Operation Friendship

We’ve been really lucky. In general, Declan’s friends have been all nice little kids. Mostly girls, of course, which is why he is so well-versed in the game of “Kitty,” but overall – really nice kids. In fact – our neighborhood school is filled with nice kids. It’s like a nice kid bonanza. Most days, we feel like we’ve hit the jackpot.

But, it’s been interesting to watch, now that Declan is in Kindergarten, how the friendships are shifting. The boys are aligning. And some of the bad boys are becoming cool. And while Declan seems somewhat oblivious to all this and insists he is still “best friends” with everyone, part of me started to wonder: When do true, meaningful friendships start?

And I kind of had an epiphany. I can control this situation. At least to a certain degree, at least at this age. Not that I want to manipulate Declan’s thoughts about any particular kid – we are very careful to NOT do that. But more that I could encourage friendships by inviting kids over more often, getting to know their parents, and – to be perfectly honest – *not* inviting over the kids who drive me bonkers with their Wild Child Loose On The Playground routine.

So, we invited 2 brothers over on Friday night, one from Declan’s class and one 3 years older. Two boys who we don’t know very well, but who have always seemed very nice. Two boys whose parents also seem very nice, if not a bit reserved on the playground. Parents who I may have scared a bit with my stalking behavior when I REALLY wanted a playdate… but were polite enough and trusting enough to follow through with our plans.

So they came. And rocked. the. house. Those boys where incredibly nice, polite and funny. They even tried Bryan’s pumpkin soup at dinner.

Get this! When the boys noticed the couch pulled apart (because our cat is an asshat and is peeing all over everything lately), I explained that the cat has a problem going to the bathroom in the right place… the oldest boy said – AND I QUOTE: “That must be really hard for you.”

But more importantly: They also played and laughed and had a GREAT time.

Proving to me that Operation Friendship is a GREAT fucking idea.

Yes, I know sometimes the playdates might not go as well as this time. They may suck. That’ll be OK too.

And leave it to me to make this into a “mission” when it’s really about spreading out and finding new friends at a time when life is all about finding new friends… But seriously, dudes…

Life is cooler when you do it to theme music.

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P.S. 30 Days of Thanks
I am thankful that there is now a light version of Mike’s Hard Cranberry Lemonade so I can consume a fruity fizzy alcoholic drink without the accompanying 270 calories.

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UDATED TO ADD: I hope the POKDHBFWF (Parents of Kids Declan Has Been Friends With Forever) don’t take this post the wrong way. KDHBFWF are freaking awesome and are wonderful friendships. This post is more about the new horizons at school, since hanging with KDHBFWF have generally been outside of school.

This article has 29 comments

  1. joansy

    Sounds like a great plan.

    Unfortunately the theme music in my head this week is It’s All Coming Back To Me Down (the long version) because I made the mistake of watching the video after seeing a Go Fug Yourself post on Celine Dion. My recommendation: if you’re going to pick a theme song, make sure it doesn’t suck. But may I please add it to your list for the break-up cd.

  2. Mr Lady

    You are really lucky in that school. The kid pool is pretty choice. 2of3 still cries weekly about missing his friends. One of them has started pen-paling with him. What 2nd grade kid pen pals with another 2nd grade kid? I HEART that school. Of course, I am sitting here trying to figure out which kids they were, ’cause odds are I know the older one.

    (You know you want to tell me…..)

  3. Groove Momma

    I love it when a play date works out so well.

    I’ve never tried Mike’s Hard Lemonade before, but I will now!

  4. URBAN PEDESTRIAN

    Ya. Once the get older you lose not only the companionship of your child as he/she goes off to socialize on his/her own, but the whole social circle of parents, too. Just look at the blog world of mommy bloggers — all with little kids.

  5. BreD

    isn’t it freaky when they start having friends??!! operation friendship sounds like a brilliant idea to me. ūüėČ

    i love your blog. and your wish to be able to sit around in pajammies all day just to read all the cool new blogs we are finding on nablopomo. so glad i found you!

  6. Sue at nobaddays

    Hmn. Will have to try the Mike’s Light … thanks.

  7. Gretchen

    You know I’m all for Operation Friendship… Every Friday my oldest gets to invite a different friend over after school.

    And the Mikes – very yummy indeed!

  8. Lisa

    It’s really hard when they’re young to get them to understand what a friend is. Even now my little man doesn’t *really* get it, but he certainly seems to be one of the more popular kids.

  9. Nancy

    It’s nice when they are young enough to be able pick positive friendships.

    Cranberry Mikes …. mmmm, I’ll have to try it.

