Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Social Awkwardness

Big Kid really needs some friends. He's lonely and bored and kind of crabby.

However, I want no part of awkward play dates at neutral, annoying, kid-filled places with moms I wouldn't otherwise choose to hang out with. I want friends dropped off at the house and then I want the kids to go to the playroom and do their own thing.

I don't know how to make that transition though. I think his classmates' moms know me well enough but I still feel a little weird calling and asking them to drop off their kids. His favorite male friend is the one with the socially awkward mom and she mentioned that she doesn't allow birthday candles due to the potential danger, so would she (and should she?) drop her kid off at my house?

Do I want her kid at my house?

We joined an organic co-op and when I went to sign up, my boys had a great time with the co-op owner's 6 and 7 year old sons and then we discovered that they live one street down from us. I can see her house from my front yard. The co-op is on break for summer but I do have her email address (and she lives within sight). Do I just ask if her boys can come over to play or will we most likely have to hang out first, or what? I keep hoping I'll see her outside with the kids but I never do. She is a juicing guru and my dad did just give us a juicer, so I could always use that pretext for getting back in touch. God, I'm such a dork. Who knew becoming a mom could create such social awkwardness? I thought kids just got together and played, I didn't think I'd have to do so much facilitating to make it happen.

I let Big Kid call Ahsiya this evening because he's been asking for days. He just misses her like crazy. The other day out of nowhere he told me, "You know what? I've been finkin' and I loved Ahsiya since da first day of school. Da very first day." After days of begging to call her, and after making her mom understand who he was and who he wanted, he sat there silently once she got on the line. He covered the receiver and hissed, "I don't know what to say!" at me and I whispered to ask about her summer. Awkward pauses and "What?" "What?" "What?" followed for a minute or so. I told him to tell her that he missed playing with her, and he did--loudly and with a smile. Then her mom got on and said that Ahsiya would call him right back, that she needed the phone really quick and then she would call him back at this number and was that okay? He said it was and hung up.

He was happy and went back to watching television and doing his own thing. He even thanked me and gave me a hug for letting him call her. I noticed that she didn't call back, but figured he forgot and was happy with the conversation they had. Right before bed he said, "But Ahsiya's sposed to call me right back. I been waitin' all dis time. I need to talk to her so bad." Ugh.

Did she forget? Feel too shy to call? Not want to call? Why oh why didn't she call?!?

The whole thing is just painful to watch.

I hope it gets easier as they get older.


Peggy's Place said...

I'm too old to worry about what other people think. If you want to invite juice mom's kids over, just ask her if she would like a few quiet hours of her own and her kids can come over to play. What's the worst that can happen? She says no? OK, her loss. Maybe awkward mom could come over with her kid and have a glass of tea, or wine, she could see how well the kids get along and maybe relax a bit.
Just take a couple of deep breaths and do it!

Charity said...

I am also a socially awkward mom even though I had a lot of friends growing up and am a Girl Scout leader. I can handle kids, I just can't handle talking to adults. I get all geeked out, then worry later if they liked me. I don't know why it bothers me so much, but I always feel like a little kid next to other parents.

Lin said...

lol...my mom would never let my brother and I stay over at someone's home unless she was there. Needless to say, I'm not very social & neither is my brother.

Now every time she complains about us being antisocial we tell her it's her fault. I think you should simply approach the mom(s) & ask if they'd like some time to themselves, to do whatever...you'd be glad to have their child to hang out with yours.

Good luck!

E said...

I moved to a new willage here in the UK around the same time you moved (also into rented!) and have been going through the same thing with 'facilitating' friends for my kids. I decided to grit my teeth, make a tit of myself, join committees, elbow my way into exising social circles, because the alternative was me and the kids having no friends. And you know what? Everybody has been SOOOOO nice. I just say, 'I'm new here, I think my son plays with yours sometimes at preschool, can we get them together sometime?' And juicing a pretext is perfect. Use any opportunity. Good luck in the social minefield.

