Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Problems with [play]Dating

Before my daughter was born I very much looked forward to going on little "playdates". I naively assumed this meant I would easily befriend other like-minded women and we would sit around in our super-cute workout "gear", sipping coffee-- after a jog to a predetermined location, and happily look after our children in a carefree manner as they learned the ins and outs of sharing with others. After an hour or two of insightful and intelligent talk, we would all get up to leave because the kiddos seemed a tad tired and retreat back to our individual homes after making future plans.

When I created this little scenario for myself I had more than a year to work this thing out before I even had to think about work getting in my/our way of playdating other kids.

Fast forward to present time. Playdates like the above are complete and utter bullsh*t. To achieve my little playdating illusion, I would have had to personally overcome some serious anxieties about dealing intimately with other adults; I would have also had to curb my use of foul language; and, other people MOMS would have to exist that have children the same age (read: must-have-been-born-the-first-week-in-August-2011-because-otherwise-their-kid-would-be-a-different-age-and-our-kids-wouldn't-really-be-able-to-play-together-because-the-developmental-gaps-are-so-difficult-to-overcome), live in close (walking distance) proximity to my home, and have a life outside of their kid that includes interests outside of their kid.

The reality is not so much like what I though it would be.

I still have stupid anxieties about being intimate with other adults, namely women. It is SCARY to try to make friends with women I don't know. Apparently, I was able to form a few relationships in the alcoholic haze of my twenties, but most people tend to look at you like you're committing a crime when you pull out a bottle from the diaper bag and it's not the kind you should ever give to a baby. Plus, how are you really supposed to approach other women? I can just see myself: "Hey, nice rack... on your stroller. You come here often? Wanna hang out at my place sometime?". It wouldn't be pretty. I know, I know... I should just GET OVER IT, especially for my daughter's sake. And, I DO make an attempt to be a normal human at least once a week during library story-time-- as long as I don't get us kicked out for being late (but that's another post).

I still have a really foul mouth-- not when I'm playing the part of teacher to impressionable young minds! Just, when I'm at home, or travelling, or thinking about something, or, well, pretty much at all other times. Some words I have said in front of children without meaning to sully their virgin ears: f*ck, b*tch, assh*le, d*ick, sh*t... the list goes on and only gets more colorful. I didn't realize how foul my mouth was until we invited people over with kids older than two. It turns out those little mimes DO have a mind of their own... they choose to repeat only the foul language they hear. And blame it on you. I'm in for it when my little princess starts to say more than "mom", "dad", "dog", and "ball". I guess curbing my language could also help me make more mom friends... maybe.

It also turns out that there are very few women/humans who enjoy my brand of humor. It's difficult to find anyone at all who is "like-minded" enough to hang out with me on a good day, let alone someone like that with kids and free time. Most of the peeps who like my personality at all have to listen to me at least a little, because we are forced to work together. The other people who are willing to hangout with me on a regular and sober basis are people who have known me for at least a decade (or close enough) and/or are legally related to me by bloodlines or marriage. I admit it: I am a crass individual who also tends to over-share at ANY chance I get (hence this blogging thing, I suppose) and I am rarely tactful in my approach. Attempting to filter myself has been a life-long struggle... and though people who know me well usually know my heart is in the right place, even if my words aren't, this does nothing for me when I meet new people on my own and they've heard me call my own kid an a-hole in front of their angelic child with the virgin ears.

Even when I find someone who is cool with my brand of humor, it's always either our locations or schedules that don't jive. They work, or I'm out of town, or they live an hour away. Ugh.

From what I can surmise, playdating is like going back to that first day of high school OVER and OVER again. Yet, it stands as a necessary evil of the (sort of) stay at home mom who wants to screw her kid up in only the way a middle-class upbringing in complete nuclear family can do.

Do you see any problems with "playdates"?

4 comments:

  1. Haha Courtney! This is awesome! I would think the exact same way if I had kids. My colorful vocabulary is always rearing its ugly head in front of virgin ears. Don't worry about scarring Catie with bad words. My mom graced me with the endearment of Sweet Asshole when I was a young child. It has its advantages. I was the only kid who came running whenever someone said a*hole in a passing conversation. If you ever need a play date, text me. I think every diaper bag should contain a bottle of wine!

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  2. I remember you telling me that! Love it :)

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  3. As your colleague, I had no idea you were so profane, Mrs. Evans. I'm afraid I will have to sever our online relationship. Good day to you.

    Seriously, fuck what other people think of your parenting. You know (and everybody who knows you knows) that you're providing a loving and safe environment for your daughter.

    Come hang out with the Weegs and get a preview of what raising three little darlings will be like! We can swear at our children together.

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  4. Rob- I read your comment early in the morning and with the first couple of words thought you were serious for a second... thank goodness for your penchant for profanity!

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