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As I had I said to her, any time the kids wanted to play together would be fine.

The next school holidays she took me up on the offer.

“I found you on Germface last night!” Was she searching for something that wasn’t there, by her own obsession?

I was shocked that someone had looked me up. When my brother and my cousin had invited me to catch up with them online, it was just so we could keep in touch while they were travelling and swap photos of things we were doing. I had never imagined checking up on people who were right in front of me, of people I could quite easily ask, “And what do you like?”

Oh dammit, what incriminating stuff have I got on there? I should check that I look like a stable, normal mother if people are going to find me on there, haha!

I got a message on the internet,

“Is it ok to take you up on that play date tomorrow?”

I received the message late in the evening, so I rang her place the next morning to confirm it was ok. I assumed she meant she wanted to see my place, have a coffee, chat, get to know another mother, you know, that sort of stuff. So I was a little taken aback when he answered the phone.

Um, what was I supposed to say now?

“Is Katrina there?”

“She’s not well.” he answered.

“Um, she asked me if I could have Joel over today for a play date? If she’s not feeling well, I can still have him play.”

“Are you sure?” he started shyly, “Actually that might really help me out, I’m going to drop off Matthew at the crèche now, but it would help me get some of my work done.”

“Yes, that’s fine. Bring him over.” Well, now he knows where I live.

Joel was very quiet and reserved and had difficulty approaching people, I realised, as he stuttered his way through a simple request for a drink. I noticed the speech pattern straight away, so bent down closer to try to show him I was listening and attempted to make eye contact. Hmm, seems like maybe he doesn’t get listened to, or his own point across all that often.

Needs a little TLC, well I’m sure if he plays here more often he will get more confidence.

A couple of times on the morning school drop-off Jeremy said, “Could you just watch him if I drop him and go?”

“Of course, that’s fine.” I said.
I have always helped out anyone who has asked for my help. Sometimes I can do too much it seems.

He trusted me with his kid.

Always there to take his young prep boy to school, with his toddler by his side. It startled me that when I looked down to say ‘hi’ to the little fellah, he hid behind his father’s back. I am not a big woman, quite small for a fully grown human, in fact, that usually children happily related to me.

A toddler who is afraid of women? There must be more going on there than it seems.