The boys vacillated between playing nicely and rough-housing. They argued about which games to play, which characters they wanted to be, which one should go first. Then they became overly deferential to each other, insisting that the other one went first, that the other one picked his character first, that the other one chose what they should play. Then they’d argue. Then they’d defer. Back and forth.

After a few hours of this volleying, I asked if they were hungry and they both said yes. Never mind that they snacked all afternoon on crackers and chocolate and juice. By dinner time they said they were famished. I asked what they wanted to eat (knowing full well that they were going to have pasta and vegetables), and luckily they both said they wanted pasta with butter and cheese. I asked Dash what vegetable he wanted, and he chose carrots (which I already knew), and the boy chose broccoli (which I also knew).

For dessert, I made gluten-free chocolate cupcakes decorated with their initials. At the end of the evening, they weren’t ready for their playdate to end, so what did they do? They started to fight with each other. You know it’s true friendship when the only way to say goodbye is to fight about it. (They did give each other a hug, though.)

To Dash’s mom and dad: I’m sorry I hopped-up your son on carbs and sugar, and then brought him home in tears. I call it a successful playdate.

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