Bren said...

We haven't hit that time yet but I would be the same way - trying to find some reaason for calling and randomly dropping in the play thing. Good luck to big kid finding some regular play friends!

mmunford2000 said...

social awkwardness...on whose part? yours or Big kid's? Just call. Or better yet have Big kid call and ask if they can come over and play. You have issues girl!

Anonymous said...

Agreed. It would be great to have some friends right down the street, and I'm sure she'd be happy to get her kids out and playing too!

On a side note, at the risk of sounding like a total freak, I'm in love with Big Kid. He's so sweet it brings a smile to my face every time.

Former Fat Chick said...

wait until they wake you up blubbering at 1am becasue the girl just DUMPED them...oh, it's so BAD!

OMG, I have a bannana picture for little kid, where do I e-mail it?

Joy said...

It is REALLY hard trying to figure it all out!

It has gotten a little better, but I still feel so weird sometimes. We have been lucky to make a couple really good friends thru school and baseball.

But then you have the whole "will I offend them with something I do or say?" Like he wanted to have one of his really good friends over for the 4th and I have hung out with his mom and had them over before But I wanted to drink on the 4th, but will I offend them? how do I ask with out seeming like an alcoholic who needs her fix:)?

It is so hard to make friends! I think that is why one of my closest friends is one I made in high school.

Unknown said...

I think (hope) it will get easier once we get into the age where moms aren't expected to be there--it's just hard to tell which moms are already at that stage. True that all they can do is decline.

I've tried the general "If you ever need some time to yourself, bring the kids to my house for a couple of hours to play" with a few people but I think I need to be specific with a date and time or it doesn't happen.

Contacting the organic lady will be my goal this week. I seem nice, buy organic, and live within sight...surely she'd trust me with her kids for a few hours.

Yes I do have issues.

FFC, send it to ashleysclosetblog(at)yahoo(dot)com. We just got bananas yesterday, so your timing is good because the battle is on.

Jennifer said...

I'm not good at this either, but mostly because I don't want other poeple's kids in my house. My two are enough. LOL

Anonymous said...

big kid and my child were seperated at birth, ... except my big kid is 11 now. no, it does not get easier. "why didn't s/he call me back?" is the big question. sometimes i think maybe her paretns adhere to the old "girls do not call boys" thing i was raised with, so maybe that's why. maybe they forgot. maybe they think my kid is weird. maybe maybe maybe. it doesn't end. BUT, ... then my little kid, age 10 (also seperated from your little kid at birth. cut from same cloth i swear), will just pick the phone up and recall the person w/o even mentioning it to me (sometimes, like 1,000 times, no boundries). and i'm like, "yeah, he just called her/him back. no biggie". and it dawns on me, they are so different. but i am also so different in how i feed into them. maybe if i took a more "geesh, just call her back" approach with big kid and a more "maybe you're calling there too often, give it a rest will ya" attitude with little kid then they'd be pulled more toward the middle? it's like i exacerbate their weaknesses by feeding into them. am i making the whole thing worse? (insert maternal parenting guilt here). see? and they're almost teenagers. so, i say, keep doing what you're doing, throw up a prayer for the best, and pour a glass of wine even if it's 11am.
peace out.

Anonymous said...

What I've done is say to other mom's "Hey, my big kid would like your kid to come over and play. Would you and he be comfortable with dropping him off or would it make you more comfortable to come with him the first time?" and just put the ball right in her court. My socially awkward kid was never comfortable being dropped off until she knew the parent well, so I'm more sensitive to other kids/parents who might feel the same way. I have to be honest, I'm not that comfortable dropping my kid off somewhere until I know the adults in the home a little bit. BUt I'm paranoid because I work for CPS!

Unknown said...

Oh gosh... it could go one way or the other when he's older
a)same exact scenario that you spoke of in this post
b)same scenario that you spoke of in this post happens, he shrugs his shoulders & picks up the phone to call another girl!