Playdate Material

Brandon and I might have met a Playdate Material kid at the park today (yes, read that like the kid version of “marriage material”). We go to the park a lot, and not just the park, but also to the children’s mueseum, the zoo, and other places where kids and moms are often loitering about. And never once have we met a kid that Brandon took an immediate liking to. He usually acts aloof: playing alone or with me, but not with them. He has a slight air of superiority, if I’m being honest, and I might have given that to him with my constant praise of him – telling him how he is so smart and handsome and funny.

But today was different. Brandon must have sensed something in the other kid that he could relate to. It started with the kid coughing while climbing the ladder. Brandon looked down the ladder and said, “are you OK?” showing his sweet nature with his concern for a complete stranger.  His mom called over to her kid to cover his mouth, and said his name, Sawyer. I perked up immediately. A few minutes later, I was at the swings with Holden and she brought Sawyer over to the next swing. I don’t usually chat up complete strangers, but I couldn’t resist asking if he was named after Tom Sawyer, thinking we might have children with literary names in common.

And then, for a half hour or so, I chatted with this woman about her job, her son, her daycare (same one Brandon used to go to, actually). She was fascinating and had a good energy about her – not snobby or overbearing or frantic like so many moms are. Brandon and Sawyer chased each other around the sand while we talked. Holden, who usually cries and screeches and screams,
remained calm in my arms, like he knew this was important: me having another mom to relate with, Brandon having a friend who isn’t an infant.

We went home as the sun was setting, and I felt a bit like a man who just met a woman at a bar. I didn’t want to be forward and ask for her number and make it awkward, but I certainly wanted us to run into each other again. I asked her if they’d be coming back to the park, and told her we’d be by a lot when the weather was nice again. I hope she wasn’t leading me on. I don’t want to become some crazy mom driving by the park hoping for a sighting of the only kid and mom combo my kid and I have ever been able to stand. That seems a bit desperate. But if that’s what it takes, I’m not saying I’m above it. Good mom-kid combos are hard to come by. Usually at least one of them sucks.

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