Special Thanks to today’s
Buddy Boy started an intense preschool today — 9 to 3, five days a week. Since my mother-in-law is in town, giving me a baby-free morning, Park Buddy and I went to have coffee and commiserate: the first time ever we’d both left our houses and returned to them without a kid in tow.
“Howya doin’?” I asked, and she started to tell me how hard it had been to drop him off, but that Buddy Boy had come through like a champ…
That’s when Haight Street Hipster Chick walked by wearing a dress that, I swear to God, looked like one of those Greco-Roman wrestling outfits. S-T-R-E-T-C-H. Eeeew.
So, of course, we had to talk about Haight fashion for a while (“You couldn’t even sit down on the bus with that on!” observed Park Buddy.) Soon enough, though, we were back on topic, Park Buddy telling me all about how the preschool teacher looks like she’s around 12 years old…
That’s when Fertile Dad, father of 7, came over to tell us about how his youngest three kids are getting shots today, and compare pediatricians.
No, no no! Must get back to supportive, heads together conversation about our parenting challenges. Last night Boobaby had a crappy sleep schedule — up five times! — and we started to strategize about ways to convince Working Mom that we need a new sleep plan…
That’s when Neighbor Lady With Dalmatian sat at the next table and we chatted about dogs for a while.
What were we talking about, again? Park Buddy just dropped off her dog at preschool? No, no, her baby, that’s right, Buddy Boy went to preschool today. The school required that all parents leave by 9:30, but kindly provided a room downstairs for coffee and crying. Park Buddy started to describe the scene, which sounded like one of those disaster movies where broken-down people are sobbing all over each other after the plane crash…
That’s when New Kindergarten Dad dropped by to complain about San Francisco schools. As any S.F. parent will tell you, that’s a conversation that has no end. And it didn’t, basically.
Wait, Boobaby isn’t sleeping well at night because she’s going to a San Francisco school? No, that’s can’t be right. Maybe we should have another cup of coffee…
That’s when Nanny in Impossibly Uncomfortable-Looking Miniskirt pulled up with her two 8-month olds and we had to marvel at their cuteness.
Finally, something we can sink our teeth into: we started conversing about strollers, homemade baby food, corporate parents that would hire a nanny, frugal corporate parents that would find another family on craigslist so they could share a nanny. Still, wasn’t this coffee supposed to be about providing mutual support and comfort? I guess we could talk about serious stuff. Sure.
That’s when the old guy fell off his mobility scooter on the corner.
Oh, forget this silly concept of a private conversation. Who wants to be private, anyway — I prefer being part of the community! So we helped the old guy up (he was fine), sat and had a glass of water with him, then played with the nanny’s charges (what fun to hold a baby again!) until it was time for me to go home and Park Buddy to go pick up her newly-minted preschooler.
Park Buddy and I were under the impression that social engagements without our kids would be uninterrupted and adult-focused. Ha! Seems that once you’re part of the neighborhood parent village, you never return to that sense of childless disconnection, ever again.
Once a parent, always a parent, even when your kids are off somewhere else. And isn’t that kind of wonderful?