  10. Joan

    My son is a 9th grader and they had their fall dance. He went with a group of 16 guys and girls. The majority of them have been together since kindergarten.
    As they get older it is very important to continue having their friends over even if they eat you out of house and home. Two of my son’s best friends are twins – talk about food.
    I have a 10 year old daughter, too. Unfortunately she’s been hit with mean girl issues. It’s tough.

  11. The Lisa Show

    “That must be really hard for you.”

    PRECIOUS! If I met a child like that, I’d make sure he and my child become BFFs. Screw being called a manipulative mom. Hehehe. Kidding. Sorta. This is why I should never be a mother, yo. And yes, I agree with the theme music.

  12. Heather

    It is indeed a bit of a revelation when you look around and realize these are the kids yours will be fraternizing with for the next 10 or more years. It can be a double edged sword. If they are good kids, like the brothers you had over, all the better. But if they are bad….been there and done that. Hope you continue to hook up with the good eggs!

  13. OHmommy

    Awww, what a nice new friend.

    We recently had a playdate with a nice new friend too. She left her headband at our house – so I packed it in my daughter’s backpack with a nice note attached – thanking her for the playdate. A little over the top – I know. But she was so nice!

  14. Melissa

    I’m taking notes.

    And I am going to go shopping for the Mike’s Light Cranberry Lemonade. Yum!

  15. Alex Elliot

    My 4 year old refers to his classmates as “friends”. I have to get a move on the playdate thing.

  16. Sarah Jackson

    oh gosh, kindergarten friends. My little one hasn’t truly clicked with anyone. She’s in a K/1/2 class so there are only 6 kindergartners and only one other girl. She wants to be friends with the other girls, but they think she’s too small. It’s so sad. She just sits in the corner and reads. So, if you have suggestions, I’m sure open to hearing them! Sounds like you know how to pick ’em!

  17. Charlotte

    Oh I also stalk the good ones, kids and their parents. It’s the way to go.

    Glad to hear your playdate was a good one!

  18. The Byrd

    Light Cranberry Lemonade? Time to head out to the store. Drinking AND blogging? Sounds good to me!

  19. Amy

    I like operation friendship. I try to do something like that myself. When my oldest was in Kindergarten it was very lop-sided boys to girls. So there were only 3 other boys in the class. He ended having one of them as a good friend for the last 2 years and he was a nice boy, just challenging for us to have around all the time. We moved to a new school this year and his friend pool has really opened up. Good kids all around. We’ve had lots of good playdates already with many more to come I am sure.

  20. soccer mom in denial

    Sigh… I remember those days. School is a bit more complicated for us and now we’ve got bullies to deal with.

    In little kid land it seems that everyone in my 3-year old daughter’s class thinks they are her best friend – all 20-something of them. But she only talks about one boy.

  21. Alpha DogMa

    What really sucks is when you ARE friends with the mother of a child who goes BAD, VERY VERY BAD. And you have to backtrack on the friendship.

  22. Andie D.

    We so need kid compatible AND parent compatible new friends! It seems like finding a good combination is sooooo tough.

    But if you keep reaching out, you’re bound to find some. You’ve just reminded me of that.

  23. Sassy

    Brilliant on the friends plan…

    And thanks much for the Mike’s heads-up. Now how to fit all those bottles into my suitcase for the orchestra tour…

  24. Poppy & Mei

    Hi!
    I came right over to get to know you a little better. I love chicks who say “fuck” & “asshat”. I think we are going to be firm friends…

  25. nutmeg

    Ohh! That’s Nathan’s drink. I can’t wait to tell him!

  26. Bryan

    I wonder if your acronyms will eventually be used as word verification phrases?

  27. samantha jo campen

    “That must be really hard for you” OMG! How awesome is that child?

    I want to scoop him up and put him in my pocket. Oh and if he ever comes to you for life advice, steer him towards being a shrink. Cuz with that response, I’d spill my guts to him for $150 an hour for sure.

  28. Jen Zug

    One of my best friends has The List. She has five kids ranging in age from one year to 15 years, so there is always a lot of activity at her house.

    The List consists of the friends who can come over anytime and stay as long as they want. They are friendly, polite, helpful, and go with the flow of a chaotic home. Other friends are high maintenance and need to be invited over during the right time.

    We sit around laughing a lot about The List, especially since one of my kids is on it and the other isn’t. And because of The List, I’ve gotten to know a lot of her kids’ friends (aka, potential babysitters!).

    Have fun making your own list!

  29. Anonymous

    Love the abbreviations at the end. HA!

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