I am happy to report that I have had many successful and ongoing playdates here in New Zealand. The kids become long term friends (see here) and us Mums become long term drinking buddies as well. Everyone goes home happy.
When we lived in Southern California we had lots of friends. Lots of single, childless, surfing, skating, imbibing-type friends – did I mention that NONE of them had kids? My family was all in New Zealand and Dave’s family all live in the south so I searched out a local Mom’s Group on the coast, made contact via email and hooked up Ethan and Mama’s First Play Date. I was excited, nervous and feeling quite self-conscious. Ethan was six months old by this point and I had never been in a situation where I could sit around and talk to other mothers – I had no idea of the protocol. Professional mothers (as I thought of them) were scary, I was just an amateur.
Things started off well, the babies sat around and played with the communal toys, the 3 other moms were nice and polite and appeared interested / nosey about me and my little family. They were all quite a bit older than me as apparently there is this unspoken law in SoCal that if you live at the beach and are under 30 you DON’T have children, they ruin you hot-ness and cut into your time at the bar.
We ran into the major snag when the topic eventually drifted into what the babies were eating / drinking etc. I mentioned that I was making ALL of Ethan’s food myself. Even carrots believe it or not! I know who would have thought? This was where the clique and I parted ways because if there is one thing you must NEVER do for your child, it is cook and process carrots for your baby!
That’s what I said. These incredibly mis-informed matrons berated me for a good half hour about the danger of homemade carrot puree, not wanting to upset the applecart I nodded my head and “uh-huhed” at all the right moments, and then I got out of there quick smart.
I cried all the way home, those awful mothers, with their advanced age and established playgroup clique had made me feel so inadequate and bumbling. I was doing a damn good job with that baby with NO family around to help and NO friends to offer advice. Dave and I were doing it our way and I had thought it was working pretty fine. Ethan was eating like a champ, 100% organic for his first year. I made from scratch every meal that child ate, our freezer was a veritable supermarket of little frozen cubes of peaches, eggplant, pumpkin, the evil carrots, blueberries, lamb, free range chicken and whatever else was in season. He never, not once ate from a jar or drank from a bottle. But did I wave this in the faces of the smarmy women? No I just sat there and took the anti-carrot slander without making a peep!
I left that awful playgroup never to visit again or join another. Mothers groups can be full of stupid bitches, with lame opinions who have never heard of Google. I don’t have much time for these people.