Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Successful first play date.

I am very pleased to report that Tara had her first ever play date today, and it went very well! I think a play date can be deemed a success if the invited child doesn't want to go home, and the host child doesn't want them to leave either.

After very reluctant goodbyes, I was tired, Tara was tired, and the house still looked tidy...very tidy. I do go overboard with tidying up on any given day, but more so if someone is visiting, even if it is a five year old child. Tara's room had all her toys arranged creatively so the children could play together, no laundry was hanging out in the back garden, the kitchen was clean, the table laid out with all manner of princess themed table ware, ice cream sat in the freezer and we were set.

The little one arrived - a bit shy at first but soon got into the swing of things. Tara was over enthusiastic, piling all her favourite toys in front of her friend wanting her to play with them. Dolls were played with, costumes worn, hearty dinner eaten, double helpings of ice creams had. The weather was in our favour today so the girls busied themselves with painting a giant cardboard house I had bought Tara two years ago. Value for money-that's what this toy is. The number of times it has been painted on and decorated - with scope for more is unbelievable. Then out came the coloured chalks for scribbles on the back patio, and funny faces on all the flower pots. A bit of rain will sort that out...sooner or later.

After her friend left, Tara hugged me and in the most eloquent of words explained how each time I ask her to play by herself, with all the toys she has, she feels lonely. "I miss not having someone to play with Mummy." Having grown up in a madhouse full of people, I felt a momentary twinge for Tara. But it was just that - momentary. The grass is greener on the other side. I've been on the other side, and now I appreciate the solitude of my own patch of grass, in my own corner of the world.

Tara is secure and happy in our little world. She has a large family spread all over the world, who love her and enjoy her company when ever we visit. ..which in the last four years has been 2-3 months a year! It is my job to teach her to enjoy the good times with them, and appreciate and value her own life too. She is a happy and sociable child who will no doubt have her own friends as she grows up. Meeting and parting ways, happy and sad times are two sides of life's proverbial coin. Appreciating the present, being balanced about the past and visualizing the future - that's what life should be all about.

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