Saturday, April 03, 2010

PlayGroup Tryouts!

So, it has come to my attention that this whole staying home with the kids thing is fun and all but I am in dire need of adult interaction.  I recently met up with an old (old, as in from a long time ago not aged) friend from middle school for a play-date with her daughter.  In our talks she spoke of her playgroup and how much she has gotten from it and suggested that I give it a whirl.
I was a little nervous about doing so for a few reasons:
  1. I am only going to be doing the stay-at-home thing until Aiden starts Kindergarten in July.  I don't want to have him get too attached to other kids only to then be able to see them sporadically.
  2. I am no longer a super social person.  I am not really sure when this happened, but I have lost my social juju.  I operate well with people I have known forever (who doesn't) but I have been let down by people a time or two and it has led me to retreat within myself.  So putting myself in a situation where I know no one is a little daunting these days.
  3. What if it's miserable?  I mean what if I find them to be a bunch of fuddy-duddies or snobby fancy pants?  How do I exit gracefully?
I put all of these fears/ concerns to the side and figured if nothing else it would be a reason to get out of the house and Aiden would have a good time running around.

Mommy Group Number 1 - Ended in a FAIL!
The first group event that I went to was a Easter Egg Hunt at a nearby park.  I got all excited - bought the eggs and gathered up some hummus and pita chips and loaded all my kids and gear into the car.  Arrived at the part and was greeted by the group organizer.  I think that she had a pretty good idea that I was new based on the confused look on my face.  Or maybe she smelled the fear.  Anyhoo - she was friendly and said hello to me and the kids.  We then set up our blanket and got comfy...for about two seconds and then Aiden had to go to the bathroom - that was a million miles away.  So we were off.  Upon returning, I camped out on the blanket and Aiden set off to play before having lunch.  He came back - lunch was had and then more playing.  A little while later the egg hunt was on.  He appeared to have a good time and he did a really great job of staying out of the way of the smaller kids (which were plentiful).
I remembered everything except for his basket to collect the we modified the Target bag into a ghetto basket.  I know, my mom of the year award is in the mail.
Then we had a seat to scope out his "winnings".  He was quite happy.
That was pretty much it for the excitement, however.  No one really made an effort to welcome me or engage in any sort of conversation.  I could have done all of this on my own...sit on a blanket in a park and watch my kid play.  I am certainly not laying blame.  I could have made an attempt to be more outgoing - but looking around at all the different groups sitting together somewhat segregated, it all seemed a little clicky.
I decided later that night that I would give that group another try at a smaller venue.  This activity had around 20 moms there and I think that had it been a smaller group there may have been a greater opportunity for introductions and conversation.

Mommy Group 2 - A Half-Win

I tried out another playgroup.  This time an outing to Bounce-U.  How fun is that place.  I was just an onlooker, but holy heck, Aiden had a blast and left all sweaty.  This group only had 2 other moms RSVP - so I figured this would be a great opportunity.
Turns out we were the only ones from the group that showed up - but it wasn't a complete disaster.  I met 2 really nice moms.  One was actually the sister of one of the moms from the group.  She was here visiting from New York and had brought 2 of her kids to the activity.  Aiden had a really great time playing with her 4 year old son...up until the very end when there was a slight ruckus over a basketball and Aiden got punched in the face.  He survived gracefully - didn't even hit the boy back and asked if they were still buddies before we left.
All in all it was a really great time.

Followed up with a great playdate with the same mommy group on Friday morning,  Yet another Egg Hunt.

This time there were many moms.  Very friendly moms and I felt very comfortable.  The only drawback was that there were no other kids in the group that were Aiden's age.  He still had a fantastic time.
And I remembered the basket this time!!
The bounty of his harvest:

Rolie-Polie Coli even had a good time
I have another date with yet another group I am going to try out on Thursday.  I am on a roll!

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