Wednesday, July 11, 2007

looking for love


Lately we have been on a bit of a mission.
Not a mission that unlike the one many of my single friends who are looking for companionship are on.
No...not that kind of a mission...tsk tsk..I'm far too conservative for that kind of kinky stuff.
Our sex life may be a tad lack lustre, but I'm not quite that desperate.
I'm talking about finding new "parent friends".
Not really for us, per say.
More for Lulu.
We already have a fairly full social circle,most of whom we really don't get to see enough as it is.
But many of our friends don't have children, and the ones that do, we always seem to have a hard time jiving our schedules or their kids are still a little too young for lulu to really "play" with.
So we have decided to come out from under our anti-social rocks and try to make an effort to make new "parent friends" in the neighbourhood.
But it's proving to be more challenging than I thought.
When it was just the two of us, it could also be a challenge to find like minded, fun couples to hang with where we actually got along well with both people.
Four different personalities can be tricky.
You add a couple of extra pint sized personalities into the mix and it's even more difficult.
We've had a few "dates" with some new families in the past few weeks.
The first family big daddy knew through work, so we invited them over.
They have a daughter around the same age as Lulu and live close by so we had high hopes.
Hmm, we have similar careers, kids the same age, same neighbourhood...things are looking up.
But as nice as this couple was (is) their daughter was far from social to lulu.
Lulu wanted to show and share all her her toys but this little girl kept hoarding them or worse throwing them at her.
Lulu is super affectionate and extremely sweet, loves to play with other children and is very kind and gentle, but this kid could care less.
Eventually Lulu just gave up and kept her distance.
The parents were very apologetic and I think pretty embarrassed.
So the evening turned out to be a bit of a bust.
On a few other occasions we have met up with other couples and same thing, the parents are nice, but the kid is aggressive.
I know I'm probably being overly protective, but how can I not, when my sweet little girl just wants to play nice?
There have been a few exceptions, in one case she gets along really well with a little girl on the street, but unfortunately her parents (mom) really isn't someone I feel comfortable around.
Or there is another little girl who she plays extremely well with, the parents are great, they live close by- but..
They are super strict when it comes to bed/nap time (as in 6:30-7) so bbqs and evening get-togethers are not really an option.
We were starting to get a complex and wonder if maybe we are being too picky.
when finally, a few weeks ago a new family moved in across the street.
and they have a little girl around the same age as lulu.
Bonus.
fingers crossed.
they invited us over for a bbq.
we had a ton in common (crazy stuff, like the fact that my mother-in-law knows their mother and that they are from the same place out west...small world)
The kids had a blast.
so did we.
Finally.
I never imagined it would be so hard to find other families that you have things in common with.
People who you can hope to be close friends with years from now.
Building relationships takes time so we need to be patient (at least that's what I keep telling my single friends)
I just want Lulu to have some of the same experiences as I did growing up.
Like for example, Pizza night every Friday with the family down the street alternating from house to house each week.
We all still keep in touch 25 years later even though we all live in different parts of the country and have moved many times since.
Or drop-ins on Christmas eve with the neighbours. (or Chanukah in big daddy's case)
Why isn't there an on line "families seeking other families" web site?
oh..yeah..I guess it's called blogging.

Our tag-line might read something like this:
Fun (or at least we like to think so) Family:seeking another fun family to have occasion bbq's, get togethers and play dates with.
Kids must be kind (for the most part), not into hitting, pushing or biting and not into running wild & trashing the place.
Parents must enjoy food & wine, interesting conversation (but nothing too deep- too hard to actually have an uninterrupted conversation with small kids in the vicinity)
and have a good sense of humour (especially in a sarcastic kind of way)
and at the very least be half as picky as we are.

oh and if you are reading this and we know you (L&B, C&D, D& L or Jb., MM & BP , J & hub & J, D &L or any of our awesome childless pals) you know this doesn't apply to you, and we wish we could see you all more often than we do. ;)

12 comments:

Cheryl said...

