Thursday, December 16, 2010

How I Failed at Playgroup (and you can, too!)

So, in between writing a book and caring for a baby, I haven't had a lot of time to blog lately. But luckily, an event occurred on Monday that I promised my friend Chad Thomas Johnston that I would chronicle, so here goes.

After Bug was about two months old I had decided that I was done with being a social hermit and I went in quest of friends, and eventually I came across So I started looking into Mommy groups, thinking, "This will be great! I will find a bunch of moms and we will immediately be bosom pals!"

Well, not exactly. The first group I tried out was full of moms who had all known each other for YEARS and they were all BFFs and I couldn't really seem to get anyone to talk to me. Then the next group that I signed up for booted me out before I even had a chance to make it to a meetup because they required that you attend at least two per month and I hadn't even made it to one. I was starting to get desperate and tearful when, two months later whilst perusing the internet during my vacation in Florida with my family, I came across a group entitled "Young Moms of Centreville and Fairfax."

Hey, I thought. I'm a (relatively) young mom. I live in the stipulated area. The people seem okay. So I signed up for a storytime the week after I got back from my trip and prayed that I would at least be able to find the people.

And I did! And they were nice! So, thankfully, I met some great women and our kids are all in the same age range, so I got to work being, well, friendly.

But then...

So, I was very busy during November, especially since Bug and I went to Ft. Myers to visit his aunt, uncle, and cousin. So I missed a lot of meetups. But then there were a whole bunch of Christmas meetups, and I signed up to do one where you made your own handprint ornament to commemorate baby's first Christmas. I know, adorable, right? I was slightly nervous because nine people were coming and I only knew two of them, as the group had gotten a bunch more new members. But, I persevered and got Bug dressed in his adorable overalls and off we went.

So, there were all of these women--a lot of them older than me--there, and my baby was also the oldest, so it was a little hard for me to join in the conversation because Bug started solids when he was four months and so the baby food debate didn't really apply to me. So I concentrated hard on making my ornament, but unfortunately I couldn't get my clay to congeal so instead of having a nice, smooth, and pretty surface for Bug to put his sweet little hand in, I had what looked like a dog turd while all of the other moms (who were apparently more competent at arts and crafts than I) had all of these beautiful ornaments in which their babies made perfect hand and footprints in on the first try. Eventually one of the moms took pity on me and gave me some of her extra clay and I managed to make an ornament.

But Bug wasn't having any fun at all. He was in a new environment with a million people and (unbeknownst to me at the time) had somehow managed to eat a piece of tinfoil. So his poor tummy was hurting and he started spitting up a little. Now, my child has always been a spitter, so I wasn't too concerned, but I figured that all the people were bothering him so I took him to the other room to change his diaper.

Well, after I changed his diaper and I had just fastened his adorable overalls back up, he gets this look of absolute panic on his sweet little face and then he VOMITS. Now, like I said, he's spat up before, plenty, but I'd never seen him vomit before. And it was all over everything. He literally put the chick from the exorcist to shame with his copious amounts of spew. And then, to top it all off, with his last gasping vomit, out comes the tinfoil that was probably on the floor and he had helped himself to.

Great. There I am, with my vomit soaked child who had also managed to puke on my pants (and while I had a spare outfit for him, the case was not the same for myself), in front of all these women that I don't know, having to reassure them that my child won't get their kids sick, he's not ill, he just ate tinfoil! I blushed a million shades of red and after I got him into a clean, dry, outfit, we made a break for it, muttering apologies to the woman whose floor my child had thrown up all over as I yanked on our coats.

We couldn't get home fast enough.

Anyway, I can laugh about the foil incident now, but it is a sign I'm going to have to watch him more carefully. I still don't know how he got it, but I guess, as all of us moms know, kids will get into things that you don't want them to, no matter how hard you try.

On a lighter note, he's much happier today. It's snowing!