I never thought I would be one of “those” moms, but, after fifty-one weeks on the job, I am forced to admit that I am. I am the mom who lets her kid open his mouth when the dog licks his face and the mom who does not put a bib on him when he eats (much to my mother’s dismay — she wonders how he will ever learn to eat neatly). I’ve been known to take Robbie out of the house with a dirty face, and I’ve let him fuss in his crib for twenty minutes when he wakes up for a nap. And, God forbid, I have let my child throw a temper tantrum when I wouldn’t give him the remote control. And I didn’t give in.
These true confessions did me no favors when I took Robbie to a new play group this afternoon. I thought we would try an older group — kids between one and three — since there were lots of little babies at the younger group. Robbie loved the group and didn’t realize that anything was amiss. He played with all of the other kids — sharing toys but more often grabbing them from other kids and having them grabbed back. He visited their moms, pulling up on their shoulders to smile and say hello. However, he also made the mistake of trying to grab other kids out of the crawling tunnel and patting the wrong little girl on the head to roughly for her mother’s taste. And then, horror of horrors, he tried to drink from the little girl’s sippy cup.
So, today I learned the truth about play group politics. I do not fit in. These are mothers who bonded in the infant play groups. They’ve celebrated birthday parties together. And their kids are apparently genius children who know how to play nicely. Instead of venturing to play groups where I need to pay for admission, I think Robbie and I will stick to three good friends who let their boys roll and tumble on the floor, share sippy cups, steal toys, and plot to steal the “good” snacks from the big table while eating out of each other’s snack traps.