In an effort to take a break from depressing divorce news, I bring you this update.
Today was our first real live "playdate." Playdate in the sense that the Bear begged and begged for this kid to come over, and so I called his mom, and scheduled a time, and he came over to play, and oh, god, is it awful.
We've played with other kids before, sure. The girls to go school 5 days a week, and they have all kinds of small friends there. But we don't usually invite people over. The two girls are so close in age, we're pretty self-sufficient that way. So I was a little uncertain about how this would work, and not particularly looking forward to it.
Anyway. It sucks. Oh, is it awful. First off, this kid is a boy. Now, I have nothing against boys, as a rule, but I don't really know how little boys work. I only have girls. Boys are... different. This kid is rougher in his play, and less communicative, which at 4 is super frustrating.
Also, he's on the autism spectrum. He's definitely not autistic, but if I had to use all my experience to figure out where he's at, I would probably peg him as extremely high-functioning autistic or closer to Asperger's. Mom doesn't see anything wrong, and he's been observed/evaluated/tested, with inconclusive results. So, he doesn't interact well with, well, anyone at all. And I have known plenty of kids on the autism spectrum, and they're all great and unique and different, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that interaction with other kids is difficult.
So far today, he has:
refused to share
wandered off (234987 times)
freaked out about noise
refused to share
grabbed each of the girls to hold them back from doing something at least once
made the Bear cry at least 3 times
And yet, she keeps following him around like a lovesick puppy, trying to get his attention and make him happy. I foresee an abusive boyfriend in her future.