Friday, August 10, 2012


In my piece on being a latch-key kid, I suggested that perhaps spending hours upon hours alone as a child, watching TV and ruling my elaborate, closet paper doll kingdom with an iron fist may have contributed to the slightly anti-social–alright, downright misanthropic–aspect of my adult character.

Fortunately, the story had a happy ending. I met a fellow TV watching misanthrope, and we lived happily ever after. (Or at least, 15 years and counting.)

Though we weren’t alone for long. Soon, we had a bouncing, baby misanthrope of our own. Like Mom and Dad, my oldest son could sit for hours, drawing, looking at books, living in his own head. At the playground, he’d sway dreamily on a swing, or repeatedly meander down the slide, as if the other children weren’t even there. In school, he made one close friend, and he was perfectly happy with that, even though every single conference we went to, his teachers urged us to urge him to expand his social horizons. (Which would have been a true case of “Do as I say, not as I do.”)

And then, we had our second son. The one who, after five minutes on a playground, would suddenly develop an entire crowd around him, all wanting to do what he was doing. Kids listened to him. Kids followed him. And kids wanted to play with him. During school, after-school, on weekends. I soon needed a separate calendar just to keep his personal, social schedule.

And then we had our daughter. Also a social butterfly. But, in a different way. In preschool, she developed her small clique of girls. More than my older son, less than my middle one. But, the difference was, while my middle child was pretty much happy to play with anyone, my daughter fashioned a very select group. And she preferred they do everything together. She also soon required her own social calendar.

And one more thing: An escort.

Both my son and my daughter, when they were too young to be dropped off for play-dates and then picked up an hour later (followed by a half-hour of whining, “Do we have to go home noooooow? But, we’re having soooooo muuuuuch fuuuuuun!”), required an escort.

Which meant that Misanthropic Me was obliged to stick around and make small talk with the other moms for the duration of said play date.

Read my entire confession at:

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