Bud tried to tell me. He knew he was going to be scared at the play date, and he was. You see, he was thinking through the implications of the play date much more thoroughly than I was. I was thinking about Hayden and Hannah. Bud was thinking about their baby sister.
Bud does not care for babies. He never has. I think it's because they are too much like dogs - noisy, unpredictable, confusing, quick-moving and, perhaps worst, attention-grabbing. And it's not just any attention they grab - it's my attention. For as long as I can remember I have been a baby magnet. I am drawn to babies - all babies, any babies - and they are drawn to me. And Bud knows it.
In yesterday's post I proposed that Bud was scared because he didn't know what to expect from the play date. I was wrong. I think he was scared because he knew exactly what to expect: If we have a play date, they will bring the baby. I will not enjoy the baby. The baby will try to be with Mom. This will bother me. I will seek comfort from Mom. The baby will be near Mom. I do not want to be near the baby. I do not want Mom to be near the baby. I will be scared.
The script he was using last night to talk about it - "It's going to get me! It's going to get me!" -now suddenly makes sense.
Luckily, we were only seconds into the play date when I figured it out. I kept my distance from the baby, but it was just not meant to be. The deceptively sunny playground had an icy cold wind blasting through it (a real one, not a metaphorical one). We moved indoors, but that put us in closer proximity to the baby, who got tangled in her sister's legs and started crying. She calmed down, but then Hayden bumped his head and he started crying. It didn't take long for Bud to walk up to me, coat in hand, and say "We have to get going. Put on your coat, Mom." Then to his friends, he added, "Good luck with the games, everyone!"
Good language, good self-advocacy, good problem-solving. Bad play date.