I hate to admit this, but it does make a difference when you socialize with friends who also have kids. However, I also adore my single and "child-less" friends. I wish you well on your mission. Try hanging out at your local parks and child friendly places in your neighbourhood.

indigo herself said...

we fit the bill except for the kid part. i wonder if you can rent one? kidding of course. i can relate to this quest though because we find it tricky to meet couples, the only ones we hang with are either an old friend of mine or his -- and their partner. which is nice but makes the dynamic kinda uneven. when the conversation veers to the good old days, someone ends up left out. we actually met this one couple at a bar, it was someone dN met over the phone while scouting venues for our wedding (we were looking for a gallery type space)and thought it would be fun to hang with the guy and his partner as a couple because at the time we were both engaged and had similar professions etc. turned out they invited their coworkers to our pub meet up, snickering behind our backs as though we were these internet swingers. far from it! needless to say we're not in touch any more. it was like you had spinach between your teeth all day and no one told you. i can imagine it's a tricky project with kids too, how did our parents make it seem so effortless?

Ms. Porter said...

oh i recall this stage with my first. it sucked quite frankly. i knew i had to meet new moms for my daughters sake (so the kids could play together) but it seemed i didn't like the moms, the kids, or my daughter didn't like the other child! it was horrible. i really found it changed when my oldest started preschool. we opted for a small co-op preschool simply so she and i both could benefit from the experience...and it worked. i met several great moms and we all became friends. the kids all knew how to get along and liked each other from preschool. the moms all shared their friends so i was able to meet more women/kids. the moms all had great suggestions for other activities that i've since done with my daughters and met other moms...so it grows and grows. it's been really great, and i have benefited far more than i ever thought i would.
good luck, it will happen...wish i lived near you!

...and so on it goes said...

What if I told you that we were moving back to Ontario?

Gabriella said...

this is a tough thing to do, alot of people automatically assume because you have a child you'll get along wonderfully with another mom with a child. Not so! In my neighbourhood I have one mom friend with a little boy but we barely see each other as she has her son in daycare. It's tough to meet new people, single or married.
Like Ms Porter said, I wish we lived near you guys, I think our daughters would be great playmates!

Sarah said...

Yes...that is a tough one. I say keep working over those fun neighbors across the street! Unless you want to hop Lake Huron for a BBQ with us? :) Lulu and my Luce would have a ball together...bummer...

andrea said...

This has been one of the biggest challenges I have faced as a new parent. I naively thought having a child would make it easier to make new friends, when in fact it has been extremely difficult.
We live in a neighborhood full of young families, but our son falls right inbetween two waves of babies, he is too old (for the time being) for the younger set and just isn't ready to hang with the older kids. Mix that with groups of parents, whom on the surface we seem to have a lot in common with, but it turns out we have different parenting styles, different schedules or just don't seem to mesh, we are still looking for parent friends.
I was lucky enough to join a new parents group early on and have met 3 women with sons the same age that I really do like to spend time with. The problem is that my poor husband just can't seem to find any common ground with their husbands. So while they are great for afternoon playdates, they don't work out so well for family get togethers.
I am holding out hope for the coop preschool we start in the fall, there are 20 children and I feel like there should be at least a few with whom we can find enough in common with to enjoy an occasional dinner out.

Best of luck in your search!

kittenpie said...

Yeah, we are pretty happy that we have some neighbours and daycare families who are close enough to where we are at on those things to work.

We met another little girl and her father the other night though, and the kid was being pushy and obnoxious and her father asked if she was playing okay. But what can you say to someone you just met? No, your kid's a brat?

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

We've been on the same quest! How funny! We have met one family that lives around the corner. Our sons are the same age (about 1 week apart, actually!) and they go to preschool together.

It would be nice to find more similar families, though, I agree. I'm also quite inclusive, in that I will invite lots of people along if I can, and not everyone is the same.

Don't know if you live in our neighbourhood, but my older son is 2.5 and pretty good about playing with others...most of the time, anyway!

amanda said...

We have the same problem as Andrea... I have met a few people that I get along with and Jack loves the little ones, but E is on a completely different page. It's tough. Good luck with the new neighbors. Too bad we're not neighbors - Jack's a little younger, but sure does love the ladies. :)

Ms. Porter said...

You've mentioned that you've been in my neck of the woods before...I really want to tell you about a fantastic restaurant....perhaps I will post about it (I can't post about a meal/restaurant like you can!).

crazymumma said...

aw.

wish you lived next door.

we are the house on the street where all the kids end up. I think it has to do with hot dogs and benign neglect oh....and the fort with the swings.