Hanna had a friend come over to play the other day. It was raining and without our pool we really just sit and stare at the roof line or the tops of cupboards, anything to avoid being creative, talking or cleaning the house.

I love play dates because I get to observe while my kids interact with their peers. And yes, they do act differently when they think we’re not listening.

I sit as a spy among them with my laptop while they say things like “Hot Damn!” which I quickly jot down in my “things to discuss about your play date that I found shocking after your friend goes home” and file it away in my phony laptop file of the same name.

My daughter changed outfits three times, emerged from the bathroom with moist lips and strange household items stuck in her hair in a decorative sort of way. She said a lot of things like, “I’m not very good at cartwheels” and then did three perfect cartwheels in a row. Or, I’m not very good at running and then stretched before sprinting from one end of the room to the other. She was quick to come up with her strengths and then downplay them as though they were her greatest weaknesses. She’ll do just fine in the interview portion when they ask you what your biggest flaws are. She’ll be the first one to say, “I’m an over-achiever, I work too hard, too many long hours, I can’t say no, perfectionist, spend too much time teaching underprivileged kids how to speak mandarin.”

She also gave away random household items as play date favours which was a first. I heard her showing her new friend where the beer can coolies were that my husband had put in a bucket on top of the beer fridge. Hanna said, “My Dad has a bunch of these. You can have one. Take as many as you want….for everyone in your family.”

My brother tells a story of the time he had a new friend over who was asking him all about the crowbar in our garage. My brother said, “Do you want it? You can have it.” So my daughter comes by it honestly.

Every time my parents have to pry something open they curse my brother.

I guess my husband will do the same the next time he wants to do a cartwheel while holding a cold beer.