Socks required and pinning other kids down is not a form of play

Sometimes I think the universe goes out of its way to help me prove a point. Yesterday, I wrote that I’ve adapted my parenting and though it’s mostly working, I am far from perfect (as if that even exists in parenting). But just to be sure that you know I’m not perfect, an indoor playground playdate happened.

In an effort to capitalize on playground bliss and do scary things, I forced myself to attend a playdate. I say forced because sometimes the comfort of your own home can be so reassuring. This isn’t so much about social anxiety as it is about fearing what others will think.  Our dog may look at me strangely, but I never wonder if he’s judging.  I know exactly what he’s thinking at all times.  Food and water.  That’s the extent of his thoughts.  It can be a little scary stepping out of this sheltered world where I only have to impress a dog and a toddler.

And of course, the playdate outing did not disappoint with its share of scary. For starters, my son decided that he couldn’t play alone today or rather didn’t want to play alone in the age appropriate play area. This meant not much sitting back and relaxing. Whatever I wrote yesterday? Scratch it all out. I take it all back. Hovering is an essential part of parenting.

He also wouldn’t keep his socks on. My heart was rattling. What will people think? Do they think I’m willfully disobeying the SOCKS REQUIRED rule? Will they think that I think the rules don’t apply to me? I held tiny blue socks in my hand as a good faith measure that I was really trying to obey the rules.

Of course, his not wearing socks is nothing compared to what happened next. If this playground was analogous to prison, then my son made other little boys his bitch. Coincidentally, he did this in parts of the play area where maneuvering as a parent was nearly impossible. Well played, little boy. Well played.

Of course, my deep shame and mortification exaggerates. It was mostly innocent. Mostly. Some pushing, grabbing shirts and lots bear type hugs that resulted in pinning a little boy down. I have to hand it to one mom. “I think he’s just playing. He probably just needs to find another boy he can wrestle with.”


Or maybe I should stop writing about parenting successes lest the universe think I’m tempting it to prove me wrong.

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