When Your Child Chooses Your Friends

By  | 

Recently, my husband and I took our daughter to the zoo on a Saturday morning. It’s a pretty normal weekend occurrence for us, as my daughter is obsessed with animals. So we got there right at the opening, strolled through the member’s kiosk and started talking to the bobcat. All of a sudden, my daughter was squealing in a pitch that’s normally reserved for a brand new Barbie. She was shaking with joy. I was pretty positive that the alligator had gotten out and she was thrilled with the idea of petting it. She has a thing for alligators.

Fortunately, we weren’t in imminent danger. My daughter had not seen her favorite alligator. She had seen a large head of red curls that belonged to her best friend, Jaden, from daycare. The girls’ voices were in an octave all their own. The thrill of seeing her daycare friend outside of Annie’s house was intense. No matter how much we tried to let Jaden and her family move on, the girls wouldn’t let go of each other. They were literally skipping and holding hands. That’s pretty difficult to separate. So Jaden’s mother and I looked at each other and decided, we’d tour the zoo together.

My husband and I spent four hours with a couple that we’d never said more than a couple sentences to at drop-off. We tried to create small talk, while the girls enjoyed the zoo. We awkwardly apologized to each other for crashing family time. It really wasn’t that bad. Jaden’s parents are extremely nice and we had a wonderful time. But honestly, we never would have spent our morning with this couple if our daughters weren’t friends. And this is just the beginning. My daughter is only in daycare right now. As soon as school and activities start, my daughter will make more and more friends. I’ll be expected to entertain and socialize with these little kids’ parents.

I supposed its only fair. My daughter doesn’t always get to choose her friends. Whether my  best friend’s little boy picks his nose or never shares his toys, she still has to play with him. Her cousins are all boys, so she had to learn to love superheros or play by herself. I guess I’ve always chosen the kids that my daughter would spend her time with. Apparently, this is going to become a two-way street.

In our first experience with child-induced friendship, we got pretty lucky. Jaden’s mother and I are already planning to get the girls together again. We had a lot in common and our kids play nicely together. I’m sure it won’t always be this easy. But I wonder what I’ll do the first time a new mommy-friend and I don’t hit it off. How do you pull your child away from their friend simply to avoid this kid’s parent?

So, dear readers, what about you? Do you have any mommy-friend advice? Or horror stories, those are always welcome! How do you deal with your children deciding who your new bestie will be?

(Photo: Thinkstock)