close
SM-Stamp-Join-1
  • Selfish Mother is the most brilliant blogging platform. Join here for free & you can post a blog within minutes. We don't edit or approve your words before they go live - it's up to you. And, with our cool new 'squares' design - you can share your blog to Instagram, too. What are you waiting for? Come join in! We can't wait to read what YOU have to say...

  • Your basic information

  • Your account information

View as: GRID LIST

1
Ah, play groups. A fun environment for us to take our children to learn through play, develop their social skills and have a good time.

Sometimes.

In my experience anyway, these things can be a bit hit and miss, particularly when you are flying solo as a parent or trying somewhere new. This week we were unlucky….

The outing started, as they often do, with so much promise. On arrival, the room is big and bright, the bouncy castle is starting to inflate like a squishy rainbow. The snacks on display include a range of yummy homemade cakes. My 3

SelfishMother.com
2
year old kicks off his shoes and launches himself into the ball pit.

The first 40 minutes are glorious. My boy plays happily, my baby kicks and coos on the playmat beside me. The tea tastes like tea and not hot water and milk. Great. A few other parents have been arriving with their children too (getting to any group for opening time is essential for my sanity). My boy is inviting the children to join him in the ball pit and enquiring which is their favourite colour ball. Then he starts mooching about the room exploring the other toys. I sit back and

SelfishMother.com
3
watch him try and work out how and when to try and interact with other children. I see his absolute joy when he finds a toy rubber egg that he throws and chases about the room and takes to bounce with him on the castle.

At some point, a group of women who I assume attend together and regularly have arrived and it seems I might be in their ‘usual spot’ when one of their children says Mummy that lady is in your chair. As I am busy pretending I didn’t hear this and so am now feeling on edge; I spot an angel faced toddler snatch the egg from my son

SelfishMother.com
4
and run away. I just about make it to his side in time and sit down on the floor as he begins to wail. For anyone who saw it happen, the noise level and ferocity of the crying is disproportionate to the crime committed. And it’s attracting the attention of those that didn’t. The room falls silent just for a second so everyone can turn to see the human siren. Many faces glance then look away, but a few eyes stay fixed in a STARE….

I know my son better than to try and stop him so I sit with him while he cries. And because actually it’s ok when

SelfishMother.com
5
you’re 3 and some takes your egg to feel a bit sad, although I at that moment I wish he would be sad quietly. For the 5 minutes he crying, just crying, no less than 2 separate parents approach us to move their children away from my son. Internal, Younger, Rebel me wants to say It’s ok he left his weapons in the car,  but I don’t. My baby is now starting to fuss and grizzle as she is hot and uncomfortable being carried about and then slightly squashed when my son gives me a hug and is ready to move on and get back to some playing. Hooray!!

We

SelfishMother.com
6
decide to go and look for more eggs… without success. So my son moves on to happily frying foam watermelon in the play kitchen. When another child approaches him, presumably fearful for the watermelon, following the egg debacle, he shouts at her GO AWAY! I ask him to apologise and he does but I also catch the not so discrete TUT from the woman standing near by whose seat I may be in. This is my cue to leave. As I am trying to pack up, I hear my son tell someone else to GO AWAY but am not fast enough to spot who requires the apology so I let it slide as
SelfishMother.com
7
he has already moved on to running about and giggling with the first would-be watermelon thief he shouted at.  

I turn back just in time as a toddler tries to whack my baby in the face with some very enthusiastic curiosity ‘Carefully sweetie, you can hold her hand like this…’  I say as I try to show the little one a better way. Her mother comes over and GLARES at me until her daughter has lost interest and walks off.  A moment later we are out the door and cheer goes up that we have left the building.

Ok, I have made that last bit

SelfishMother.com
8
up.

Maybe I am wrong but I thought these places were meant to be fun… not just for the kids but the grown ups too. If I am honest, I can be a bit socially awkward – I don’t like joining in big groups or being the centre of attention. But I do like a chat and a laugh, I like bouncy castles and cakes. I like watching my son pretend to be a pirate, talk to other children and have fun frying watermelon. I like smiles. Smiling goes a long way and a couple of smiles would have really helped me out.

The law of the playground is harsh when you’re a

SelfishMother.com
9
kid. At some point someone is going to steal your egg and worse things will happen in life, so the learning begins that you feel sad then pick yourself up and find your watermelon. I’m not sure if it’s more simple for kids than for us ’grown ups?’ It definitely stings a little more as an adult when your peers can’t play nicely. However, you replace your watermelon with, WINE (just for example), and get on with it because that’s life. Not all groups are like this one and the option to be a recluse just in case isn’t viable.

So however you

SelfishMother.com
10
find yourself at any baby/kids group type activity remember to smile. Smile because it really should be fun, because you actually made it out the house or smile because even if you don’t feel like being friendly that day, someone will really appreciate it.

As I was strapping my son into the car and mumbling in a tone he is too young to recognise as sarcastic, well that was fun… He says Yes Mummy, it was great!!

Good for you little man, I say as I produce the rubber egg from my bag, that fortuitously rolled in front of my feet somewhere between

SelfishMother.com
11
the TUT and the GLARE. A small victory for internal, younger, rebel me and another reason we won’t be going back to that particular group…
SelfishMother.com

By

This blog was originally posted on SelfishMother.com - why not sign up & share what's on your mind, too?

