They have coping skills!
I’ve mentioned before the playgroups we go to for Olivia. Today was no different. I have gotten to where I like the feeling of social interaction. Olivia likes it a lot. The boys like that they get fast food. It’s usually an all around win.
Well, today, I messed up. I forgot last night to make sure the iPads were charging. I left a little early thinking I’d get out before Olivia started getting fussy. I bought lunch at 11 instead of 12 to beat the lunch rush (normally crowded fast food place).
One iPad was charged completely, but the other wasn’t. Short term, it wasn’t a big deal… but when we typically stay at the playgroup for 2-3 hours, in the end, it meant one child got bored. Since I bought lunch an hour early, it also signaled to one child that we would be leaving relatively shortly after he was done eating. While I did convince him to stick around with ice cream, it didn’t mean he didn’t struggle with the change in his expectations.
The other child, while used to the smaller children crowding his iPad, he did get overwhelmed. It’s a lot to take someone or multiple people looking over your shoulder for every movement. Most people aren’t comfortable with that persistent presence.
I kept telling my friends, the other moms, that I didn’t know how much longer we’d make it. But I kept getting a similar response… That it seemed like the boys were fine. It’s true. They did seem fine. One child kept going into the bathroom for breaks, or he’d go in to get a refill on his drink (which helped him actually need the bathroom breaks). He’d come back out and resume his activity with the smaller kids attached. The other? Well, he kept updating me on the time. He’d check in with my watch too. He found places to get away from the babies and toddlers which he struggles with (I assume because they’re so unpredictable).
Honestly, I probably should have left after we got through eating, but I really wanted Olivia to play (which she did).. I really wanted to talk to the other moms (which I did, kind of). But at the end of the day, it wasn’t a total failed attempt. The boys were not overwhelmed when we got home, so I don’t think I pushed them too far. And I think it just goes to show that they have a lot more skills than a lot of people give them credit for. And while it may have been better not putting them through the discomfort, I don’t know if leaving early with the assumption that they couldn’t cope would have done them justice either.