I really try to get out more.
But the thing is, sometimes I can be a bit anti-social. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an Only Child or what.
I have tried playgroups because I figured my children shouldn’t be anti-social, you know? So I went to one a few times when we were in England.
And I promptly got irritated.
There was this one woman who’d say things like, “And my son is already counting to ten. Is that normal?” Her son was one. She was obviously fishing for a compliment, waiting for people to gasp, “Oh my GOD! He’s one and can count to ten? He’s so ADVANCED!”
She got the praise too. All the other mothers would flip out and go, “Your son is a little genius!”
I think she was lying. Her son ate dirt for craps sake. He tried to poke my son’s eye out. All I’m saying is that he never counted to ten in front of us.
“My son knows all of his shapes,” Bragging Mom said the next time we all met. “Is that normal?”
Dear gracious, I wanted to claw my eyes out.
And then other Moms chimed in as though they couldn’t bare the fact that their precious children weren’t geniuses. So someone else would go, “Well, my daughter can sing her ABCs..” And someone else would shout, “My son can do algebra!” or some nonsense thing like that.
I was all, “Well. My son learned how to say please. We’re pretty thrilled with that.” Because at that point Tommy wasn’t talking much and any word he’d utter was exciting. Another time I went, “My son keeps his pants on when we’re in public now. Always a good thing.”
Anyhow, I only went to that group one more time. And yes, Bragging Mom was back in full force. “You GUYS, my son knows how to ADD! Is that normal?”
“No. It’s not normal.” The words slipped out of my mouth before I could think. All eyes swiveled to me. I swallowed and went, “I mean....christ, I guess your son is…” (And Bragging Mom leaned forward, wanting the word so badly..) “..advanced,” I finished with a roll of my eyes.
Women like that drive me insane. The bragging drives me insane. Of course I think my children are smart but I know other people really don’t give two hoots. But some people love to prattle on and on about their little darlings and I just want to cover their mouths and say, “Let’s talk about something else. Please.”
I went to another playgroup when we first got here.
This one woman had a sling where she kept her baby and I just casually said that I didn’t use slings.
“Why?” the woman demanded, clearly in shock. The other two women there looked equally surprised.
Ooops. I twisted my fingers nervously and went, “Well. I prefer strollers. I don’t like my baby strapped to me. I need, you know, space.”
It was like I had just screamed the word PUBES or something. The women all looked positively aghast that I had dared to say such a thing.
I mean, oh no, I use strollers. The HORROR. Not wanting my baby strapped against me. THE HORROR.
These were obviously crunchy ladies. And there is nothing wrong with crunchy ladies. I have friends that are crunchy and they probably think I’m harming Mother Earth with the disposable diapers I use but they’re polite enough not to say a word about it.
Before I left that group, I so wanted to pause and look over my shoulder and say, “And by the way. I had the DRUGS when I gave birth.” But I didn’t want them to keel over from shock or anything.
I was tempted to give a group another try. So I signed up for e-mail alerts. Then I get an e-mail from the group leader talking about meeting for some Fitness Fun.
First of all, fitness is NEVER fun. Is the woman on crack?
Second of all, she wanted us all to meet at 9. In the morning. Granted, I’m up at 7 during the week but I’m never fully awake by 9. At 9, I’m still blinking in confusion and wishing that I could go back to bed. Do you honestly think I could force myself to a GYM for some Fitness FUN? Maybe if we could meet at, oh, one, then I’d be alert. Granted, I’d still be cranky being in a gym.
Needless to say, I’m not going.
I might just do what I have been doing and just bring Natalie to the indoor mall playground and let her run around. She meets kids that way after all. I’ll chit chat politely to the mother and if she’s a nutter, well, odds are I won’t ever have to see her again so it’s okay.
It’s a win win situation.