Only Child and Playdates
As parents, some of us think that having several children is best, while others think that having one child is preferable. I will admit that when I first thought about having children, I wanted more than one, but it appears there were other plans for me. On a positive note, I ended up with the most healthy, beautiful little girl.
When she was little, it was easy to entertain her and her naps helped to bridge that period of time between entertainment and having to get things done. Now that she is older, she wants to have playdates with friends and other children her own age. So, I find myself in a situation where I am continuously looking for a playmate for her. And, when she does not have a playmate around, I feel guilty if I say, “watch TV while mommy does work or cleans”. Whether you have one child or more, no parent wants to disappoint their child.
When we first moved to the United Kingdom, my husband and I made the decision to put our child in a small private school with just seven children, which has since dwindled down to six. The problem with having only six children in a class is that there are very few kids to play with especially over the holidays. Consequently, I have been on a mission to make sure that my daughter has more playmates locally. During the past few weeks, we have been successful at increasing the number of playmates. Hooray, we would all say.
In America, we normally call our friends before dropping over for a playdate. It seems as if our new friends do not have the same philosophy. Last Sunday, there was a knock on our door at 10:41 am. When I opened the door, the new friend was standing there and her father was standing across the street. The little girl looked up at me and asked if she could come over and play. The part of me that was thinking, “where are your manners?” wanted to give her our number and say, “Have your mother or father call me first and ask if it’s a good time for a playdate”. And then I see my child standing there with a big smile on her face. So, I open the door and for the next four hours, I was terrorized by a six and eight-year old screaming and running through the house.
I know that being an only child can be a lonely existence. While I was not an only child, a good bit of my early years was spent alone at my grandmother’s house. Because of this, I want to make sure that my child does not experience the loneliness that I often felt. But, I will say, I continue to struggle with the parent who just drops their child off without warning.