“Margorie, my younger son has come down with a cold, and I don’t want him around your kids because it is pretty nasty. If I could drop him off, Zachary could still come over for his playdate.”
“Sure,” she replied. “Will he let you do that?”
“I’m not sure. I wanted to talk to you before I asked him. I’ll talk to him now and then call you back.” I hung up the phone and went over to Zach.
“Zachary, Tom wants you to come over to his house. But Benjamin is sick, so I can’t come with you.”
“But, Mommy, you could drop me off!” Well, that answered that question. If only it had gone so smoothly in execution. Don’t get me wrong; Zach was perfectly happy to be left at his friend’s house, and the friend was perfectly happy to have him there.
Benjamin, however, was considerably less sanguine. He has come to regard playdates as a joint activity, and he was not pleased to discover that he was to be excluded from the event. Zach got to take off his shoes, enter the house, and go play with the trains, but Benjamin remained shod. As we walked away to spend the hour tooling around the neighborhood, he screamed: “HOUSE! HOUSE! Shoes off! Shoes off!” Only the promise of blueberries could soothe his soul.
Pickup went no better, with the child apoplectic that he had been barred from the festivities. Zachary, on the other hand, was happy as a clam.
“He’s really mature for his age,” the other mother said. “He can come back any time. He plays so nicely and behaved himself so well.” If only the same could be said for the shrieking twenty-one-month-old I was trying to drag from her front hallway.