Why not write for Selfish Mother, too? You can sign up for free and post immediately.


We regularly share posts on @SelfishMother Instagram and Facebook :)

- 29 May 16

Ah, play groups. A fun environment for us to take our children to learn through play, develop their social skills and have a good time.

Sometimes.

In my experience anyway, these things can be a bit hit and miss, particularly when you are flying solo as a parent or trying somewhere new. This week we were unlucky….

The outing started, as they often do, with so much promise. On arrival, the room is big and bright, the bouncy castle is starting to inflate like a squishy rainbow. The snacks on display include a range of yummy homemade cakes. My 3 year old kicks off his shoes and launches himself into the ball pit.

The first 40 minutes are glorious. My boy plays happily, my baby kicks and coos on the playmat beside me. The tea tastes like tea and not hot water and milk. Great. A few other parents have been arriving with their children too (getting to any group for opening time is essential for my sanity). My boy is inviting the children to join him in the ball pit and enquiring which is their favourite colour ball. Then he starts mooching about the room exploring the other toys. I sit back and watch him try and work out how and when to try and interact with other children. I see his absolute joy when he finds a toy rubber egg that he throws and chases about the room and takes to bounce with him on the castle.

At some point, a group of women who I assume attend together and regularly have arrived and it seems I might be in their ‘usual spot’ when one of their children says Mummy that lady is in your chair. As I am busy pretending I didn’t hear this and so am now feeling on edge; I spot an angel faced toddler snatch the egg from my son and run away. I just about make it to his side in time and sit down on the floor as he begins to wail. For anyone who saw it happen, the noise level and ferocity of the crying is disproportionate to the crime committed. And it’s attracting the attention of those that didn’t. The room falls silent just for a second so everyone can turn to see the human siren. Many faces glance then look away, but a few eyes stay fixed in a STARE….

I know my son better than to try and stop him so I sit with him while he cries. And because actually it’s ok when you’re 3 and some takes your egg to feel a bit sad, although I at that moment I wish he would be sad quietly. For the 5 minutes he crying, just crying, no less than 2 separate parents approach us to move their children away from my son. Internal, Younger, Rebel me wants to say It’s ok he left his weapons in the car,  but I don’t. My baby is now starting to fuss and grizzle as she is hot and uncomfortable being carried about and then slightly squashed when my son gives me a hug and is ready to move on and get back to some playing. Hooray!!

We decide to go and look for more eggs… without success. So my son moves on to happily frying foam watermelon in the play kitchen. When another child approaches him, presumably fearful for the watermelon, following the egg debacle, he shouts at her GO AWAY! I ask him to apologise and he does but I also catch the not so discrete TUT from the woman standing near by whose seat I may be in. This is my cue to leave. As I am trying to pack up, I hear my son tell someone else to GO AWAY but am not fast enough to spot who requires the apology so I let it slide as he has already moved on to running about and giggling with the first would-be watermelon thief he shouted at.  

I turn back just in time as a toddler tries to whack my baby in the face with some very enthusiastic curiosity ‘Carefully sweetie, you can hold her hand like this…’  I say as I try to show the little one a better way. Her mother comes over and GLARES at me until her daughter has lost interest and walks off.  A moment later we are out the door and cheer goes up that we have left the building.

Ok, I have made that last bit up.

Maybe I am wrong but I thought these places were meant to be fun… not just for the kids but the grown ups too. If I am honest, I can be a bit socially awkward – I don’t like joining in big groups or being the centre of attention. But I do like a chat and a laugh, I like bouncy castles and cakes. I like watching my son pretend to be a pirate, talk to other children and have fun frying watermelon. I like smiles. Smiling goes a long way and a couple of smiles would have really helped me out.

The law of the playground is harsh when you’re a kid. At some point someone is going to steal your egg and worse things will happen in life, so the learning begins that you feel sad then pick yourself up and find your watermelon. I’m not sure if it’s more simple for kids than for us ‘grown ups?’ It definitely stings a little more as an adult when your peers can’t play nicely. However, you replace your watermelon with, WINE (just for example), and get on with it because that’s life. Not all groups are like this one and the option to be a recluse just in case isn’t viable.

So however you find yourself at any baby/kids group type activity remember to smile. Smile because it really should be fun, because you actually made it out the house or smile because even if you don’t feel like being friendly that day, someone will really appreciate it.

As I was strapping my son into the car and mumbling in a tone he is too young to recognise as sarcastic, well that was fun… He says Yes Mummy, it was great!!

Good for you little man, I say as I produce the rubber egg from my bag, that fortuitously rolled in front of my feet somewhere between the TUT and the GLARE. A small victory for internal, younger, rebel me and another reason we won’t be going back to that particular group…

Did you enjoy this post? If so please support the writer: like, share and comment!


Why not join the SM CLUB, too? You can share posts & events immediately. It's free!

Mum of three fabulous children, wife to one very patient husband. My blogs are about anything that has popped into my head as it occurs to me. I have aspirations to write more, that are slowly turning into reality. A lover of the simple things in life - good friends, good food, good wine and of course family.

Post Tags


Keep up to date with Selfish Mother — Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media