Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Tried And Trusted

It is of immense importance to me to gain the approval of my parenting peers.

The moms and dads of the playgroups we attend.

You wonderful folk of the web.

And probably, most importantly, the parents of the other children at Max’s nursery and probable school.

Most of whom live in the same quaint hamlet as us.

Their acceptance and trust is most appreciated.

Not because it makes me feel better about myself, or reassures me that the job I am doing is good enough to be respected. Which incidentally are both quite beautiful by-products.

But, because, it means my wonderful little boy gets to live the same life as those around him.

Seeing him have the same opportunities, and get on the same guest lists as those he calls friends is a beautiful thing.

Because of our circumstances I always fear he will be labelled as that-kid-without-a-mom, or the smaller one from the village Laurel and Hardy combo.

And he probably still will be by some folks, unless our circumstances change of course.

Yet, the people really worth knowing, the ones that can open their minds, and mouths to us.

Accepting that a family can come in all sorts of forms.

Including ours.

These are the people I want to be sharing mutual appreciation with.

Their number is growing.

I think Max’s first proper birthday party actually helped.

More people got to see us in our own environment, a place we are immensely proud of.

Those that were still a bit hesitant, and a tad uncomfortable, were tipped, well and truly, over the edge, in the positive.

This week saw the return of nursery to the regular schedule. And I planned to have a settled week of eating well - and at the table - regular bath times, early bed times and back into the morning routine, excluding nothing, and still being out the door at 8.40 am.

Then on the morning of my child’s first day back, I got a call, at about 8.00 am, from one of his friends’ mothers.

She sounded dreadful and immediately apologetic, and with the big chill and snowfall, I was expecting to be informed that the nursery was closed.

Not the best of starts to my plans.

But unusually I was wrong incorrect with my assumption.

The sounding awful was due to a horrible cold, and she was hoping we could take her boy to nursery with us.

Really not a problem, actually a bit of a bonus, it was enough to get my reluctant heir excited about a walk in the cold to continue his learning anyway.

After I convinced this lad’s mother of that, we were on our way to collect him.

It is only about 20 metres out of our way.

And without being rude, when we got there, this lady did not look at her best, while still putting a brave face on it.

So, being as I am such a nice bloke, and ulterior motives are always in my big picture thinking, I offered to pick her lad up too, give him his tea, thus giving her a full day to recover, and Max someone to play with.

Fires, birds, stones and all-that.

After the mandatory are-you-sure/if-it-is-no-trouble protocol had concluded, it was agreed that was probably the best option.

I sorted it out with the nursery staff and duly collected the boys at the end of their session.

The walk home basically included a recollection of what each of us had got from Santa, much as out chit-chat was like during the journey in the morning.

Max actually got to demonstrate some of his at home.

They even nicked possession of my chair, to watch one of his DVDs.


Luckily that only lasted for about five minutes.

We all ate tea together, which was yet another wonderful opportunity to compare respective Christmas present inventories.

They were still unimpressed with mine, apart from the sweets I got of course, the mini scamps.

After tea, and sharing the aforementioned sugary things, our impromptu guest was collected by his father, and we were again thanked for our perceived kindness.

No problem at all.

And in fact.

We should be thanking you. Share/Save/Bookmark


T said...

Aw!! It is always fun to have our little ones spend time with friends. It gives me a break, for one thing. And yes, knowing that you're trusted by another parent speaks volumes about you, doesn't it?

I love the bit about the Laurel and Hardy combo. Great stuff!

Laura said...

Lovely! A few weeks ago I was that dreadful looking mother, unable to take my daughter to school. My only option was another mother who I chat to regularly in the playground. I am repaying her by having her daughter over for tea next week.

The Dotterel said...

You can try for ages to open certain doors, so-to-speak, which are then flung open by circumstances like that! Every cloud has a silver lining. Hope's she's feeling better.

Liz@Violet Posy said...

