I came up with an obnoxious summer bucket list for my girls: two events a week all around our town, a good variety of freebies and investments, and a group of 30+ people on the mailing list in case they want to join in.
I’ve quickly realized I didn’t create it for my kids at all! Besides the wonderful friendships that my girls are able to maintain, the new people we’ve all met and the awesome places we’ve been exploring, the most wonderful part of this calendar has been parallel parenting.
In all the childhood development literature, we know to be on the lookout for parallel play in toddlers as a natural step in their social development. What they don’t tell us about is how parents with toddlers also experience their own form of parallel play. Two Moms (or Dads) can be in the same place, at the same time, doing the exact same activity with their kids and manage to know exactly how the other feels without even sharing a conversation! How on Earth are we supposed to converse when we’re struggling with split-brain personality… Two children running in opposite and equally dangerous directions?
I know when we’re having a good time or when we’re done before we can get to the third layer of paint on our pottery “project”. I know we’ve all pulled teeth (some literally) to get out the door that morning but we survived! We can empathize with the parents who got no sleep the night before and are functioning in a haze. And when our precious toddler darts off, someone can step in and grab your stroller with your littlest one.
Even though I don’t know most of your hopes and wishes, your 10-year plan or the things you’re struggling with, my desperate need for a lot of social interaction is fulfilled when we can parallel parent together! Maybe someday soon we can sit down and talk but for today, just know I’ve got your back!
I can’t thank you all enough for coming along on this wild ride 🙂