Saturday, November 20, 2010

Neighborly Play Dates

We have the best neighbors in Chicago. We often joke that we live in a real version of the show Melrose Place because we hang out together and keep an eye on one another. Last week, our neighbor Kelly stopped by to tell us about her trip to Baltimore to see a friend. It was right around lunch time when she appeared at our door. While she was here, we decided to invite our other neighbor Krissie over so we could all catch up at once. As the three of us were chatting in the kitchen, I rocked Iain to sleep while Ada danced on the floor in a pink sparklie hand-me-down dress that Kelly helped her put on. What started out as a little get together between a few neighbors, quickly became lunch while standing around to catch up. It was so nice to have good neighbors that we trusted who were willing to spend time with us and entertain our kids. Ada got credit for entertaining us all by sticking quarters to the bottoms of her feet and dancing around the kitchen as if they were tap shoes. She was beyond adorable.

The best part about these neighbors was how they understood kids. At Kelly's for lunch the next day, Ada threw up right on Kelly's dining room table. It wasn't what I hoped for, but Kelly and Krissie just rolled with it as they helped me clean everything up. Then Ada's diaper leaked and that didn't phase them at all either. They were living vicariously through me and learning from my experiences.

Later that week we had another impromptu playdate when Ada threw up on the couch and it was time for Iain's nap. I didn't have enough hands to bathe Ada, clean the couch, and rock Iain to sleep so I called in reinforcements in the form of our upstairs neighbor Krissie. She held Iain while I scrubbed Ada clean, and helped Ada get dressed while I put Iain down for his nap. Without her, I'm not sure how I would have managed.

Moral of the story: Get to know your neighbors who love kids. You never know when you'll need an extra pair of helping hands or a shoulder to cry on.

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