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How We Live: 21 Q’s

Baby’s First Group Playdate

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Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
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Aurora Lowe, 29, a realtor, shares how she and her now six-month-old son, Jayce, pulled off their first group playdate in Santa Cruz, California, in September.
Baby’s First Group Playdate

1.  Event organizer or a participant?

“I hosted it. I brought coffee, and one of the other moms brought bagels.”

2.  Planned far in advance or an impromptu gathering?

“Planned two weeks in advance with a Facebook invite.”

3.  Knew all the moms or some were strangers?

“I had met quite a few of them through a new moms’ support group at the hospital where I had Jayce, but some were total strangers. Everyone had bright spirits because we were part of a cool little community.”

4.  Indoor meet-up or outdoor gathering?

“It was outdoors. I wanted Jayce to be able to look at the other babies and be out in the fresh air. It was a pretty chilly morning, but it was just so nice to be outside. When you have a brand-new baby, you’re usually either in your car, at the doctor’s office, or at your house. It was so cool to have the wind blowing in Jayce’s hair.”

5.  Public setting or private household?

“Public setting, at a cute park with a big, open lawn. We just laid our blankets under one of the trees.“

6.  Bundled up or lightweight clothing?

“The kids were all in their pajama suits with little hats on. We were all like, ‘Oh, it’s kind of cold.’ But it’s such a California thing because they were all in hats that had never been worn!”

7.  Perfectly organized or totally frazzled?

“When I showed up, it was a sight to see. I had this huge blanket draped over the stroller, and I was carrying a huge traveler container of coffee. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh—this is mom life.’”

8.  Dressed to impress or showed up in pajamas?

“Jayce wore his terry-cloth footy pajamas. His hat wound up being too small. I was trying to roll down the fabric so it would cover his ears. He looked pretty comical.”

9.  Long soiree or quick get-together?

“I thought it was going to be from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., but it went until after 1 p.m. I think all the moms just needed human contact.”

10. Same-age kids or ages varied?

“Most of the babies were around three months old, but there were a couple of older siblings who played on the little playground.”

11. Interested in babies or kind of clueless?

“Interested. One thing that prompted me to organize the playdate was that he doesn’t like tummy time much, but on playdates he’ll lie on his tummy and stare at other babies.”

12. Wallflower or super social?

“He was really into a five-month-old girl who was there. They just kind of locked eyes and babbled at each other. She was sitting up, so I held him on my lap and he reached for her. It was so cute.”

13. Stayed awake or spent time napping?

“He stayed awake, but toward the end he was ready to get in the car and fall asleep.”

14. Mess-free affair or changed his diaper?

“I had to change his diaper. I tried to cover him with his blanket and part of his jammies so he wouldn’t be cold. It was awkward. But he always laughs when he gets his diaper changed.”

15. Over packed or forgot essentials?

“I’m notorious for not having a spit-up rag.”

16. Felt good to get out or pressure to perform?

“It felt really good. I was shocked by how many people showed up.”

17. Engaged with others or just ignored them?

“When we lay the babies side by side, he would turn and try to grab them. The little girl he had been playing with was grabbing his face, and he would make noises at her.”

18. Organized activities or mostly moms chatting?

“Mostly moms chatting. Women get so open after they have a baby. We talked about ‘mommy brain’ being real and forgetting everything and being delirious. Some people shared family issues that had been going on. It was almost like a therapy session. It was really cool.”

19. Picture-free affair or nonstop snapping?

“We were all taking pictures. The babies’ hands were blurry because they were shaking them everywhere.”

20. Baby exhausted afterward or was over stimulated?

“I put him in the car and he was just out. There had been a lot of stimulation. And it was time for his afternoon nap, so it was perfect timing.”

21. One-time event or a repeat engagement?

“We had another park date a couple of weeks ago, and we had a little Halloween party at one of the mom’s houses. The babies were all in their costumes and kept having meltdowns because they just wanted out of them, but for the moms, the costumes were pure joy.”