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Reality Check

bikeSometimes I’m not sure if it’s me, or the people around me who are unbalanced. Maybe both.

Matan’s in special education. His class friends are all special needs to some level. Today I got a message from a mother in his class asking if he’s free today to play with her son. To her credit, the mom gave me two options; 1) Come over to her area so the boys can play at her house; or 2) She’ll bring her son to my house and pick him up later, at the end of the play date.

This child has never been to our house, and has only once met Matan after school. That time we went to their home and the children played very nicely, but it was boring for Karen who had to come along since I didn’t want to leave her with a babysitter just so Matan could have a play date. Matan really adores this boy, but has grown apart from him a bit since he’s not one of the boys we meet on a regular basis for play dates. The friends he does meet with are always accompanied by at least one parent, and we usually spend most of our energy trying to keep track of them at the playground. It’s not always easy since Matan can take off with no notice, and completely disappear from my range of vision if I look away for more than 30 seconds.

I can’t imagine bringing Matan to a home he’s never visited, and leaving him with a parent he’s only met occasionally. I’ve actually never left him with another parent except for a 10 minute run to take Karen to a friend’s house, and then only when the other mom insisted that she’d be ok with him alone for a few minutes. Not that Matan would mind, he would be fine with me leaving him at a friend’s. I just would never put that amount of responsibility on another mom, especially not one who also has her special needs child to watch over.

Sure, I’d love it if there was a mom who absolutely adored kids and wanted nothing more than the opportunity to babysit my child while I’m off doing something else. But I can’t imagine asking anyone to do this, especially someone I don’t even know very well.

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  1. Dana says:

    I am just floating this out there, food for thought. I know I NEVER offer to watch someone else’s child unless I really really mean it. I know what you mean about not wanting to give another special needs parent more to deal with but it’s also good for Matan to have some independence. Why not, next time take her up on it? She wouldn’t offer if she didn’t mean it. Many special needs kids have difficulties socializing (Matan doesn’t seem to, but many do), maybe a playdate is something that mom really wants for her child and you are doing her a favor by allowing it to happen. Try for one hour. That’s my advice. xoxoxo

  2. Zendette says:

    I think you misunderstood. No one has offered to take Matan. This mother wanted me to take her child. I explained why it wasn’t something I was comfortable with. Matan is hard enough to run after (literally, running when he’s out without a leash, kidding about the leash) without being responsible for someone else’s child at the same time.

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