My First Tofu Play Date

Though this story takes place outside of the immediate postpartum period I promise an important and relevant point will be waiting at the end so please, read on.

When my daughter turned 6 months old I enrolled the two of us in our first parent /baby play date group at a charming facility in my neighborhood.  I finally felt like my mama legs had come in and it was time to venture out into the social world of parenthood. (Or so I thought) so off I went to “tot time.” This place had all the goods a parent would want; a glorious room filled with visually stimulating colors, hand painted designs delicately and gently popping out of the subtle and calming backdrops, wonderful books, fantastic soft rugs making you feel like you’re literally walking and playing upon a rainbow and a small, safe, tiny gym for the teeny tiny feet and bodies that will play within this adorable squishy labyrinth.

After some good ol’ circle time, singing and stories it was time for snack and then playing in the gym. I watched all the parents find a spot at one of the small tables designed for “Inch High Private Eye.” We all shimmied into our seats and started to dig through our diaper bags. One by one out came the tin containers, perfectly matching Tupperware and wooden forks and spoons. I watched in awe as each cover was taken off and the most beautifully crafted snacks magically appeared before my eyes. Here’s some of what I saw: roasted root vegetables shaped into the most darling little squares, purple grapes with the skins peeled off and cut in small triangles assuring no choking hazard, spinach and arugula (I think) diced for small fingers and finally, perfectly cut mini rectangles of baked tofu. You may be wondering, how did I know this was tofu? I didn’t! I had to ask someone which was particularly embarrassing and I slithered back to my inch high chair with my daughter. I proceeded to unzip my diaper bag and took out a pitiful looking Zip Lock bag of graham crackers. The play date was an hour long, I assumed a couple of graham crackers would suffice. It would right?

I looked around the room, beet red, praying no one was watching and placed a graham cracker in front of my daughter.  I wanted this tot time to end and all I wanted was to go home and finish this bag of crumbled graham crackers in my closet. Alone. All of a sudden this happened. A woman came over with her son and sat next to me in the empty inch high chair. She plopped her son on her lap and placed her Zip Lock bag of vanilla wafers on the table in front of us. “Want to share?” She asked me and she winked; she did, she really winked.  I stayed at tot time and did not go home and sit in my closet.

We need each other. We need to support each other without judgement and help each other,  that’s all there is to it.

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