I'm so rubbish at the whole inviting people over for Lily to play with - now I'm feeling even worse! I'm glad your little boy had such a good time ;)

When I was working full time, I picked Lil up from school at 5pm and it seemed (unsurprisingly) most people didn't want to do play dates then - LOL!!

Now I'm a part timer, I should probably get off my butt now and do it - thanks for the inspiration!

Penelope said...

Oooh why didn't you live near me when my children were younger?
I'm glad you were able to help out and that your confidence got a little boost along the way :o)

Tismee2 said...

Where you live is the kind of place where I want to live. It sounds lovely and friendly - but not too friendly if you know what I mean?

I bet you leave your doors unlocked too?

Single Parent Dad said...

T - It does, and it is. Thanks for your comment.

Laura - See, so it works both ways. Purfect.

The Dotterel - She is, and I'm sure an invite to reciprocate will not be long.

Liz - You so should. Great for the kids, and it will give you time back too.

Penelope - Cause I was like, 12, and didn't fancy running away from my folks.

Tismee - Not quite, we like to keep hold of our nice stuff.

Crash Course Widow said...

That's one great thing about living 2 blocks from my sister--or more importantly, Anna's 2 cousins: I can ship her there, which is a big benefit to me, or I can have my niece over, which gives me a similar but slightly different benefit. (My nephew's 8 whereas my niece is 6, so it's not quite the same hooray-my-kid-is-playing-and-leaving-me-alone-for-a-while setup with my niece.)

And yeah, I totally get the "I should be thanking YOU" part. Gives me more of a parenting break when Anna has a playmate here (which doesn't ever really happen, except for with her cousins...I live too far away from her other playmates).

Glad you got the break and bonus points! =)

Crash Course Widow said...

Oops. I meant NEPHEW, not niece. So I meant with my "leaving-me-alone-etc. setup with my NEPHEW." Not that it makes one twit of a difference, except typos of the wrong-word variety annoy me. ;o)

dadshouse said...

Social acceptance for single dads is huge! It took me years to gain the trust of my neighbors and the parents of my kids friends. But once accepted, it's so much easier. We get together with other families for BBQs and such. Awesome.

Robert said...

You know what? You're a genuinely nice guy. You'll be accepted anywhere you want! And your son is lucky to have you for a dad.

Sorry if that sounds too gushy...

Single Parent Dad said...

Crash Course Widow - Now I know where to come to for grammatical correction, and I agree with your comment. It must be nice having cousins so close.

Dadshouse - It is. I'm making great head way in that department.
Being to some footy/bowling with one family, 40th birthday party, christening. It is all good.

Robert - Gush away. That's a really nice comment to get.

Penelope said...

Ha!! You were 12?? You're not THAT much younger than me - cheeky buggar ;o)

Jo Beaufoix said...

Ahhhh that was so lovely. MAx is very lucky to have such a cool Daddy, and I know, you're lucky to have him too. Miss M had her first friend over this week as her childminder's father died. It all went well which is a good thing as we're having her tomorrow, and next week for a couple of days too. I love listening to them interact, it's so funny. :D

Ella said...

Wonderful post. I have recently been that mother and I can honestly say I am so grateful to all the other parents who have helped me out. As one mother put it, sometimes it's nice to be asked to help.

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

That was very good of you - I'm sure not everyone would do that. I really must invite some peers round for R to play with. All my mum friends who come round have children either considerably older, or a year or more younger.

Single Parent Dad said...

Jo Beaufoix - It certainly is.

Ella - Thank you. And I concur, reassuring to be asked and also calling that favour back in.

Coding Mamma - There was a lot in it for me too. We did it again today in fact. But I know that is at least two moms I can add to my caught-short list.

Elsie Button said...

Hi there, just came here from coding mamma. it only takes one small thing to break the ice which leads to making new and lifelong friends, for you and for Max. Great!

Single Parent Dad said...

Hi Elsie - Thanks for popping over, and commenting, I hope you hang around!

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