Playdate at Pen Park

After the teacher’s conference, we decided to try to set Calvin up for play dates again, this time without asking him for his opinion. The last time when we tried to be democratic about it, he always said “No”. So we followed their advice to ‘Just do It’. We arranged for him to go to the park with another boy, C, who is a little younger than him (3 months by adjusted age) and somewhat similar temperament – easy going and likes to play independently.

We were a little late thanks to some road construction. By the time we got there, the kids were hungry for a snack so we started off by sitting down together, eating and sharing some crackers and grapes. Coincidentally, C’s mum was teaching in Johnny’s department some years back, even though she’s now a stay at home mom. So I guess she has even more years of studying “wasted” by staying at home. I instantly felt some rapport with her.

Calvin started running off the play by himself at the playground while C was still finishing his snack. I started playing ball with C before I said “Is Calvin hiding? Let’s go look for him”. So off we went to look for my little red blur of activity. I played together with the two of them to help bridge the communication gap. In Calvin’s mind, he was probably just playing with mama. So we pretended to be on a spaceship that crashed. I got them to play side by side for a while. Then Calvin decided he wanted to play ‘Hide and Dash’ with his dad. We got him to go over to C and his mum and explain how the game should go so we could all play together. I got the opportunity to teach him to look at his friend when talking. And then we were off, dashing off to hide and then when we were found, we would dash off to hide at another place. I certainly got some exercise this morning.

After a few rounds, Calvin wanted to continue but C wanted to play something else. Calvin was surprisingly able to accommodate and followed his suggestion to play an “Up and Down” game where they take turns climbing up and sliding down a slide and then zapping someone with their static 😛 Then Calvin wanted to play tag, so we had more dashing fun before it was time to go home. I am glad the two of them had a good time and played well together. We’ll probably have more play dates soon 🙂


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