Come Out and Play
March 9, 2006, 5:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last fall I happened to wander over to the park one morning when I realized I had happened upon a Mommy’s Play Group. I looked around at the mothers and offspring and realized a few things: 1. the children were all about the same size as Devon. 2. I hadn’t been invited. 3. they were all bitches, the mommies, and that was that. Looking back I can now see that my paranoia had something to do with my depression. Afterall, I had never called any of those moms so what would possibly have motivated them to pick up the phone and call that mom with the white haired boy who lives near the park. At the time I gave them no slack, now I can see their point of view and move on with my life. Especially since I was invited to a play group just this morning. I recently picked up the phone and called a long neglected friend and during the process of our chat she invited me to join in her reindeer games. This fit perfectly with a recent nagging thought that I have made few contacts with other mothers who have children of Devon’s age.

I used to attend play groups when Loren and Cass were little. We had moved back to Fort Collins to finish up school and I was lonely, so I joined a group called MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). I was vaguely aware that the group had religious roots, but most of the women seemed normal, so I faithfully attended every two weeks until I was placed in the Mauve Group with the same group of women for every meeting. We would make our craft, listen to the guest speaker -usually women who had helpful tips about how to more efficiently do laundry and then we would have a snack and free time. There was free day care for the little ones, I got some cookies and coffee and chat with other adults. One day one of the women approached me to have a playdate at her house and I accepted, thinking I might actually have found somebody with whom I could raise some hell. I accepted and the day arrived with Loren, Cassidy and me sitting in her living room. I started to suspect trouble when I noticed all the many blue goose appliques on her walls. Blue goose oven mits in the kitchen, a blue goose cookie jar and more blue goose guest towels in the bathroom. Then we started talking about preschool and she launched into a rant about how she was disappointed that her older son’s kindergarten didn’t teach Creation to give the children a sturdy foundation on which to build their education. I waited for the moment when we would jab each other in the sides, laugh diabolically about that silly concept of toiling for six days straight only to take a load off on the seventh day, and then she would offer me a bloody mary and all would be good. Just as I was about to hit her with my elbow, I happened to glance the sincerity in her golden-retriever-brown eyes and I knew I had made a horrible mistake. This woman was no friend! She was some religious nut. And likely all the MOPS moms were closet Jesus Freaks. I knew right then that no amount of laundry efficieny lectures would make me civilized, I was a heathen through and through. These women could keep their Tupperware and Avon parties. I would rather rot in loniliness at the parks than put up with this vile bullshit.

So it was with some trepidation that I attended this morning’s play group. Luckily for me, most of the moms or kids were sick today. We ended up with just my friend and her friend and our three children. Devon didn’t vomit or scream. I was able to make witty conversation and there were no long, awkward silences. We didn’t have margaritas or bloody maries but maybe that has been scheduled for the next playgroup.


2 Comments so far
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Bravo! Excellent!

And I feel like a total shit for talking to you and telling you I was working in the Bat Cave with The Dom when you can’t come and join us. 😦 But I really wish you could.

Comment by jen

I was so desperate to make friends when my older two were babies in LA that I joined a MOPS group that met at a Southern Baptist church. I ended up making some really great friends there — but I could usually tell after a few minutes of conversation who the hard-core Christians were.

I had the perfect conversation stopper ready: “We don`t belong to a church because when I married my husband, I agreed to raise the kids as Buddhists.”

Anyone who still wanted to be my friend after I said that was all right.

Comment by L.

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