Kids in the house, September 2009
All the kids sat around the dining table for their lunch, barely staying still enough to eat properly before once again disappearing off to the playroom.

With three other mothers bringing an extra six children for the mother’s group today, we certainly had a full house.

I’ve been offering our house for almost four months as an open-invitation location for a playdate each Tuesday. We’ve had about ten different families “try” the playgroup (never at the same time), and each Tuesday morning as I tidy the house and clean the floors, I never know how many will show up. Today, with four families represented, the mix of kids (with both genders in balance) worked a treat, as they played together so well we didn’t need to interfere or intervene except very minimally.

I really enjoy this mother’s group because it is so relaxed. With no structure (apart from lunch), the kids play freely inside and out. The gyro-cars are always a favourite toy, and today the dollhouse also received quite a bit of interest. Although the noise level sometimes raises the roof, the size of our house means there’s enough room for the kids to play together or separately, which works quite well for the one-year-olds who still need a bit of space to explore their own toys.

At this playgroup (I keep calling it a mother’s group because my emphasis is on the mothers enjoying themselves), each of the women brings some food to share for lunch. At about 11.30, we gather around the kitchen counter, serving up little plates of food for the kids before feeding ourselves. Some weeks there’s a whole lot of sweet, baked items, and sometimes we’re eating sandwiches and fruit, but today we enjoyed a mix of chicken, spaghetti, cake and sandwiches. It was just perfect.

Thanks to everyone who came! It was a most delightful day!