- Birdie, age five
- LaLa, age three
- Pearl, age one
My new friend Sarah K. wrote a post that reminds me that I am confused. When the ages of your children are so close, they will sometimes have friends crossover. Girls who are Birdie's age that LaLa considers her friends as well. For instance, this year is the "odd" year birthdays for both Birdie and LaLa... Odd birthdays are the years that we have a "friends party." LaLa insisted on inviting Sunshine as one of her three guests. You know... three years old she gets three guests, five years old gets five guests and so on. Sunshine was invited to Birdies party, but she was also one of LaLa's three guests for her party. Sunshine is four, but she is actually closer to Birdie's age, and they are in the same class in Primary.
Here is the thing. Often these girls who play so well together here in Chaos, they don't consider LaLa to be a friend back. Or they don't think about it, or it's up to their mom... but the upshot is
that LaLa is usually not invited to go with Birdie when the playdate is at their house.
I have mentioned this to several moms of Birdies friends in the past, but they still do not invite LaLa. Am I the one who is lost? Am I trying to shield LaLa from a natural bummer that comes with being younger?
The other side to this is that when Birdie is invited but LaLa is not, the sobs and tears from LaLa are genuine and heart rending. Poor Birdie is such a squish, and she will often end up crying and hugging LaLa back saying things like "I will miss you TOO LaLa! why can't LaLa go!??" And I am the heartless ogre that gets to pry them apart and send one along on her way.
I also do want to give the girls the opportunity to be and grow into themselves, and maybe this is a natural thing that should happen....but it is really heartbreaking. I have tried the route of having LaLa have a playdate with a friend closer to her own age, but this can be problematic because a number of the girls are not as developed when it comes to actually playing with a friend. For instance, they want to play with the toys... but not really with LaLa. I think it's just a developmental thing... LaLa is wired to be social, so she has picked up on social stuff a little earlier.
Should I insist that playdates take both kids when I know that they really do all play well together? Should I just let the older one go by herself? I am torn, because Pearl is up and coming and soon she'll be in the mix so it's only going to get more confusing. Should I have a policy, or just take everything case by case?
I am sooo confused!