Before I get into our son's first play date, I must ask, why is it called a "play date"? Why can't it simply be called a date? Or does that imply something other than a meeting between two or more people at a previously agreed upon place and time? But I digress, it is merely me questioning the status quo and the terminology we use to label certain events or whatever. Back to the "play date" as we will so call it from here on out for lack of a better term and to keep any confusion out of the picture. The play date took place on Saturday, a little past high noon, at our friend's house in Trumbull. Outside of the children our son spends some of his days with at daycare, who are 2 and 4 years old, this was the first time that he has been up close and personal with another infant. The other young boy he met for the first time is a little bit older at 9 months, but in the overall scheme of things, its a drop in the bucket. At this age, its funny how 3 months separation can make such a big difference in their development. Our son's new friend is crawling up a storm, (the army crawl of elbows and knees) is a good deal bigger, and is starting to pull himself up. Besides that, however, they are merely two infants, fascinated with the world around them and eager to get themselves into trouble. I think our son was a little more curious in his new friend than the other way around. The other boy, while also interested in our little man, was also hell bent on crawling as far as he could.
What our son did accomplish, for the first time that we were able to witness, was sit up on his own for an extended period of time. It seems he is starting to gain his balance a little more. If he leans to far to either side or backwards, he does still tend to fall over, but it doesn't happen that often anymore and he has come to like sitting. Mind you, this was all at our friends house, so we were quite excited to see it happen. Beyond his sitting, he did his normal routine while there, searching for toys, often times the same ones that his new friend had in his hand or ones that his friend had discarded in search of another. The big difference that I noticed was that once our son had a toy, he liked to play with that one as much as possible whereas his friend would go from toy to toy to toy. There is a big difference in the amount of toys that our son's friend has versus what he has. His friend has a whole slew of toys strewn all around their living room while our son has a small box out of which we may take one or two at a time for him to play with. Even while there, our son tended to find the objects that weren't designed as toys, but were fascinating enough for him to play with. The one he found most fascinating was the clear plastic top to his friend's bottle. It rolled around and forced him to chase it everywhere with his almost but not quite crawl. All in all, we all had a good time over there.
I guess most of all, I am glad that I have at least one friend with a son who is very close in age to our's. It will allow our son to get more time with a child his age versus children who are his elders at this point. To me, it will be interesting to see how the two grow up, see if they actually become good friends, and how this will all work out. There are a few differences already that I am fascinated to see how they play out in the future. Our son began daycare at 3 months of age out of necessity whereas his friend is just beginning day care this week at 9 months of age. It will be interesting to see how his friend does in daycare and how his mother does coping with it. Essentially, his mother has been home with him for 9 months, working from home, and has had a lot more time bonding with her son than my wife had with ours. Over the course of our conversations on Saturday, she did express a little concern at how she would handle it with her son in daycare. For my wife, it wasn't that bad as she was only home for 3 months with our son, but we shall see. I am more interested in how our son's friend will handle the daycare and the new experience of being surrounded by a lot of other children where before he didn't have exposure to that many. Also, it will be interesting to hear of how he reacted to being separated from his mother for the first time in such a setting. I can imagine it might be a little more difficult for him, but who knows, he could handle it fantastically. In either case, is has been an exciting weekend and will continue to be exciting as time progresses and we see how their friendship develops.