepovers, with multiple friends. I don't even know how he knows about sleepovers, but I do know that I am not ready for that at all.