I’m not a huge fan of playgroups; never have and never will. I’m not the best of people to make small talk as I am quite awkward with a sarcastic sense of humour (who would have guessed!) so putting me in a situation with a bunch of women (and that is because I’ve never seen a male at a group I attend) is asking for some serious awkwardness. I absolutely love talking to babies and toddlers – they are easy to chat to and I find conversation is far easier as Peppa Pig is an area of expertise and much less bitchy. But the Moms? No.
You see, I’m not your typical playgroup Mom as from what I’ve seen over the last seven years. I have forced myself to frequent these groups for the sake of my children (and sanity to get out the house) I have come to the conclusion – there is always a selection of women who never ever play with their kids. And it’s not an isolated “I’m shattered” one off, it’s week after week. They seem to congregate in a corner of the room whilst their children are on the other side causing utter carnage whilst they sit on their arses with their manicured nails and chatting about where they’re off on holiday; their poor little darlings don’t get a look in.
I am proud that I am the Mom who can be found out in the freezing cold with a wet patch on my arse from sitting on the soggy seesaw or breaking my knees whilst crouching on the back of a toddler bike while my daughter giggles with glee. You can look down your noses all you like as I chat away and have my own little world with my kids going on. They probably think twin life has sent me a tad cuckoo and to some extent – they are probably right. But you know what I would much rather play at playgroup than treat it as a crèche where all the other parents and the group leaders are expected to look after their kids as they hurtle towards the paint area whilst Mommy is chatting to her friends completely oblivious.
I sound rather grumpy and bitter don’t I? Or that I’m some sort of supermom playing and being the perfect parent. I’m not, honestly. But it bugs me that people seem embarrassed to play with their own kid; like it shatters the Stepford Wife image – or may get their posh top dirty. I don’t know perhaps they’re totally different and home and don’t get much time to socialise so seize the chance – I really hope that’s true. But just some basic form of communication surely isn’t going to damage their reputation surely?
There will come a day where your child no longer wants to play. Where you become the most uncool person on the planet and they don’t want to be seen with you let alone chat and play. Embrace the fact that to your little one(s) – you are the most wonderful and important person in their little world, and get on that scooter or stick your hands in the paint. It can be so much fun!