Friend, Interrupted: Buddy Boy’s First Day of Preschool

    <p>
      Buddy Boy started an intense preschool today &#8212; 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 <em>first time ever </em>we&#8217;d both left our houses and returned to them without a kid in tow.
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      &#8220;Howya doin&#8217;?&#8221; 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&#8230;
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      <p>
        That&#8217;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. <em>S-T-R-E-T-C-H. Eeeew.</em>
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    <p>
      So, of course, we had to talk about Haight fashion for a while (&#8220;You couldn&#8217;t even sit down on the bus with that on!&#8221; observed Park Buddy.) Soon enough, though, we were back on topic, Park Buddy telling me all about how the preschool teacher looks like she&#8217;s around 12 years old&#8230;
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      <p>
        That&#8217;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.
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    <p>
      No, no no! Must get back to supportive, heads together conversation about our parenting challenges. Last night Boobaby had a crappy sleep schedule &#8212; up five times! &#8212; and we started to strategize about ways to convince Working Mom that we need a new sleep plan&#8230;
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      <p>
        That&#8217;s when Neighbor Lady With Dalmatian sat at the next table and we chatted about dogs for a while.
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    <p>
      What were we talking about, again? Park Buddy just dropped off her dog at preschool? No, no, her <em>baby</em>, that&#8217;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&#8230;
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      <p>
        That&#8217;s when New Kindergarten Dad dropped by to complain about San Francisco schools. As any S.F. parent will tell you, that&#8217;s a conversation that has no end. And it didn&#8217;t, basically.
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    <p>
      Wait, Boobaby isn&#8217;t sleeping well at night because she&#8217;s going to a San Francisco school? No, that&#8217;s can&#8217;t be right. Maybe we should have another cup of coffee&#8230;
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      <p>
        That&#8217;s when Nanny in Impossibly Uncomfortable-Looking Miniskirt pulled up with her two 8-month olds and we had to marvel at their cuteness.
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    <p>
      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&#8217;t this coffee supposed to be about providing mutual support and comfort? I guess we could talk about serious stuff. Sure.
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        That&#8217;s when the old guy fell off his mobility scooter on the corner.
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    <p>
      Oh, forget this silly concept of a private conversation. Who wants to be private, anyway &#8212; 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&#8217;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.
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    <p>
      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&#8217;re part of the neighborhood parent village, you never return to that sense of childless disconnection, ever again.
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    <p>
      Once a parent, always a parent, even when your kids are off somewhere else. And isn&#8217;t that kind of wonderful?
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