Thursday, May 08, 2008

The outdoors trump shyness -- for one of us

Little Elvis and I got to go to an outside playgroup in the neighborhood yesterday. I was so excited, but a little worried about how Little Elvis and I would act. Would he be shy and cling to me? Would I come out of my shell and be more outgoing and talkative with these moms? Would I tell them of my idea for a trunk show/playgroup with Bob (do you know my husband is a children's entertainer is his spare time?) as entertainment?

This was a margarita/outside playgroup. So, the non-pregnant moms could have a glass of margarita while our little ones played in the nice, big backyard.

We strolled (since I planned on being adventurous and having a margarita!) and were the first ones there.

As soon as I set my little boy down, he was off. He played with the toy lawnmowers, pulled the toddler size croquet wickets out of the ground (and brought them to me) and ran up the sloping side of the backyard. He pretty much ignored the party thrower's two sons, but definitely was not clingy.

I sipped my margarita and made small talk with the mom throwing the bash. Then, the fun began...

Little Elvis wanted to drink out of my cup. Another mother arrived as he whined and grabbed frantically at my cup. He refused to take his water sippy I brought him. He wanted my drink. I tried to crack a joke about how my drink probably would be better than his water, or something stupid like that. The new mother gave me a surprised look, like she thought I wasn't joking. I decided that that attempt at being friendly was bad and didn't crack anymore jokes.

Didn't really get a chance to anyway. By that point, Little Elvis decided that the huge backyard wasn't big enough to contain him. No, he NEEDED to get into the front yard. And he cried and fussed whenever I blocked his path or picked him up to carry him back into the designated play area.

Other mothers arrived. I knew some. I attempted to make small talk and be friendly. But most attempts were thwarted by my sweet Little Elvis. When he wasn't trying to run into the front yard, he was running behind the storage building, --my child was the only one who thought the back of the storage building looked fun --trying to eat rocks from a rock pathway, or picking pretty (just planted) flowers.

I had to dash off from most of my conversations and couldn't be completely into any of them because I was so worried about what he would get into.

After pulling his dirty little fingers out of a pot of potting soil, I decide it's time to go. I say bye to the Mommy throwing the party, apologize for the flower digging and carry my crying little boy out to the stroller.

Bob meets us halfway home and I fret for the rest of the walk about our performance.

Little Elvis overcame his shyness and enjoyed himself to the utmost. I, on the other hand, spent most of the party chasing him around. Several times, I really had to chase him. But there were others where I could have left him to his own devices, (trying to take toys from others, pushing a little boy on a push toy) and I didn't.

I have two thoughts on this: 1. I was using him as an excuse to get out of conversations and the dreaded "dead space" when talking to new people. 2. I was trying very hard not to be "that mom" -- you know, the one who shows up with a wiley toddler and expects everyone else to watch the child while she does not.

Probably it was a mixture of both of these, with a big helping of fear that these women would absolutely not want to attend my possible trunk show/playdate. Then there's the fear that they would want to attend, but would then hate all of my stuff. Not to mention the fact that I'm completely embarrassed about the state of our house.

I'm upset with myself over this. Did my chasing after him make him look like a bad child? He's not. He's a very sweet little boy. He's just also very curious, busy, determined and stubborn. Grr to myself.

Sweet Little Elvis, Mommy will try harder next time.


Blogger lisa said...

Don’t fret so much. I’m sure most mothers have been where you are. I know that I have. It was my sister-in-laws bridal shower. My !#(&* aunt-in-law woke my little one earlier and he wasn’t able to get his nap, just because she wanted to play with him. Did I mention that she has no children? By party time he was a mess. I was nervous too, because there was a bunch of new people and I hate new people. I was so afraid after we had to rush out that people just thought that I wouldn’t let them hold him, but it was more that I didn’t want to be THAT mother too. And then I realized that I just couldn’t let myself worry about it. They had probably gone through the same things when they had little children. It kind of made me feel better.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near You said...

Oh Meredith, don't be so hard on yourself! I would have had to do the same thing with Zachy - it's the age, to be sure. They're so curious and want to explore everything. It's to be expected. If anyone had a problem with you chasing after your very busy baby, that's on them, not you. You can't just let him run wild, and I'd much rather spend my time chasing after the kid than trying to make small talk LOL It's too bad we weren't closer. We'd have fun together!

8:06 PM  
Blogger LaskiGal said...

No, no, no . . . Do not be so hard on yourself.

You did what most good mommies do--take care of your child FIRST, the rest comes second. That is just how it is. I'm certain that most if not all the moms understood.

We are usually harder on ourselves . . . we just want to do what is right. AND, you did!

Plus, little Elvis is perfect--he's curious, active, intelligent! You should be proud!!!

I have a feeling it'll get easier and easier!

11:48 PM  
Blogger kristen said...

Being a mum of boys I completly understand how you feel. It's hard isn't it when you want to chat but you have a curious boy. He's not naughty just a boy.

12:52 AM  
Blogger The Burp Cloth Babe said...

Oh, no worries! Little Elvis is just being...well, little. I get nervous taking my hunk to social settings, too. It's just the age. If those mom's have a problem with you being a good mom, forget them. If it counts, I think you are a super cool blogsville mama! :)

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rather a mom take off after their child than ignore them pulling things off of my shelves or hitting the dog or whatever. I have been around moms that seem to think when we go out that I will keep an eye on their child so they don't have to. Argh. What you did is awesome. That is being a mom. Parties with kids his age don't lend themselves to much conversation. You gotta get out alone for that. Hugs.

Oh, and I checked out Bob's site. That is so cool that he plays music for kids.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Laura McIntyre said...

Firstly i want to live somewhere where margarita playgroups happen

Secondly your E and my E sound alot alike, Eilidh never gives me a minute at these things either and sometimes all you want is 5 minutes to sit and chat

3:28 PM  
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